While millions of New South Wales residents have been enjoying their free $25 pizza, movie and other food and entertainment experience, some of the businesses on the other end of the vouchers have not.
A local business that preferred not to be named, says that they have been having a lot of trouble with the dine and discover system. ’Not only is it difficult and time-consuming for our staff and it drops in and out, but we’ve also found that sometimes the vouchers don’t work properly and even though it looks to have completed at our end, the state government doesn’t actually reimburse us.’
Business owner asked to be removed from scheme
The business owner said they asked to be removed from the scheme and to be taken off the website. ‘Unfortunately, once again the state government has let us down and not done this. I spoke to Service NSW yesterday and they apologised, telling me they don’t know why it hasn’t happened but they are working on it. So our policy is currently that we are accepting the vouchers until we are removed from the website.’
A spokesperson for Service NSW said that more than four million people have taken advantage of the vouchers since their launch in March, giving around 14,000 businesses a $340-million boost. ‘The stimulus has proved popular and played a valuable role supporting businesses as well as reviving consumer confidence.
‘With about two in every three adults across NSW having now registered for the vouchers, having such a large portion of the NSW population on board means we can get money back into the community quickly.
More than $105 million spent regionally
‘More than $105 million has been spent directly in registered business regionally compared to almost $200 million in establishments in Sydney. Businesses across the State have given the registration and application process a 97% thumbs up.
The local business owner said they like to support their customers in any way they can which is why they went along with the program initially. ‘Unfortunately, it has created not only a loss of time and larger administrative workload at our end but also a loss of money as vouchers have not been honoured by the government.’
Service NSW says that if businesses or NSW residents need assistance with the Dine & Discover program, they can call 13 77 88 or visit a local service centre.