62 Times Groupon Mislead Its Customers

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Due to over 60 complaints investigated by Britain's Advertising and Standard's Authority the Office of Fair Trading has told Groupon to clean its practices up while it keeps a watchful eye. "The investigation found widespread examples of Groupon's practices which in the OFT's view breached consumer protection regulations," explains the OFT in a statement made today. "The OFT has specific concerns over practices involving reference pricing, advertising, refunds, unfair terms, and the diligence of its interactions with merchants." Here are all the ways Groupon wronged its clients. 

The OFT has been investigating Groupon since December after the ASA brought to its attention its formal complaints, which have all occurred within the last year and a half. The ASA breaks its investigations down into to two groups: Adjudications and Informally Resolved Cases. Against Groupon, we see 19 adjudications and 43 informally resolved cases. Under the adjudications section we'll find the juicy stuff, an ASA representative told The Atlantic Wire because those are the cases where Groupon wants to defend its ad. The informally resolved cases are more "clear cut," said the ASA rep -- things like clarifying terms and condition languages. The ASA doesn't give much information on those informally resolved disputes. But we get the full details of those 19 more involved scams.  

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And this is just the stuff happening in England. We've heard of price inflation and other scams stateside, too. The company has said it will cooperate full with the OFT, which is giving the daily deals site 3 months to stop the deceitful deals.

Since Groupon's explosion and high profile road to IPO, the company has been scrutinized for its shaky business model, in part because of the way it deals with both customers and clients. Since going public, it has had a rocky road. We imagine this won't help. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.