Woman says merchant won't honor Groupon deal

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Woman says merchant won't honor Groupon deal
Thousands of discount deals beckon shoppers on Groupon, but the online marketplace relies on merchants to make good on those offers.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Thousands of discount deals beckon shoppers on Groupon, but the online marketplace relies on merchants to make good on those offers.

San Francisco resident Nancy Keller says she wanted to have her hair done for an upcoming wedding - but was left scratching her head.

"I do not have straight hair, I have kind of frizzy...it gets to be fuzz,'' she says.

She found a deal on Groupon for a low-cost Brazilian blowout hair smoothing treatment. Michelle Hair Studio of San Francisco offered the $350 treatment for just $119 . She snapped it up.

"And I called this woman, and tried to make an appointment.'' Keller says. However, she says the owner would not schedule an appointment.

"She said she didn't have time to do this, and I should call Groupon and get them to exchange it for another place."

Keller tried to get a refund or exchange but says she couldn't find a phone number for Groupon customer service. So, she tried again to make the appointment with the salon.

"I kept calling and calling and finally she returned my call,'' Keller said. "She told me to send in some pictures of my hair."

Keller complied, texting her three photos of her hair. However, she says she never heard back from the salon. The wedding came and went.

Keller contacted 7 On Your Side. We contacted salon owner Michelle Ericsson, who declined an on-camera interview.

However, by phone, Ericsson said she did not recall any contact with Nancy Keller. Ericsson said she is often very busy, and sometimes asks clients to be flexible with appointment dates, or asks them to exchange their Groupon deals for a different service. Ericsson noted that a Brazilian blowout can take three or four hours - so scheduling is tight and she works alone in her salon.

We also contacted Groupon which did refund Keller's money, telling us: "We work very closely with merchants to make sure they have the ability to fulfill any services sold to our customers. Michelle Hair Studio is a highly rated merchant with a 92 percent customer satisfaction rating, and this appears to have been a one-off holiday scheduling issue."

"It was a big relief to see this was finally over,'' Keller says.

And instead of a Brazilian blowout, Keller cut her hair short for the wedding. That kept it in control.

"I'm much happier that it's very short,'' she said, laughing. "I don't have to worry about it."

Note: Groupon says customers who have a problem getting the items they purchased should contact its online support team -- at Groupon.com, then log into your account. The company policy says it will refund money if merchants don't redeem those coupons.

Written and produced by Renee Koury