Did You Lose a Groupon Coupon?

I don’t buy Groupon coupons very often but I do occasionally find one that I feel is an exceptional deal, or something that truly piques my interest, like the time I went to the True Rest Relaxation Spa last April.  I had a wonderful experience in the relaxation pod and I would love to spend another hour relaxing, maybe I’ll splurge for my birthday this year.

At any rate, last week I got to thinking about my Groupon coupons I’d bought last year Uh-oh, I hope they haven’t expired yet.  I went and checked and SHOOT!  Of the four I bought last year, one being True Rest, two had expired in December!   One expired on December 31st, a deal through Vistaprint -  $17 for $70 worth of product.  The other cost $10 for an online shop that sells nuts and candy.

I’m trying very hard to stay calm (I had enough stress last year to last me for the rest of my life, thank you very much) so when I saw I’d basically thrown away $27 my first thought was to take a deep breath and forget about it.  If I do say so myself I did quite well at staying calm.  Then on Sunday I was hanging out on Twitter for a little while and I ended up at Girls Just Wanna Have Funds and a post there about Groupon caught my eye: Your Budget Called: Stop Wasting Money with Groupon.  While the post is about cutting down on impulse buys, one little sentence caught my eye near the end:

Ask for a refund.  Groupon and Living Social are usually pretty good about refunds depending on your situation.

Hey, now why didn’t I think of that?!  Sheesh, if this is what being relaxed is all about then I need to be a little more stressed out.  :-)  I started looking into it a little further and found that “traditional” Groupon coupons are still good for the amount paid even after they “expire” meaning the one I paid $17 for, I can still get $17 worth of product at Vistaprint.  It’s a far cry from $70, but at least I’ll get back my $17.

From Groupon – the underlining is my emphasis:

“The promotional value of a traditional Groupon voucher will EXPIRE on the date specified on the face of the voucher, unless prohibited by law. The amount paid WILL NEVER EXPIRE. “

The rules are slightly different for the Groupon Now! coupons:

“The promotional value of a Groupon Now! voucher will EXPIRE on the date and time specified on the voucher. If the voucher is not printed or viewed in a mobile format within 24 hours of the promotional value’s expiration, Groupon will automatically process a refund the amount paid to the purchaser in the original form of payment. If a Groupon Now! voucher is printed or viewed in mobile but not actually redeemed with the merchant, Groupon will honor all requests to refund of the amount paid to the purchaser in the original form of payment. “

Visit Groupon for in-depth information but these were the pertinent sections.

Even though I’d read in the FAQ how this all works, I thought I would also email Groupon and ask what I should do.  This is the response I received:

Hi there,

The best thing to do at this point is to contact the business directly. In accordance with Groupon’s terms of service, businesses will be required to accept your Groupons for no less than the price you paid.

To access and reprint your expired Groupons, please sign into your account at www.groupon.com/mygroupons and click on the Expired tab. If they are not able to accept your groupon, we would be able to refund the money to groupon bucks. The groupon bucks are available immediately on your account and do not expire.

If you have any trouble with this please let me know!

Regards,

Dan H.
Groupon Customer Support

What a polite response.  I’m impressed, Groupon! :-)

I submitted an email to Vistaprint to ask them how to proceed and if there is any chance they will honor the coupon even though it has expired.  They got back to me within an hour and told me I would be able to redeem the coupon for the price paid only, $17.   That’s okay!  At least I am not losing out altogether.

The other company I learned may have been a scam!  Bummer! I went to www.nuttyguys.com to find out how to contact them and found this notice at the site:

Nutty Guys Groupon Coupon No Good

It says at the top: “Have a Groupon?” And then below:

Q. I have a Groupon and can’t redeem it since your website went down!

A. Yes, Grocery Systems, LLC (Nuttyguys.com) was a fulfillment company that was buying and then re-selling our product. Grocery Systems, LLC was the company responsible for selling the Groupons and fulfilling the orders. They went out of business in early September. For those of you that are left with a Groupon Coupon that you would like to redeem, you can contact Groupon, who is aware of this matter and they will give you your refund/credit of $10.00. Groupon customer service can be reached at 1-877-788-7858. Sorry for any inconvenience.

So I guess I will be contacting Groupon again and asking for $10 in Groupon bucks.  Somehow I feel better knowing that I couldn’t have gotten that $25 in nuts and candy past September.

