'Widespread' Abuses by Groupon: UK Regulator

Company given three months to clean up its act
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2012 2:35 PM CDT
In this Sept. 22, 2012 file photo, the Groupon logo is displayed inside the online coupon company's offices, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

(Newser) – The UK's Office of Fair Trading today found Groupon guilty of "widespread" violations of consumer protection rules, citing concerns over "pricing, advertising, refunds, unfair terms, and the diligence of its interactions with merchants," the BBC reports. The regulator gave Groupon three months to clean up its act, which the discounter has vowed to do.

The OFT has been investigating Groupon since July following consumer complaints, the Wall Street Journal reports, and in December Britain's Advertising Standards Agency brought more than 60 complaints to its attention. In some cases, Groupon is accused of exaggerating how much consumers were saving or the benefits of the products it was selling, or even of touting deals that simply didn't exist on the site. The Atlantic Wire has more. (Read more Groupon stories.)

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