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Groupon accused of misleading customers with deals

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With Christmas Day fast approaching, Which? has warned last minute shoppers not to take every deal they find on Groupon at face value.

Consumer group Which? examined the deals available on discount website Groupon between October and November 2018. They compared the claimed original and deal prices with those available from other sources.

While they found plenty of genuine deals, there were 14 instances where the deal on Groupon was either advertised with a higher RRP than that offered directly from the manufacturer, a cheaper price was found available elsewhere, or there were unexpected restrictions in the small print.

For example, a tri-fold mirror advertised as £100 full price was available for £35 from the official retailer.

Which? also found that a spa package, including treatments and bubbly for two, was on Groupon priced at £139 – advertised as a 65% discount to a standard price of £402. However, the hotel’s own website was offering the deal at the same price, and claimed the full price was £94 less than advertised on Groupon.

The use of unsubstantiated higher or out-of-date retail prices is against Advertising Standard Authority’s (ASA) rules.

Which? flagged the misleading deals to Groupon, which quickly responded by removing all of the deals, misleading images or prices.

Harry Rose, Editor of Which? Magazine, has urged Groupon to “stringently review” its deals to ensure there is no risk of customers being misled.

“Customers should be able to trust that pricing information they see on Groupon and other deal websites is accurate, so they can make an informed decision about whether to part with their cash,” he added.