Do you remember the daily deal bubble of just a few years ago? Groupon boomed and had a spectactular public stock offering, and even companies like Amazon and PayPal opened their own copycat sites. Consumers largely lost interest in deals sites as a category, and so did investors, but category leaders Groupon and LivingSocial managed to survive. Now Groupon has acquired its smaller rival for an undisclosed amount, but probably at least 80% off its peak valuation. [More]
Anyone who doesn’t realize there have been floods raging in Colorado for days now, wreaking havoc on thousands of homes and killing at least eight people (with hundreds of others missing), must not be paying attention to the news. One such person likely works at LivingSocial, as the deal site reportedly pushed a package to one of the hardest hit areas in the state. [More]
Greg bought some vouchers from LivingSocial for a cleaning company that appears to have gone out of business. It’s not 100% clear that they’re out of business, but it is clear that they were terrible. He can’t get through to the company on the phone, and has $150 worth of vouchers left.
LivingSocial, the daily deals site partially owned by Amazon, has been hacked, with 50 million customer names, emails, birth dates, and encrypted passwords accessed. An internal memo from CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy says both the database that stores customer credit card information and the database that stores merchants’ financial and banking information were not affected or accessed. They are advising users to update their passwords. [AllThingsD]
Organic milk, LivingSocial vouchers, Norton Antivirus, Verizon Wireless games, and Clearwire Internet service: what do they all have in common? All of these companies have open class-action lawsuits against them for which eligible customers can file claims and get cash. [More]
Sara thought that a LivingSocial deal for two hours of handyman service seemed like a good deal, and bought it. That was in June. Since then, she’s been trying to actually use the handyman hours that she purchased. The company sold so many vouchers that they were booked up until sometime after the apocalypse. She turned to LivingSocial for help or for a refund, and got neither. UPDATE: She has received a refund after extensively pestering LivingSocial.
Sometimes businesses mess up just a little bit, and sometimes they mess up a whole lot. But when those companies come through for consumers over even the smallest stuff, that’s when it’s almost more important to take note of how they deal with the situation. For example, Consumerist reader Adrienne received an email from LivingSocial reminding her to use a voucher she’d already used, temporarily raising her hopes that she had another to use.
On group deal site LivingSocial, Bob bought passes for a fun night at a nearby gun range. The problem is that he hasn’t been able to actually use them. Not because he hasn’t had time, but because after two visits to the range, they haven’t been able to let him in because the place is full or booked for leagues. Funny, the deal didn’t say anything about certain days being off limits. He tried to get a refund for these vouchers, but LivingSocial isn’t interested. Guess he’s stuck calling ahead to see if they might deign to let him in.
One of the key rules of using group buying sites (and, indeed, any coupons or discounts) is to pay attention to the fine print. Alex and his wife thought they did. The LivingSocial adventure he purchased for her birthday, a kayak tour, required 24 hours’ notice for a refund. What that fine print didn’t mention was that if you were too sick for an adventure on the day of the event, you wouldn’t be able to reschedule to a different date. That’s how Alex learned that employees of the group deal site weren’t quite accurate in explaining how payments to the adventure hosts work. According to the local paddling center owners, they would only get a couple of bucks if the couple canceled…but LivingSocial would still keep the entire fee.
PayPal is planning its own daily deal program in the U.S., joining the already crowded online arena where Groupon and LivingSocial are currently duking it out to offer the best discount. It’s all about options, these days.
Mark sent along this deal that came up on group deal site LivingSocial for his area. You can get two tickets to a Camden, NJ Riversharks game for $10, or four for $26. While $26 is the normal price for two tickets, this makes sense. But it still doesn’t make very much sense. At least no one went for that deal, though, right?
It’s not that we expect miracles from florists on major dead-plant-giving holidays. But the least we can expect is for the recipient–presumably, someone we give a crap about–to receive the item that we chose and paid for. Sarah’s mom’s birthday was the day before Mother’s Day this year, so she decided to use a LivingSocial coupon and order up some beautiful flowers to honor both occasions.
In the latest craze of daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, we’re already learning pretty darn fast that not all is what it seems when it comes to the offered discounts. Caveat emptor and all that, right? Let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider before you plunk down $17 for $34 worth of bacon-flavored lollipops at that place you never would’ve gone to otherwise, shall we?
A number of travel sites have cropped up offering “Woot-like” and “Grouponesque” deals for getaway bargains that are available only for a limited time before a new deal goes up, and/or gives you a price-break the more people who jump onboard. Here’s a few to peruse: