Upheld ASA complaints group up on Groupon
It seems the promise of daily deals is sitting a little sour with some consumers. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld seven complaints about advertising and promotions placed by Groupon, dating from Christmas through to this month. The complaints cover not just the wording of offers, but the company's activity with Google Adwords advertising and online banners.
In one instance, several Google adverts for Groupon promised "70% Off Train Tickets From London to... for up to 70% Less. Get Train Tickets & Save now!" - no such deals were available. Similarly, another internet banner announced "ALL YOU CAN EAT in London £3", but even after subscribing to Groupon, no such offers could be found.
While Groupon attempted to palm these issues off onto other areas of the business, they came unstuck again when offers featured on their own site proved to be ambiguous. One deal offered all-day paint-balling for £1, even though that only bought enough ammo for one game and a full day at the paint-balling range meant playing eight games. The ASA also upheld claims that Groupon exaggerated the savings available on deals; in these instances, Groupon was unable to provide documented evidence that the savings were genuine.
It may sound like Groupon are making a sow's ear of it, but the reality is that Groupon are pumping out thousands of offers every month, so seven upheld complaints isn't necessarily cause for concern. What it does is reinforce the age-old adage that every avid Bitterwallet reader knows only too well - if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.