Groupon complaints fall as OFT preps update

Groupon will be hoping that a 40% decrease in complaints received by the advertising watchdog will help avoid further sanction from the consumer protection regulator.

groupon

The Advertising Standards Authority received 82 complaints about promotions for the daily deals site in the three months since 16 March, the date the Office of Fair Trading demanded it change some of its marketing practices following a lengthy investigation.

In the three months to 16 March, the ASA received 138 complaints.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) found the company had breached consumer protection regulations in March following a lengthy investigation. Groupon agreed to six “undertakings” to ensure the claims made on its website about the savings and the benefits of its products and services could be substantiated and that its terms and conditions were fair after repeated breaches of advertising codes.

It was given three months to change its processes to comply with the OFT’s legally binding undertakings.

A Groupon spokeswoman said in response to the fall in complaint levels: “We have and will continue to work openly and transparently with the OFT. With their help and guidance we have put in place a number of measures to ensure compliance.”

A spokesman for the OFT declined to comment. It is thought that the body will publish an update on the Groupon case on the next few weeks.

Groupon has so far declined to sign up to a code of conduct developed by the Global Daily Deal Association after describing it as a “weak” effort that does not go
far enough.

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