Now that I finally have my Android phone, I am taking every possible opportunity to use any app that my Blackberry could not have…aka SCVNGR. If you are unfamiliar with SCVNGR, you can only use this app on Android and iPhone devices. You can check in at various locations similar to Foursquare, but there are also “challenges” at the location. These challenges may include saying something about the location, taking pictures doing certain activities at the location, etc. At some places, these challenges can lead to rewards. At Zipcar locations, if you earn a certain number of points, you get a free tote, t-shirt and even driving credit. So last night when I went to Fajitas & Ritas and saw I was eligible for a reward, I was pretty excited. The reward: 15% off my check.
My friends and I started to do all of the challenges to earn the 25 points necessary to get the reward. As you can see below, we took pictures of margaritas, nachos, fajitas, wall art, etc. We even went as far as making origami out of tin foil to earn points.
When we finished our meal and were ready to get our reward, I showed my phone to the waitress. She said she had no idea what SCVNGR was. I referred her to the advertisements at the front of the restaurant, and she told me that she had never heard of it in her 10 years of working at Fajitas & Ritas (I obviously told her that SCVNGR was a new company). She went over to her manager to see what to do about our check because I insisted that we get our reward since it was advertised at the restaurant and came up on my app. The manager agreed to take 15% off our check but said they would not do it again.
My friends (who had not known about SCVNGR before last night) were thrilled that we got 15% off, but at the same time we all felt that it was bad that there was a special here that the staff did not know about. People who are familiar with SCVNGR are going to come in and do the challenges, and if they do not get the reward, they will be pretty angry (as we were when we thought we were not getting the money off the bill). If this promotion is going to be successful, the staff at the restaurant need to be familiar with it. Even more so, they simply subtracted the money off our bill instead of plugging the SCVNGR promotion into the system so they will be unable to measure any benefits from using SCVNGR.
It is part of the responsibility of the venues who work with companies like Foursquare and SCVNGR to openly communicate with their employees about these promotions. SCVNGR is helping attract customers to Fajitas & Ritas, but it is also their responsibility to make sure customers are satisfied when they complete the challenges. I was lucky enough to get my reward, but will the next person be as lucky?