Here are the lessons I’ve learned:

  1. Use your Groupon coupons as soon as possible in case the company goes out of business.
  2. Don’t let anymore Groupon coupons expire, but if I do there’s no need to freak out because I should be able to get the amount I paid worth of product.

Do you use Groupon?  Have you lost any Groupon coupons? 

OUT OF DEBT AGAIN is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. OUT OF DEBT AGAIN is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. This post may contain affiliate links.

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9 comments to Did You Lose a Groupon Coupon?

  • I had 2 group buy coupons from two different sites become invalid because the businesses closed down. For one of them the company I bought the coupons from offered me the original cost plus an additional 10% in their “bucks”. But I was not feeling like my luck would hold out and requested that the original amount be charged back to my credit card. After a couple of follow-up emails, that did happen. I don’t know if that is possible for you, but it couldn’t hurt to ask if you do not want the Groupon bucks.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi @Sunny, thank you for sharing your experience. I did go ahead and just get the Groupon bucks, and then I already found someplace to spend them! My husband and I have a gift certificate for a restaurant in town and a Groupon came through for a movie and soft drink for $5 so I went ahead and bought those with my Groupon bucks. We rarely go to the movies, so it will be a nice treat. In fact, I think we will plan to do that for Valentine’s Day. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • I’ve never lost one or had one expire, though we’ve come close a couple of times. So far we only buy about one a month, maybe even less. I know my parents buy three or four a month, so they have a lot more work to manage them and make sure they don’t expire. The worst that happened with them is that a company closed its doors. Groupon gave them their money back.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Money Beagle, you should blog sometime about your parents’ Groupon deals, I’d like to read about them. I’m glad they were able to get their money back. Groupon did honor the company that closed down and gave me back my money in Groupon bucks. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    [Reply]

  • No but I hate Groupon. Ok hate is not the truth but it’s such a “look at what you can do for almost nothing” business that I had to unsubscribe. Most of the stuff I don’t need and if I need something I can always look to see what they have going on. Groupon is dangerous.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Jai Catalano, that’s one way to look at Groupon. I have seen a couple of posts discussing businesses going belly up because they didn’t expect to have so much interest and they sold way too many coupons and they just couldn’t sustain. I would say two things about that. First of all, a company shouldn’t partner with Groupon unless they completely understand what they are doing, and by this I mean how much it is going to cost them. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Groupons limited to a certain number so that should definitely be a consideration. Secondly, a business shouldn’t partner with Groupon if they are that close to going out of business. I would think Groupon could be a wonderful advertising tool for companies that are new (or even established) and trying to make a name for themselves and bring in more business. I know for myself, I would have never heard of the True Rest spa, and if I had, I never would have considered going there they hadn’t partnered with Groupon. And as I mentioned, I’m considering going again, plus I blogged about the experience which can only help them out. Why do you think Groupon is dangerous?

    [Reply]

  • I would agree with all your points in response to @Jai_Catalano – Groupon creates a LOT of interest and you really have to be prepared to deal with the incoming flood or control the number you’re willing to accept, as well as make the most of the newcomers to make sure they want to come back.

    I use the Groupons to scope out new businesses that I’d like to return to, but when they’re disappointing in a basic level, I’m not going to return.

    As to your question, Mrs. Accountability, I’ve accidentally let a few Groupons expire, to my chagrin. But as I’m not out the original purchase cost, it’s not the worst thing.

    In one case, I had a great Groupon for a spa in the city and had booked well in advance but it apparently went out of business before my appointment without my knowledge so I showed up for an appointment at a location that didn’t exist. That was incredibly annoying and I had to get my money back from Groupon in that instance but at least I still could.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi @Revanche, how disappointing! Time, money, gasoline and then the place is out of business. I guess I should add to my list to confirm the place is still in business before going to an appointment. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • This post is exactly what I was looking for, and I just stumbled across it. I love your personal finance site, but this post is an added bonus!

    I have two Groupons that I wasn’t able to use since I moved to a different state. Needless to say, they expired after I moved. I thought my $200 purchase price was a sunk cost. I’m a recently employed college graduate, so $200 isn’t chump change to me!

    I will definitely be contacting Groupon about a refund. Maybe since they’re so nice I’ll reinvest my refund in another Groupon :) #winning

    [Reply]

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