Second-Class Customers

I like photography, anyone who knows this blog knows that. I also like a bargain, which is why I subscribe to Groupon. Every morning, the Groupon e-mails are the first ones I scan to check for bargains; I'm particularly fond of those related to photo products because some of them are excellent opportunities.

I've previously blogged about our experience with a photography studio and started to tell us that as Groupon customers we were only entitled to a certain service. When I stood my ground, he backed down and quite rightly so. It doesn't matter where the custom has come from, a customer is a customer!

My mum mentioned in the middle of August that she'd like some canvasses made and I immediately popped over to Groupon to see what offers they had available. I purchased this one from You Frame on August 19th of last year. At only £12 a canvas, it was a bargain indeed.

Only bargains are not always what they seem. You see, it's not the fault of Groupon, more of the businesses who submit their offers without any real intent in fulfilling them.

Mum and I placed the order for the canvasses on 18th November and we were fairly confident that these would arrive in time for Christmas to give as gifts.

How wrong we were.

When I e-mailed them more than a week before Christmas to ask when it was coming, I had this reply:

Further to your recent communication with us, we would like to apologise for any delays you may have experienced with your order.

Due to huge demand for our special offers, we have experienced some delays with production.

Please be advised, we are now dealing with your request and your photo canvas will be printed within the next 14 working days.

That was 13 days ago.

Today, I had another e-mail from them:

Thank you for your email received and I am very sorry for the delay in our reply.

We have been and still are dealing with an exceptionally high amount of orders and this has caused more of a delay than we anticipated.  However, I can confirm that your orders are in production and should be despatched within the next 14 days.  I can only apologise for the delay and any inconvenience that this may have caused.

Thank you for your patience, we do very much appreciate it.

With the original apologetic e-mail promising it to be with us within 14 days and that deadline ending tomorrow, I'm guessing that it's not going to be here?

You Frame are currently promising Groupon vouchers a 21 day turn around on their orders.

Personally, I wouldn't hold your breath!

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  1. Twopointfourchildren says

    That is such rubbish service. I normally use grangeprint for canvas pictures and they have always been great

  2. thebabywife says

    Urgh. Did you read the piece in the papers about how Groupon actually makes them lose money? Well, why bother offering in the first place then? I've had a Groupon bought beauty treatment before, and I was definately 'rushed' through since I was only paying a third of the treatment price

  3. says

    What a load of sh**e!!! If these companies don't fulfill their promises, Groupon shouldn't work with them any more and the company should give the customers their money back.
    What do they expect? They're gonna get a high number of orders from an offer like that. They need to make sure they can meet the demand.
    I remember your previous bad experience. This must totally put you off.
    I've just taken up a Groupon offer today – but it's a fitness bootcamp, so they'll be hearing from a very loud and (probably exhausted) Geordie if I feel I'm not getting my moneysworth ;-D

  4. says

    This is so frustrating to hear people are still having the same problems we did. We ordered from YouFrame back in July, and our canvas took three months to reach us, and that was only after I threatened to escalate it through Groupon's complaints procedure. If they're doing regular Groupon deals, as they appear to be, then by now they should be prepared for the numbers it will generate.

    The point of Groupon is to direct new customers to the business, and as such, surely they should be making sure they offer BETTER customer service than normal, not worse. I've had some really good experiences through Groupon, and some really poor ones. (Cafe Caribe in Cardiff springs to mind) I know they're not making as much money from a Groupon customer, but what's that great customer service statistic? A satisfied customer tells 1 other person, a dissatisfied customer tells 10.

  5. says

    I think that companies use the likes of Groupon in the hope it will boost trade (which is what it is all about after all) they just don't realise the impact it will have and don't plan accordingly.
    Groupon should put checks in place to ensure that companies they promote can fulfill their promises by advising them of the response rate for previous similar campaigns.
    I also read the article where companies were going bankrupt after promoting through Groupon and, even though we all love a bargain, we surely don't want to see UK companies going bust. That way everybody loses 🙁

  6. Lauren says

    My brother in law had a similar problem using You Frame through Groupon. They ordered a canvas in August and didn't get it til October…. I'm sorry to say you might have a longer wait!

  7. says

    jo way i have paid my voucher to use this company for that frame x 2! not for christmas as didn't get chance to organise it but was going to get it down this month. don't think i will bother now then. CRAP customer service and thanks to you they won't be getting any further purchase from me. x

  8. says

    That's total crap service! So possibly 28 days (or more!) to get your order? And they're a company that actually put themselves on Groupon, rubbish. Hope it arrives sooner than the 3 months I've just read in the comments.

  9. says

    Regarding the fact that coompanies make a loss – surely it is up to the company to decide the extent of the offer and how much they are willing to cushion in return for the extra traffic. No sympathies there.

    Of course, once they have your money thay can take as long as they want, paying lip-service with a few apologetic emails that mean nothing. I guess that is the thing to keep in mind when using Groupon – you must decide if the bargain is worth the wait.

    Finally, shoddy goods or services is never acceptable as in the case of the beauty treatment being rushed. So now at least we know that these sorts of bargains come with a price-tag.

    Thanks for this post – forewarned is foarearmed.

  10. says

    Companies interact with Groupon knowing that they are going to receive a certain amount of business from doing so. They can limit themselves to a certain number of deals, for example, we have bought tickets for a couple of gigs through them and, obviously, only a certain number has been available and the deal has sold out. If they can't make a profit, or can't meet demand then they should cease offering Groupon deals. Simple.

    I think I've been lucky as I've only had positive experiences using these sites and I've used Groupon, Living Social and Savvy Mummys at various times, I tend to go for more 'events' based deals though which may be why.

  11. Jackie says

    When placing an order with You-Frame they do advise all customer that it will take a minimum of 21 working days. With the christmas and new year period and the shear volume of orders they received, do we not expect delays? It is a discounted product, as I can imagine and so can others, what do we expect? The product is excellent, the customer service is good, they do what they can under the circumstances, I think if anyone complains they really do need to get a life and look at the bigger picture.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Thank you for your comment.

      Looking at the bigger picture that you mention: I ordered this mid-November for a Christmas present, at the time the site did not state 21 days. Communication and customer service has been scant and promises made have not been fulfilled. And I'm sorry, but it matters not whether the product is discounted or not. Customers deserve the same standard of service regardless.

  12. says

    We waited 3 months for our canvas print which we ordered in April through Groupon with the same company. We were happy with the canvas when it arrived but the wait time would put me off ordering from that company again. I also bought calendars through a groupon offer but the quality was rubbish. Next time I'll use Photobox and pay for a better service and better quality. Hope it comes soon for you!

  13. says

    I am subscribed to Groupon but I have only ever used one product which was like you a photography product for getting your facebook statuses and photos in an album- when I went to do it was a load of crap but I only spent £4 on it so I just discarded it and won't bother doing it.
    I work in the travel industry and a lot of hotels use groupon to entice people to stay- they are then overrun with customers and can't keep up with the demand meaning overall they will use business- I think businesses use those kind of companies thinking it will get them business and customers use them thinking they will get a good deal- what in actual fact happens is both parties get a second hand experience. I don't really think they are worth it in my humble opinion.
    I hope you get your canvas soon.

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