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lil kunj takes on the big guns: Groupon is getting really lame these days

I don’t know how many of you are Groupon fans or have used Groupon before?  You may have seen that recently Groupon has been getting itself into a bit hot water because of their advertising tactics. In the papers last week it’s had its fair share of bad publicity regarding some of the deals it’s offered – such as selling lots of vouchers for a Santa’s grotto deal in York. This particular deal resulted in almost 2000 families descending upon this Santa’s grotto one Saturday afternoon in the lovely city of York. The particular grotto in question could only handle 40 children an hour, so naturally you got some parents having a hissy fit and shouting tirades of abuse at the poor little elves. It all got too much for one little elf who actually quit. Poor elf girl. I hope she’s ok wherever she is and not too traumatised. We also found out that the UK Advertising Standards Authority is currently investigating Groupon.

I discovered Groupon around this time last year and I have to say at the start I was very fond of it. As a very skint student it allowed me to do a lot of things that I wouldn’t normally do quite cheaply. However recently I’ve been a bit frustrated with some of the deals that I’ve purchased through them. These days they seem to be a bit careless with their small print and seem to be omitting very important details. In the past when I had any quibbles or problems, their customer service always sorted any issues out very promptly. However that may have been just because I was a regular customer.

Unfortunately this was not the same experience for my parents. Bless them, they bought a deal of the website for a voucher that allowed them to spend a certain amount of money on an online shop.  However when they tried to redeem it against the items that they wanted from the online store in question, it wouldn’t accept the voucher.  They tried to contact the retailer, who didn’t bother replying; they then tried to contact Groupon to get a refund.  Their customer service advisor, Zoe (yes, I will name and shame!), said they should have read the “terms and conditions for any exclusions” and that they wouldn’t be issued a refund. This left them a bit disgruntled, as the voucher explicitly stated it could be redeemed against “anything” and there were no exclusions listed in the small print, nor were the exclusions in the terms and conditions applicable to the deal in question as mentioned by Groupon’s idiotic customer service adviser. So at this point I came to the rescue and drafted a long letter to Groupon outlining how their advertising for that particular deal was misleading; how they had nothing in the terms and conditions or small print that could apply to the deal in question; how their customer services advisor is clearly an idiot and how I want the money refunded. I actually got a fairly prompt reply from them offering to credit the account with Groupon credits of the same value of the voucher initially purchased. We were initially happy with this outcome as we thought we’ll be using Groupon anyway in the future. Well guess what? The slimey b*****d who replied back never credited the account. My parents never checked the account after because they trusted him, as in the email he sent he said it would be in there by the end of the day and would be valid for 6 months (it hasn’t even been 3 months yet!).

So now I’ve had to get in to Anne Robinson/Martin Lewis mode to draft and send out another letter (much more rude and scathing this time) demanding a proper refund! No more silly billy Groupon credits.

So have any of you had any problems with Groupon?


lil kunj takes on the big guns: John Lewis complaint progress

I received a reply from John Lewis asking for more details, so that they can deal with my enquiry. For those of you who don’t know, I posted last week about how I bought furniture from them. The items I bought included three chests of drawers, the same part in all three chest of drawers broke upon assembling.

John Lewis’s response time was quite good, they replied within 2 weeks, so no complaints there. However I’m slightly annoyed with their response. Firstly the letter asks for more details so that they can deal with my enquiry, I wrote a complaint, I didn’t ask them a question, they should know the difference right? It’s them who have to investigate and do an enquiry. Secondly they’ve asked for whether I could advise them where I purchased the offending items in question from – whether on line, telephone or in store – and if it was in store, then to direct my enquiry to them. I think that’s pretty poor and demonstrates that they clearly haven’t read the letter properly, as it states in the first paragraph the date of when and where I placed the order and when it was received. Thirdly I’m pretty sure that they could have traced the order without me giving them the order number, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on the third issue.

Surely their customer services team is paid to deal with complaints properly? I wouldn’t have actually minded if they had taken a while longer to reply, and instead sent a reply that implies “yes we’re John Lewis and we care about you as our customer, like we advertise, and I’ve taken a whole 3 minutes of my working day of which I’m paid for, to deal with complaints like this appropriately” instead of a letter that screams “I don’t care, I can’t be bothered to read your letter you whiney cow, because I’m to busy and we’re John Lewis, we can take your money and screw you over, deal with it”.

I wish I were as cool in consumer affairs as Anne Robinson or Martin Lewis, or that I just had those two to set on John Lewis.  Anyway reply back to John Lewis has been drafted and will pop it in the post tomorrow. Let’s see if they can explain themselves

lil kunj takes on the big guns: Marks and Spencer and John Lewis

Ok, so I’ve had a pretty boring morning. Spent most of it editing complaint letters to various companies, regarding their level or customer service, or the quality of goods/services purchased from them. I know a few of my acquaintances think that it’s a pointless effort, but if these companies charge, whether ridiculous amounts or not, I expect things to be tip top, or satisfactory at least, you know?!

My first peeve is with M&S, it’s quite minor, just had an encounter with a rather rude manager when it came to returning some items. Basically the receipt that I was issued didn’t have a barcode. As a result she said that she was unable to issue a refund, as apparently without a barcode it’s not proof of purchase. The madam in question then went on to demonstrate that there is no way a receipt would come out of a till like that. Clearly us young people have nothing better to do in our spare time than steal stuff, tamper with receipts or even make a fake receipt. Clearly that’s a new way of getting thrills these days, so extreme! Anyway I don’t like being accused of being a thief by implication, nor do I like having to lug all the items back to the store another day with a credit card statement, which surprise surprise matches the receipt details.

Anyway complaint letter drafted, printed and sent. Let’s see what they say.

Second peeve. John Lewis. Bought furniture from them, all the drawer supports in the three chests of drawers purchased kinda broke upon assembling. Not cool, and trust me, it’s definitely not my botch DIY attempt with flat pack self build furniture. The rest of the furniture was assembled perfectly by moi [Cue: Independent Woman, Destiny’s Child], so much for their “Never knowingly undersold” slogan that takes over my TV screen during the run up to Christmas. Talk about being taunted. So again complaint letter drafted with photos of offending items and posted.

John Lewis and Marks and Spencer, I not so patiently await your response.

Oh, and just to clarify I’m not sending the complaints by post because I want letters to open, that’s just a bonus! I like getting post that’s not a bank statement or a credit card bill.