Scamming discount voucher is easy-peasy

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Liz Proctor and Ryan Keen

Businesses using vouchers from online discount website GrabOne are easy to rip off, according to a Queenstown scammer. 

A Wakatipu resident has admitted using the same GrabOne voucher – which cost $10 for $20 worth of food – three times at a Queenstown burger joint. 

“The first time I realised you could do it was when the burger place gave my voucher back to me.” 

Days later he used the same voucher again. 

“This time they took it but I noticed they just put it aside and didn’t scan it or anything. 

“So I went and printed another one out – the same one – and used it again two days later. 

“It was as simple as that,” the cheeky Queenstowner says. 

Mountain Scene investigated how easy it was to rip the system off and had no problems printing the same coupon twice and redeeming both – just days apart – at Indian eatery Elaichi. 

Mountain Scene informed Elaichi owner Shweta Naik and paid the balance owed but she was shocked she’d been so easily swindled. 

“Of course it’s surprising for me.” 

Naik says she’d already decided to stop using the system since it wasn’t a money earner and because ensuring vouchers are legitimate is time-consuming. 

Elaichi has sold more than 200 and has to cross-reference names or voucher numbers from those redeemed at the restaurant with a list emailed through by GrabOne. 

“I’m not very happy. It’s a difficult job for me. I personally have to check everything manually.” 

Naik’s confident she’d have uncovered any theft – but only after the fact since she’s too busy to search the 
list at the time vouchers are handed over. 

GrabOne marketing director Campbell Brown says the company is building a range of redemption processes, including scanners and a new Pocket Vouchers system using mobile devices. 

GrabOne caters to merchant requests regarding which redemption system they use – it comes down to volume of vouchers, access to internet and merchant resources, Brown says. 

“If a deal is 200 vouchers, we probably wouldn’t recommend using a scanner because there is a cost to us for getting that scanner.” 

By default, merchants are set up with an email system that enables them to go online to check off vouchers. 

Brown says focusing on people milking the system “could be making a mountain out of a molehill – you also have people that never redeem their deal as well”. 

With all systems, companies have a certain amount of responsibility for tracking vouchers, Brown adds.

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