As we all know, there are quite a many gift vouchers and complimentary coupons floating around in the name of advertising. With a lot of experience, we have also come to know the tremendous role of that little * which redirects to a footnote, “Terms and Conditions apply” or “Offer valid only on blah blah” etc. Having had such experiences of our own and after this fiasco, me and Aditya never opted for gift coupons or filling anything for the same purpose.

However, as we were offered the inner circle membership card after a shopping session at Max, we noticed there were a lot of our frequent haunts which were covered in that card and hence decided to take the card. At the least, we can redeem the points into some shopping. We got a bunch of vouchers with the card which were the usual group with hidden terms and conditions. While we threw everything out, the coupons for Cafe Coffee Day caught our eye because it is a frequent haunt and the terms were conducive for us. Also one other coupon which offered a “Pick one out of the 4 – Movie for two, Aroma facial, Day out, Dinner for two” kind of thing was okay in terms. So we decided to use just those 2. Of course, it came with a very short period of validity which did not bother us. We were just thinking if we are able to use it within that time, we will use it else chuck it. We chose a movie for 2 because only that made sense to us and got tickets for Besharam. Other than the personal feeling that we could have gotten tickets for a better movie, that coupon was okay. The CCD experiences were the reason behind this post.

We did happen to go to Cafe Coffee Day a couple of times within that validity period and here’s what we faced:

It took some time to the attendants to understand that it is indeed Cafe Coffee Day’s coupon in spite of the logo. They were baffled of how to apply the coupon in spite of the simple bar code scanning system according to which the coupon was designed. We indeed succeeded in using it at the phoenix market city and Indira nagar outlets. The experiences were funny. At phoenix market city, we used the coupon which said Cafe latte free on a bill of Rs.100 or more. The Cafe latte was served in a paper cup instead of the normal porcelain cup. We joked about it that they had done so because it is just a complimentary drink or maybe they ran out of washed cups and let it pass. It didn’t bother us much.

The funnier one was at Indira nagar outlet. There, we had a bill of 150 odd rupees and wanted to apply the coupon for Rs. 150 and above which gave Tropical Iceberg as the free complimentary drink. Surprisingly, the coupon was not recognized by the scanner and so we applied the coupon which had a Choco-frappe complimentary on a bill of Rs.140 and above. Adit was joking to me that they will serve the frappe in a paper cup but in fact they served it in the normal way – in the big glass. The height of it was the glass had 90% ice cubes and 10% of frappe. I was like “Who puts this many ice cubes in a drink?” I was wondering if they are doing it intentionally because they are giving it away for free and when I pointed it out to the CCD guys, all they had to offer was an awkward smile and a seemingly innocent blink.

One might think “Why is she making a fuss about this? After all, they are giving it for free. She has at least got something out of it”, That’s not it. People do not go and ask for coupons. They force it on us stating the various double-edged benefits. Then they put a short validity on the benefits and lure common people to buy something unnecessarily just to get gifts. Even if we are not fooled by all of this and just use it based on chance and choice, they do not give the complimentary items as they are supposed to be. All I am saying is, instead of giving a glass full of ice cubes in the name of a complimentary drink, you can refrain from giving out coupons. The things that go unnoticed in the name of advertising, promotion of products are countless. It’s better to not take any coupons at all and if you chance upon them while buying something genuinely needed for you, it’s better to just ignore them. Ignoring such things only encourage the dealers to do more such things. Out of the ocean of advertising vouchers, there are only a few which are genuinely promotional and give you what they promise. Others are just plain hokum. Wake up, people!

Until later 🙂