Groupon faithful mad about Valentine's flower deal

A Groupon deal offers half off $40 worth of flowers from FTD.com. Some users complain that on the special offer page, the flowers have been marked up, so that there is no real savings.

Do Groupon deals tempt you? Or are you so committed to causes like Tibet and the rain forest that you have switched your allegiance to LivingSocial?

This vital question is placed into strong relief because of some owl-like hooting and town crier hollering that has engulfed Groupon's Thursday deal of $40 worth of flowers for $20.

Was this deal, unlike so many that flood our e-mail in-boxes, too good to be true love? Some seem to think so.

Though the flowers in my house all accidentally fell from other people's gardens, I confess that I was tempted by this marvelous offer. It read: "Wonder why you're getting a second Groupon deal today? It's because Valentine's Day is so close and we couldn't wait to send it. Buy and redeem today for delivery on the 14th. Enjoy!"

The slight problem seemed to reside in the enjoyment department.

As CNNMoney.com reports, almost 3,300 people formed a phalanx toward this offer, only to discover that they might have been outflanked.

The special FTD.com/Groupon page seemed to be featuring prices that were somewhat inflated from the normal FTD.com site.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

A poster to Groupon's site reportedly wrote: "What a scam. The FTD Groupon site has a price $10 to $20 more than their own site. So basically you didn't save anything."

Other Grouponites reportedly offered that service and shipping charges seemed to be so high that the voucher was rendered valueless. Others noticed that they couldn't actually have their flowers delivered on Valentine's Day.

And the situation has some wondering whether more client companies of Groupon and LivingSocial might feel encouraged to raise their base price in order to make more profit...or at least some.

Groupon, for its part, ended the FTD promotion a day early. The company also e-mailed its customers and said: "To make this right, we've worked together with FTD to make sure that discounts available on FTD.com will now also be available to use with your Groupon. For those of you who already purchased items that were on sale on FTD.com, FTD will automatically issue you a refund on the credit card you used with the difference as additional savings."

After the entertaining kerfuffle caused by Groupon's Super Bowl advertising , it would seem that Groupon's complaints department has been putting in quite some hours this week.

 

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