I haven’t had any negative experiences with Groupon in the past, when all I purchased were coupons to discounted services, meals or hotel stays.  But the moment I tried it to purchase actual products, that’s when their customer service savvy became apparent, or the lack of it rather.  First of all, it took 3 months for the products to get delivered! (without any updates from Groupon that the products would take a longer time to get to me)  When I was actually able to reach their hotline number (which is incredibly hard to get through), different agents gave me vague answers saying they would have to schedule the delivery of the products with the delivery department and that the delay happened because the products hadn’t arrived on time.  The other appalling fact was I was sometimes put on hold for as long as 20 minutes!!! By the time the products made it to me, they were about to expire in a few months’ time. (because of the 3 month delay)  It was such a frustrating experience that I dreaded what would happen to the next batch of products that I had ordered which were supposedly to be delivered a week later.

They never came.

What was instead delivered was an extra set of the products that were initially delivered, and when I called to report this, they said they would check on it.  I had a sinking feeling it was just lip service, and I was unfortunately, right.  Though they promised they would resolve it, and responded to SOME emails when they felt like it, I never actually got what I paid for.

What they should have done instead:

1. Acknowledged their errors and apologized for it.  It’s a simple thing to understand that people don’t want to feel like their money is being stolen.

2. Kept hold time on the phone for a maximum of 2 minutes, even if they had to check back now and then to tell the customer that they were still in need of more time.

3. Kept their word.  If they said they were going to call back, they should have.  It’s so easy to destroy one’s reputation with one broken promise.

What’s sad is, they didn’t seem to think about how this reflected on the company.  Worse, they didn’t seem to care at all.  I know this is the way discount sites make money, when people forget about or shrug off the negligible amount they’d spent.  But somehow, a business model built on this on some level, really doesn’t make longterm sense.