I recently published a post for the guys that were worried about doing business with the biggest group deals site, Groupon.
I concluded that Groupon is a great site and I loved their friendly refund policy that had been tried and tested. (see my Groupon scam post for the detail).
For this post, I’m checking out the next biggest site in the group deals space – LivingSocial.
I’ll find out whether it’s a ethical company that you can trust and I’ll weigh up the positives and negatives and decide whether it’s worth checking them out.
“Is LivingSocial Scammy!?”
LivingSocial has experienced impressive growth since it’s launch and this wouldn’t have been possible without a strong base of happy customers.
However, on the flip-side, there are quite a few unhappy customers.
Let’s take a look at the number of people that search for ‘LivingSocial Scam’ so we have some figures to work with.
Relative to the number of people searching for LivingSocial, 1.7% are searching for scams associated with it. This could be because they’re wary of the site or what’s more likely, they’ve had a disappointing experience.
When looking at Groupon’s numbers, this comes to just 0.0004%.
I know this isn’t a precise indicator of customer satisfaction, but it does give a broad feel for user concerns.
“What Are People Complaining About??”
The common complaints associated with LivingSocial are:
- Customer service is awful
This point captures a lot of complaints that have been made including reps being rude, hanging up the phone, phones ringing off the hook, not returning calls, etc, etc. It appears that if customer services addressed the problems immediately, it would prevent a lot of these follow up complaints.
Although issues seem to be getting resolved after a week or so of chasing, the trouble it has taken some people leaves them with a sour taste.
- Referral program doesn’t work
Some users have complained of not getting credited after they referred friends to LivingSocial. This may have been a temporary glitch with their tracking system but either way, my recommendation is to think of things like this as a bonus as tracking can go awry in various stages of the process. Don’t base purchase decisions off credits that haven’t yet been added to your account.
- The product / service was rubbish
LivingSocial claim to thoroughly vet the merchants on their site and it’s a little out of their control if the merchant suddenly closes down or is overwhelmed with business they said they could handle.
My recommendation is to do your own research on the company beforehand.
LivingSocial could easily make things right if they stood by their money back guarantee – something they’ve seem to be slack on in a few cases. This only magnifies stress if things go wrong (back to the first bullet point on poor customer service).
“Have You Had Experience With Them?”
My review is bought to you through thorough analysis of the experience of hundreds of others and also by looking at useful search stats.
However, as I didn’t fancy any of the current deals on their site, I thought I’d give their call center a ring to see how they perform and to get some first hand experience as customer service seems to be the bane of most people’s misery.
I called the UK line and a polite rep answered within around 3 minutes. Reassuringly, there weren’t too many options to fight through and the automated announcements told me how long I should expect to wait.
I posed as a prospective customer and quizzed the rep about their refund policy and what they would do if things went wrong. Here are the takeaways:
- After I purchase a deal, I can change my mind and get a refund within 5 days no questions asked
- After this 5 day period, refunds will be considered on a case by case basis
- If there is a problem with the merchant delivering the product / service, or if they business goes bust, they will refund me immediately
I left the call feeling pretty positive and reassured.
LivingSocial is legit but it seems that their rapid growth has led to some growing pains, particularly in the customer services department. Based on previous experiences, if things go wrong, they may not be resolved as quickly as you’d like.
However, due to their refund policy and their attempts to eventually make things right, my verdict is that they are worth trying out if you’re bored of the deals on Groupon and want to mix it up. LivingSocial does have some very cool offers – most of which I haven’t seen on other group deal sites.
If this is your first dip in the group deals market, you should try out Groupon first as they certainly surpasses LivingSocial in customer service levels.
Before buying, make sure you read the small print associated with your deal and evaluate the provider yourself if you haven’t heard of them before.
Here’s how LivingSocial rank on the legitimacy chart:
You can check out LivingSocial and register for their email updates (free) here. Also, remember to check out our deals & discounts page for information on other legit services that can save you a ton of money.
Have you had experience with LivingSocial? Positive or negative, leave your comments below.