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

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.

5 thoughts on “Buyer Beware: Advice For Daily Deal Buyers to Ensure Your Daily Deal Makes Your Day

  1. I purchased two vouchers for dinner at ‘Village Inn’ at Raumati in Paraparaumu Wellington. Not long after the co went into receivership and it was taken over by another co. I called to say I had a yazoom voucher and they said they would honour them even though they received no money from them. Went last night with friends and the meal was beautiful, best cooked steak hubby had ever had was his comment. They also have a new chef Paul’ who is well known in Kapiti. along with his seafood chowder!! Will definately be back again and recommend to anyone who might be thinking of going there. Thanks so much for accepting the voucher.

  2. I bought a deal on GroupoNZ 6th March 2012 (2 products from an Australian ‘online store’ with a New Zealand web address: The deal said that it would be posted approximately 5 weeks from the closing of the deal. I got an email from Clever Gadgets around this time saying that there were delays. Eventually at the end of May I received 1 of the 2 products. I tried to contact Clever Gadgets via the phone number on their website (which did not work, I was repeatedly told the message box was full and I could not leave a message). I also tried to email the company but all emails bounced back. So I contacted GroupoNZ on the 28th May, they initially kept telling me that the product will arrive any day, then they told me they had contacted the company on my behalf. Now they are ignoring my emails. I have asked them to give me a direct contact at Clever Gadgets but they wouldn’t do that. I have also asked GroupoNZ (who took my money) for my money back.
    In the meantime I have seen exactly the same advertisement, at the exact same price, on but for a company called Homewarez.
    It’s more than 3 months later now… AND there is no way the product I received is worth anywhere near their inflated “retail price”. GroupoNZ = bad! I have complained to the Commerce Commission.

  3. On the 18th Oct …I brought some vacuum pack bags FROM GROUPONZ because I have to move….the delivery day said 5 weeks….. This is an Australian Company….I have rung there office twice and emailed several times….They refuse to give you a physical address, although NZ one I found online in 1010 Commerce Street Auckland…..They refuse to say where the items are coming from. I would NEVER buy anything from this company again…..I still have not received the items, although they have just given me a tracking number
    Here is hoping that I receive my product…..I WILL NEVER BUY FROM THEM AGAIN AND WOULD ADVISE OTHERS NOT TO DO SO…..You just need to google people who have had bad dealings with them…Unfortunately they are spoiling it for the good guys…..Off the back….delivery in 3 days….Go guys.

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