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eLuna: I screwed up


eLuna.com is a fantastic, invaluable web site.

The site contains a large list of kosher restaurants around Israel, and offers - for free - 10% discount vouchers for nearly all of them.

You can also pre-pay for vouchers with even better percentage deals, or bid on weekly auctions for vouchers with yet even better percentage deals. I've bid on numerous auctions and won dinner for 300 NIS paying only 200 NIS, which is amazing. Bidding is free. If you win an auction, you pay a 10 NIS service charge to eLuna, which I factor into my bid price.

Suffice to say, eLuna has saved me hundreds or thousands of NIS, gotten me out of the house more (canceling some of those savings :-) ) and introduced me to many tasty restaurants that I never would have tried.

One drawback

The only real problem that I have with the voucher system is that, other than the 10% vouchers, the pre-paid or auction vouchers can take a few days to get to you, sometimes up to three days. Which means that you can't pick where you're going for dinner and get a pre-paid voucher for that evening. Or pick where you're going on Thursday night, win the auction on Wed night, and hope to get the auction voucher by Thursday night. It can sometimes take them until Sunday before they send you the voucher.

The vouchers have a limited lifetime; you have to use them within two or three weeks.

One other minor problem is that they don't include a telephone number on their site. They include a fax number and an email address, but they're just as likely to take two or three days to answer an email, by which time the voucher that I thought was lost will have arrived.

Until now, this has not been too much of a problem.

eLuna's Misstep

Last Wed I won an auction voucher, dutifully paid for it when I got a message indicating to do so on Thursday, and expected the voucher by Sunday, at least. Since I was going to Tel Aviv on Thursday (tomorrow), and the voucher was for a place in Modiin (on the way to Tel Aviv), I had to have it, at latest, by Wed evening.

The voucher didn't come by Tuesday. Tuesday at 12:10 pm I sent an email to eLuna asking what the deal was, and that I needed the voucher by Wed at the latest. The voucher didn't come by the afternoon.

So I sent a letter to Janglo on Tuesday afternoon (4 ish), asking if anyone had a telephone number for eLuna, complaining about the delay, and expressing my annoyance that the contact info was not on the site.

Several hours later I received the voucher from eLuna. I responded with thanks, and told them next time not to take six days, or to at least send me some kind of communication in the meantime if they are having technical problems. They apologized and offered to call the restaurant if I have any trouble with the voucher due to any expiration problems.

On Wed (today), someone sent them a copy of the post I sent to Janglo, and they were rather upset that I chose to malign them in public. They have asked me to issue a retraction to Janglo, which I have done, but I don't know yet if Janglo will post it.

What I Screwed Up

- I should have emailed eLuna on Sunday or Monday, and not waited until Tuesday when time was now pressing. Perhaps they would have seen my email and sent me the voucher earlier. In any case, by waiting until Tuesday to deal with it, I put myself into a situation of desperation and frustration.

- I should only have emailed to Janglo a request for contact information, WITHOUT mentioning the problem. Though what I wrote was accurate, there was no reason to share my frustration with Janglo. Janglo readers never heard from me after the many, many times that things went well with eLuna, so by sending a complaint, I did not paint a complete picture.

Now I'm rather sorry that eLuna has to deal with a couple of emails from people asking what the deal is (spurred by my complaint) and I can understand their being upset with me. Not that this didn't start with something that they did wrong; it did. But I didn't handle it properly.

To show my appreciation for eLuna, I'm hereby letting everyone know that eLuna's a good site, with great deals and great information. I use it a lot, and I would recommend that anyone else in Israel looking for a kosher restaurant use it, as well.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Yehuda Berlinger

Yehuda Berlinger has been programming since he was eight years old, and consulting about the Internet since he was twelve. He has worked professionally for more than fifteen years as a UNIX systems administrator, a web programmer, and a technical writer. His interests include social aspects of technology and board games. He is now 37 years old and lives in Jerusalem, Israel with his wife and four children. He blogs at http://jergames.blogspot.com.

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