• Report: #1037499

Complaint Review: Groupon

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  • Submitted: Sun, March 24, 2013
  • Updated: Sun, March 24, 2013

  • Reported By: R. Jensen — Westminster Colorado
Groupon
Internet United States of America

Groupon Beware! They do not honor their deals! Internet

*Author of original report: Dealing with the vendor

*Consumer Suggestion: Wrong target?

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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.

Let's see....

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.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/24/2013 12:28 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Groupon/internet/Groupon-Beware-They-do-not-honor-their-deals-Internet-1037499. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 1Consumer 0Employee/Owner
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#1 Author of original report

Dealing with the vendor

AUTHOR: R. Jensen - ()

I get your point. However, Groupon is the "wrapper" entity, and if you read my report thoroughly, you'll see that Groupon's approach and response to the issue WAS indeed to just hang me out to dry. The "fine print" has nothing to do with the issue here (inclusions, exclusions, or whatever).

Groupon should be holding vendors responsible to honor their contracted arrangement with Groupon, not the customer.

I did contact the vendor, and they told me that they did inform Groupon of the exclusion (emphasis on exclusion) at the time they signed up for the deal. They claim that Groupon failed to include this exclusion in the fine print.

So, here I am, the customer, in the middle, with both entities pointing fingers.

Hence, I DO go to the entity (Groupon) with which I MADE the deal, and which was responsible to have the terms of the deal correct. Only Groupon can know what the vendor actually did or did not tell them at the time the deal was formed. And Groupon isn't even trying to go there. They just erroneously claim that I didn't read the fine print.

Again, it is Groupon's responsibility to deal with the vendor regarding the deal they made with the vendor. If Groupon didn't include the terms of the deal in the fine print, then, again, that is Groupon's responsibility.

The customer has NO power to sort out the finger-pointing game. I have no recourse with the vendor, because the vendor is claiming that this is all Groupon's fault. Rinse and repeat.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Wrong target?

AUTHOR: Batman - ()

Maybe it's me but I think your issue is really with the Auto Glass Company, not Groupon.

Groupon works a lot like a newspaper. Other companies place sale ads with Groupon and Groupon spreads the word. The only real difference is, Groupon takes your payment too, then they hold back their commission and give the rest to company that placed the ad. 

See, the Auto Glass folks tell Groupon what the deal is and they set all the terms and conditions, not Groupon. Groupon only advertises the sale and acts as intermediary on the payment. So if the Auto Glass vendor isn't honoring the deal, your problem is actually with them.

And you don't even bother to mention vendor's name even though they're the ones who ripped you off! This is really like filing a rip-off report against the New York Times because some Auto Glass vendor paid for an ad in their paper and when you went there to get the deal, they didn't give you the discount. 

You can't just pick the biggest target to get mad at and fly off the handle filing rip-off reports. If you want justice, use some common sense and go after the real culprits.
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