FTD Groupon Buyers Deserve the Refund on Their Rotten Deal

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It was supposed to be a match made in discount Valentine's Day Heaven. Groupon, the beloved coupon site, and FTD, a go-to for flowers, partnered earlier in the month to bring customers $20 off a flower purchase of $40 or more. Nearly 3,300 people bought the deal. But both companies got clobbered with complaints when it appeared that FTD inflated prices for some Groupon members who tried to apply the savings to their purchase.

I'm trying to wrap my head around how this went down. Was it like, Groupon holders went on the special Groupon site FTD.com/Groupon and saw bouquets for $60? But then thinking, "Hey, I could be getting screwed," they made their friend check the regular FTD site at the same time? Kinda like when you think someone has limited your access to their profile on Facebook, and you make someone else who is friends with that person show you what their profile looks like on their account? (Or so I've heard that's what creepy stalker-type people often do.)

At any rate, the trouble didn't end with the potentially inflated prices. Shoppers also said that the service and shipping charges were hiked higher than normal. Still, others found that bouquets would not be delivered before February 15, the day after Valentine's Day. That's really ridiculous!

In response, FTD President Rob Apatoff stated that the site wasn't trying to scam their Groupon-using customers. In a formal statement he said:

We understand that some Groupon customers were disappointed they were unable to combine the discounts. We apologize for any confusion this offer may have caused.

Apparently, the company was remorseful enough about the complaints that it decided to credit the customers' accounts to give them the sale price, even if they don't ask for it.

Then, Groupon decided it had to make good, too, and sent out an e-mail that said:

To make this right, we've worked together with FTD to make sure that discounts available on FTD.com will now also be available to use with your Groupon. For those of you who already purchased items that were on sale on FTD.com, FTD will automatically issue you a refund on the credit card you used with the difference as additional savings.

It's great that FTD and Groupon tried to do what they could to appease customers, but I'm not sure if anyone who bought the Groupon for FTD actually came out of this happy. Probably only a small percentage of them was able to rectify the situation in time to order something for delivery today.

Groupon's had a few deals lately that have turned customers off. (They upset people during the Super Bowl when they aired a commercial that was insensitive about the situation in Tibet.) I'm a fan of the site, and I've bought more than a few Groupons of my own in the past few months, but I have also noticed that if a certain deal is really popular, it increases the likelihood that it's going to get all fouled up. Maybe it's that the companies can't handle all the enthusiastic Groupon buyers all at once? I don't know. You'd think if anyone could handle it, flower giant FTD could. 

This debacle seems like a classic communication breakdown and/or flat-out scam. Both companies are probably walking on eggshells with their customers now, as they very well should. Why? Because, as Groupon should very well know by now ... NO ONE messes with discount shoppers! Especially not when we're shopping for loved ones!

Do you think that FTD was trying to scam Groupon users?


Image via Cody Schwabe/Flickr

 

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winte... winterrose82

This sort of thing isn't rare, sadly. I encountered similar problems with www.shabbyapple.com. I wasn't even able to use a gift certificate (purchased at full price) and my groupon on the same order. You can't even use a company coupon code with gift cerficate (purchased at full price) on that website! Thanks to my bad experience with the groupon and their customer service departments, I will never be shopping there again. I hope Groupon works harder to ensure that their customers are treated well by the coupon providers! 

nonmember avatar Cody

Groupon will be a 5 and dime failed site before the year is over. Scammers always fail and fall fast and hard. They will soon be history.

nonmember avatar Cooper

Not sure who to point the finger at but something was definitely up with this offer. Groupon advertised it as a $40 gift certificate towards a FTD.com purchase for only $20. Unfortunately FTD.com had a twist on the offer by navigating Groupon users to a special site (FTD.com/groupon). A site that included higher pricing and did not allow any other promo codes (e.g. free vase, free delivery, 20-30% off, etc). I found overall pricing (sales price, deliver/service chargers)for the same arrangement was far less expensive at the normal FTD.com site by using a standard promo code (A FTD/USAA 25% off code)...and available without the upfront $20 charge to "save $40". To Groupon's credit, they have refunded my original $20 and provided me with a $10 credit towards a future Groupon purchase. I haven't heard from FTD.com

nonmember avatar M

im still waiting for my flowers to be delivered

PonyC... PonyChaser

Wow.  I am SO glad I passed on this one... and only because it could only be used on Valentine's Day stuff.  I was going to purchase one to use on flowers for a sick friend... and decided against it when I saw the date restrictions!

miche... micheledo

I'm not too impressed with FTD at the moment, so I am more likely to blame them, then Groupon.  I got some LOUSY flowers when they used a local florist.  My husband was sick at the sight of them!  I complained to them and they had the florist come back out.  He must have been mad, becuase the flowers were less and worse.  :(  FTD just said, Sorry.  I'm not one to complain, so it was extremely disappointing.


My hubby got me chocolate this year so he didn't have to worry about getting pitiful flowers.  :) 

Muhammad Noman

Groupon is really doing the job......I am amazed to see groupon to being so successful and actually i am also a user of groupon i passes over http://grouponbot.com on the net some 2 years ago when this service was launched and from that time i was thinking that someday this site will gain the reputation of facebook and simmilar sites. It offers cool, i mean peaceful national deals everywhere!

Jason Shultz

FTD is a freaking scam. Proflowers.com is way better. The flowers last a couple of weeks and the price is very reasonable. FTD is a rip off. :(

Playi... Playitagain

I came very close to buying this Groupon, but something just didnt look right on it. Normally Groupon is very good and clear about the terms and conditions on a Groupon. However looking at the normal FTD.com site how would one ever guess they considered Free Vase which is just listed in the normal stuff was actually considered Sale item by FTD.com. I carefully looked at and read everything and didn't buy it because after looking at the websites something didnt seem right.


I have in the past purchased many not just Groupons (such as GAP and a local kids hair cut), Ive bought LivingSocial, Dealpulp, and others. I am much quicker to blame FTD.com since they tell groupon what to put in the offer, my SIL runs a company who did a local Groupon and they provided all the information, Groupon just negociated the price.

nonmember avatar Austin

I received an email at 8pm saying FTD couldn't deliver my order. Great thanks for letting me know sooner. FTD did offer a 25% off coupon but I thought they could have offered more for screwing up Valentines Day. I will NEVER use FTD.COM again. NOT reliable !!!

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