Robert Bingham’s jump starter, ordered through Groupon, doesn’t work after a few months. Can he persuade anyone to extend a Groupon warranty?
Q: I’m writing with the hope that you may be able to help me with a purchase made through Groupon. I bet many others have had similar problems and frustrations with their Groupon warranty.
I purchased a Lithium Jumper Pack and Battery Power Source from Groupon for $40 this May as insurance against a dead battery. When it arrived, I checked it out and it seemed in order, which is to say, it held its charge. I put it in my car for future use when needed.
About four months later took it out to test and recharge it if necessary. It was now dead and now would not recharge. In the instructions, it claims a charge can last over six months.
I went back to Groupon for their customer support. They basically told me I was out of luck since it was past their refund period. So I resigned myself to use the manufacturer’s warranty — except that, upon closer inspection, I found there was no company or contact warranty information listed for the charger.
I purchased the jump starter via a Chase credit card, so I tried to put a claim in through them, requesting a refund. They were much more helpful but after investigation they denied the claim, saying it was up to Groupon to act at this point.
So six months after my purchase, I’m stuck with a dead jump starter and everybody is saying, “Sorry, but you’re out of luck.” I feel hustled.
Companies like Groupon should stand behind the merchandise they sell. Consumers purchase from Groupon assuming they are getting something reputable.
They need to know the truth: They can be stuck and Groupon doesn’t care. — Robert Bingham, Wethersfield, Conn.
A: I’m sorry about your dead jump starter. Groupon should have sold you an accessory that worked, and that continued working.
Groupon offers a 30-day money back promise. But you were way past that by the time you realized your jump starter had died.
You followed all the correct steps, first contacting Groupon, then the manufacturer, and finally your credit card company.
(I list contacts for the Groupon customer service executives on my consumer advocacy site, too. I see that you called but also kept a paper trail — in your case, a chat transcript. That’s excellent. Remember, you don’t have a record of your phone calls unless you record them.)
I reviewed all of your paperwork. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a reason to contact Groupon on your behalf.
Groupon is not Nordstrom or Trader Joe’s, which is to say, it’s not known for standing behind its products unconditionally. Rather, it’s an online platform where businesses can move unwanted merchandise. In fact, Groupon is known as a venue for selling items when all else has failed.
A happy ending on this Groupon warranty problem
Groupon should have stood behind the product, but extending the warranty by four additional months would be at the company’s discretion. And unfortunately, it looks as if it has exercised its discretion to not help you.
Your case has a happy ending, though. Shortly after this story appeared, Groupon notified me that it had refunded your purchase and credited you with $100 in credits. It also strongly objects to my characterization of Groupon as a company that sells distressed merchandise. So noted.