Is time running out for Groupon? More explosive claims of bad conditions, damaging deals and questionable standards2012-04-20 34
Past Groupon deals gone bad
The conditions in the Groupon sales department would seem to have a knock-on effect to the quality of some of the deals offered. We found that many apparent bargains were actually matched by other retailers – while some other offers could not be delivered by the suppliers.
On several occasions it was found that Groupon offered seemingly heavily discounted prices when in actual fact other retail spaces were selling for similar amounts. For example, in the case of a Kodak battery-pack, PayPal offers the same pricing. The same happened with a barbecue set – with Groupon claiming a 62 per cent discount to €49, despite vendors such as Amazon matching or even bettering this price.
The ICE Watch
Groupon offered a 62 per cent discount of this item to €29.99 and sold a five-figure amount. There were subsequent massive delays in delivery, which led customers to question the authenticity of the watch, and even led Sat1 TV show Akte 24 to launch an investigation.
Beats by Dr. Dre
The popular Beats by Dr Dre headphones were offered to the Groupon community in July last year. Similar to the ICE Watches, the Beats headphones were sold, but Groupon couldn’t deliver them and had to revoke the deal and give customers their money back.
Ruin of a massage therapist
A particularly bad case is said to have taken place in Munich, where just before Christmas 907 deals were sold for a small massage studio. The owner of the one-woman operation could not meet this volume and suffered a mental breakdown. Meanwhile, unable to work, the self-employed entrepreneur now had to psychotropic drugs, and went bankrupt. A sales source told us that Groupon CEO Thorsten Schröppe himself is supposed to have proposed the cap to be removed, because the deal sold so well.