Groupon and FTD Coupon Fail – Who’s to Blame?

by Doug Felteau on February 15, 2011

Group coupon startups beware… be careful who you partner with when releasing coupons. In Groupon’s first major misstep (leaving aside the horrible Super Bowl ad), Groupon partnered with the nationwide FTP florist to provide $40 worth of flowers for $20. Once shoppers clicked through the deal, the shoppers found out the prices offered through the Groupon deal were more than if you went to the site not through the deal.

FTD blamed the problem with the Groupon on the fact that the Groupon’s were for non-discounted items. In the flower world, Valentine’s Day is equal to a toy store’s Christmas season so FTD’s site was filled with discounts. In an attempt to save face, FTD credited the difference between the retail price and the sale price to the accounts of people who bought the sale items through Groupon while Groupon updated the deal to reflect lower prices.

In this Geek’s humble opinion, the Groupon did not feel right so I did not buy. Why? There were red flags posted saying you must click through Groupon’s link to the FTD site. Additionally, the Groupon was for retail prices which is another trick I’ve seen from the likes of Michael’s employ with their coupons (50% off any 1 items not currently on sale, but every item in the store is already on sale!). It sure felt like FTD was trying to pull one over here and got caught having to do what they should have done in the first place.