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Cityspree's financial problems and restaurant professionalism

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Cityspree's financial problems and restaurant professionalism

Steve | Sep 7, 2001 11:02 PM

Ithought I'd share this here. Many of you may be aware of Cityspree.com which was auctioning off restaurant gift certificates which they got from restaurants in exchange for advertising. Unlike the Transmedia card which offered unlimited discounts, Cityspree SOLD these certificates. Sometimes they went cheap.; sometimes near face value. This started last December nationally with big push in Philly. Well, about 6 months ago a few places started rejecting the certs. Mostly stores. I purchased quite of few of these and went to restuarants I'd never been to before and found out they were great and sent other folks. Well, last week we went to the Centre Bridge Inn near New Hope. We never needed to confirm their use before. They were marked to expire in December. After having an adequate, but not very exciting brunch, I paid with my Certificate and added the shortage and tip. As I was leaving, the manager ran after me and said "These are no good. The company is bankrupt!". I said I did not know that but expected them to honor certificate and work out with Cityspree. I was an innocent victim here. They wouldn't budge and I left with a bad feeling about the place. I even emailed them my displeasure but no reply. Since I had a certificate for the Black Bass Inn up the road from them, I called the Black Bass. They were very pleasant and said that they knew Cityspree was in financial problems but they would honor the certificate I had since it was not my fault. Now this is customer relations! we will go and let others know that they are respionsive.

I went through the file of the other certificates I had and called the 13 restaurants (including 4 in New York City). All the New York REstaurants confirmed that they would accept them and at least half of those in Philly would. There were FOUR in Philly who said. they wouldn't honor them. I am returning to Cityspre with copies to my credit card company for credit. But, as I told the restaurants which flatly rejected them. I do not plan to patronize them again. Other friends who used Cityspree certs found places that could use the business and thewy later went back with friends. Two of the places that rejected mine are not busy and will be even less busy now.

Sure the restaurants may have been suckered in but, if they learned anything from the Transmedia situation and publicity a few years ago, they pay for this "advertising" somehow. Buy screwing the innocent customer who legitimately paid for a certificate to dine in their establishment will lose them more good will than they could ever hope for.

So,, if you have any Cityspree certs, check with the restaurant first.

And, by the way, though they are bankrupt, they are still doing business on their site and still holding auctions and billing customers as I type this!

Steve

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