Groupon and it's Clones. Do you trust a Deal?
a consumer crisis?
This may come abruptly, but I have been harboring this dissatisfaction for more than a month now. I know with the groupon clones sites a.k.a coupon sites that's popping out in our country since 2 years back, the deals are either getting better or getting more misleadingly better? I have my fair share of positive and good experience with coupons. However there are others (like my friends, my readers, strangers) telling me nightmare stories about being mislead, cheated or treated differently. I thought I was lucky because I "thought" the secret to not getting "cheated" or having a bad experience was to choose what I buy carefully. Like:
AND surely the Satisfaction Guarantee sign on the coupon sites means something right? I found out that it means nothing. Just reading The Star Newspaper the other day on customer service, the pillar where a business should stand strong on, got me so mad. What's going on with the service nowadays that companies are putting on satisfaction guarantee signs and on the other hand, disappointing their customers by not even understanding and defending them against ruthless merchants they do deals with? In fact, I see this same flow on how they treat complains:
So is this how complains are treated? I thought when we as consumers complain we wanted an action or a solution to be given. Not relay back and forth messages, I'm not here asking for a divorce story. This is what I want:
DO we need to keep replying emails to tell them what is wrong, what is really happening (AGAIN) and listen to them say sorry nothing can be done when the signboard hangs Satisfaction Guarantee? or whatever customer happiness motto they have. NO. Hell I'm so dissatisfied about the run around I've been given and the explanations I have to reply to, and in the end treated like the "evil" party in this situation because apparently they believe whatever their merchants said since they already have our money in their pockets. After sales? service? feedback? not important because [insert whatever explanation needed to defend themselves against complains] that you're wrong. Not them.
birthday ruined why?
Heck, I'm not even PMS-ing or throwing a scene at the place (would they prefer that?) or making police reports. I try to be civilized but sorry, I guess the dissatisfaction with the way my complain is dealt with and not getting what I purchase for, is creating this angry black hole in myself. You guys must be wondering what happened? This is my story, no sugar added. Plain facts.
5 star luxury spa deal for only RM205
Bought a 5 Star Luxury Resort deal "SPA" Package (worth RM857) + steamboat for two pax (rm58). The deal highlights says:
HIGHLIGHTS BUY inclusive of:Madu Manis Spa Package for 2 paxSteamboat Set for 2 Pax @ Stimbot Restaurant15% OFF discount on F&B for Next Visit15% OFF discount on Escape Spa for Next VisitThis BUY comes with an option for an additional : RM480++ instead of RM560++ for 1 night stay (per room and inclusive of breakfast for 2 pax) @ Golden Palm Tree Resort & SpaMadu Manis Spa Package for 2 pax inclusive of:
"Reviews on Escapade Spa:
So what happened to my 5 Star Luxury Spa worth RM857 that me n my friends would be treated like king and queen? Not at all as described. My story starts with a booking made weeks ahead of our appointment. On 17th June, 2012 a group of friends travel nearly 2hrs to reach the fame Golden Palm Tree Resort. Our appointment was at 1pm and we reach just before it. This was a birthday gift for my bff Wing. She n Jean was the first couple to have their session at 1pm. The second couple, me n Kenby was at 3pm, we were there early with nothing to do so we tried out the spa facilities first. Being a Spa goer, I know for a fact that spa facilities can be done before or after your treatment and does not hinder your treatment time.
Second session 3pm: Kenby n me
Being really early here, we went to enjoy the spa facilities first. However before that happened, Kenby was upset after inquiring from the therapist on the package that we're going for and seek clarification on it. Apparently the "slight" change was we don't get body scrub anymore! a shocking find. Now we get something better, we get to choose either a cream bath or a body wrap, which is more expensive. In what way more expensive? We're losing a body scrub (worth RM180++) and there was no replacement given for it. Instead, they asked us to choose cream bath OR body wrap.
