Update: After a lot of complaining on social media, Groupon finally deleted the listing and ppc ad. Thank you Chris Crum from WebProNews for picking up this story. I’m leaving up this post as a warning to all business owners who are considering dealing with Groupon.
My wife Kate hates Groupon. I mean really HATES Groupon. You see, she’s a massage therapist and she hates what Groupon has done to the industry. All they create is client disloyalty and she’s having none of it. Stats back up Kate’s concern. According to this USA Today article, only 3% of retailers report getting repeat business from daily deals promotions. In the massage business, with so many therapists on the daily deals sites, it’s probably even lower.Luckily, she’s very good at what she does and she has me on the backend promoting her online, so she’s doing just fine without the Groupon people.
That’s what makes this story that I’m going to share with you tick us off even more.
Kate may not like Groupon, but the new management at The Massage Room decided to run one. That’s fine. It’s a free country. Just don’t involve us in it.
But what happened next was pretty shocking….
Kate started getting inquiries from people wanting to redeem their Groupons.
Time to investigate!
We find the listing and Groupon has the Massage Room listed as The Massage Room- Kate Scarpero, even though Kate left several months ago! Kate wasn’t even the owner of The Massage Room to begin with. She was a subcontractor there. Let me repeat….Kate NEVER has been an owner of The Massage Room.
Here’s a screenshot of the Groupon listing.
Even worse, the aggregators picked up on it and it’s also in other places as well.
As you might imagine, this is causing customer confusion for Kate’s clients and The Massage Room clients and neither of them is too happy about it.
So, Kate called The Massage Room’s new owner to ask if she knew about it.
The owner did know about it and she had complained to Groupon. The Groupon rep said, “sorry, can’t change it until the deal is over”. YOU screwed up and we pointed it out to you and you won’t even fix it???
Groupon has done some pretty shady things over the years, not releasing customer emails, screwing business owners over, late payments, not issuing refunds, but wow, just wow, you would think they would be able to at least create a correct listing on their website. It’s a pretty basic part of their business. You would think that they would send it over to the owner for review to see if it’s correct. Common sense would say that. Apparently, Groupon has no common sense.I’m not sure how this even happened. My best guess is that because, like a good husband and internet marketer, that I promoted Kate much more aggressively online than the other therapists and the previous owner. This caused some list broker to associate Kate as the owner of The Massage Room, which was somehow synced to Groupon’s listing program. Unfortunately, Groupon’s staff was either too lazy or too incompetent to simply ASK their client if Kate worked there. That kind of incompetence is just sad!
So, fellow business owners, let this serve as a warning to you if you are thinking about running a Groupon. And for heaven’s sake, if you do decide to run a deal, please use some basic business sense and collect email addresses! There are several decent ones out there, such as Save Local, Living Social, and Google Offers that are great alternatives to the idiots at Groupon.
Disclosure: I’m a reseller for Constant Contact, the owner of Save Local.
If you want to book a massage from Kate, she can be reached at www.CentervilleMassage.com. But please, be prepared to pay full price. She’s worth it!
Related Groupon Articles from Around the Web
Ten Things Businesses Should Know Before Using Groupon via Daily Deal Media
Maybe Groupon’s Problem Isn’t The CEO via US News
Ok, So Maybe Greed Is Groupon, But the Much Bigger Issue Is The Product via Techcrunch
I Hate Groupon via The Rheel Daze
Groupon Suspends Sales Rep While It Investigates Thinly Veiled Yelp Review via Yelp-Sucks.com