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Lunch » Tags » Restaurants » Reviews » Baja Fresh » User review

Baja Fresh

A mexican restaurant

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Way to Lose Customers Baja, all over a Stinking Burrito!!

  • Jul 23, 2009
  • by
Rating:
-5

After hearing the exciting news on Baja Fresh’s Facebook Fan Page that today was free burrito day (with the purchase of a drink), I decided to check it out. The coupon clearly states “must present printed coupon at redemption time.” SO – in an effort to be green and save paper, I pasted three coupons in MS Word for myself and my two friends (who were also fans of their fanpage) from Baja's Facebook Fan Page and set off to the Torrance, CA location. After trekking through a half an hour of traffic to the nearest location and waiting on line for 10 minutes to order, our coupons were rejected and we were turned away. The manager had a bogus reason for not accepting the coupon, saying that the coupon needed to be printed directly off of their facebook fan page. She said our coupons couldn’t be accepted because they may have been photocopies and not an original. I don’t get it Baja– even if the coupon came from your facebook fan page, couldn't it still be photocopied?!

In simpler form, I brought 3 of these coupons below like Baja instructed, printed on white paper & cut out (the coupon clearly has dotted lines, indicating it’s meant to be cut out):

 

What Baja began forcing customers to have on hand after the promotion went so viral, was this:

 

Not that it’s any harder to print out this coupon, because all you had to do to get it was click a button and become a fan of their page…

After arguing with the girl at the register for a few minutes, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Habit Burger Grill (good food + amazing customer service).

Upon returning home, I visited Baja'sFanpage once again and witnessed the up roar of angry customers who had dedicated their lunch break to enjoy a burrito, only to be turned away like we were.

Others were rejected for bringing black & white coupons printed from Facebook. Baja believed they needed to be printed in color. What if you don’t have a color printer?? The Northridge, California Baja Fresh offered one poor boy a free drink instead of the free burrito, stating the coupon was only good at Lunch. Only at Lunch Baja??? Your coupon CLEARLY states 11am-9pm. Another good one…

BF asks for pity on their homepage, mentioning that the promotion didn’t go as planned, that they didn’t expect the free burrito coupon to go so viral and had already given away a ton more than they had anticipated – that it was only meant for Facebook fans.

But really?? In this economy, how can you expect a free burrito NOT TO GO VIRAL?

Baja had a nice idea going for the fans but shouldn’t have been turning people away who simply brought in the coupon as clearly stated. The requirements for getting the free burrito should have been made clear from the start, not changed from store to store throughout the day because of their lack of planning.

I want my my lunch hour back + a few bucks for gas…

Not accepting the coupon as indicated for the promotion was unethical, irresponsible and clearly not thought out, surprising for such a big chain. Unfortunately for Baja, they may have lost a TON more fans than they should have been gaining today, all over a stinking burrito.

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August 21, 2009
oh my gosh that totally sucks! I used to love Baja Fresh until I realized my chicken tacos were always dry :( But wow some heads must have rolled the next day at corporate. And yes they totally owe you for the gas consumed!!!
August 21, 2009
yep, must have been a rough day at corporate!! They sent a lot of people, including myself, a coupon for a free meal (better than a burrito!) which was nice. Although I'm still skeptical at even bothering to go back after the rudeness :)
 
August 21, 2009
Yeah, that stinks. You tell them Lisa.
August 21, 2009
haha, I sure did ;)
 
July 24, 2009
Nice review. Sorry you had to go through that ordeal. These companies certainly do have a lot to adjust to in this digital age. #1 - they NEED to stop being so paper centric. with so many phones and mobile devices with Internet access, they should be able to scan from a screen. Unfortunately, too many companies require that hardcopy coupons be put into the drawer. #2 - they NEED to understand the media they are using. Facebook IS social networking. things WILL go viral
July 27, 2009
you said it well Jeff :) I agree, I don't understand paperclip coupons anymore either. Maybe companies are afraid that coupon redemption will sky rocket when all it takes is accessing it on a phone, but it's a much better idea. Baja keeps blaming the mess on the fact that it went viral but like you said, it's a social network...how could it not?!
 
July 23, 2009
What a bummer...I can't believe they would mess this giveaway up so badly. Their marketing and pr people must be totally freaked out about this. Talk about alienating fans...Nice review
July 23, 2009
I'm sure it was one of the worst nights in the world of Baja - but well deserved. They were attempting serious damage control last night through facebook and twitter but unfortunately I'm not sure it really helped at all..
 
July 23, 2009
nice review Lisa. What a bummer... that whole promo sounds like such a debacle. Even the person who apparently represents Baja Fresh gave a strange reply... it almost feels like she is pouring salt in your wounds by telling you that 12K people got the free burrito... that is a very strange approach.
July 23, 2009
Especially when their FB line of defense was that they were only planning for 1800 and ended up with over 3000 fans. So if people were supposed to print from the FB page, how did 12K+ people get free burritos?
July 23, 2009
It's wonderful that 12K+ got free burritos but how many people lost their lunch hour to be sent away burrito-less - 5K? That's 5000 hours taken away from the world :(
 
July 23, 2009
Ick!  This reminds me of when KFC doled out those coupons for free grilled chicken meals through Oprah a couple of months ago.  There was outrage among coupon holders because KFC apparently didn't do a good job at honoring their coupons, but I heard that KFC made it up to them by offering rain checks or something.  If Baja Fresh is smart, they'll follow suit.
July 23, 2009
I remember that promotion going on with Oprah and KFC but didn't catch the outrage. You would think these companies would learn from each others mistakes =/ - I agree, baja should follow suit - free burritos for everyone!!
 
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More Baja Fresh reviews
review by . December 30, 2008
I don't care much for the food here because in my opinion, it's similar to La Salsa and Rubio's. However, I do really enjoy their wide selection of salsas at the condiments bar!    The best one, in my opinion, is the mango salsa. It's sweet but spicy, a combination not found too often in American cuisine. I also enjoy their chipotle salsa, which has just the right amount of smoky flavor to enhance any taco or burrito.    Recently, they've been sending out …
About the reviewer
Lisa Nativo ()
Ranked #122
Inspired by her two rescued kitties Maxwell & Oliver, Lisa has spent the last 5 years devoted to animal welfare; volunteering for LA based animal rescue organizations, fostering dogs & cats in … more
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About this restaurant

Wiki

Baja Fresh is a chain of fast-casual, "Fresh Mex" restaurants. The company was founded in Newbury Park, CA in 1990. The restaurant chain serves Mexican-style cuisine and faces competition primarily from Chipotle, Qdoba, Rubio's, and other similarly-themed restaurants.

In 2002 Baja Fresh was acquired by Wendy's but was later sold in 2006 to a private investor after revenues began to dip. Today, Baja Fresh operates approximately 300 locations and is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA.  
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