Alex and his wife bought into a Groupon offer for Gap, where you could buy $50 worth of merchandise for $25. Everything was going great until they ran into a manager at their local store who refused to even ring up the pants they’d chosen, saying anything already discounted wasn’t eligible for the offer.
My wife and I went to Gap at Streets of Southpoint Mall in Durham NC to redeem our Groupon ($50 of merchandise for $25). After investing time trying on pants, we presented the Groupon at checkout and were told by [redacted], who presented herself as the manager, that the Groupon was not valid on the pants we wanted. She did not even try to ring it up.
When pressed to explain, she stated that the Groupon could not be combined with other offers or discounts (which is correct). However, we were not using another offer or discount. [She] very rudely insisted that because the pants were on sale for $35 each, that constituted another offer and could not be used with the Groupon. She threw the pants on the counter and turned us away without offering us any alternatives. The customer behind me was given the same treatment: no $35 pants with the Groupon, and he also left without buying the pants.
I was suspicious because [she] did not even attempt to ring up the pants with the Groupon, so I called three other stores in the Triangle area (two in Raleigh NC and one in Cary NC), and asked if there was any problem using the Groupon with the sale priced pants. Each store told us there would be no problem whatsoever using the Groupon with those pants. One store even kindly offered to hold the pants in my wife’s size until we could get there.
I called [the original manager] and asked her to honor the Groupon, in light of the other stores’ responses. After being put on hold, during which she claimed to have called another store, [she] passed me to another manager, [redacted], who in a very condescending way assured me that it was impossible to use the Groupon with those pants and would produce an error message if they even tried. Both … repeatedly blamed the “problem” on Groupon and said that it had nothing to do with Gap or their particular store. I asked for the name and phone number of a regional or district manager whom I could call to help resolve the situation, since there seemed to be a disagreement between stores. [The second manager] refused and suggested I call the generic 1-800 number.
We drove to the other Gap store that had offered to hold the pants, and we purchased them with the Groupon. The clerk even gave my wife some more coupons to use on her next visit. Needless to say, we won’t be visiting the Gap in Durham if we decide to redeem them.
Alex passed this story on to Groupon, and the company responded today:
We heard from Groupon this morning, who said that Gap should have let us use the Groupon and they are upset that this is reflecting negatively on Groupon. They say that they are going to contact the district manager, because Groupon relies on its partners like Gap to honor the deal they agreed to.