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Can I Get Sued Over a Groupon Coupon?

By Jason Beahm on March 03, 2011 8:48 AM

Groupon is big right now. As a business owner, you might be thinking, "I'd like to get some of that sweet Groupon action. But can I get sued over a Groupon coupon?"

A Groupon lawsuit, like anything, is possible. But if you use reasonable precautions, your exposure shouldn't be significant. Plus, if you were served with papers, your attorney would have the option of pointing the finger at Groupon if there were ever such a Groupon lawsuit against your business.

Groupon Voucher Basics

Groupon is a hugely popular website that offers deals to local businesses, but the coupons only become valid after a certain number of people accept the offer, or sign up and pay for the deal. Other similar sites include Daily Deal, Living Social, and other deep discount business models.

Groupon was recently sued in an Illinois federal court by Eli R. Johnson, who said he bought a gift certificate to an amusement center through Groupon, but it expired within months. Johnson contends that such a gift certificate violates the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which prohibits the sale of gift certificates with expiration dates of less than five years, NBCcchicago.com reports. Johnson also sued the amusement center.

Groupon Sued For Restricting or Refusing Use

There have also been stories of irate new customers where business owners refuse or restrict the use of Groupon deals. Some small business owners and retailers say that they have no choice. If they allow coupon use on already discounted items, they will lose money.

Coupon Sites: For Business Owners

If you're going to participate with Groupon, it's best not to have any surprise restrictions for customers if you want to avoid a Groupon lawsuit. You're looking at a possible breach of contract at the least. Not to mention a major loss of goodwill among customers, who can take to sites like Yelp to vent their frustrations.

If you believe that offering a Groupon with your sale items will cause you to lose money, don't participate. If you do, consider it a loss, and don't worry about it. It's likely not worth a Groupon lawsuit.

Coupon Sites: For Customers

If you feel your deal-of-the-day, coupon, or gift card was not honored according to the terms and conditions, you can speak to a consumer protection attorney. It may be a breach of contract or another individual or class action lawsuit.

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