My wife and I offer a boot camp personal training center. We have a 3 day and 6 day session. We decided to run a groupon for the 3 day at $80 instead of the usual $200. Unlike many other businesses, our costs are fixed no matter how many people we get in the office. Our plan was to get new customers, word of mouth, and convert 3 dayers into 6 dayers.
The day our groupon ran we were slammed. We sold 373 groupons. How wonderful...we thought.
First problem was our phone rang off the hook for a week straight 24/7. Although the groupon voucher stated instructions on how to redeem in easy bullited steps, no one read it. We had
to spend 10 mins on the phone with each grouponer explaining what to do. Some people didn't even know what they bought! Others acted like new customers, we went through and entire sales pitch, and then after 15 mins they say "oh yea, I bought a groupon". Others just showed up whenever they felt like it without making reservations and demanded to start "now!". Total nightmare by this point.
The caliber of people who buy these groupons is horrible. Most are cheapskates looking for anything they can get for free. They were demanding and rude. When people came in on dates were weren't starting training, they would scream at us.
I got smacked in the face a few times with groupon vouchers. Others demanded cash refunds on the spot (knowing they would get refunded from groupon as well). Some had photocopied other groupons.
Despit the fact the groupon said "3 day" on the top of it in huge print, everyone demanded the 6 day session free of charge. We offered the 6 day at a discount, but people still wanted it free. They wouldn't take no for an answer. A mob insued every time this came up with the entire 3 day groupon session customers demanding 6 days for free. Again, we got screamed at and had groupons thrown
at our face. On the next day (day 4) ALL the 3-day session groupon people showed up and refused to pay. More verbal fights erupted and several people had to be escorted off site by security. All
the cheap groupon people tried to scam us. Literally every one.
The expiration date of the groupon passed and we thought FINALLY FREE. Not so fast. Phone rang off the hook for months after with people still demanding service for their expired groupons. Some still showed up on start dates with expired groupons.
Due to the onslaught of grouponers, we had no room for full paying customers. This lead to a serious cash crunch (groupon pays you in three 33% installments over 6 months). We had to take money our of
our savings to pay basic expenses.
We will NEVER do groupon again.