This is a bit of a vent, so you can tell me if you think I'm off base on this one:
About a year and a half ago, I purchased $100 in gift certificates for Fat Cat Bistro from a concierge service that my office uses. I had tried to go a few times in 2009 and always ended up elsewhere. Knowing they had a location in Roncesvalles, I headed over there last fall with my husband. They informed us that we could only use the certificates at the Eglinton location. Although it seemed ridiculous, as there is no location on the gift card, we didn't argue.
Yesterday, I just called the Yonge and Eg location, and found out (I guess much later than everyone else!) that they have been closed since December. I contacted the Roncesvalles location, and they refuse to honour the gift cards, apparently because they were not issued by the restaurant. I emailed again to ask him how he could refuse to honour a gift card with their restaurant name on it, knowing that I have paid for this product?
To me, this seems absurd. Am I wrong in assuming they've already accepted my payment for these gift cards back in 2008, from the third party service? While it seemed ridiculous that they wouldn't accept them at the other location when there were two locations, do they not have some kind of obligation (as good business practice and customer service, if for no other reason!) to honour the product of the other now defunct location? After all, it is one company, and it is not a coupon or special offer: it is an actual gift card that a customer paid actual money for!
The good news, is that after contacting the concierge service, they have agreed to refund the value of the certificates, even though they are past their stated one year limit. To me, this seems like the reasonable thing to do for a customer, even though I don't think it was their responsibility.
I think this whole situation reflects very badly on Fat Cat bistro, and even though I try to support the local community by patronizing restaurants in my neighbourhood, I can't say that I am inclined to ever set foot in their restaurant again. It has definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. Thoughts?