16/11/16 Fake goods and dodgy experiences on the popular deals website.
Statement from Groupon
In response to local cases made against Groupon:
“Customers are at the heart of what we do and we work with thousands of small businesses across the UK to give our customers great experiences. We have a number of procedures in place to ensure that if a business lets a customer down they are investigated. When something goes wrong, we do everything we can to make things right including refunding customers and, if necessary, cease working with the business.
With regards to Premier Photoshoot, clearly we made a mistake and fallen short of our own standards. We’re extremely sorry for how Rosalie and her family were treated. It goes without saying we no longer work with this business and have offered Rosalie a full apology as well as a refund. We have also processed refunds for other customers who bought this experience.”
In response to Goods cases made against Groupon:
“As a large marketplace we sell millions of products from over 1000 suppliers each year in the UK. This scale allows us to give our customers great deals on top named brands. As with any major online retailer, we take counterfeiting seriously and work hard to make sure that no-one ends up being disappointed with their purchase. We work closely with suppliers to perform checks to ensure counterfeit items do not enter the supply chain. On the extremely rare occasion where we are made aware that a product we’ve sold may be counterfeit, we immediately conduct an investigation and if necessary, recall the product and provide a full refund.”
In response to the BBC investigation into two of our gold earrings deals:
“We are aware of the BBC’s investigation into two of our deals featuring gold earrings. We are conducting an independent investigation into the concerns raised and have removed these items from our site pending those results”
“Any customer who is concerned about a deal they have bought should contact us so we can resolve their query.”
Statement from Premier Photoshoot
Shane and Rosalie Lim did purchase a Baby Bump Makeover Photoshoot on 25th September 2016 via Groupon as a promotional deal. The whole experience lasted for more than 2 hours and not 45 minutes as they presumed. The whole experience comprises of a minimum of 2 hours in all – Makeover, dry hair styled and Photoshoot. It would be absurd to have such an experience without a proper makeover and hair, plus makeup. Photoshoot is the end product which in itself lasts for about one hour. To note that Shane and Rosalie spent not less than 3 hours in the studio on that day.
Premier Photoshoot gave Shane and Rosalie the £100 voucher and refunded £20 as advertised which were offset in the net purchase of the product. They selected to buy 13 pictures package fully upgraded and on CD for them to have these options - making multiple copies in different sizes and framing them accordingly. A special offer was granted to them, as it was a promotional basis. They paid £370 in all for the 13 pictures on digital CD, which includes the £100 voucher and their £20 refundable deposit that they opted to use. (Premier Photoshoot take a refundable deposit to make sure the client attend the makeover and photoshoot session as we book freelance make up artists, photographers, graphic designer and this is refunded at the end of the session or they can use the deposit to buy further products if they wish to do so, in this case Shane and Rosalie Lim did. This was explain to her before she did the booking and hence she paid the deposit of £20 not to cover the staff costs mentioned by Shane and Rosalie Lim). There is no obligation to buy further images, frames or photos but the deal on Groupon was for £19 and that includes two A4 pictures not any images on CD and if they willing to buy more pictures or upgrade the two A4 photos they are welcome to do so. It will be a total lie to say that they received two untouched A4 prints on regular printer paper when Premier Photoshoot never send them any prints. They wanted to buy 13 photos on digital version and for this service we charge them an additional of £350. The deposit of £20 and the £100 voucher were duly offset on their net purchase of the 13 pictures on CD. To note that they DID NOT opted to have two A4 printed photos and instead a fully upgraded digital version on CD of the 13 photos were duly issued to them and we have proof of this and their written signed agreement.
Our staff never threatened Shane and Rosalie in regards to deleting of their photos. They were told that we keep on our system only the photos which the customers bought and all the rest of the unwanted pictures are deleted. Premier Photoshoot keeps only the photos of what the customers purchased or frames and album ordered.
We note that there are too much of lie reported by Shane and Rosalie and without verifying their complaint does much harm to our business when we are doing our level best to be away from complaints and give satisfaction to all of customers.
Since the watchdog 2014 the new management of Premier Photoshoot took serious actions to give a good service without misleading anyone and not to be under the impression of getting ALL services for FREE.
Premier Photoshoot offers what is promised and option to buys more pictures or frames and album is there. There is no obligation to buy more pictures, frames or album. We are a makeover and photoshoot studio business and we sell photos, frames and album to all willing customers without any pressure of any sort.
Premier Photoshoot opted to go for online promotion marketing via Groupon and Groupon takes the full commission of any package sold and to feature our promotions. Premier Photoshoot have the chance of selling these products and services if the customer wishes to buy more than the two pictures of A4 that they get on Groupon deal. But unfortunately we are now aware Groupon acted quite unprofessionally when a customer had addressed a complaint to them directly, Groupon never informed us or inquired from us.
This is very unfair to reflect Lovin Promotions Ltd and Makeover London of which Lovin Panchoo is the director who has been featured in Rogue Traders within BBC Watchdog in 2014. We admit there was a problem in 2014 with Makeover London in regards to the FREE makeover promotions and we have stopped those promotions ever since then. Hence we are doing our level best to run the business in a properly manner and has therefore opted to have our promotions on Groupon who sells our makeover packages. Bringing the past into this matter may result in badly damaging further our business which may lead to shut down of business which would be very unfair. BBC Watchdog has made it so hard for us to even trade properly for the last two years and now raising back the past issue of 2014 will only harm further our business. We hope you can take this into account before featuring us on BBC Watchdog. Premier Photoshoot management and the director has taken serious actions accordingly - stopped those FREE Makeover Promotions and now if featured on BBC Watchdog because of Groupon this may result from a closure of Premier Photoshoot. Note we have stopped all our deal with Groupon with immediate effect since we came to know of the problem. Premier Photoshoot and management apologize for the makeover packages that was sold in Groupon website which they fell mis-selling and is very serious about doing proper business and does everything so that nothing comes to disrupt our efforts. We hope that the above would meet your due consideration before featuring us on Watchdog and to clarify things further if you so required.
We are at your disposal to give any further details you may need.
P. K Raymond
Statement from Proctor and Gamble, which makes the washing powder
The safety of the people who buy our products is our number one priority. Counterfeit products are substandard, possibly harmful or dangerous and a form of consumer fraud. We work with retailers to ensure that only genuine products are offered for sale and that the supply chains are safe and secure. If a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is.