Travel Tips

15 Groupon Travel Fails

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Groupon has made its business off selling deals that sound too good to be true. Restaurant meals for half off, dirt-cheap massages and manicures, even trips to the dentist for 75 percent off the regular price are some of the deals that they offer. Groupons deals have been a load off for consumers who are looking for more econic ways to live life. One of the most popular kind of deals Groupon offers are the travel packages. As of lately Groupon has been failing to satisfy its customers. There have been an increased amount of complaints and bad reviews about their travel packages that can possible destroy Groupon as a company.

Hidden Fees and Restrictions The first fail in Groupon travel deals are the restrictions and fees that are sometimes not brought to the customers attention. Things like extra cleaning fees of $175-$400, which is a significant percentage of the deal price, and cancellation fees of $50. Restrictions like “No Friday check-in with two-night option,” “Must book by 11/15/11 and complete travel by 1/31/12,″ are “need to know” details that are not shared.

Rosie L’s Bad Experience Rosie L. of England booked a trip to Royal Sportsman Resort through Groupon. The two night stay with dinner and cream tea was advertised as being worth $509, was only $146 on Groupon. When she arrived she found out that there were added costs for staying on weekends for cooked breakfast which was not mentioned in the groupon fine print. The room where she stayed was uncomfortable and noisy. Rosie commented, “It felt as if the Royal Sportsman were using groupon as advertising rather then offering a genuine good deal.”


Groupon Strands Passengers Residents in California were stranded in Las Vegas after a botched Groupon deal. The offer, which was available for trips throughout the summer was for a rountrip bus ride to and from Las Vegas. The passengers were able to get to Las Vegas but when they were ready to return home the buses were a now show. Two shuttle buses from another company came to take the passengers home. Groupon says it screened the LUX bus compnay before offering the promotion, and the bus company met their “high quality standards.”

Groupon Cancels Dude Ranch Trip  One man in Arizona booked a trip to a dude ranch in Tuscon. Just as he was making other preparartions for his trip he recieved an email for Groupon saying that his trip was cancelled. Letter specified the reason for the cancellation was due to Groupon overbooking the ranch and not taking down the offer after the ranch was full. Though his highly anticipated trip was cancelled he did receive a refund.

No Refund For Canceled Trip  While the previous Groupon fail was refunded this one was not. A woman bought a Groupon Getaways coupon for her and her husband’s anniversary and her husband’s 60th birthday. They paid $1,998 per person for an air-inclusive vacation package to New Zealand and Fiji. She later found out that the package had an availability restriction. She had to make a booking before the end of August 2014. She requested that the refund be granted to as credit to her Groupon account so she could find another trip. Groupon did not refund her the whole amount and did not cancel the old order which cost here an extra $100 for the the second trip.

The Lookout Investigation  There is nothing worst than public failure. Groupon had been racking up on complaints that they kept tucked away for the most part. That was until ABC’s “The Lookout” discovered how there deals aren’t what they are advertised to be. An undercover team bought a Groupon that promised luxury accommodations at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic at a discounted rate. Journalist Linsey Davis explained, “Groupon had claimed that Eric and I were getting 44 percent off on our rooms. Junior suites, each for $173 a night. But my other producer, Ozren, he booked a deluxe room, directly through the hotel for $150 a night.”Not only did they pay more by using the so-called Groupon discount, but when they arrived they discovered that the deluxe room and the junior suites were exactly the same. The location wasn’t as luxurious as described. The hotel’s beachfront was a public beach populated with prostitutes and drug dealers.

Whitney’s Groupon Fail  “I definitely should have read the reviews BEFORE purchasing my groupon,” was what Whitney said after her ordeal with Groupon. Other than the drinks and being on the beach instead of work, everything was terrible. She had to wait 3 hours to get her room, after arriving at 6 pm. The hotel staff was rude. Whitney even suggested that anyone who booked this trip get their money back before it’s too late.

