There are things
to remember before you get on a deal with a coupon selling website. A lot of
people have the unfortunate luck of losing money due to rip-off websites and
scams. Be especially cautious of these kinds of things if you are new to the
world of coupon buying. Coupon Advisor will guide you
through the world of coupon deals and big discounts with easy to follow tips
Coupon Advisor is
a user-based site that relies on information given by professionals and
customers that had experienced dealings with various coupon deals and
giveaways. Based on these facts and experiences provided by these people,
Coupon Advisor assures you that the tips you will get are comprehensible,
factual, and reliable.
You Must Read This Article Prior To
Purchasing a Coupon From a Group Buying Coupon Site
Online collective buying sites took 2011 by storm and are set to grow
further in 2012. The success and massive attention garnered from US based,
Groupon, has stirred up a wave of online group buying coupon sites in
Australia. Sites like Jump On It, Spreets, Cudo, Scoopon, and others are using
the basic model of providing bulk discount deals, making it a win-win for both
the local businesses and the consumers.
So why are there so many complaints about the group
buying industry? Put simply, it is a growing industry which is largely self-regulated.
The massive growth in the number of group buying sites has resulted in
increased competition making it that much harder to sign new businesses up. You
may well think this would be a win for the consumer, and it may well be.
However, the problem appears to be that with the increased competition and
desperation to sign up new deals, the group buying sites are not vetting the
businesses to the extent they should be. Nor are the group buying sites
explaining the terms and conditions to the businesses, resulting in a strained
relationship from day one. Who ultimately pays for the lack of attention to
detail? You, the consumer, that’s who.
launched in 2011 because it noticed that there were consumer complaints popping
up all over the web. Some group buying sites were not delivering on their
promise and many were failing to properly address consumer's concerns. Coupon
Advisor is built on the idea of gathering users' complaints, highlights, and
recommendations and bringing them together on one site.
Adam Howard, the founder of Coupon Advisor
explains, "With the massive growth of coupon / deal sites, we noticed that
many of them are not delivering what they promise. It is a growing community
and has already become a place where you can read about vendors not accepting
vouchers on certain days, not giving coupon customers full access to all
services or menu items, and sometimes the situation is even worse. Sometimes,
the businesses actually shut down before you have a chance to redeem your
However, Mr Howard states that he is a big fan of
the group buying sites, and encourages consumers to use the sites on the
condition of greater transparency. Ultimately, it is about giving the consumer
great deals, and there is no doubt that is happening.
“Some of the reviews that consumers have left on
our site have been chilling. You just feel so sorry for the consumer that has
to deal with that kind of stress. However, to some sites’ credit, they have
come on the site, responded to the complaint, and fixed the problem. Why Pay
Full Price in particular seems to really take the feedback seriously and has
come on the site and resolved the issue.” Mr Howard said.
In December 2011, the New South Wales Fair
Trading Minister Anthony Roberts announced the nation’s consumer protection
regulators had commenced a new national project on group buying and daily deals
websites and businesses. The Minister said the project, was a necessary
response to the growth of the industry and subsequent spike in consumer
The threats to regulate the group buying industry resulted in the
Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) releasing the Australian Group
Buying Code of Practice in November 2011. The intent of the Code was to
introduce standards that will increase consumer confidence when using group
OurDeal, Cudo, Spreets, Groupon, LivingSocial, Ouffer, Scoopon and Jump On It
all signed up as founding signatories.
The key objectives of the Code are:
1.To ensure the consumer
have access to product and service information they need to make informed
2.To promote compliance
within the industry with relevant
3. Increase consumer
confidence in dealing with group buying sites
The Code sets out some
minimum standards that group buying companies should follow and encourages them
1. Make sure that all
communications are clear so that subscribers fully understand the offer before
they sign up to it
2. Make sure that
appropriate policies and procedures are in place
3. Ensure all marketing and
electronic messages comply with the relevant legislation
It’s still too early to tell how successful ADMA
will be in being the watchdog for the group buying sites. It does however
appear as though the language is full of feel good language, with small
incentive on the sites to do the right thing. In particular (and this is not a
requirement of the Code), big sites such as Scoopon still fail to provide a
number for their customers to call. It
is debatable how much confidence this must give the consumer.
Only time will tell how well ADMA deals with
complaints. We recommend disgruntled consumers contact ADMA but also list their
complaint with Coupon Advisor.
How To Avoid
Ok, so lets get down to it. You can avoid
problems with group buying sites by sticking to the following basic rules:
Understand the terms and conditions of the
coupon: this is critical as
transparency is the key to a good transaction. Make sure you take the time to
check out what the key terms and conditions of the offer is. What are you
getting for your money? Are there any time limits on the offer?
Refund Policy: Does the site have a clear refund policy you can
follow in the event things go pear shaped? If so, is it clear and easy to
understand. Some coupon sites have been advising their customers that it is not
the sites issue, and the problem needs to be taken up with the business itself.
This clearly is not acceptable.
Check and see whether the site has a phone
number you can call: If it does, give it a try and see how easy it is to get hold of someone.
Check Coupon Advisor: Visit Coupon Advisor to see the types of
feedback other consumers have posted. This will give you a good idea about the integrity
of the site.
What To Do
If You Have a Complaint
Where to go if the consumer has a complaint:-
Coupon Advisor (www.couponadvisor.com.au)
Marketing Association (www.adma.com.au)
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (www.accc.gov.au)
Local Fair Trading office