mGa KuRo-KuRo Ni Ka UrO

Thursday, July 06, 2006

When is a Promo, Not a Promo? When it's a Rip off.

I have to apologize for ranting today. I just felt the need to get this out of my chest. When you buy something being promoted at a discounted price, you expect the quality of the item to be the same as though you’re buying it at full price. Shouldn’t you? Unless there was any notice to the contrary, you would feel cheated if you get something inferior.

This is the situation I felt last night after having dinner with some friends at a popular buffet restaurant in Auckland. Jean’s birthday is tomorrow, but we decided to celebrate it last night. With a handfull of close friends, we decided to book dinner at this restaurant because they were having this promo for $19.95 per person for buffet. The normal price was $29.95. The restaurant is Valentines Restaurant in Pakuranga.

This restaurant is popular for its buffet, particularly their seafood menus consisting of fresh oysters and prawns. Most people go to Valentines specifically for this. I for one would never eat there if not for their oysters and prawns. As far as I remember, oysters and prawns have always been a part of the restaurant’s dinner menu. So I thought! Because last night was an exception. No oysters, no prawns. In fact the menu selection was a total let down. Nowhere close to the 120 selection they advertise in their website ( My wife even commented on the way home that she could have prepared more dishes herself had she wanted to. And even those on display looked like rehashed left-overs. The steak was so tough my false teeth almost fell off. And the desserts were pathetic to say the least. No fresh fruits whatsoever.

Everything was dismal. Had it not been for the occasion, I would have walked out and took my friends to the fastfoods across the road. I didn't want to make a scene and spoil my wife's birthday dinner so I just pretended as though I was enjoying the food. I now wonder maybe my other guests were just being polite and were pretending too.

I’ve dined in Valentines many times before and was quite satisfied, but last night was a huge disappointment. The only reason I could think of is that they were cutting costs just because they were charging less as a result of their promo. So to cut costs, they removed the most expensive dishes in their menu and used the cheapest ingredients available (like tough beef). I could bet my bottom dollar that once the promo ends, oysters and prawns will be back in their menu and the steaks will be a lot more tender.

I’ve sent letters about this to FairGo (a TV program that tackles consumer issues) and to the Commerce Commission. I believe that Valentines violated the Fair Trading Act by misleading customers into believing that they are getting a discount when in fact they are being ripped off. Let’s wait and see what’ll happen next.

Update: 7/7/2006
I sent a letter to Valentines Support Office and they said only oysters are excluded from the menu, not prawns. Sad to say there were no prawns either. I still think that said exclusion should have been stated somewhere in their advertisement, even if it was in fine print. Also, the screenshot below from their website clearly shows oysters. If that's not misleading, what is it then?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


  • ganun talaga.. pag mura yung quality ng pagkain na co compromise.. not all the time though!

    By Anonymous vemsan, at 4:52 PM, July 06, 2006  

  • sorry to hear about that Ka Uro.

    you have every right to get upset! it was a rip off!

    happy birthday kay misis!!

    By Blogger Rhada, at 12:04 AM, July 07, 2006  

  • normally, pag dito yan, they even improve their food and services to invite more clients.. they call it soirée gastronomique (gastronomy night), and they let you discover new menus, etc..

    baligtad naman dyan..

    happy bday kay mrs..

    By Blogger Analyse, at 1:29 AM, July 07, 2006  

  • Valentine's restaurant --- I remember that - ganoon na ba kamahal ngayon? ($29.95/person) - matagal na talaga akong nawala dyan.... Sige KU, next time sabihin ninyo sa kanila na dapat bluff oyster at paua ang ihanda, para bayad doon sa mga naloko - nyeheheh...

    By Blogger Huseng Busabos, at 2:28 AM, July 07, 2006  

  • Happy birthday to Tita J despite the hassle.

    Let us know ano ang nangyari sa complaint mo ha?

    By Anonymous trotskybee, at 7:48 AM, July 07, 2006  

  • Ang mahal pala ng buffet diyan!!!
    Sana nagcomplain ka right away,or nag wolk out ka nalang sana.

    Anyway, Happy birthday , tita Jean.

    By Blogger settejr, at 11:00 AM, July 07, 2006  

  • ang mga tao talaga magaling manloko...sabagay part yan ng business nila...wala talagang businessman na nagpapalugi..

    By Blogger idealpinkrose, at 12:26 PM, July 07, 2006  

  • Waaaaaaa.. bad trip ngayan.. kc ur expecting the same fud that they advertised... Di ako masyadong mahilig sa buffet kc lugi ako, konti lang kinakain ko.. at bawal pa sa sea foods, puro pagkaing lupa lang at mga kangkongkernitz!!

