x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Groupon moves on delay in deliveries

Discount website's clients air grievances over festive logjam

DUBAI // The discount website Groupon has opened extra phone lines to help to clear delivery delays that have plagued it since the festive season.

The company posted a notice last month admitting it had been overwhelmed by the number of orders and saying its phone lines and emails were flooded.

Ainsley Duncombe, the chief executive of Groupon UAE, said the new phone lines would help to "iron out" any remaining problems.

"There are a small percentage of people who have waited slightly longer than expected," Mr Duncombe said.

"It was just a Christmas backlog and it has mostly cleared now. The majority of people are getting their products and we are working hard to make sure we can get it delivered on time."

He said the delays came when orders from abroad were not delivered on time and that Groupon was now sourcing locally, which meant less waiting.

Many customers were frustrated after trying to contact Groupon through its main office number.

"I've been calling them for two weeks," said Munira Maladwala, from Pakistan. "I would just keep dialling over and over again, and no one would pick up."

Ms Maladwala said the two mobile phone numbers on the Facebook group should be made more widely available. "I'm one of those people who don't go on Facebook too often, so how am I supposed to know?"

Dozens of people yesterday posted complaints on Groupon's Facebook page over delayed deliveries and voucher emails.

"For six days I have been trying to reach someone," wrote one customer. "This morning I waited 35 minutes to talk with a representative. I have bought five deals and until now have received none.

"This is not acceptable at all and very soon I will go to court. I paid more than Dh10,000 for that. I will never deal with Groupon again."

Others struck a more conciliatory tone.

"I'm not losing hope," one wrote. "But please arrange the delivery of my order soon, or else my Christmas gift will become a Valentine's gift."

One customer agreed with an administrator on the Facebook page to settle for a refund rather than face long delays.

"It just goes to prove that unless people go public with their grievances nothing gets done," the customer wrote.

mcroucher@thenational.ae