Thursday, November 15, 2012

Are Groupon Merchants Happy?

After another disappointing quarter out of Groupon,with its traditional non-direct bookings falling sequentially for the second quarter in a row, it's easy to wonder if the daily deals leader's merchants are getting value out of their promotions.
A recent Raymond James survey isn't all that encouraging.
Of 115 merchants sampled for the study, 39% said that they were unlikely to run another Groupon campaign. A whopping 32% of them also reported losing money on the deals. The latter metric may not be a big deal. Companies run Groupons to attract customers, so any payoff will take place if they come back down the road. However, a 39% non-renewal rate -- coinciding with a similar amount saying that Groupon was less effective than other ways to drum up new business, is a bigger issue.
Yes, the sample size is ridiculously small. It would be dangerous to extrapolate the findings across the company's 250,000 merchants. However, the latest quarterly report does validate the theory that merchants aren't coming back the way that they used to.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Is Groupon Being Swamped by Refund Requests?

What do Groupon and accountants have in common? They're both being swamped by refund requests this week, apparently.

Groupon's customer support boasts that it gets back to customer requests within a day of filing a complaint, question, or refund request, but that's certainly not what happened when I asked for a refund earlier this week.

Nearly two days after asking for a credit on a Groupon that was getting tricky to redeem, I got this email:

"Thank you for contacting Groupon. Due to the high e-mail volume, we are running behind our normal 24 hour response time. We are battling this volume with every tool we have at our disposal and feel confident that we will emerge victorious. This victory will result in a detailed response to your email, a swift resolution of your issue and a warm feeling in your belly."

Typical Groupon. It has a message to deliver, and serves it up with a bowl of wit. However, the automated response -- supposedly fired off because my initial email was already 24 hours old -- suggests that Groupon is having a hard time keeping up with the volume of customer support requests.

It has now been 24 hours on top of the original 24 hours. I wonder if Groupon will emerge victorious after all.