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Hundreds of angry customers slam Groupon after being refused cash refunds when their orders didn't arrive during lockdown and offered 'useless' company credit instead

Hundreds of angry customers slam Groupon after being refused cash refunds when their orders didn't arrive during lockdown and offered 'useless' company credit instead
  • Groupon is being inundated with complaints from angry customers at present
  • Many furious shoppers are claiming to be out of pocket by hundreds of pounds
  • Many customers are being given 'unwanted' store credits instead of full refunds on orders that couldn't be fulfilled 
  • The online retailer appeared to close the customer service line amid complaints 
Hundreds of angry customers have slammed Groupon as the online retailer refused to give refunds on orders that they couldn't fulfil - claiming that due to coronavirus they could only offer 'unwanted' store credits.
The discount e-commerce site is being inundated with complaints from customers, many claiming to be out of pocket by hundreds of pounds while the retailer appeared to close their customer service line.
Dad-of-two Matthew Williams forked out £350 for a new double bed for his daughter but when it didn't arrive the company refused to refund him, offering 'Groupon credits'.
Matthew Williams (left) splashed out £350 for a new double bed for his daughter (pictured), but Groupon refused to refund him when the bed didn't arrive
Matthew Williams (left) splashed out £350 for a new double bed for his daughter (pictured), but Groupon refused to refund him when the bed didn't arrive
Matthew slammed Groupon while asking for a refund - labelling them a 'bunch of animals'
Matthew slammed Groupon while asking for a refund - labelling them a 'bunch of animals' 
The telecoms worker claims he was forced to contact them every day until they stopped responding entirely - leaving him wondering if he would ever see his money again.
Essential worker Shannon Cooke, 27, worked extra shifts to afford 'nice things' for her young family, including a £320 set of garden furniture she purchased on the website in April.
The mum-of-three claims she was later informed Groupon had cancelled her order but would not be giving her her money back, issuing credit instead - leaving her hundreds of pounds out of pocket.
When Shannon desperately reached out to customer service via live chat, a Groupon staff member stated: 'Unfortunately, as a result of COVID-19, under our policy we are unable to offer a refund to your original form of payment.
'We know the coming months will be difficult for local businesses, and we want to support them by showing them that when their doors reopen, Groupon customers will be ready.
'Your credits will be valid for a full 12 months and can be used towards almost any purchase on our site, so you'll have plenty of time to find another deal that works for you.'
Across social media, hundreds of disgruntled customers complained about Groupon's new policy, which the company claimed was 'as a result of COVID-19'.
Shannon and Matthew are both now in a position where they cannot afford to pay for a replacement after making a 'significant investment' through the discount website.
Shannon, from Deal, Kent, said: 'I can't afford a replacement. I took extra shifts at work to be able to buy nice things, then this happens.
'On their tracking system it went on to being processed, then I noticed a few days later it went back to 'ordered'.
Shannon Cooke (pictured) forked out for gifts for her family - including a £320 set of garden furniture - but she claims Groupon later cancelled her order
Shannon Cooke (pictured) forked out for gifts for her family - including a £320 set of garden furniture - but she claims Groupon later cancelled her order
'I looked up the reviews on Groupon and people were going mad saying they weren't getting their products.
'A week later I was at work and I messaged their live chat asking where my product was. They said 'we're really sorry, we've had to cancel it'.
'When I asked for my refund, they said 'we're not offering refunds at the moment - we can only issue Groupon [credits]'.
'I said I didn't want that. I've been emailing them back and forth and they seem to have stopped emailing me back a couple of days ago. I had to speak to them to find out they'd cancelled it.'
Another Groupon customer from Kent, Matthew, 41, was also left in the dark as he claims Groupon stopped responding to his messages begging for answers.
Matthew, from Edenbridge, Kent, said: 'It's frustrating. I'm a key worker working in telecoms. My wife is a nurse working for the NHS and we're having to battle to get what we're entitled to.
'I've been putting posts up daily trying to chase [Groupon] down and get some engagement from them. They just give you generic contact email addresses but they never reply.
'I placed my order on 14 March and it got to the first week in April and the tracking code had changed.
Essential worker Shannon, 27 years old, also took to social media to complain about Groupon
Essential worker Shannon, 27 years old, also took to social media to complain about Groupon
Groupon responded to Shannon's complaint online, claiming 'we're unable to offer a refund'
Groupon responded to Shannon's complaint online, claiming 'we're unable to offer a refund'
'I contacted them and they asked me to wait another week. When I got back in touch, I asked for a refund as I was moving house and couldn't wait any longer. That's when they offered me Groupon credits.
'It was a significant investment at £350. It's not just tickets or an item of clothing that didn't fit.
'When I said 'I need the money back', they claimed too much time had elapsed and I wasn't entitled to a refund - but it was them who had asked me to wait longer.
'They hadn't sent the items so how could they have a timescale? When you phone up to complain, they tell you 'sorry, there's no one answering calls'.'
Groupon were inundated with customers with similar complaints on social media.
Ella Selby said: 'Why don't Groupon refund you normally like every other company?'
Emma Woods appealed to Money Expert Martin Lewis, tweeting: 'Please can you help raise awareness to consumers regarding Groupon, using COVID-19 as an excuse to take money off us for products that weren't even in stock and then not refund, only offering Groupon credits? My mum is now £190 down.'
Maurice Gormley said: 'Another company refusing to offer refunds and trying to force people to take vouchers.'
After Groupon were contacted by journalists, the online marketplace then got in touch with Matthew and Shannon to issue them a full monetary refund.
A Groupon spokesperson claimed both customers were always 'in line for a refund', despite both customers being told previously they would not receive one.
Another furious customer urged fellow shoppers to 'keep persisting' to get their money back
Another furious customer urged fellow shoppers to 'keep persisting' to get their money back
Anrgy shoppers continued to flock to social media after claiming they weren't getting refunds
Anrgy shoppers continued to flock to social media after claiming they weren't getting refunds
Matthew said: 'It's very frustrating to spend all this time fighting them and then they react within hours when they learn things could go public.'
Shannon said: 'Let's hope people start getting their money back now.'
A spokesperson from Groupon said: 'These are unprecedented times and our teams are receiving a large number of inbound customer enquiries.
'The customers you have highlighted were in line for a refund prior to your email to us, I have asked for this to be processed asap and for them to be contacted and updated.
'Their issues had been escalated internally, they had been contacted to let them know this but we had not yet updated them on the outcome. We sincerely apologise for the delay and inconvenience caused, this is not the level of service our customers should expect from us.
'With regards to other issues which you highlighted in your screenshots. As a marketplace that connects consumers with merchants and vendors, our refund policies and the type of refunds that we provide to our customers - whether it's cash or credit - can vary by category, merchant, and circumstances of the particular transaction.
'We always strive to deliver the best possible customer service, even during these more challenging times and urge any customer to get back in touch with us if their issue is not resolved.'

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