Groupon has settled an $8.5 million lawsuit after charges were brought alleging that expiration dates on its coupons are illegal.
Groupon is one of the largest coupon providers, giving customers exclusive deals when they purchase one. It has cornered the market on online coupons, providing mass coupons to the public for low cost. However, customers who bought Groupon vouchers before Dec. 1, 2011 alleged that the expiration dates printed on their vouchers were illegal.
According to Bloomberg, those customers "can either redeem these past their expiration date or, if they are unable to do so, obtain a refund from the $8.5 million fund."
"Groupon effectively creates a sense of urgency among consumers to quickly purchase 'groupon' gift certificates by offering 'daily deals' for a short amount of time," court documents state. "Consumers therefore feel pressured and are rushed into buying the gift certificates and unwittingly become subject to the onerous sales conditions."
Yet the company maintains that it adheres to the philosophy of: "We treat our customers the way we like to be treated. That boils down to a few key things, including unbelievable customer service," the Groupon website reads.
It currently serves over 500 markets in 44 countries and is seeking to expand even more. According to data provider Yipit, which follows Groupon's sales in North America, the company took in over $147 million in revenue. The company's sales have slowed since its initial debut in 2008.
Groupon grew out of The Point website, which allowed people to purchase coupon vouchers in groups. "We came up with the idea for Groupon as an antidote to a common ailment for us city-dwellers: there's so much to do, but the choice can be overwhelming. Groupon makes it simple by offering only the best businesses in your area," the site says.