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My experience of Groupon
Member Name: dreamer87
Advantages: Cheap deals for places you may not have heard of
Disadvantages: You don't know what the company you are purchasing the voucher from is like for customer service
Firstly, I'll start by explaining that I originally found Groupon.co.uk after a friend sent me their referral link telling me that they offered experience days, dining vouchers and offers on products etc. Now I am never one to miss a bargain and always like to be up to date with the latest money saving websites and I had also heard this site mentioned onnthe forums of moneysaving expert.co.uk so I signed up.
Signing up -
The sign up process was very simple, they require your email address and a password and then you select which area's in the country you'd like to receive the offers for as this is how they are categorised so that you only receive those relevant for you. You can also tick a box as to whether you'd like to receive a daily email with the daily offers or just log on when you feel like taking a look without them emailing you every day.
Once you have signed up you have the option of sending a refferal link out to your friends, if one of them sign up using your link and place their first voucher order, you receive £6 credit on your account to be used on your next deal. I have been lucky enough to have a few of these so have received deals even cheaper by using my £6 credit, as this will be automatically taken off your order you do not have to worry about remembering to apply the discount which is good if it has been sitting there for months and you've forgotten you've go it!
There are now well over 25 different areas in the UK to select and views the offers for and I have noticed recently as the company have got bigger they are gradually expanding this and narrowing areas down which is good as the offers become more specific and useful to you. I live in the West Midlands so I have selected offers from Birmingham and Coventry as they are accessible to me if I see something I like. Selecting your area does not stop you from viewing other areas though which can be handy if you are going away and want to find some deals / experiences in that particular area. This is also great for busying gifts for people that may not live near you as you can buy them a thoughtful gift that they can use in their area. Navigation between the different locations couldn't be simpler, all the place names are listed on the front page of the website whether you log in or not.
As I mentioned above, recently Groupon has got a lot bigger as a company due to word of mouth, advertising and companies wanting to offer their services on Groupon in order to get people to sample them and hopefully generate future business from it. I have purchased quite a few deals from Groupon and feel I can write a good review as I have sampled restaurant vouchers, product vouchers, hairdressing deals etc. My first ever voucher was an offer at a hair salon not too far from myself, I bought a voucher for a full head of highlights, cut and conditioning treatment for £25. At first I couldn't quite believe how cheap it was so I promptly snapped it up as this package at my normal hair dressers would cost me over £100. I have also booked a spa day as a gift, a meal for two people at an Indian restaurant and a pair of straighteners as a gift, all were good deals compared to other sites. Groupon also offer a wide range of experiences such as paint balling, rally driving, golf days, spa days (lots of these!) hotel stays and now mini breaks and full holidays. The holiday section has been added recently but I haven't looked at this in as much detail so cannot comment on how competitive they are.
My Experience -
Once you have placed your order you wait for the deal to go live (the following day) and the voucher will be emailed to you. If you accidentally delete this email it's nit a problem as all the information is also on your Groupon account. If your voucher is something that requires a booking such as a meal out or a hairdressing appointment then I would advise you to book as soon as your voucher gets emailed through to you as the places can fill quickly and although you have purchased your voucher and reserved your place you still need to book a slot with the participating company so get in quick especially if you are hoping for a certain date. So far all of my experiences with Groupon have been good, even when I purchased one voucher and couldn't get hold of the company to order my product, I emailed Groupon and they refunded me, as this wasn't groupons fault I cannot fault them for that.
I think that the concept of this website is great, businesses offering us promotions through Groupon to get you to go places you may not have without the voucher hoping that they'll impress and gain future custom from you. Groupon does take a large cut from the sale of the vouchers so really the companies are going in at a very low price so you do have to bear that in mind if you go along and they are really busy like one hairdressers I went to but as I received a good service for a quarter of the price I was still happy with the offer.
I think Groupon tends to get some bad press from people who have had bad experiences from the end companies and sometimes this is unjust as groupon are kind of the third party in all of this. I think as long as they endevour to resolve customers issues in a decent amount of time and in a fair way then I will continue to use them, the moment they start to become too impersonal and not resolve queries is hen I'd no longer use their services.
So far I have had a decent experience with Groupon and the popularity of the concept has been proven by how many newer companies have made an appearance offering similar vouchers.
Thank you for reading and I hope you found this review useful, it will also appear on Ciao.
Summary: Give it a bash!