By Jordan Fischer
Current in Fishers
Jonah’s Market owner Rebecca Holt said a Groupon deal she hoped would spur new business ended up nearly closing her down.
Groupon, a localized deal-of-the-day website, offers businesses a chance to gain increased customer exposure by offering discounts or specials on their website. These deals go out in a daily e-mail to members of the Groupon mailing list. In Holt’s case, the deal was for $30 worth of product for $15.
Expecting to see only a modest increase in business, Jonah’s Market instead saw an influx of 2,700 sales, all at the two-for-one special price.
The business eventually sought to limit the amount of coupons it would offer. However, they found that some customers were receiving refunds from Groupon and then showing up at the shop with coupons anyway. Holt was eventually forced to decline any further Groupon sales, and posted a sign advising customers to request a refund.
Initial response was negative. However, long-time customers of Jonah’s Market have since rallied around the embattled store.
“We have been patrons of Jonah’s for years,” wrote user Robert Grant in response to an online article about the incident. “In fact, the only reason why we signed up for Groupon was because we saw that Jonah’s was participating. I would much rather lose a bit of cash of the coupons we bought than to see the problem take out a great company.”
“We have never gotten anything but the best meats and seafood at Jonah’s, and will continue to shop there,” wrote another patron, Jim Arney. “I would hate to see this close you down. I know of nowhere close to get the kind of quality and service we get from you.”
In an official statement, Groupon said that incidents of fraud through their service have been minimal. They are, however, reviewing their procedures regarding the information sales reps give to prospective businesses.