Following a week of bad press and service issues, local social-shopping sensation Groupon must be glad it's Friday.
First, a cafe owner wrote a
contemptuous blog post
about Groupon's sales team, service and customers, claiming that her experience using the service nearly bankrupted her business.
"After three months of
Groupons coming through the door, I started to see the results really hurting us financially," wrote Jessie Burke, owner of Posies Cafe in Portland, Oregon. "There came a time when we literally could
not make payroll ... It was sickening."
Then, as TechCrunch reports, a photographer posted a fraudulent offer
Groupon, leading some to accuse the startup of failing to properly vet its business partners.
"The fact that no single photographer could fulfill thousands of shoots in a reasonable
time frame, calls into question whether Groupon should enforce limits when deals like this are unreasonable, which is currently the onus of the merchant," writes TechCrunch.
headline, "The dark side of Groupon emerges
," Econsultancy.com writes: "When discussing Groupon, it's quite clear:
the group buying business model is financially viable. For Groupon. What's less clear: whether Groupon's business model is financially viable for businesses."
In its defense, "Groupon is getting so big that it's bound to make a few missteps," writes
Indeed, Groupon raised $135 million in April, and, this summer,
In response to this week's onslaught, Groupon founder Andrew Mason writes: "Of course, we have heard from merchants who felt Groupon
sent them too many customers. We responded to those concerns by creating merchant preparation materials."
"Also," adds Mason, "It has always been Groupon policy to allow
merchants to cap deals. If a merchant sells too many Groupons, they'll have a bad experience, the customer will have a bad experience, and therefore, Groupon loses. We're longer-term thinkers than
Read the whole story at TechCrunch et al »