Is Groupon Too large to care?
I don’t get the reason why some companies ditch customer satisfaction once they become larger, talk about shooting yourself in the foot?
I have recently had a bad experience with Groupon (the deal/discount provider) that they failed to correct even after chats and support tickets! Their service agents can very well repeat the policy text but they are not able to listen to their customer, analyze and apply service recovery.
A classic symptom of growing too big too fast and perhaps “outsourcing” the post-sales service without proper empowerment. “Something I used to teach companies to be fully aware of if they want to have good service quality and retain more customers.”
Groupon published on its website:
“Begin and end with the customer. Customers are why we’re here. They drive our business. When customers view us as a daily habit — as something indispensable — it will mean we’re solving fundamental challenges and delivering amazing value.” But fails to bring this to life, which makes it another corporate mumbo jumbo that no one lives by!
Here’s why I wrote this and will stop recommending Groupon:
A couple of weeks ago, I have Bought a Groupon voucher for an Excursion in Vancouver for $63, and according to what was advertised, it “never expires” (we’ll come back to that bit later)
On the day of purchase, I missed the last booking time and was planning to use this voucher a bit later.
Last week when I logged to my Groupon account to print the voucher and book, I found out that the Voucher text has changed and instead of giving me what I have purchased and paid for, Groupon is now considering the amount I paid as a “partial” payment towards that same excursion.
(This means that if I want to take that excursion I already purchased, I have to pay an extra amount of around $48 tax!)
I used Groupon’s chat function and got online to a service agent who was repeating some standard policy text (I sent support emails too) instead of trying to help me, this is when he explained their misleading “never expires” print, apparently this was “value never expires” which translates to whatever money we took from you isn’t lost, that value remains in the system. Sounds good? Not too fast!
This is not money that is held as a credit in your account, it is actually tied to the offer you purchased which now costs more than what you have paid!
The only 2 options you have:
- Redeem voucher as a partial payment and pay the rest of the original cost on top of it as extra to get the service you originally purchased (well, doesn’t this defy the whole purpose and “reason of existence” of Groupon ?)
- Gift this amount to someone else to do the same
What about refunding me the money you have taken against something you are now unable to deliver?
Sorry but our policy states: blah blah blah ……
The reason for all this hassle? “Promotion Expired”!
Dear Groupon, I am not sure that this is fair – even if it was mentioned in your fine print – let alone – legal!
When a customer buys something (on promotion or not), it is the vendor’s sole responsibility to deliver that exact thing that the customer purchased, or refund the money. It is that simple, and it is called: “the customer statuary right”
If you offer something different that the customer does not like or agree with, you have a responsibility to apologize and issue a refund, I can’t see it any other way.
We, your customers are not responsible for the different agreements and promotions you have with your vendors, nor we have to keep track of every one of them.
I buy something and pay for it in advance, if the promotion expires before I use or redeem my voucher, just refund me back what I have paid you, not take the money and lock it in an option that is useless to me!
The only thing that has gone down here, isn’t the cost of purchase, it’s your customer experience!