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This came onto my radar as a result of an article in the Mainichi Weekly that is used as the text for some of my ESL classes.

Apparently, Groupon offered osechi boxes at 50% off... these are traditional Japanese bento boxes designed with special foods which will stay good for several days, allowing them to be prepared ahead so mama-san doesn'thave to cook over the New Year's holiday. Many Japanese have turned to buying them from local restaurants instead of making them at home.

Here's the Groupon Web Page:


Here's a closeup of the advertised goodies


And here's what the customers received:


Easy to see why buyers were up in arms; to say that Groupon's reputation was "tarnished" is somewhat of an understatement. Apparently the vendor, one "Bird Cafe", anticipated 100 orders and ended up with 500. Instead of canceling the orders and offering refunds, they bravely forged ahead, on the assumption that it was more honorable to fulfill an order, no matter what it looked like, than to disappoint the client. Asiajin.com reported that the president of the company resigned in apology as of 1 January 2011.

Like they say in Japan, "Shiatsu Happens."


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Comments

bayliss
Feb. 2nd, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah that's just a little bit less than advertised.
secoh
Feb. 2nd, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
That's no worse than any mcdonalds purchase.
But one must wonder what any of the customers were expecting from mail order food!
ccdesan
Feb. 3rd, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
Well. In some cases that's true. However, many companies do a phenomenal job - Despite the fact that Harry and David is reputed to be stiffing their employees, they turn out some amazing boxes. Apparently the Japanese customers had high expectations based on previous experience...
torakiyoshi
Feb. 3rd, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
Wow, that looks bad even by Japanese food standards!
carlfoxmarten
Feb. 3rd, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
Hardly any different from what sub sandwich shops do up here.
They advertise subs thick with meat, and instead you get a thin layer of meat, and the rest is veggies.
(if you remember to ask for them, that is)
alaskawolf
Feb. 6th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC)
i want a bento box :)

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