Buyer Beware: Advice For Daily Deal Buyers to Ensure Your Daily Deal Makes Your Day

The Commerce Commission has just reported that the number of complaints they receive about Daily Deal sites has gone done from 22.5 per month in early 2011 to 10 per month near the end of the year.

I have also noticed a decrease in complaints posted to www.LoveOneDaySales.co.nz.

No-one wants a deal to go bad. Here's 5 things you can do to ensure your daily deal makes your day (rather than turning it into a bad day):

  1. Read the whole deal (not just the headline and price), including the small print and conditions. Unpleasant surprises after purchase include:
    • Freight is $50 when you were expecting $5!
    • Delivery time is 3 weeks when you were expecting overnight!
    • Your restaurant voucher is not valid on the weekends!
  2. If it's a product, check the retail price at other online stores
    • Is the daily deal site inflating the normal retail price to make their deals look better?
  3. Be aware of the psychological techniques they are using to get you to buy:
    • A countdown timer and stock level meter to create a sense of scarcity and immediacy
    • Huge discount percentage created by the discounted price and an inflated normal retail price
  4. Look for a discussion about the deal (either on the deal site itself, or on their Facebook page), read those comments first
    • Others might have spotted a potential problem that you might of missed
  5. If you purchased an experience, make your booking immediately (the same day, or, even better, within an hour)
    • You'll beat the rush and you'll get a time that suits you
    • You'll minimise the chance of forgetting and wasting the voucher when it expires

What Can You Do When The Deal Goes Bad?

  1. Locate their customer support system on their website
    • Usually this is an email form
    • or a "support ticket" system
    • or sometimes just an email address
    • If you are really lucky they'll be a phone number (this is rare)
  2. Describe your problem and ensure you include any reference numbers, receipt numbers, date and time etc so it's easy for them to find your purchase
  3. Include what you want to happen next Eg a replacement? a different item? a refund?
  4. Include your expectation of when you would like a result Eg "Please provide a replacement product by Friday the 20th of Jan"
  5. If you don't hear from them, or the date you set for them passes, fill in the contact form again
  6. If that doesn't work, let me know via this website and I'll see what I can do
  7. You can also contact the Commerce Commission and make a formal complaint

What Else?

What advice do you have to other consumers?

What has caught you out in the past?

Tell your story in the comments below.

Pop-Up Windows Demanding Your Email Address Are Awesome

When you visit a new Daily Deal website for the first time, which of the following do you like to see first?

  1. Would you like to see the deals they have on today?
  2. Would you like to read their "About Us" page and look for clues like a physical address that will let you know that you can trust this business with your email address and/or credit card details?
  3. or do you just prefer to get a pop-up window in your face demanding your email address?

You probably didn't choose Option #3, am I right?

Why do so many Daily Deal sites (especially those in the Experiences category) shove a pop-up window in your face demanding your email address?

The obvious answer is that they want your email address.

In the Daily Deal game, having a huge list of email addresses is as good as gold bars in a bank. With it, they have permission to tempt you with deals every day, and they might be able to decrease the amount they spend on mass media advertising on TV/Newspapers/Radio if their list is big enough.

Is it too early to demand your email address when you only heard about this daily deal website 10 seconds ago? And you are visiting their website for the very first time?

Yes, I think so.

You don't know them.

And you don't trust them.

Sometimes you can get past this window by clicking a little "X" or "close" button in the corner or by clicking a link that says "I'm already registered", but is that really good enough? Do these features make the pop-up window less annoying for you? Of course not.

For users that are already registered, the experience is even worse. Even when you click "remember me" on a website, at some point in the near future, the website will forget who you are and you'll get the damn pop-up window in your face again. Why-oh-why would these daily deal sites want to annoy loyal customers like that?

To the daily deal website owners I say: Remove your pop-up windows. Pop-up windows may have been awesome in the 1990's, but now they are annoying. Give us a chance to get to know you first, and we will decide if we want to share our email addresses with you.

What Annoys You? What Do You Think Is Great? Your Chance To Tell Daily Deal Websites What They Need To Change

In the context of Daily Deal websites, I want to know from you:

  • What annoys you?
  • What do you love?

This is your chance to tell the owners of New Zealand's Daily Deal websites what they need to change to make you happy.  Because annoying customers is never a good idea, and doing more of what customers love is always a great idea.

I'll start us off:

  • It really annoys me when a daily deal site DEMANDS my email address before I've had a chance to see what deals they are offering today!
    • For example: www.Cudo.co.nz
    • I know why they do it, I'm sure statistics show they get more email address this way, but it is still annoying!
  • I love it when an "experiences" daily deal website lists all the deals throughout the country on one page!
    • For example: http://www.grabone.co.nz/home
    • I get to see at a glance what's in other cities that I might buy for friends/family, and it saves me from manually choosing from a list of cities in a clumsy menu
  • I love it when a new daily deal website launches in my city and they do movie tickets for only $5 :)

Write your comment below starting with:

  • "It really annoys me when..."
  • "I love it when..."

Can You Get A Refund From The “Experiences” Daily Deal Websites?

I've been asked several times recently about what you can do when you want a refund from a the "experiences" style daily deal websites.

Questions like:

  • "Do I ask the daily deal site for the refund or the vendor?"
  • "If the vendor goes bankrupt have I lost my money?"
  • "I've changed my mind, can I get a refund?"

Those are great questions, and my investigation will be conducted as follows:

  1. Find the relevant sections in Terms & Conditions of each Daily Deal Experience website
  2. Email the owners at each Daily Deal Experience website and ask them to comment

DailyDo.co.nz: What do the Terms & Conditions for DailyDo.co.nz Say About Refunds?

Returns are handled on a case-by-case basis. Within the limits of reason, we will do what it takes to correct any problems. Unless there is something wrong with the purchase, we are generally unable to offer refunds after one week from the purchase date. If anything happens that makes it impossible for you to redeem your Dailydo, such as Merchant closure, we will take responsibility to ensure a full refund.

Source: http://dailydo.co.nz/terms_and_conditions.php

I'm a little bit confused by what "unless there is something wrong with the purchase" means, but otherwise, this is good.

  • Do you talk to DailyDo or the vendor about a refund? DailyDo
  • Will DailyDo refund you if you change your mind? No
  • Will DailyDo refund you if the vendor refuses to honour your voucher? Yes
  • Will DailyDo refund you if the vendor goes out of business? Yes

GrabOne.co.nz: What do the Terms & Conditions for GrabOne.co.nz Say About Refunds?

Can I return my GrabOne Coupon?

Once you have purchased a deal you are committed to the transaction and your credit card will be charged immediately following confirmation of the deal. Except where we are required to under law or in relation to our GrabOne Promise, we do not give refunds or allow exchanges.

What if the business for my GrabOne Coupon closes down or does not honour my GrabOne Coupon?

If a business that is supposed to provide goods or services to you under a deal closes down, or if that business does not honour your GrabOne Coupon, we'll make sure you get your money back.

The GrabOne Promise:

We want you to be confident that if you buy a GrabOne deal and redeem your GrabOne Coupon, the relevant business will provide the goods or services to you. At the end of the day, if the business doesn't deliver, you will be out of pocket and our reputation will be at stake.

So this is our promise to you – if you attempt to redeem a GrabOne Coupon from a business that no longer operates, or if that business unreasonably refuses to honour your GrabOne Coupon, we will refund the price that you paid to us for the GrabOne deal.

All we ask is that you notify us within five working days following your failed attempt to redeem your GrabOne Coupon. You can contact us by calling (09) 928 6064 or contacting us. Of course, some terms and conditions apply and these are set out below:

  1. The GrabOne Promise will not apply if a business's refusal to honour the GrabOne deal is because the Universal Fine Print or the Fine Print have not been complied with. For example, you will not receive a refund if a restaurant does not honour a GrabOne Coupon that you have given to a friend who is under18 years old, and your friend tries to redeem that GrabOne Coupon for alcohol.
  2. If you have given your friends or family a GrabOne Coupon and they cannot redeem the GrabOne Coupon for the reasons mentioned above, we will give the refund to you and not your friends/family.
  3. We will not be liable for any other loss or damage incurred by you, and/or any person that you give the GrabOne Coupon to, as a result of a business's failure to honour your GrabOne Coupon. For example, if you incur costs travelling to the business where the services in a GrabOne deal would have been provided, we will not be responsible for those costs.

Source: http://www.grabone.co.nz/legal and http://www.grabone.co.nz/legal/grabone-promise

Pretty straight forward I think.

  • Do you talk to GrabOne or the vendor about a refund? GrabOne
  • Will GrabOne refund you if you change your mind? No
  • Will GrabOne refund you if the vendor refuses to honour your voucher? Yes
  • Will GrabOne refund you if the vendor goes out of business? Yes

Groupy.co.nz: What do the Terms & Conditions for Groupy.co.nz Say About Refunds?

...we will do everything possible to address any concerns you might have about a particular deal...

...we guarantee that if we do ever let you down, well return your purchase - Scouts honour, cross our hearts and hope to… well you get it… and no fingers crossed behind our back either...

Now, having said all that nice stuff about how we will try really hard not to let you down, please remember we’re not the merchant, so while we’ll probably accept a return if you feel like it’s our fault, we’re still not legally responsible if big burly Brian, Groupy Deal’s number 1 fan is injured, maimed, killed or just outright embarrassed when he redeems his wife’s kind gift of a 70% discount on a full body wax.

What if the business for my Groupy Deal closes down?

If anything happens that makes it impossible for you to redeem your Groupy Deal, we'll make sure you get your money back.

Source: http://groupy.co.nz/pages/groupyGuarantee and http://groupy.co.nz/pages/legal/

Frankly I'm confused by this sentence: "we guarantee that if we do ever let you down, well return your purchase". That is not very good english. I assume "well" is supposed to be "we'll", and perhaps "return" is supposed to be "refund"?

I will talk to Groupy about this and get back to you.

  • Do you talk to Groupy or the vendor about a refund? Groupy
  • Will Groupy refund you if you change your mind? No
  • Will Groupy refund you if the vendor refuses to honour your voucher? Yes
  • Will Groupy refund you if the vendor goes out of business? Yes

Spreets.co.nz: What do the Terms & Conditions for Spreets.co.nz Say About Refunds?

Please choose carefully. We do not normally give refunds if you simply change your mind or make a wrong decision. You will receive your voucher via email at midnight if the deal reaches its minimum number of buyers. If you have any problems using your voucher at a business please contact support@spreets.com, we transfer the cash to the business after the deal so most of the time its up to the business whether they issue a refund but we will always try and help.

Source: http://www.spreets.co.nz/info/terms-conditions/

  • Do you talk to Spreets or the vendor about a refund? Spreets
  • Will Spreets refund you if you change your mind? No
  • Will Spreets refund you if the vendor refuses to honour your voucher? Yes
  • Will Spreets refund you if the vendor goes out of business? Yes

LetsGetIt.co.nz: What do the Terms & Conditions for LetsGetIt.co.nz Say About Refunds?

Lets Get It is not the provider of the Items that are subject of the Deal and has no responsibility for any Items provided or not provided by the Deal Provider or any other party. The Deal Provider provides the Items directly to you (or your nominee) and is solely responsible for redeeming any Voucher. All Vouchers are issued subject to the terms and conditions of each Deal Provider and these Terms. We do not control the business operations of any Deal Provider. Except where required to under law, we do not give refunds or allow exchanges.

Source: http://www.letsgetit.co.nz/about/terms.php

  • Do you talk to LetsGetIt or the vendor about a refund? LetsGetIt
  • Will LetsGetIt refund you if you change your mind? No
  • Will LetsGetIt refund you if the vendor refuses to honour your voucher? Yes
  • Will LetsGetIt refund you if the vendor goes out of business? Yes

DealEater.co.nz: What do the Terms & Conditions for DealEater.co.nz Say About Refunds?

For the most part, all sales are final.  However, we want to do our best to keep you smiling so we'll try to help you out on a case-by-case basis.  The vouchers you buy are for the local businesses we negotiate the deals for, so they really get the last say.  Unless there's something very wrong, we for the most part, can't offer refunds a week after your purchase date.  If you're interesting in making a return, please contact us via email or phone: 021 500 353

Source: http://www.dealeater.co.nz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=40

  • Do you talk to DealEater or the vendor about a refund? DealEater
  • Will DealEater refund you if you change your mind? No
  • Will DealEater refund you if the vendor refuses to honour your voucher? Unknown
  • Will DealEater refund you if the vendor goes out of business? Unknown

iLoveDeals.co.nz: What do the Terms & Conditions for iLoveDeals.co.nz Say About Refunds?

13.1. You understand and agree that vouchers are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash, for example, because you have changed your mind, are unable to use the voucher or the voucher has been damaged, lost or stolen.

13.2. We will refund the purchase price or exchange the voucher where we have made a mistake; for example, the voucher we issued is not for the product that was advertised.

Source: http://ilovedeals.co.nz/Terms-Detailed

  • Do you talk to iLoveDeals or the vendor about a refund? iLoveDeals
  • Will iLoveDeals refund you if you change your mind? No
  • Will iLoveDeals refund you if the vendor refuses to honour your voucher? Unknown
  • Will iLoveDeals refund you if the vendor goes out of business? Unknown

What's Next?

I will now email the owners of each of these websites and invite them to comment in the comments section below.

What Can You Do When The Deal Goes Bad?

Thousands of deals happen every day on the Daily Deal websites listed on LoveOneDaySales.co.nz.

The vast majority of them go ahead without a hitch :)

But sometimes, for some reason or another, something goes wrong and the deal goes bad :(

  • Maybe the deal turns up but it's not what you expected?
  • Maybe your deal doesn't arrive when you thought it would?
  • Maybe your credit card gets charged twice?

What can you do about it when it happens to you?

What Can You Do When The Deal Goes Bad?

  1. Locate their customer support system on their website
    • Usually this is an email form
    • or a "support ticket" system
    • or sometimes just an email address
  2. Describe your problem and ensure you include any reference numbers, receipt numbers, date and time etc so your problem is easy to track
  3. Include what you want to happen next Eg a replacement? a different item? a refund?
  4. Include your expectation of when you would like a result Eg "Please provide a replacement product by Friday the 20th of Jan"
  5. If you don't hear from them, or the date you set for them passes, fill in the contact form again
  6. If that doesn't work, let me know via this website and I'll see what I can do

Cheers,

Sheldon Nesdale
The Daily Deal Sheriff

What Is The Funniest Deal You’ve Seen Lately?

This page is dedicated to the funniest deal's you've seen.

The funniest deal I've seen lately is the "LED Color Changing Shower Head with Remote" from TheDeal.co.nz:

I have so many questions!:

  1. Why a remote control?
  2. Do I really want to shower in the dark?
  3. Can I get a waterproof iPod so I can have music with my lights?

What hilarious products have you seen for sale?

Add them to the comments below.

You can add photos with this code:

<img src="http://web-address-of-your-photo.com/the-photo.jpg" width="300">

When Something Goes Wrong With A Daily Deal, Is It Hard To Talk To A Real Person?

Have you ever suffered from one of these problems?

  • You're not sure your order went through, you want to check with someone right now before you miss out
  • Your package hasn't arrived yet, it's overdue
  • Your purchase arrived but it isn't what you expected, you want to return it for a refund
  • Your purchase is faulty, you want a refund or a replacement

What do you do in these situations?

Do you:

  • Pick up the phone and call customer services?
  • Find an email address on the contact page?
  • Fill in a contact form on their website?
  • Open a support ticket using their online system?
  • Click "Reply" on one of the daily newsletters and write your message there?

Have you noticed that not all the Daily Deal websites offer all of these contact methods?

Have you noticed that most of the time you can't find a phone number at all, they force you to write an email to them?

Why are they so secretive about their phone numbers sometimes?

Perhaps they only have a couple of staff and they are too busy finding new products for next week, they are too busy to talk to you?

What are your thoughts on this?

  • How annoying is it not being able to find a phone number and talk to a real person?
  • Can you understand their perspective for not providing a phone number?

 

Would You Like To Take A Peek At All The Daily Deal Websites ALL On 1 Webpage?

Well I have good news for you.

All the daily deal websites all on 1 webpage (or use the link in the main navigation "All Todays Deals")

This is a very very rough prototype, so don't expect too much.

And it certainly works better if you have a huge monitor, but give it a go.

What do you think? What improvements do you suggest?

Write your comments below.

What Advice Do You Have For New One Day Sale Websites?

Did you know that the list of one day sale websites grows every month?

In fact, there are entrepreneurs plotting and scheming about how to take a slice of "1 day sale" pie right now.

Competition is good. It's healthy. And it means better and better deals for you, the customer.

So what advice do you have for the business people setting up their own versions of a one day sale website?

On the LoveOneDaySales.co.nz Facebook page, Paula Simcock suggests "why not post the delivery charges up front? It would be nice to know the full cost before getting to credit card entry stage!"

Do you agree with that suggestion? I sure do.

So let's make that our first suggestion to these entrepreneurs:

#1. State freight/delivery charges upfront

Add your additions to this list in the comments below.

What Do You Want To Know About Each Of The Daily Deal Websites?

I'm writing a list of 5 questions to ask the owners of all the daily deal websites listed on LoveOneDaySales.co.nz, and I need your help.

Here is the first draft of the list of questions, vote for ones you like:

[poll id="4"]

What else should I ask them?

Write your ideas in the comments below.