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Sitting comfortably? Groupon advertises the wrong beanbag

Groupon website

We’ve been experiencing a mini Twitter storm all day after being alerted to a mis-advertised offer on Groupon. The product featured in the group buying site’s email this morning led us to an entirely different product.

This morning Lucy Marcus (@lucymarcus) alerted us to a Groupon offer for a ‘Fatboy Buggle Up beanbag’ on Twitter. She didn’t contact us because of its tasty 60% discount, she got in touch because the product on offer wasn’t the one advertised, making the new £89 price a little hard to swallow.

Clicking on the email deal would take you to Groupon’s website, where the product was named as a ‘BigDaddy beanbag’. The beanbags certainly looked similar, but as Lucy explained, it wasn’t made by Fatboy.

And Fatboy beanbags are apparently a much-coveted product, with over 500 snapped up over the course of just a few hours. However, Twitter user Julie Broadfoot (@juliebee) didn’t fall for the offer, telling us that ‘It’s definitely not the same product. I’ve wanted a Fatboy one for ages.’

Following a number of complaints, Groupon’s UK Twitter account quickly told us that ‘We can confirm this deal is legitimate’ and then followed up with the hollow tweet, ‘We will take your comments on board. Thanks.’

At last, Groupon removed the offer

The deal had been available for a good 10 hours by this point, and Groupon had failed to give us a definitive response as to whether the beanbag was a legitimate Fatboy or not, despite challenging them to do so. Thankfully, Fatboy, the manufacturer whose name had been used to advertise the incorrect product, responded:

‘We had nothing to do with the Groupon deal. Weren’t genuine Fatboy articles. So, at this point, Groupon has decided to withdraw the offer.’

That was certainly good news, until we found that the offer was still available to purchase through the email. It took Groupon until 3.30pm to remove it completely, despite the group buying site being aware of this issue for most of the day – allowing hundreds of customers to put up hard cash for it.

After contacting them over the phone (and being on hold for a good 10 minutes) Groupon’s customer service team confirmed that all customers who had purchased this beanbag would be given a full refund. It’s just a shame that it couldn’t let us know immediately through Twitter.

When our Money researcher Nick Frankcom wrote about group buying sites earlier this year, a small majority (38%) of you said that you didn’t use group buying sites. Perhaps it’s errors like these that have put you off. Have you ever suffered any issues with buying from Groupon or other group buying sites, or was their customer service up to scratch?

Comments
Guest

I guess this just happened to me but in Switzerland. I am livid as Groupon changed their promotional product advertisement after the purchase. I just received the item and I am livid, livid, livid. And guess what, its impossible to get a hold of them. I did History search and all the links that I have pertaining to the advertisement come back fruitless “The deal you have selected is not available”.

Unbelievable!