ED Magedson – Founder
Restaurant.com Inc.1500 W. Shure Dr., Ste. 200 Nationwide United States of America
NIGHTMARE!!!Restaurant owners BEWARE, do NOT sign your restaurant up for this SCAM. This can potentially wreck your costs and cash flows then sink your restaurant, and once theysuck you in,they will ignore and then refuse any attempt you make to CANCEL your participation.(To borrow a phrase fromthe Eagles "you can check out any time you like, but you cannever leave!")
We are restaurant owners and one of our employees thought it would be a good idea to sign our restaurant up for this, and he did so without our permission as the owners. In a short time, we had many dozens of customers bringing in these coupons daily, requiring us to give away an increasing amount of food FREE (note to users of these coupons, the restaurant gets not one red cent of the $ that the customer pays to restaurant.com, they just try to convince us there is great promotional value in giving away tons of free food!!)
This program is a total catch-22 for the restaurant. either it will have no marketing impact and very few people will use the coupons anyway (in which case no promotional value in signing up), or you will quickly have dozens and dozens of coupons coming in each week, forcing you to give away so much free stuff your restaurant will soon go BUST. If the latter happens, you cant win. you will end up really PISSING OFF all of your customers, because all your regulars will print these like monopoly money and want to use these coupons EVERY SINGLE DAY.You can TRY to politely tell them only one allowed per month, but there is absolutely no way to track and enforce such a rule, and it really angers the customers whenever you try (because they feel they paid good $ for the coupon), and there is negative reputational harm rather than any promotional value to be gained from pissing off your customers!
The worst is that when we repeatedly called and wrote to Restaurant.com to cancel our participation, they repeatedly REFUSED to take our listing off their site, so the coupons kept coming!! They first said a 30-day notice was required. When that month passed and they still failed to remove us from the site, they said we needed to submit a NEW 90-day notice!!
After 90-days, they claimed our contract had renewed and we would need a 6 month notice!!!We wrote repeated angry letters, then researched and got the names and emails of their general counsel attorney and CEO and began a barrage of emails demanding cancellation, and ultimately had to threaten to take legal action against them!
By this time, we were giving away more than $6000 per month in FREE FOOD, which was wrecking our costs and cash flows.
Ultimately they STILL refused to take our listing off their site. Then we got smart and found ONE strategy that worked. We had to send a formal legal notice BOTH to Restaurant.com AND their internet service provider notifying them they were engaging in willful federal copyright infringement in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by continuing the display our copyrighted photographs, designs, menus, and other media belonging to us on their web site despite our repeated take-down notices to them.
We explained we intended to sue them and collect thousands of dollars per day in copyright damages for every one of our copyrighted images for each day they continued to display such images on their site, plus attorneys fees and court costs. BAM! Our listing was taken down within hours of sending them this legal notice. So any restaurant owners out there who are suffering with this company can try this copyright angle if they refuse to promptly cancel your listing upon request.
For the rest of you, just say NO and dont make the mistake of getting sucked into this scam in the first place!
You are MUCH better off creating your own loyalty program where you can attract and reward customers in ways that are under your complete control.For that matter, you can create a Facebook listing and simply send out posts on facebook offering specials to your followers there. You dont need Restaurant.com and it is potentially very dangerous for your business.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/21/2011 08:28 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/restaurantcom-inc/nationwide/restaurantcom-inc-see-hooverscomcompanyrestaurantcomincrfkkfci-1html-restaurant-o-685034. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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