Groupon Responds

300SquareFollowing closely on my two previous blog postings, I had a request to meet with the CEO of Groupon and allow them the opportunity to put forward their case. In the interest of fairness, here is a the complete, unedited response that was received from them…

Groupon has a complete open door policy that enables customers to communicate their grievances through many different mediums, namely Facebook, Twitter or our hands on customer service team. Our vendors on the other hand have an entire team of employees who go to great lengths to ensure that they get the best from their deal while receiving maximum exposure. This team also endeavours to ensure that the vendor is 100% happy throughout the Groupon process – a process that is explained explicitly to them every step of the way.

We have a very rigorous approval process and provide all the information necessary to inform businesses what we as a company offer. We strongly advise that all contracts are read thoroughly so that all parties understand the nature of the service, just as one would read any contract when entering into a business agreement. Client satisfaction is something that we take immense pride in, and our vendor management team works very hard to make this happen.

We give retailers access to our very extensive database in an effort to accelerate the growth of the businesses who partake in our offerings. We are a marketing activity not a revenue activity, and compared to traditional media our service is the most cost effective and risk free form of marketing available.

To address the queries raised around VAT: We charge our commission on the full coupon price; hence if this is a VAT inclusive amount for a merchant who is a VAT vendor it escalates the actual net cost by an additional 7% (if our commission is 50%). Groupon is VAT registered. It is also noted on our contract that we will charge VAT on our commission. And we do supply VAT invoices. No effort is made to conceal this, in fact our representatives are trained to make sure this is thoroughly explained.

Of the 50% commission we take, the majority is put straight back into advertising the deals to ensure that they reach the ears and eyes of more customers through as many mediums possible, and towards things such as increasing our staff capacity to assist our clients.

We sincerely wish the service had been as agreeable for this vendor as it has been for others. We offer our sincerest apologies that this has not been his experience, and hope he will give us the opportunity to rectify the situation. Had the vendor communicated their grievances directly with us we could’ve dealt with their complaint accordingly.

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