Taking the Money and Running Groupon is becoming notorious for taking the customers money and running. One customer purchased a room at the Astor Crowne Hotel in New Orleans and his credit card was billed $79. Two days before his trip, he called the hotel and discovered that there was no reservation. He proceeded to call Groupon and was told that it was an invalid advertisement and it already expired when he made the reservation. The promotion should not have been offered if it was already expired. That is incompetence at its height. For one thing, I was not told that it was an invalid advertisement. The man had to pay $166 for a room and Groupon only offered a $10 Groupon credit as compensation.

False Advertising Maleria of Ludlow, MA had a reservation for a hotel through Groupon in New York. As soon as she checked in and went to her hotel room, she was disgusted. The hotel looked nothing like the pictures Groupon provided. Groupon did nothing about it and Maleria never got her refund back. She stated that the people she talked to, even the manager, were rude and didn’t offer her any type of compensation for being an unsatisfied customer, which their promise states.

Groupon Irleland Trip Spoiled One family thought that they were getting a trip to Ireland for a great price. A Groupon special offered a trip to Ireland for $800 per person. The trip included flight lodging, and car rental. The offer was a bait and switch. Some how the Groupon offer was through an affiliate Great Value Vactions. An extra $400 dollars was charged to their card for Irish CDW Waiver coverage. Groupon nor the other service mentioned this. They refused any customer support when the customer asked to pay with a different card considering the extra fee.

Groupon Adds Stress A couple bought a Groupon deal, 1 night stay in Sijori, Batam plus a 90 min massage. There were many things that were wrong with this seemingly simple trip. The location was far from any places of leisure. They had to take a hike up multiple flights of stair just to get to the hotel. Once in the hotel things look run down and bad. They paid for a 90 minute message and got 30 minutes of being poked. The power went out when it rained. The trip was a disaster and nothing like Groupon described.

Groupon Shenanigans Steve S. tried to avoid being disappointed by Groupon by the calling about an ad before buying. After talking with a representative he was told that he could book directly through the person on the phone. That’s what he did. Steve bought 2 packages, 8 nights with transfers from San Jose airport, $80 a day food credit and $400 credit for excursions. The vacation sounds great but his planed arrived 45 minutes late and the shuttle driver left him. He called the hotel and was told we would need to find his own transportation, which was a $120 cab ride. The $400 credit for excursions could only be used for massages or horseback riding and not the list of activities advertised. The room he had reserved was given to someone else and he moved to a different room. Even after trying, Steve S. still fell victim to Groupon’s shenanigans.

Faith in Groupon Lost A customer booked four nights in a cabin on a Groupon Getaway deal for Oct. 10-13. They tried to call and inquire about the deal but could never get through and voice mails went unanswered. After not getting any customer service from Groupon, the customer wanted a refund. From what I know they are still waiting for the refund.

The Groupon Swindle  For one customer an email offering 50% off a luxurious hotel stay in the nearby mountains of West Virginia caught their  attention. The deal seemed to be straightforward. For $197 the customer and a guess would be entitled to an evening at the Hillbrook Inn in Charles Town, West Virginia. The $197 would include a one night stay in the Main House, gourmet breakfast for two, fresh homemade cookie tray in the room, two signature drinks and champagne and strawberries upon arrival. After booking what they thought was a good deal, they found out that the regular price of another bed and breakfast near by with the same package was only $25 dollars more. When they got to the bed and breakfast the room that was reserved was unavailable and the customer was moved into a smaller, uncomfortable room. Groupon strikes again.

Groupon Breaks Promise Last August a customer purchased a Groupon for two nights at the Loews Santa Monica Beach hotel. This was not the first time Groupon has failed to deliver on their advertisement, but they decided to give them another chance. After purchasing the Groupon, the customer called the hotel to book their reservation. It turned out the Groupon was not valid for the weekend they wanted to travel. Groupon does not confirm availability at the time of purchase, so you don’t know whether rooms will actually be available. The customer called the hotel’s front office manager and was told that even though the hotel had rooms available, they would not honor the Groupon for the specific dates. The customer was told that they were Groupon’s customer, not the hotel’s. He ended up booking another hotel and Groupon lost another valuable customer.


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