    By Blogger tutubing_karayom, at 3:31 PM, July 07, 2006  

  • ang mahal naman po pala ng buffer dyan. dito po sa atin halos half lang ang price "eat-all-u-can". pero super busog ka talaga. KU, na try nyo ba kumain d2 sa Kamay-Kainan nung nagbakasyon kayo d2?

    By Blogger operradda2, at 4:53 PM, July 07, 2006  

  • ooops, sori po wrong spelling (first time mag comment, me mali pa). naging buffer yung buffet .

    By Blogger operradda2, at 4:56 PM, July 07, 2006  

  • isang simpleng panloloko ang nangyari sa inyo fafi kasi kung talagang nakalagay sa advertisement nila na may oysters at prawns ay dapat meron din sa buffet table nila diba?. Dapat fafi sinemplehan mo yung manager nila that time at mag-tanong kung ano nangyari bat wala silang sugpo at tahong, pati na yung leather shoes este karne na inihain sa inyo mantakin mo pati yung pustiso mo eh di makayanan ang tigas nito hehehe. Hindi naman siguro masamang magtanong di ba, pero pag naging pabalang ang sagot aba eh isumbong agad natin ke tulfo para maratrat ang resto nila hehehe.

    By Blogger KaDyo, at 4:57 PM, July 08, 2006  

  • Happy Birthday kay tita Jean! Sa bataan ka na lang bumawi sa sugpo at oysters.

    By Blogger Ann, at 6:01 PM, July 08, 2006  

  • hmmm, ganun ba jan! parang kakaiba ah!

    Dito kapag may promo as in super sasarap pa ang ise-serve syo! may mga gimik at ibang ammenities pa silang kasama!

    By Blogger Mmy-Lei, at 9:22 PM, July 09, 2006  

  • happy birthday to the 1st half.. valentines- I think that I've eaten there in their Napier branch way before- i remember how nice the ads were on tv and paper but not really impressed with the spread. i remember those bluff oysters- they were really nice but didn't eat it there must have bought it at Countdown and took it home. Sorry to hear about your dinner misfortune...

    By Blogger VICKY, at 1:46 AM, July 10, 2006  

  • vemsan,
    siguro nga not all. ito lang yatang branch na kinainan namin ang talagang nagtipid.

    thank you daw sabi ni esmi.

    i would have been happy kung same. i wasn't really looking for anything extra. thank you daw sabi ni esmi.

    thanks sabi di J.

    this is restaurant is one of the more expensive. kasi nga meron silang seafoods. ok lang sana kung may oysters at prawns di na lugi kasi mahal talaga yon eh.

    switik nga yata yung may ari nung resto.

    bad trip nga. di ka pala magandang i-invite sa buffet. lugi tayo. bibili na lang kita ng Happy Meal. hahaha

    di ko pa na-try sa kamay-kainan. sige pag-uwi namin try ko. actually mahal kang kasi nagco-convert ka. but if you think of the price compared to salary over here, mura lang. $19.95 is about 1 hour to 1.5 hours of work for an ordinary worker. compare that with say P200 in the phil. that's almost a day's work, di ba?

    ayoko nang gumawa ng eksena kasi lalo lang masisira ang mood ko at ng mga bisita.

    tama sa bataan na lang kami babawi.

    mmy lei,
    heto lang naman yatang resto na ito. di naman nga kami naghahangad ng additional gimik, kahit yung pangkaraniwang menu lang nila. kaso binawasan pala nila.

    tama ka don. ok lang sila sa ads, pero not very impressive ang menu nila. kaya nga kami yung talaba at sugpo lang ang hinahanap namin doon. yung ibang ulam, mas masarap pa sa chinese takeaway.

    By Blogger Ka Uro, at 10:16 AM, July 10, 2006  

  • ay porgot to greet tita jean "Belated Happy Birthday, may you have many many many more to come"

    By Blogger KaDyo, at 4:34 PM, July 10, 2006  

  • ^^ alles gute zum geburtstag ^^ kay mama Jean ... soweee, puyat parati dahil sa world cup :)

    By Blogger racky, at 6:29 AM, July 11, 2006  

  • Aww im sorry im late na to greet your wife Jean ** Happy2 Birthday ** but better late than never hehe..^_^

    ...well, ganun yata talaga pag medyo mura ng konti from the regular price you have to expect something...but u have to get what u paid for and for what they're offering to the costumer in the promo.
    ..Goodluck KU, they have to learn their lesson!


    By Blogger lil _kath, at 1:39 PM, July 11, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker