I purchase an "auto windshield replacement" deal that purported to provide $300 in replacement for $119. I then contacted the specified vendor and arranged to have a cracked windshield replaced.
When I looked at the bill I was presented, including the Groupon voucher for $300, I was still owing over $100. I asked what was the deal, since over the phone I was quoted under $300 for the replacement before I ever mentioned the Groupon voucher. So how could I be owing more than $100 after the $300 voucher was applied???
I was told that the gasket and tax were not included. I said, "Okay, I can accept the tax bit, but you can't do a windshield replacement without replacing the gasket. The old gasket is always destroyed when you remove the damaged windshield. So, it's no 'replacement' without the gasket! And this exclusion wasn't mentioned in the Groupon deal at all."
The tech called back to the office, and they told him that it was in the fine print of the Groupon deal, so I should pay the difference and take the matter up with them. So, that's what I did.
Meanwhile, I reread the fine print on the deal, and there was no mention of a gasket exclusion. In fact, there were no exclusions in the fine print regarding auto glass replacement. I stated this on Groupon's support form when I contacted Groupon about the over-charge.
Within a couple of days, I received an email from a Groupon support person named "Pradeep," who told me that it was in the fine print that the gasket was not included.
I replied that I was looking right at the fine print, and that he was incorrect. I asked him to provide me with a copy of the fine print showing that the gasket was not included.
A couple of days later, the same guy wrote me back saying that he had contacted the vendor and that the gasket was not included.
I wrote back saying that, as I suspected, he had no "fine print" that specified that the gasket was not included, and that he was simply accepting the vendor's after-the-fact decision about what the deal did and did not include. I said that I expected Groupon to hold the vendor accountable for changing the deal after I purchased it. I pointed out again that it is impossible to perform a "windshield replacement" without also replacing the gasket, so if the gasket were not included, you don't have a "windshield replacement deal."
This evening I receive an email from a manager, named "Ratheesh R.," stating that the matter had been escalated to him. He said that he was sorry for the confusion, but that in fact the way the fine print works is that it lists what is INCLUDED, and the gasket was not on the list of INCLUDED items. So it was not covered.
I now quote from my email back to him:
So, let me get this straight. You are saying that in the fine print you specify everything that is INCLUDED in an auto windshield replacement?!? The fine print is about what is INCLUDED rather than what is EXCLUDED?!?
That is ridiculous, and you KNOW it.
Does the fine print mention adhesive and sealant as included? No, but I wasn't charged extra for those.
Does the fine print mention damaged glass disposal as included? No, but I wasn't charged extra for that!
Does the fine print mention the special cordage that is used to set the new windshield into the new gasket? It can be used only once, so it is also a part of the vendor's cost of the replacement. Was that mentioned as included? No, but I wasn't charged extra for that.
Does the fine print mention labor? No, but, just like the gasket and the other items I've just mentioned, a REPLACEMENT cannot take place without that! Yet, I wasn't charged extra for the labor.
Based on what YOU are saying, I should have expected the vendor to show up and drop a piece of glass on my doorstep, saying: "There, that's your windshield replacement. Have fun getting the rest of the materials together and putting it in!"
That's obviously ridiculous, and you know it!
You do NOT include in the fine print all that is INCLUDED! Instead, you mention that which is EXCLUDED, because that is a much smaller, specific, and limited list.
The gasket was NOT mentioned as excluded, yet I was charged for it. The other items I mentioned above (and there is a whole LIST of such things) were not mentioned as included, yet I was NOT charged extra for these.
So, contrary to your "explanation," I was not charged for many things that were INCLUDED, yet they did not appear in your fine print. So, based on your "explanation," there are MANY things I should have been charged for, because they were not expressly INCLUDED, yet I was not charged for these things.
And, contrary to your "explanation," there is one and only one thing I was charged extra for: the gasket. Supposedly the gasket was EXCLUDED, so I should have been charged for it. But the gasket appeared nowhere in the fine print as excluded.
In short, NO part of your "explanation" works! In NO sense was I charged according to ANY account of what the fine print was supposed to be telling me. "Included" or "excluded," it matters not. On your "explanation" I was NOT charged according to the fine print.
So, your explanation is ridiculous on the face of it! You are making this garbage up as you go along, and it's not even remotely logical.
I'm done. Groupon is not a company with integrity, and I will posting my experience to ripoff-report and other such sites. As more and more stories like mine reach these sites, you will soon find that people have no interest in your stupid games. And, your business practices WILL be the death of your company, as they should be.
Take me off of your mailing list immediately and terminate my account. I want NOTHING more to do with you, and I will be telling friends of mine that are also on Groupon about this as well.
The long and short of the matter is that Groupon does NOT vet their vendors or deals before they post them. They sell you bait-and-switch "deals" that turn out to not be deals at all. And if you have any legitimate problem with the deal, they throw you to the wind with the most outrageous and illogical explanations of why it is YOU that is actually at fault for not properly reading the fine print.
Unfortunately, it appears that there needs to be some fine print explaining how to read the fine print, because it's a huge difference whether the fine print lists things excluded or included from the deal. Apparently, this is something that Groupon determines on the fly, even when their determination is ludicrous on the face of it.