My initial thoughts were, maybe they got it wrong? maybe it's sorry we can't give u body scrub anymore, but now u get body wrap instead, which is more expensive - correct? and everyone is happy. WRONG. It's sorry no body scrub. Now your cream bath can be replaced with body wrap. SO if I choose body wrap, what happen to to my cream bath and body scrub? it's getting worst, not better.
why different from their package? looks same
scrub rm180 + cream bath (worth?) = replace with body wrap worth rm200
Our inquiries went to deaf ears. The therapist was upset that we question them. They told us body scrub can no longer be given because and guess what?
Immediately I called the coupon company for a solution. No answer. It's Sunday, sigh. What should we do now? We just found out there's no scrub! this is not what we paid for and we have travel almost 2 HOURS to get here. That's a total of nearly 4HRS just to come here! How about the first couple? they were already INSIDE! Kenby was really angry and upset over this. I thought let's be civil, do not make a scene. I'll contact the company tomorrow when they open for business. SO WE continue our session and I found out in the hard way, how this deal which seems so GOOD, ain't. AND P.S, it's weird that cream bath and body wrap were done first before massage. In my spa experience, massage was always done first then scrub, body wrap and bath. I got a headache after my session and needed a panadol badly.
Madu Manis Spa Package for 2 pax inclusive of: WORTH RM857
1. Hot Stone n Aromatherapy Massage
they gave us hot stone "BACK" massage. The massage didn't last more than 30mins, there were more time spent walking around, washing hands, leaving us there to sleep. When the masseuse came back, they turn us and gave us a brief "HEAD n SHOULDER" aromatherapy massage that ended our "massage session". Not even a hour. This is a luxury spa package?
2. Body Scrub (worth RM180++)
Out of stock. Not given to us. Never bother to inform us by call prior to our appointment or inform us CLEARLY (without needing us to probe and probe during 2nd spa session to find out the truth).
nice, I guess this is the only thing I enjoyed.
4. Jacuzzi , Steam n Sauna
Facilities that can be enjoyed before or after your treatments (normally, and in this case they did tell us this too).
5. Cream Bath
Became an option: Cream Bath (soak in a bath tub for two) OR Body Wrap. The recommendation should be BODY WRAP when customers ask. Not do the easy way out n recommend cream bath so you filled the bath up and put two person inside. Thank goodness me & Kenby choosed Body Wrap.
6. Oasis Mocktail
Drank it nice.
Our spa experience didn't even reach 135mins. Guess what happened when I made an official complaint to the company by e-mail? they fwd the the complain to the merchant and guess what the merchant said? the two thing that I was chizzed off.
The company just relay back what the merchant said and apologized for the experience. What that's it? what happened to protecting your customers against this?! I just had to reply (yet again, trying to explain) what really happened and defend ourselves against what the merchant said. I pull out two facts - this is not what we paid for and this is breach of the package. Again sorry for your experience and relaying back again what the merchants said in trying to defend themselves:
Utterly shocking. I didn't have energy to reply anymore to that company or the merchant. There's 4 witness here, and all 4 is tired of this game. This was suppose to be a birthday celebration, a pampering spa from head to toe for the birthday girl and she was not even happy that day. BAD EXPERIENCE and BAD SERVICE and we are not satisfied with what has happened and with the replies to my complaint. No solution was given and they didn't even offer to refund us for what happen. They WERE the first ones to BREACH the deal, not us - the consumers. Would they prefer I claim for 4 hrs of travelling and the cost of the coupon (should I throw tantrum and refused to do the 2nd session)?
I will never trust a coupon deal again, regardless whether they're of what star or popular. It's all the same. Maybe I should be gangster and raise my voice there so settle the dispute rather than thinking the best way is to send in a complaint (which is advised by the site and they're not even open on Sunday to answer calls). I am not trying to offend anyone here, I know we all deal with customers before and some of us are in the service/coupon industry, but heck put yourself in my shoes (4 girls! in fact).
Do give me your comments on what you think about coupon deals? did you have any bad experience before like me? Was I wrong in complaining or questioning my package change?