Sunday, June 30, 2013

Services vouchers from discount sites - do they work?

Although am not an obsessed discount voucher sites fan, I do scan these sites for something to buy (or rather some inspiration on what to buy) at least every weekend. Yes, buying stuff do give me joy! Though some look like really good deals, sometimes you can get better prices from Lelong & ebay. Further more, Lelong & ebay merchants send the items out almost immediately after receiving the payments.

Anyhow, you don't get services type of discounts such as restaurants, beauty, home cleaning etc from Lelong or ebay. So very much you still have to fall back to these discount sites. So far I have purchased several restaurant discount vouchers, 1 facial voucher & 1 cleaning services voucher. Never had any problems with the restaurant vouchers as long as I do early bookings. Some food are good, some not...and all these have to do with the restaurants, not the vouchers.

For the facial voucher I got, it was from Facial First (under Bizzy Body) which I redeemed yesterday after having problems finding an available slot for almost a month!

Got a bit pissed when the facial consultant implied that I did not read the treatment details properly which supposedly tailored for acne-ridden people, which I am not. I told them that their description of "prevent blemishes" didn't really imply it has to be acne-ridden, did it?

So after giving her a piece of my mind, we did a cut-down of the treatment so that I did not have to waste the voucher. Oh and as expected, she tried to sell me treatment packages for my high sebum and low moisture skin, which I politely declined.

And the biggest nightmare of all, was the home cleaning service voucher that I purchased from Groupon. The merchant here is One Bright Cleaning Services. Tell you folks, when you see this merchant's name, you should just walk away! This is such an irresponsible merchant.

I bought the voucher early this year and hoped to use their services for pre-Chinese New Year cleaning. They started with a online appointment booking form. They replied me that all the sessions during the period of time were full. Fine, so I made another booking for after the peak period. No reply from them and I had to email them a few times to get a response that they had changed their booking method. Apparently they could not cope with too many vouchers redemption.

So the new arrangement was that they would call you to arrange an appointment. That was in Feb 2013. Up to today which is the expiration of the voucher, no news at all. All my emails were probably routed to trash in their mailbox. Calling was not an option cos they would never pick up.

So I gave up yesterday and contacted Groupon and sent them my email thread with this irresponsible merchant. Groupon was kind enough to refund me and I opted for Groupon credits.

Seriously, how dumb can this merchant be?? If you put up your discounts into all these sites, you should expect that you'll get many purchases right? Isn't that the whole reason why you partner with them in the first place? If you can't cope with the responses, then don't put up discounts!

Anyhow this experience really made me think twice before purchasing any of such services vouchers, except for those restaurant ones.

So do services vouchers work?... I would say Yes... if they are from good & reputable merchants. Even so, please prepare to be patient in getting a convenient slot for yourself. Try to redeem your voucher much earlier and not wait around until almost nearing the expiration date.

There will always be the bad merchants like One Bright Cleaning Services which does not hold the end of their bargain, but in these cases, lets just hope the Discount Voucher sites are more responsible to give us back the refund. At least I know Groupon is.

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