The GroupOn experience…

Two friends have both had a Groupon experience. They purchased a EUR 100 for a dinner for two at a Michelin restaurant in Helsinki for which they paid EUR 50. It looked like an offer you cannot refuse. However, when they called the restaurant for a reservation with the coupon they discovered that there were free no slots on any evening during the validity month. They called Groupon and complained. The restaurant then extended the offer for another month but only for lunch. My colleagues complained again. Groupon did nothing and refused to refund their money. The restaurant only offered lunch and with a set menu, which was not mentioned in the original offer. One of the colleagues threatened legal action to which Groupon responded with a refund but only for a new Groupon offer. The other colleague enjoyed his lunch – a far cry from what he expected.
The fuss happened because of the numbers. Groupon only pays the restaurant 50% of the cost of the deal according to reliable sources. The rest they keep themselves. This means that the restaurant gets EUR 25 from which they must deduct sales tax leaving them with less than EUR 20 to cover the costs of the meal. It is no wonder why there were no free slots for dinner! It makes you wonder what the restaurant was thinking in agreeing to this deal. Obviously Groupon completely fails to honor normal business ethics.

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