Hyperlocal, Services|December 3, 2011| Author: Kim LaCapria|Tags:

Groupon Investigated in the UK Over ‘Exaggerated’ Ad Practices

groupon investigation

If you avidly use Groupon, there are probably some deals you’ve avoided because they just look way too good to be true.

82% off something not clearly defined. $25 for $50 worth of food at a restaurant notorious for add-ons. While the service has been a boon to many bargain hunters (and has come in for criticism precisely because small business owners often don’t properly estimate the demand for the deals), one of its consumer-side criticisms is that exactly what’s on offer may not always be clear or easily discerned by Groupon users.

So it’s probably not too much of a surprise that the discount outfit has caught the eye of the UK’s Office of Fair Trading for possibly misleading advertising, and that the OFT has been eyeing up the daily deals site since July. In a statement, the Advertising Standards Authority had this to say about the investigation into Groupon:

“Given Groupon’s track record, we have serious concerns about its ability to adhere to the advertising code. It is in the public interest that we refer the matter to the OFT.”

Groupon responded in an emailed statement:

“We are constantly evolving business process to ensure customers receive the best possible experience at the highest standards. We are cooperating fully with the OFT to ensure that the rights of consumers are protected.”

Have you ever been on the bad end of a less-than-desirable Groupon deal?