Ya’ll know I love saving money. Whether I’m hitting up weekly sales, scouring the clearance section, clipping coupons or using Groupon, I try to save money any way I can. But recently, I had a not so great experience with Groupon.
I’ve talked about great ways to use Groupon in the past. For example, some me time with a relaxing spa day, gifting sweet treats on a special occasion, trying a new restaurant or taking a vacation, Groupon has all kinds of options for saving.
But to be honest, my latest encounter has me rethinking Groupon’s customer service and if I’ll continue to be a loyal user. So let me explain.
Before the holidays I purchased a Groupon voucher for my boyfriend as a gift to him. It was for a local men’s nail salon. He’s talked so much about getting a pedicure and has never had one, so it was a perfect gift (plus I saved about $20).
This particular voucher required an appointment. I tried calling a few times in January to get an appointment for him, but no one ever answered the phone. So I figured I’d wait a few weeks and try again. Maybe they were just super busy. The voucher didn’t expire until mid-April so I had plenty of time.
Well, things got busy, life happened and I wasn’t able to call again until the beginning of April. The problem was, this time the number for the business was actually disconnected. So, how am I supposed to make an appointment if I can’t even get in contact with the business?
I contacted Groupon (just over two weeks before the voucher expired) to let them know I couldn’t get in contact with the business and to ask what the next steps would be to redeeming the voucher. Groupon was going to use their own business contact for the salon and get back to me. A few days later I was told the business would call me directly within three days. I let those few days pass and was never contacted.
Again, I let Groupon know. About a week goes by without any contact and I’m getting concerned because the voucher is about to expire. So I reach out again and am told they’re still working on it.
The expiration date comes and goes and now I’m bummed because my boyfriend can’t use the voucher anymore.
I reach out to Groupon again and ask what can be done now that the expiration date has passed. I can’t use the voucher so I’m hoping a refund can be given. I really don’t know what other solution there is aside from the business agreeing to accept the voucher even though it’s expired. I mean, I have no control over not being able to contact the business for an appointment beforehand and would hate to lose out on the money that I did spend towards the voucher (about $40).
I get the response I’m looking for from Groupon and was thrilled! They would refund the amount I paid for the voucher, to my account via Groupon Bucks. Not a problem. I love Groupon and know I’ll use the Groupon Bucks in the near future.
About three weeks go by, I’m browsing Groupon and I realize the Groupon Bucks aren’t there. They were never issued. So I follow up again with Groupon and at this point I’m starting to get the runaround. After maybe five responses from five different people (in the same support thread), I’m getting more frustrated with every response, as they each tell me a refund can’t be issued after three days of purchasing.
One of the support reps just offered me the Groupon Bucks a few weeks ago! What has changed since then?
It’s clear they haven’t read the whole support thread and don’t understand what had happened. I wasn’t simply asking for a refund because I forgot about the voucher and the expiration date passed. That’s not at all what happened, and I contacted Groupon in advance to try and get help in redeeming it before it did expire.
Out of frustration I look for a phone number. I need to speak to someone in person and get this resolved once and for all. Well, I can’t find a contact number, but just the live chat. I’m already frustrated, but figure I’ll give it one last shot. Live chat, let’s handle this.
After explaining the issue, the support rep tells me again a refund can’t be given after three days of purchasing. I explain again that I was previously offered Groupon Bucks, which I’m fine with. She says no, that she can’t find that message in the support thread.
What?! I’m looking right at it in my email. I provide her the date of the message and the name of the rep who sent it. That’s not good enough. She doesn’t see it. I wish I could send her a screenshot of the message I’m looking at. I felt as though she was calling me a liar and I’m beyond pissed at this point. She offers to have me email the screenshots to their support email, which I do.
Ten minutes go by while she’s checking to see if the email came through. At this point I’ve been on this chat for almost an hour (yeah, that’s how long it had taken to try to explain things, get my point across, and her to look into the issue). The email came through, she spoke with her supervisor and ONLY because I was able to provide proof of that message of the Groupon support rep offering Groupon Bucks as a resolution, they agree to the refund.
Finally, after a month and a half of trying to resolve this issue, I have a refund. It was a major relief to have everything taken care of, but it wasn’t an easy journey getting there. So, this leaves me skeptical of using Groupon again. What if this happens again and next time I end up losing my money? Is it a risk I’m willing to take?
I love Groupon and have used multiple vouchers in the past with no problem. Was this just a single fluke? And I still question why that salon business would offer a Groupon and then not have a reliable way of customers contacting them for an appointment. Might I add, that the business is still offering that exact same voucher at this very moment. How are customers going to contact them?