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Market Table not honoring OpenTable dining cheques [moved from Manhattan board]

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I sent this e-mail to OpenTable today. I'm curious to know if anyone else has had a similar experience with Market Table or other restaurants in the city??

"I'm writing to let you know that when I went to the restaurant Market Table (West Village, NYC) last night, they refused to honor my $50 OpenTable dining cheque. The waiter told me they are "not honoring them anymore" because OpenTable does not reimburse the restaurants for the money. It was a rather awkward conversation to have in front of a group of friends, particularly after I had promised early on to contribute the extra $50 towards dinner.

Based on this experience (and the underwhelming food) I will probably not return to Market Table. And while I do value the convenience of the OpenTable website, this experience has also left me wondering if the benefits I receive from your service are as significant as they are advertised.

I don't understand why your partner restaurants would not be legally obliged to honor the dining cheques, but I do believe this disagreement is something that should be worked out between your businesses instead of leaving your customers 'holding the check'."

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  1. Please update if/when you receive a response from OT.

    1. This reminded me of the one and only time that we dined at Market Table, about a couple of months into their existence. I called to make the reservation a week in advance and they advised me to bring wine as they had a no-corkage BYOB policy then. When we showed up, they told me that they will have to charge me corkage fee because they have wines available.

      I mentioned that they told me to bring my wine during the reservation but they insist that since they now have wine available and that I can either order from them and/or pay the corkage to consume my wine. Not wanting or really needing to make a big fuzz, as I was really looking forward to having the particular mature Bordeaux that I brought, I paid the corkage.

      I never went back, but not because of the corkage issue, but because we weren't impressed with their food as we found them to be a few notches below their much better affiliate, Little Owl.

      1. Wow! I've *never* had this experience at any Open-Table-affiliated restaurant. and I've used those $50 dining cheques a few times. The few times I've had issues with Open Table, they've responded quickly to my complaints and settled them to my benefit. I can't wait to hear how they respond to your email.

        1. Some young ladies at the table next to mine were rebuffed at Little Owl for their OpenTable voucher. I felt bad for them because that is unacceptable. SOMEONE IS LYING, OpenTable or the Owl. That is all their is to it. Someone is a fraud. It is not a "misunderstanding" or "Oh, well now we don't". I cannot stand that type of very petty theft.
          Oh, and Owl food, well, I have no use for that either. I guess whenyou are full because of the rep/scene/wannabeceleb etc. you can continue. It is sad but par for the course these days around here. Sad.

          1. I've never had a problem using opentable checks at a restaurant in NYC, but haven't tried at the current restaurant under discussion.

            1. I'll bet that Open Table is not the party at fault here. Any restaurant that is on Open Table is required to take an award check. I can't imagine that they won't accept them from a participating restaurant. My guess is that the restaurant is not telling you the whole story. It would be easy for the restaurant to withhold the amt of any award checks they receive from their payment to Open Table for the use of their service. Something doesn't add up. I've never had a proplem with using an award check at any Open Table restaurant. In any case, any responsible restaurant should accept the check and any problem they have with OT is their problem. If they're having problems with them (as they claim) then drop the service.

              BTW, I absolutely love the Open Table service. I've been using it for years w/o any problems with reservations being honored or any other issue... ever.

              1. I believe it is the diner's responsibility to ask the restaurant ahead of time.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mojoeater

                  No question I'd ask beforehand if I were depending on them taking it.

                  Open Table checks should be the same as cash... theoretically there should be no reason to have to ask. I've never asked beforehand as I figure if I have a problem with it I'll just use it somewhere else. I haven't used one in a while (takes a long time to add up to something significant).. but I remember thinking that an employee might not know how to deal with it. Im sure they don't see them every day. The restaurant saying that Open Table doesn't honor them is what's disturbing here. Will be interested in the OP's response from OT.

                2. I've never had a problem redeeming dining cheques, even at higher-end restaurants than Market Table. Granted, my last experience was a little over a year ago. It was a $100 check.

                  1. OpenTable's response to my e-mail (pretty decent, I think):

                    "Thank you for using OpenTable!

                    On behalf of OpenTable and the restaurant, I would like to extend our deepest apologies. This is completely unacceptable, and we appreciate that you have taken the time to inform us of the situation. We work diligently to ensure that you can enjoy your Dining Cheques in any of our 8,500+ partner restaurants nationwide, because you deserve the rewards!

                    I am awarding you 500 complimentary OpenTable Points (redeemable for cash dining certificates) to apologize and to thank you for being a member of OpenTable.

                    Unfortunately, there has been a serious disconnect between the restaurant's staff and the OpenTable Dining Rewards Program. This is a very rare occurrence, and we police this issue very closely. We are following up with the restaurant today about your situation. It will not happen again.

                    I sincerely hope that you will give us another chance. We are 100% committed to providing an outstanding customer experience."

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: jrdrisc

                      Hmmmmmmmmm. Let's see, you paid $50 out of your pocket and the response is 500 points. Let's let Euclid into this discussion.

                      5,000 points equals $50
                      500 points equals $5

                      You received $5 and paid an extra $50 out of your pocket although you still have a certificate worth $50 (hopefully), so comp at 10%. Normally people feel OK about a comped drink or dessert (range from $6-10) for something wrong on a $20-25 entree, about 20% comp. Is it great? probably not. Did they acknowledge the error and offer something? Yup.

                      So jfood is in the at least they did something although 1,000 may have been more in line.

                      Did you at least enjoy the meal?

                      BTW - there are many threads about using coupons and the like when out with a group or, hopefully not, a date. Here is a real life example of an issue that could lead to embarassment.

                      1. re: jrdrisc

                        As we suspected... restaurant at fault.

                        1. re: WineAG

                          It is obvious it is the restaurant's fault. Opentable, no doubt, has that policy across the board as stated. There are no exceptions. If you are too good for dining certificates then you won't e on Opentable. Simple.
                          Notice the two places I have now seen or read of this problem, Little Owl and Market Table. Very similar types of places. I won't go into the details of their obvious snottery.
                          Again, I have not been to Market T but even though I would guess it is better than Owl, not sure is all that.