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01 May 2014

Review - Vouchers

Vouchers, I have never been particularly fond of using them. 

Possibly because I work with vouchers and as a service provider its a pain to work with. When it comes to a mass discount voucher company, especially like one like Groupon, I do everything I can to avoid it. Because those kind of companies fleece and cheat both the provider and the consumer. As for discount vouchers that come from a company or gift vouchers, I'm very wary of them, but I am willing to try them out if their Ts&Cs are not too oppressive to the parties involved.

As this is my personal blog and is not something of major consequence, I'm going to nitpick on my own personal pet-peeve of groupon. To the provider, they will bargain you down to do the service or the product at less than half the price you would normally charge. If you are a small business and are already keeping your prices below the average price, what that means is that they are not digging into your profit but actually into your day to day living. Then of course, they wont actually pay you before you provide the service/product, but will only pay you after you have done the service and got a certain number of vouchers. So in otherwords, you are working at half the pay, for a possible amount of income that will only come in about 2 months time. Then we look at the opposite side of the spectram, the consumer. The consumer is led to believe that they can have a product or service that is normally a high class special thing at almost half the price you can normally get it at. So you figure, oh nice, lets get it and you pay groupon and they send you the voucher. Then you start to notice all the small print and detailed terms & conditions. Ok, I better be quick about booking my spot, so you think. You try to contact the service provider, and they hear you are from groupon. Their instant thought is, "How can I get out of this? I didnt want to do it in the first place, but these obnoxious salesmen from groupon relentlessly contacted me every months for the last 2 years, when I finally accepted, the Ts&Cs turn out to be terrible!" So they put you off and block your number/email address or howewever you contacted them, they find a way to avoid you. By the time you realise you are not going to get your deal, its too late to go back to groupon and get your money back. Now you have lost your money, the service provider has lost a client and has a bad name, and groupon is sitting with a fatter bank balance.

Now I have luckily not been on either end of this spectrum, I am meticulous at reading Terms and Conditions of EVERYTHING (even the facebook signing up) before I hit "accept" or I sign it. So as a marketing person, when groupon contacted me, I asked them for all their terms and conditions and read them through. After seeing the rubbish that they are trying to sell, I said hell no. I also decided to never use them as a consumer/buyer because of how they treat their providers. However I have numerous people I know of and even some of my friends as well as hundreds of these experiences being plastered across the net, of people who have been on both sides of this scenario.

The reason I'm talking about this though is that I was recently given a bunch of Gift Vouchers and Discount Vouchers. Well, at least they were not courtesy ala-Groupon. I'm always a tad weary of vouchers. But, these were from the Durban Bloggers Meet that I went to at the begining of April, and I figured I could trust em.

So the first one was a R100 gift card for Woolworths as a gift from MyScoop. Never having heard of MyScoop before, so I headed over to their website, it turns out they are a company that connects bloggers with companies that are looking for social networking advertising. These companies are willing to pay a certain amount of money for you to do a blog about them, or tweet about them. Nice, so I have joined up, and thats why one of my last blog posts was about PrettySmart, and yes 've ben paid for that. YAY. Its always nice to get a little extra money in the bank. And MyScoop, thank you for the Woolies voucher, it has been used (but I ain't telling the whole wide world what I bought).

Next I had 3 x R10 off vouchers for Fry's Family Vegan Meals, they also gave a 4 gig memory stick with a Fry's Recipe Book and some other info. So if anyone wants to have some vegetarian recipes, contact me and I'll email you. As for the product, I'll be honest here, I am NOT a fan of vegetarian/vegan food, but theirs did taste very nice. Not nice enough to convert me, but nice enough for me to not say no to eating it again.

I got two R200 off vouchers for UBER. This is a personal gripe of mine, because I would personally LOVE to use UBER and recommend UBER to my clients. But they require you to use the app to order a ride, and unfortunately I dont currently have a device that is compatible with the UBER app. I have a Samsung Galaxy Star and an Android Tablet with Android 4.4 OS.
By the way, UBER is a high class taxi service with screened drivers and luxury cars, they only come on demand (via ordering a pick-up on the mobile app) and are cheaper than other taxi cabs. They are a fad that has taken the world by storm and are in top cities all over the place.

 I am still to use some of the others I was given, a voucher each from Filo Frozen Yogurt, and The Thrift Collection. And a Makeover Voucher from Stila, that I need to make time to go book.
To the wonderful sponsors, thank you SO much, I really appreciate the gifts.