Shared Reading: Groupon Stung by a Group Con


If it's too good to be true, don't be afraid to ask questions. We all know that Groupon is known for great deals from local companies, but even they don't have a perfect track record of promotions. It seems that recently, a con artist offered a deal on Groupon that couldn't possibly work. The deal was quickly pulled and people refunded when Groupon was made aware of the impossibility of the deal.

The apparent attempted fraud came to light on Sept. 15, when photography blog PetaPixel posted details about how a photographer offering a Groupon deal on photo shoots was displaying other photographers' work as her own on her website, and offering her services to more clients than she could possibly accommodate in the period the deal was covering. Despite her claims of an honest mistake by her website designer, the deal was pulled, and Groupon refunded the money to the 1,175 patrons who had signed up.

Never be afraid to ask questions on the deal's discussion thread. The deal is available for a full day so don't risk buying it early and being scammed. Wait and see what other people are saying. Calling phone numbers is another great way to speak with the actual company.

A likely stopgap measure to keep such ambitious fraudsters in check will be some sort of escrow period for the payments, but such a move would also remove some of the incentives that group buying services present to legitimate businesses: upfront cash and redemption rates of less than 100% (and perhaps as low as 60%). Could this be the Achilles heel of what has so far been perceived as the most amazing cash register to emerge on the Internet since Google, a service recently valued at an eye-popping $1.35 billion? Stay tuned, Groupon groupies! It's gonna be a wild ride!

We'll have to keep an eye out on the social shopping sites to see if this changes the way business is done.

Read the full article at Daily Finance


Groupon Clone said...

I love too! So happy to see you giving it the props it deserves.

Cori said...

I'll admit I was shocked when I read this article, but I was glad to see that Groupon worked so quickly to rectify the problem.

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