Promo Code Breakers

, , , | Right | August 5, 2019

(We send out promotional emails for our comedy club through our ticketing system. After the body of the email, which we can edit, the system auto-populates a list of our upcoming shows with each comic’s photo and a brief description of their show. One month, we have two comedians named Joe performing, so to push their sales, we send out an email with a discount code for their shows. I get a call three weeks after the email was sent out.)

Customer: “I got this email saying that your tickets are $5 off, and when I put in the promo code, it doesn’t work.”

Me: “Do you mean for Joe [Last Name]’s shows this weekend? That’s strange. I can see that people have used that code today, so it’s definitely still working.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to see him. I want to see [Different Comedian] next week.” 

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am, but as the email says, that promo code was only good for Joe [Other Last Name]’s shows at the beginning of the month and Joe [Last Name]’s show this weekend. That’s why the code is ‘joesshows.’”

Customer: “But you have [Different Comedian]’s show in your email! Why can’t I use the code on that one?”

Me: “Because the code is only good for specific shows. Our ticketing service automatically lists all of our upcoming shows in our emails, whether they have to do with what’s in the body of the email or not. As you can see, the body of the email very clearly states what shows that promo code is good for.”

(She grumbles something at me and hangs up. About five minutes later, she calls back)

Customer: “Yeah, I just talked to you about [Different Comedian]’s show next week. My friend told me there was a different promo code for that show which you didn’t even bother to tell me about! “

Me: “Well, ma’am, that–”

Customer: “I tried to use that one, but that one didn’t work, either! Your website isn’t working!”

Me: “As I was about to say, I didn’t tell you about that promo code because it’s expired. It was an ‘early bird’ promotion and it expired several weeks ago.” 

(She abruptly hangs up on me again. A few minutes later, she calls back.)

Customer: “Yeah, you said that promo code is expired, but it’s in your email! It says, ‘buy one, get one free,’ for that show!”

Me: “Yes, the promo code for that show is listed in the description of the show, so it shows up in the email. As you can see, the description very clearly lists the promotion, the code to use, and then the expiration date.” 

Customer: “But it’s in your email! This is false advertising!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, we sent that email out almost a month ago. Even if we had been actively advertising that promotion in the email, it was still active at that time, so it’s not false advertising.”

Customer: “But I just saw this email now!”

Me: “That doesn’t change the fact that the promotion has expired. If you got an email from a store listing their Black Friday sales but didn’t open it until January, that wouldn’t mean that you could still buy things at the sale price just because you hadn’t opened the email until then.”  

(She can’t think of what to say for a moment, then explodes.)


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