Groupon forced to refund 2,026 vouchers after Ministry of Paintball scam
Added: (Tue Oct 11 2011)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
Groupon has once again brushed aside consumer interests in favour of short terms profits by running a deal in the UK with the ticket-selling agency Ministry of Paintball in September 2011.
The advertised price of the deal was not consistent with what the consumer actually had to pay to utilise the voucher. To book an event with the Groupon vouchers the bargain-hunting customers had to pay an additional figure 666% higher than the advertised price for their paintball game.
Due to the sheer volume of complaints received from angry customers Groupon were forced to refund all 2,026 vouchers sold during the three day deal.
It is believed that many of the Groupon customers escalated their complaints to Trading Standards and the Advertising Standards Authority as the dubious deal ruined birthday celebrations, school events and family outings.
One unfortunate mother who was caught up in the paintball scam said “I purchased 10 of these vouchers for my son’s 12th birthday party because I thought it was a deal too good to miss. When I phoned up to make the booking I almost fell off my chair when I was told that I had to pay an extra £230 for my group to make a booking on top of the £30 I’d already paid for my vouchers. I argued with Ministry of Paintball and they wouldn’t budge, saying that Groupon were to blame for the misrepresentation.”
What is particularly hard for consumers to swallow is the fact that this specific case is not the first time Ministry of Paintball have run an offer with Groupon utilising unethical advertising methods.
In April 2011 Ministry of Paintball and Groupon offered a paintball deal in Belfast and sold 664, however after the deal closed it soon became apparent that Ministry of Paintball didn’t in fact have any paintball sites in Northern Ireland. Those who purchased vouchers were told to jump on a ferry at their own expense and play at their closest location in Glasgow.
Despite a history of scams Ministry of Paintball still have a strong presence on Groupon and several other major group-buy websites, thus begging the question; does Groupon actually care if companies like Ministry of Paintball are using their platform to totally mislead consumers? Far from their original goal of empowering consumers to save money, these group-buy websites seem to be displaying wilful ignorance while their consumers are conned en mass.