So I ask Groupon customer service for help ...

From the It Never Hurts to Ask Department

Like most people, I tend to talk about personal experiences with customer service departments only when those experiences suck.

So let's break that habit and toss a public thank-you Groupon's way.

(2011's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries)

I had opened an account with the Internet's daily-deal dynamo last fall after writing about the company. Since then I had received and considered an untold number of Groupon offers without actually committing to a single one (although I was tempted once). Yesterday, however, I finally succumbed and signed on for a $20 discount on $40 worth of chow at a nearby Italian restaurant I have never tried.

I felt fully satisfied ... until not 30 seconds later when I read another e-mail from Groupon offering me $5 off my first Groupon purchase, provided I enter the special gift code on the site's purchase page before completing that initial deal ... which .... I ... had ... just ... done.

Now I was slightly miffed, even though this missed opportunity was not in any way Groupon's fault. The five-dollars-off e-mail arrived before the restaurant pitch and it was clearly not the first time the company had offered it to me.

But I wanted my $5 anyway and I figured it couldn't hurt to ask if maybe the rules have any wiggle room. I sent this e-mail to Groupon's customer service department:


I just made my first Groupon purchase and not 30 seconds later saw this ($5 offer) in my inbox. I know it says I have to use the coupon before the purchase, but I'm writing to see if perhaps there's a way to override that requirement and give me the $5 additional discount anyway.

Thank-you for your time and considering my request.

A mere two hours later I get this reply:

Hi Paul,

I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. While I cannot retroactively issue credit, I have redeemed your $5 code in your account for use on future purchases. The $5 credit is available in your account immediately and does not expire.

Thanks, and let me know if you have any other questions!


Marte S

While not exactly the outcome I had sought, it was $5 better than nothing, remarkably fast, and sure to have me keeping an eye out for Groupon buy No. 2. What's not to like?

Welcome regulars and passersby. Here are a few more recent Buzzblog items. And, if you'd like to receive Buzzblog via e-mail newsletter, here's where to sign up. Follow me on Twitter here.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.