Daily deal offers
The gimmick: Daily deal restaurant certificates and vouchers were all the rage not long ago. But some customers have been enraged—by all the ifs, ands and buts of how they work. To be sure, you can get some decent discounts. But be prepared to do some reading because the offers, from Groupon, LivingSocial and others, can be loaded with carefully worded fine print and restrictions.
Refunds may not be easy to obtain or may have time limits.
Restaurants may change their minds about accepting certificates that have been issued, leaving you to pursue a refund or other compensation from the issuer.
A daily deal’s “promotional value” typically has an expiration date, but you may have longer to use a voucher for the lower amount that you paid for it.
Vouchers and certificates can carry minimum-purchase requirements, and tax and tip are extra. The deals may not cover alcoholic beverages.
Usage restrictions can include one certificate per person, per table, per month and so on.
Food for thought: Know that daily deals often come with a ton of rules that can affect the ultimate value of the offer.