Groupon says sorry for breaches of consumer law

Daily deals giant Groupon has vowed to mend its ways after being found guilty of widespread breaches of consumer protection laws in the UK.

The Office of Fair Trading launched an investigation in July last year following complaints dealt with by the watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority.

In its conclusion published today it said it had “specific concerns over practices involving reference pricing, advertising, refunds, unfair terms, and the diligence of its interactions with merchants”.

Groupon now has three months to comply with the findings of the investigation or it could face enforcement action through the courts.

An apologetic Roy Blanga, UK managing director for Groupon, blamed the company’s rapid expansion for the failure of its practices to keep pace.

He said: “We’re sorry. We believe that the only way to build a company that lasts is to provide the best customer experience in the world, and it pains us when we fall short.

“While we’ve endeavoured to meet the massive public demand for our offers while maintaining our bar for service, there are times we’ve failed.

“We take their concerns very seriously and will be willingly implementing the recommended changes.”

The OFT investigation unearthed issues involving exaggerated savings and overly onerous restrictions and a lack of scrutiny of merchants’ claims about their products.

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