Groupon UK has been caught selling fake goods by BBC TV show Watchdog.
In an episode aired this week on BBC One, it was revealed that many of the deals found on the discount website were either for fake goods or had misleading or exaggerated descriptions.
Retail Gazette reports that in one example, a consumer paid £21.98 for an industrial size box of Ariel laundry powder which he was told was 50 per cent off. Suspicious about the quality of the product after using it, he sent a sample to manufacturer Procter and Gamble who confirmed the powder was fake.
Groupon responded stating: “As with any major online retailer, we take counterfeiting seriously and work hard to make sure that no-one ends up being disappointed with their purchase.
“We work closely with suppliers to perform checks to ensure counterfeit items do not enter the supply chain.
“On the extremely rare occasion where we are made aware that a product we’ve sold may be counterfeit, we immediately conduct an investigation and if necessary, recall the product and provide a full refund.”
In another example of a dodgy deal, a London couple London were offered a makeover, a two hour photo shoot, two A4 prints and a £100 voucher to spend in store for just £19 – 95 per cent off the normal price.
But when they arrived at Premier Photo, the couple discovered the two A4-sized photos were printed on plain paper, not photo stock, and the gift voucher required a £700 spend to be redeemed. The couple paid an extra £350 to upgrade their offer and put their photos on a CD.
Groupon said it would no longer work with Premier Photoshoot. “Clearly we made a mistake.”
The online coupon retailer said it had issued a refund to the couple who featured on the show.
“We have also processed refunds for other customers who bought this experience”
Watchdog presenter Nikki Fox said her current affairs crew was shocked by how little information it was asked to provide before trying to submit a fake deal to test the Groupon system.
“Fake goods, disappointing experiences and bogus companies – surely it’s time for Groupon to cut out the dodgy deals.”