Groupon is dead and here’s why that’s a good thing…

I used to be a big Daily Deal buyer, back in the day. Helicopter rides, meals around town, you name it. The problem is the race to the bottom, and Groupon being the last chariot in the race, man are they ever going for rock bottom.

Remember when it was 50% off? Pepperidge Farm remembers, except for the part when they don’t, because they never acutally bought into this tippy house of cards.

There are (or were) some decent deals to be had. Those days are long, long gone.

I recently bought a Sam’s Club membership, only to discover the club had closed before I got there. No biggy, just had to spend about an hour on chat with someone on the other side of the globe to explain what a Sam’s Club is, why they closed down, and why a location 200-miles from my house isn’t workable. No worries, apparently I’ll have a refund in 10-business days, though what’s less clear is what on earth a “business day” means in the context of so much time.

While in the app, I looked at another recent purchase. Mad Magazine. I bought it for my kids back in November so they could have it for Christmas, but apparently I didn’t activate it. I mean, they know my name and address, and that I paid for it, so I didn’t realize I needed to “activate” anything. No problem.

Click the link, follow the instructions… the want a credit card… for something I already paid for… so they can automatically renew it.

Nope, not interested. It’s okay, at this point I’m already disconnected so I’ll just reconnect and get this sorted out. I mean, I paid for it already, right? Can’t I just have my Mad Magazine?

Nope. Hard nope.

I MUST give them my credit card so they can automatically renew, but not to worry, “Christine” tells me, it’s just standard practice.

No, m’am. When I pay for something, that’s the end of the transaction. I get what I paid for. That’s all there is to it.

But nope, no Mad Magazine for my boys, not unless I provide additional credit card information.

Could you imagine that? Go to McDonald’s and pay $5 for a meal, but they require your credit card on top of it? They won’t use it for nefarious purposes, they swear!

I tried to disconnect with “Christine” (and Groupon entirely for that matter) but she assured me she could connect me with corporate, and they could address the issue. Really? A not-even-call center on the other side of the planet could do this? Fair enough, I’ll hang in for a bit.

She connected me with Parveen… yes, her contact “at corporate” was named Parveen. Despite having the chat log which would take all of 60-seconds to read, he asked me to repeat all my issues, which I did. He politely informed me he has only a PHYSICAL MAILING ADDRESS for corporate. I asked if he might have a line of connection more effective than screaming out the window or Tweeting into the wind, but he assured me he was somehow more able to help me… he wasn’t.


This once clever and blossoming concept has bloomed into full turd.

I’m not suggesting there aren’t some decent deals to be had on there, just that they are few and far between, and when you have an issue, unlike with a real company, you’re stuck dealing with the likes of Christine and Parveen. I’m sure they’re very nice people, but they “work” for Groupon only in the same sort of sense that you and I have the ability to fly. I mean, you could technically argue that we do, but you’d be more than a bit dishonest in your assertion.

Author: Dexter Sinistri

Dexter Sinistri is a famously centrist writer who has worked as a Hollywood correspondent for a number of leading publications since 2005. Though once a photographer, Mr. Sinistri struck out as a writer on all things celebrity, and he likes to consider himself a tremendous asset to Glossy News, though by most accounts, he has fallen somewhat short of this effort.