Groupon.com — don't give a groupon as a gift
Groupon is great for deals - for yourself. DO NOT GIVE A GROUPON AS A GIFT!!!
Giving Groupon as a gift (especailly for a "service" is like handing your money over to a used car dealer who will essentially not stand behind the value offered. The gift holder is left with a crappy experience which they can either keep to themselves if they are polite, but leaves a bad taste.
Here's the kicker - Groupon offers the persons giving the gift the option to record this in thier system. So groupon knows who the Groupon was gifted to, and how much the value was for - just keep that in mind as you read further.
So here's my story. I received the 'Groupon Gift' as a Christmas gift for a Deep Cleaning Maid Service. I was overjoyed to receive this - as I have a three year old, so my house is always in need of cleaning.
The week after Christmas I contacted the number on the Groupon to schedule my service, which the Groupon printout showed as Feb 29, 2012. I was told by the company that they were unable to schedule during the time, but would still honor it beyond that. So, I was game. I scheduled my appointment for March.
The day before the company was scheduled to perform the service, THEY called to cancel, and I was told they would call me to reschedule. Again, I was assured they would still honor the original Groupon.
A week went by, two weeks went by - and I called them. The number on the Groupon to contact had a voice mail that was full and was not able to receive messages.
So, I contacted Groupon Customer Service. I was first told by "Nate" that because it was given to me as a gift, there was nothing they could do, and there was no record of it. My only option was to go back to the person who purchased the original Groupon to contact them for a refund. Leaving me out in the cold.
I wasn't happy, so I asked to speak with a Supervisor. So, I got "Erica" who informed me that she did in fact have a record of the transaction and read it to me. Proving, they did not only have a record of the "gift" and that they knew how much it was for. I asked to have them contact the company that I only wanted the service I was originally "gifted".
"Erica" told me that it would take 2-3 days to research and she'd get back to me. Less than an hour later I received what is essentially a "Sorry for your luck" email - that my only recourse was to go back to the person who gave me the gift and ask them to call for a refund and then that person would have to re-gift something else to me.
Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?
If you were to receive a gift from a department store that had not only the value of the product, but also the record of the gift a store would offer the person with the defective gift an exchange - which is essentially all I wanted.
Instead in this original theory they want me to go back to the person who gave me the gift and put them at an inconvenience and thus feel badly that thier gift was for all intense purposes - defective.
So I decided to try and go another route - I posted something on Groupon's Facebook page - and was basically told the same thing.
Here's where I really get annoyed. I have worked for many, many retail businesses - in which if there is a customer that is unhappy the first lesson in Customer Service skills is offer something of equivalent value.
Apparently the Senior Management at Groupon are more interested in banking on the fact that if you give a Groupon as a gift, they keep your money, and people will be too embarassed to report back to the person who gifted the Groupon, so they keep the money, running all the way to the bank as their stock prices increase.
Now, after this experience - I am FURIOUS that the company who is on record of the service isn't being punished for not honoring the Groupon service. I am also very annoyed that the darlings at Groupon haven't figured out this piece of their business that they promote daily.
I am writing letters to the Attorney General of AL for the Consumer Protection Agency, and I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau yesterday.
But, I think before YOU decide that awesome deal at Groupon sounds like something you'd want to give your mom/sister/dad etc - Think about what will happen if this ends up being a really crappy gift.
Personally - I'm not willing to fork over my hard earned money to Groupon if this is the kind of business that isn't willing to stand behind the product they offer.