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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

'UAE Entertainer' discount app outage leaves diners fuming

Popular money-saving app goes offline, subscribers go for their wallets

The Entertainer wasn't entertaining subscribers on Friday night.
The Entertainer wasn't entertaining subscribers on Friday night.

Diners across the UAE were left out of pocket on Friday night as popular discount app The Entertainer went down in unexplained circumstances on one of the biggest holiday weekends of the year.

The app is now up and running again. The Entertainer allows members who have purchased the app to access 2-4-1 offers on a variety of food and beverage offers across the UAE, but not last night as it turned out.

Diner Annabelle Ortiz had been to meet friends in Al Bandar, Abu Dhabi, and when the group attempted to pay their bill and avail The Entertainer app, they found themselves unable to access the app via mobile data or wifi: “We had three different phones, all with The Entertainer, and none would let us online. The Samsung said no internet was available, even though we could access every other app and website, while the two iPhones just showed blank screens,” she said. “It cost us about 500 Dirhams we didn’t expect to pay.”

Dubai-based security consultant Paul Joy was another caught out by the errant app, and he wasn't full of his titular joy: “I’d just been out for a meal with a friend to celebrate the National Day weekend,” he told us. “Then when we came to pay, this great deal we thought we were getting wasn’t there after all. It just made it seem a total waste of money, and I only signed up today, so it was a double whammy. Two lots of a few hundred Dirhams wasted.”

The Entertainer was not available for comment on Friday night, however social media was predictably abuzz with angry customers, particularly since, in conflicting statements, The Entertainer initially claimed on Twitter that the app was down.

On Facebook, however, it told a slightly different story, opening its statement with the words “ALERT!!! 🚨 Our servers have been attacked”. The latter explanation led many users to wonder whether their data was safe.

Users were none too happy about the level of customer service received either, with calls, emails, and the website's live chat service going unanswered.

Some Tweeters even advocated a return to the voucher book-based Entertainer of old.

The company posted on Twitter at about 11pm on Friday night saying the operation was up and running again, asking users to refresh the app: