Edelson McGuire, LLC, a law firm in Chicago, has filed a class action lawsuit against Groupon:
Now a North Side man is suing Groupon — the company behind the wildly popular website offering daily deals at everything from eateries to retail outlets — alleging the discounted gift certificates he purchased to a local florist weren’t quite the deal he thought they were.
Specifically, Daniel Keeler purchased three $40 gift certificates, each valued at $80, for Grow Flower Shop in the NBC Tower, but when he attempted to redeem them earlier this year, he was told he’d have to pony up $20 for each of the three arrangements he wanted to send, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
The suit not only alleges breach of contract, but accuses the company of violating Illinois law by offering non-food gift certificates with expiration periods shorter than five years.
One of Groupon's main Chicago competitors, YouSwoop, was also sued, but it appears that they've acted a little quicker to come to a settlement. It will be interesting to see how this turns out for Groupon.
For the law junkies, the Consumer Protection law in Illinois states:
On or after January 1, 2008, no person shall sell a gift certificate that is
subject to: (1) an expiration date earlier than 5 years after the date of
issuance; or (2) a post-purchase fee.
We definitely were not familiar with this law, but glad we know now. We actually had a similar issue with a restaurants.com gift certificate that we tried to use at Savoy Bar & Grill in the Essex Inn (800 S. Michigan Ave). It didn't expire but somehow they wouldn't honor the gift certificate.