22 May 2011

"Bowl two games, get one free"

How would you interpret that offer?  The coupon above is available on the web and applies to a local establishment here in Madison.  Sometimes when I take the coupon with me and bowl six games, the clerk at the counter will charge me for four, interpreting it to mean that for every two games I bowl I get a third one free.

On other days, with a different person at the counter, when I bowl six games, I'm only charged for three (because for every two games I bowl, one of them should be free).

The coupon can be interpreted both ways, because what it says is "bowl two, get one free."  If it said "pay for two, get one free" then it would pretty clearly be every third game free.  Curiously, it's the owner of the establishment who takes the more liberal interpretation of half the games free.

An excellent, clean, well-run bowling center, btw...


  1. I would read it as buy 2, get a third free... but could easily be argued the other way. Good deal regardless!

  2. I think the confusing part is 'bowl' versus 'buy'. If the game was 'Buy 2, get 1 free" it would have to be the third game which is free. (think about the 'buy 1, get 1 free' offers to see any other interpretation makes no sense)

    As it is written, the offer is slightly ambiguous. The owners interpretation has to win out.

  3. A guy I know at work got tires for his car at a place that had a "buy four tires get one free" offer. My friend was confused and wondered what he would do with the fifth tire, but he left with four tires having paid for three -- and he could not convince the owner that the offer was confusing.

  4. You can only use the coupon for up to 6 purchased games and 3 free ones. You cannot use more than one coupon for additional utilization of the offer. Though I don't really know why anyone would want to play 9 games anyways. What is that, about 10 hours of game play?


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