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Complaints Dept., Special Discount Edition

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Thank you for visiting the Eater Complaints Department. Today, the focus is on diner discounts, which in this case involves Groupon but could have easily switched out for any number of other coupons/gift certificates/special discounts offered to diners around town.

2009_08_crema.jpgFrom: [an eater]
Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2009
To: eater complaints dept.
Subject: Treated like a Second Class Citizen for Coupon Use


I purchased my first Groupon from for Crema, a restaurant on my list to try based on a great Basil Margarita served at a JDRF fundraiser. I used the coupon Saturday. The meal was good, guacamole was not notable but my salad and guest's fish were and the sangria was wonderful.

My issue was with the bill which had 20% gratuity added. When we inquired why 20% gratuity was added to our bill for a two person dinner, the waiter said because we used the Groupon. Although I understand a fear that some people may not tip on the original cost, I (1) think this policy should be noted pre-purchase on Groupon and (2) usually tip 20% but don't agree with the restaurant assuming I want to do so and (3) believe that using a coupon has no relation to the service and the quality the service is assumed to be.

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