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In Over Their Heads

June 8, 2011

It seemed like an amazing deal. $100 for $400 worth of organizing raised, local meat and poultry at The Butchers in Toronto. With our new found devotion to try and buy local when possible, it seemed like kismet, and so I bought the coupon offered this past April.

Apparently so did over 20,000 others.

Since then I’ve heard nothing but negative comments about how the Butchers are handling themselves and their customers. Orders not ready, insane wait times for deliveries, whittling down store hours for coupon holders. And it’s not all second hand information or what I’ve read on the web.. A friend of mind followed their instructions, placing her order in advance and after confirming it was ready went to pick it up, only to be told when she got there that they were sold out. Not cool.

Last week I emailed Webpiggy to get a refund on the coupon I purchased. I had been willing to stick it out, but the most recent store hour changes, where coupons could only be used between 6:30 and 9:30 on Thursday’s and Fridays was what did it for me. I’m done work at 5 in the city and have an hour commute home. To have to wait, downtown, until 6:30 to go to a store that might not even have my order ready? Well.  That is not convenient at all. They do offer deliveries, but that isn’t convenient either because those happen during business hours when I’m at work. I also have concerns about their ability to provide the quality of product they’re known for to over 20,000 customers at once.

If I’d known so many had purchased it, I never would have bought it, but what I didn’t realize at the time was that their deal spanned several web sites offering coupons like this. Sure, I could wait. The coupon is good for a year and I’m sure things will settle (if they survive it) but it really comes down to the fact that I don’t want to support a company who won’t honour their original agreement and as far as I’m concerned, they violated the terms of the coupon by changing the hours.

I finally had to call Webpiggy to get my refund, after emailing twice. They’ve apparently offered to take over taking orders and handling deliveries for the butchers. Nice of them? Absolutely. But I don’t see how they can keep up with the demand if the Butchers can’t.

I feel bad for them. I really do. Some of the comments I’ve read in reviews online are just mean, hurtful and violent. That’s unnecessary and it’s unfortunate that The Butchers have had to hire police to help protect their staff. They obviously had no idea it would take off the way it did and were unable to support the additional business. That’s no reason for people to become abusive.

I would suggest to companies looking to expand their customer base using such deals, and to the specialty coupon companies they use, to ensure before they enter into an agreement that they have the support in place to handle the extra business. You just never know what’s going to appeal to the public!

I’ll be thinking really, really hard before I purchase another coupon like this.

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