The Art Of Punishing The Customer For Buying A Coupon In Cairo


Coupons might save some cash in your pocket but you will end up paying someway or another the price of choosing the cheap option… This might be from your time, your comfort or your convenience … Here is my personal experience on this:

City Stars Cinema Ticket for 9 LE:

I bought 3 tickets from coupon for one of their most selling offers in Cobone site probably one of the best selling offers in Egypt,  city stars cinema ticket for 9 LE instead of 30 LE. They have made around 3,000 sales from that offer.

Here is how the process begins; very smoothly i ordered the cinema tickets from Cobone.com, the voucher said that tickets must be collected in person from coupon office, i thought this is not the case when you pay online, and that it is related only with the pay on delivery option so i went to the cinema with my wife and tried to give the coupon to the ticketing window… who looked very strangely at it and asked me to see the manager who told me i can’t use the voucher as  is but i have to replace it with a real voucher from Cobone office… Okay my mistake…

I went to Cobone office after a couple of days and replace the tickets, they told me a hint that i can’t use the vouchers on the weekends.. although the voucher itself said that you can use on weekdays and weekends… i said okay no problem for me…

I went again to the cinema this time with the nice looking coupon that looks like the cinema ticket, not as surprised with the voucher as the previous time, the ticket window guy sent me to the manager again, who sent a guy with me to the ticket window again to replace the voucher with real ticket, which didn’t look real at all… It looked like this:

So i entered the cinema with this strange ticket after a strange look from the cinema door man… and another strange look at the ticket from the guy who shows you your way to the seat… but above all the strangest look it took on that very very weird unfortunate day was the look of the guy who issues the ticket at the parking lot, as you have to present him the cinema ticket to give you a 5 LE discount of the city stars overpriced parking… I spend 5 minutes to convince him that this is my cinema ticket… but i wouldn’t blame him to take all this time to accept that fact.

I don’t blame Cobone on this… they actually offered me what they wrote in the offer… but i blame myself for buying this offer… I still have one more cinema voucher remaining which i am not planning to use because using it is completely inconvenient for me.

Euro Deli 50 for 100 LE nightmare discount voucher:

How Euro Deli my favorite order in restaurant in Maadi became a nightmare for me after buying the 50 for 100 LE Euro Deli Voucher from Offerna and how Offerna wiped out the bad experience with their great customer service.

First thing i must say Euro Deli is one of the best options to order from at work not just for the quality of food but fora number of different reasons; There is NO added cost, NO delivery fees, NO taxes, so if you order a 12 LE sandwich, you will only pay 12 LE… and they would deliver your order even if you just order that sandwich alone! ideal budget deal and is also good if you are ordering food alone. Read more reviews about Euro Deli in Maadi on Dalili

So when i saw their offer it was like Great! why don’t i save 50% on my daily orders! but the voucher said you can’t use it for delivery so you either go and eat there or pick up your food. So i bought one of these vouchers and went for lunch with my wife and we ordered, 2 soups, a sandwich and a main dish, the total cheque was for almost 100 LE.

The ugly part is when you show the voucher, when the waiter takes it form you and goes to the restaurant manager and then the managers comes to you and says:

“I am sorry sir but the voucher can’t be used by 2 people, only one person must use it to order a full course of appetizer, salad, main dish and desert. So we are sorry again we can’t accept your voucher for the order you’ve just made. Actually this is not the first incident, sir. 3 or 4 customers came before and we had the same argument with them”

Nothing from the above terms and conditions was ever mentioned on the voucher which you can check online yourself in the above link… My response was very simple, since i don’t wanna argue, and i like this restaurant i would move my fight with Offerna instead of Euro Deli.

I called Offerna customer care which were very understanding and supportive and they offered my an immediate money back… Whether somebody can come and bring me the money, or i could add the points to my balance on the site or even they can refund my credit card. I choose the later option. What i loved about their customer service is that they wanted to know what the restaurant manager said and they never argued with me about whether he is right or wrong but just offered my my money back… Which i find great.

Anyway i think i will refrain from buying any vouchers for quite some time after the above disappointments. Let me know your customer experience with other deals that you’ve bough. Are you experience troubles redeeming them? which sites are you buying your deals from? How do you find value of money of these deals?

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11 thoughts on “The Art Of Punishing The Customer For Buying A Coupon In Cairo

  1. Marian says:

    Hahah 🙂 that’s a nice experience of “couponing” in Egypt 🙂 I give this same strange look here to the people who carry tons of coupons with them at the supermarkets and shopping malls !! I wonder what they do to get all these coupons, they buy ever single newspaper and magazine and subscribe to tons of online coupons systems and I am sure this takes them a lot of time and effort to match coupons with special offers to get things so cheap and sometimes even for free !!! I give them this strange look you are talking about, but in my case is because I am just jealous of them 🙂

  2. mohsalah says:

    Diab, you are absolutely right… and this is why i hide my vouchers, coupons or discounts card until i order my cheque! It’s becoming such an embarrassment these days

  3. Riham says:

    Happened to me here as well, I bought a 10$ coupons for 20$ purchases from old navy(groupon), after paying I noticed that they had removed all offers and original diiscounts from the item and charged me based on the original price, I ended up paying more:S:S

  4. Marian says:

    Salah, I never did buy coupons, if i find free coupons in magazines, newspaper i use them, otherwise i don’t put money in these things, for the reason you just mentioned in your second story. There are always hidden assumptions with these coupons, or assumptions mentioned in strange places that you never check !! I just save myself the trouble of fighting back for my money and have this straggle going on between 2 parties, the coupon selling party and the vendor. When I attempt to use free coupons and they don’t work, I don’t loose anything, I just pay full price which would have been the case if I don’t have the coupon 🙂

    Keep posting your experience, it’s fun to know how this would work in Egypt, because I’ve been wondering since I came here, if this system will ever work in Egypt 🙂

    • mohsalah says:

      Marian, interesting theory you have, coupons from magazines would never hurt… Egypt is not a coupon culture though… but i have to say that not all the deals are bad, i’ve bought from cobone.com before 200 LE vouchers from Trianon cafe and it was great…

      We also went for group Iftar and Sohor last ramadan and it was good to, i think all you have to do is to actually call the place before buying the coupon to make sure if they will honor the agreement they have with the group buying site or not… at least you can now whether they are comfortable with you paying them a visit or not…. of course if the offer it worth the try.

      When did you come back btw? You staying here for good or just having a vacation?

  5. Riham says:

    @Salah:
    I actually use groupon and LivingSocial a lot, and most of the times to be honest my coupon is used exactly as I expect, the thing is, if it sounds too good to be true, it IS to good to be true, the old navy offer simply was too good, so there had to be a trick:)
    Otherwise I never had a bad experience with a coupon.

  6. Mohamad Mounir says:

    I’ve tried some of these coupons and I had the same exact strange look from almost everyone of them… i think I’m not gonna use vouchers again unless it’s been tried by someone i know… 😀

أيه رأيك فى الكلام ده؟

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