Daily deals on coupon marketing websites-like Groupon and Living Social-may seem tempting, but be wary: Not all discounts are delivered as advertised. While the vast majority of coupon transactions connect reliable businesses with satisfied customers, Better Business Bureau warns that some companies don't keep their end of the bargain.
"Coupon marketing sites offer great incentives for consumers and new opportunities for local businesses," said Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. "However, undisclosed restrictions and expirations can leave consumers feeling empty-handed."
To get the best deal possible, BBB suggests the following considerations:
Quality: Check out the company before buying their coupons or Internet specials. Read customer reviews online and visit bbb.org.
Cost: Take a moment to inspect the company's website and regular pricing to see if the discount is really a deal.
Timing: Some coupons can only be used on certain days or times. Review offers for expiration dates and fine print. All restrictions should be specified in the deal, according to BBB's Code of Advertising.
Convenience: Make sure the coupon is easy to redeem. Find out where the company is located and its hours of operation.
Usability: To avoid waitlists and long lines, it's best to sign up or schedule services as soon as possible. When redeeming services, be prepared to provide proof of purchase or a confirmation code.