If you bought a Groupon for $20 good for $40 worth of flowers from FTD and suspected you were being overcharged, you thought right. Seems a glitch in the system charged Groupon users full price on sale items, but both Groupon and FTD seem eager to resolve the issue, although there were probably some burned and spurned flowerless customers this Valentine's Day.
The FTD deal, offered Feb. 10, stated the Groupon could not be used on sale items. Customers who selected those items were charged the non-sale, original price of $5-$10 higher. Complaints started popping up on Groupon's community site almost immediately about the price discrepancy. This, in addition to negative feedback prompted Groupon to pull the deal a day early.A spokeswoman for Groupon told WalletPop, "To make this right, we've worked together with FTD to make sure that discounts available on FTD.com will now also be available to use with the Groupon. For those who already purchased items that were on sale on FTD.com, FTD will automatically issue a refund on the credit card used with the difference as additional savings."
FTD has set up a dedicated phone line for Groupon customers. Anyone looking for a refund can call 855-645-6214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a credit or refund. Both Groupon and FTD claim the pricing issues weren't intentional. FTD Group President Rob Apatoff told the Associated Press, "At no time did we inflate any prices. Absolutely not. Because there was some confusion with a few, we decided to step up and do the right thing to make sure everybody was happy."
Groupon claims snafus like this are rare, but anyone who's purchased a daily deal from Groupon or a similar site has likely run into some problem. I bought a Groupon for a manicure and pedicure last year that proved difficult to use. Apparently the salon was overwhelmed and couldn't accommodate everyone in a timely manner. I contacted Groupon customer care and before I could even get the word "refund" out, was granted a credit for the full purchase price.
Just when it seems Groupon is about to jump the shark -- see its Super Bowl commercial debacle -- it manages to redeem itself with a great deal or admirable customer service response. It's also quick to admit when something is wrong. Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason recently posted an apology to users in Japan for a Groupon gone wrong, saying, "We really messed up."
Groupon's response to the Super Bowl commercials wasn't quite as swift, and likely more costly: it pulled the ads within a week of airing.
Every business messes up sometime, but it's how a company deals with its mistakes can make all the difference.
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