The Sizzle, The Scam

27 July 2009

The Sizzle, mutton chopsThere’s a restaurant that Fahim and I go to every now and then called The Sizzle, and by every now and then, I mean four times in the last year or year and a half or so, and by that, that makes it our most frequented restaurant. Because, yes, we really don’t go out that often at all. 😀 I’ve talked about The Sizzle before.

The first time we ate there, we were offered a preferred customer type of card with discounts. We signed up, of course, being the cheap people that we are, using Fahim’s name and birthday.

The discount isn’t a huge amount – 10% off lunches during the week – but since we generally go out for lunches, that works for us. 🙂

Recently, Fahim received a coupon in the mail for 10% off for his birthday from The Sizzle, expiring a month after his birthday. Cool! Well, that’s what we thought at first, anyway… (See, that’s foreshadowing… ;))

The Sizzle, saucesSee, nowhere on The Sizzle’s coupon did it say anything about not combining it with any other offers, not valid if…, and so on. No disclaimers of any kind. And they know we get discounts because of our preferred customer card, and them knowing Fahim’s birthday because of it, although I doubt they keep track of the fact that we always go at lunch.

The Sizzle, biryaniSo we went to The Sizzle for lunch, we enjoy our food and Fahim gives them both the preferred customer card and the birthday coupon. We get the bill, and…

10% off, total.

No comments or explanations from the server. Not even an acknowledgement that we provided a coupon for 10% off and a preferred customer card for 10% off. Not 10% off for the preferred customer card + 10% off for the birthday coupon. Just 10% off.

And that’s what I call a scam.

And the loss of a couple of customers.

As a PS to this, I really really really really really wish The Sizzle would turn the music/sound off on their site. Or at least provide a way for us, the poor hapless visitors (or ex-visitors, in our case), to turn it off. Because, yes, it realy is that annoying. No, it’s not cute, nor does it make us think that our experience at the restaurant will be good because of the sizzle sounds. It really just annoys.

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4 Responses

  1. Appreciate your note and comments on this webpage. Thank you for the input. Really helps us in improving our restaurant. Yes, we do have Privilege Card program for our regular customers, so that they can enjoy and be part of the special offers we have from time to time. To start with if a customer have come for a repeat visit we offer them our Laila Ali’s Privilege Card which will entitle them a 10% discount for weekdays for lunch and also 5% for weekdays dinner and the whole weekend. Once this customer has logged in Rs100,000 we upgrade them to the next level, the Tyson’s Privilege Card which will entitle them 10% discount on all 7 days of the week and also an invitation to our birthday bash on 1st April every year hosted by us. Mr. fahim had received a letter from us explaining the privilege benefits. Mr. Fahim have received a birthday card from us which no other restaurant would do. We are the only restaurant who value our customers and would like to be part of their special day. We had included a 10% discount voucher to be utilised within one month of the birthday specially on the dinners and weekends where our Laila Ali’s Privilege Card offers only 5%. It is logical for one that this discount coupon is part and parcel of the Privilege card benefit. Look at from this angle, if 10 of your friends get 10% discount vouchers for their birthdays and come over for dinner together we simply cannot add all 10 vouchers and give 100% discount on the bill. However, we will make amendments in the next printing of the birthday discount vouchers to include a clause to say that this discount cannot be combined with other promotions of discount schemes. Sad to read that you have mentioned our 10% birthday voucher as a scam. Many of the customers appreciate the birthday card we send them and thank us for it immensely. Would like to meet you in person the next time you visit us. Please do ask for me.

  2. #2

    Tushar, thank you for commenting. 🙂

    It’s not – or shouldn’t be – the responsibility of the customer to figure out what the owners or managers of an establishment meant by an offer. The offer should be written clearly enough that it cannot possibly be misinterpreted. That includes indicating of how it can and cannot be used.

    It’s not reasonable to expect a customer to read the owners/managers mind as to their intent with an offer. If an offer is worded in such a way that a customer can interprete it differently than the managers/owners intended, then the managers/owners shouldn’t be surprised if/when the customers expect something different from the offer than was intended.

    To use your example of ten people, all with 10% off coupons, in some countries, if the offer was written that unclearly without any limitations, that restaurant would be legally obligated to interpret it in the broadest possible way, ie giving 100% off, and if they did not, would be facing legal recourse.

    But my other point remains unaddressed. What about the server who didn’t say one single word to us about not combining the offers, that we would only receive 10% off, not more? We were left in the dark. That server should be the last line of defense, clarifying anything that may have been misunderstood.

    Yes, I realize that other restaurants in Sri Lanka do not have these kinds of offers, and we do appreciate the discount. But we would also like transparency in how we are charged as customers. 🙂

  3. Dear Laurie, This is a good learning experience for us and thank you for your input. We will change our discount coupons in future to include a clause as suggested by you. Thank you very much for bringing this to our notice.
    Tushar Amalean

  4. #4
    Thariq Ismail 

    i really enjoyed your food very much wen i visited last week. It was a sudden suprise treat by my dad so i jus said to go to sizzle and have a meal. And to see the most delicious food which i have ever ate is from the sizzle only. So i was thanked by my family people for taking them to a good restaurant lyk yours. Thank you very much. I love you sizzle.

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About LMAshton

Howdy and welcome to my site! I'm Laurie and I'll be your, er, hostess today. :)

I'm a Canadian expat currently living in Singapore. I'm married to a Sri Lankan and lived in Sri Lanka for nearly a decade. We also lived in New Zealand for half a year.

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