Be the first to know. Get our weekly newsletter.

newsletter_popup Join 25,000 of your peers. Get our stories delivered to your e-mail inbox every week.
Edit Interests

Articles Selected for You

No unread stories
 
ViralBlog Logo
Close this box

Sign-up to get the content you like


Our readers can personalize ViralBlog in Zite alike ways, and schedule e-mail alerts to get the most relevant answers to their specific questions.

Choose your sign-up method:

 

By signing-up you agree upon our terms and conditions

 
10/10/2011 by
11630 views

Groupon’s Air Fast Ticket Deal Misleading?

Just like in almost any other country, Groupon is also very succesful in the Netherlands. Although there are other Groupon copycats willing to accept lower commissions, many small businesses prefer to partner with Groupon because they reach more potential customers.

groupon viralblog Groupons Air Fast Ticket Deal Misleading?

Those potentials have become big fans of Groupon, something Groupon pays back by constantly offering great deals with large discounts. Until last week, when Groupon offered a 29 Euro voucher which you could exchange for air tickets from Amsterdam Schiphol to European cities, which eventually didn’t look like a great deal after all…

The offer was without any taxes and fuel surcharge. According to Groupon, these extra charges are always around 80 euros. In the Netherlands you have to be very clear in your commercial communications regarding the final price consumers have to pay for their tickets. Initially Groupon failed to inform users about these extra charges explicitly, but they changed the copy pretty fast, as we read on some forums.

The Groupon Deal was offered by Air Fast Tickets, which must be a new online travel agency here in Holland, as we had never heard of them before. Air Fast Ticket seems like a UK based company, offering their regular website in English, German, Italian, Turkish and Greek. For the Dutch market they are currently using www.airfasttickets.info as the .nl url is already taken. Remarkable is that if you want to book a flight at this website, you can only book with the voucher code you buy at Groupon. Even the customer service phone number redirects to Groupon, so it seems like a pretty close partnership between these two companies.

Back to the 29 Euro deal. Normally we mainly see many discount deals on Groupon, such as (again) a teeth whitening or skin laser deal. But this deal showed no clear discount, except a 29 Euro voucher.

groupon small offer Groupons Air Fast Ticket Deal Misleading?

 In English: “Return tickets from Schiphol to European top cities”

 We believe this is quite remarkable, as Groupon advertises with the fact that you can get deals with discounts up to 70%:

Discover your City for up to 70% off!

See your city in a brand new light with Groupon! New and diverse deals every day on restaurants, leisure, spa, beauty and sport guarantee excitement for up to 70% less!

The attentive reader, meaning those who are not blinded by discounts and deals, can see that this deal has no discount and no clear advantage, unless you pay less for your ticket comparing to other online travel sites or airlines. You just buy a “voucher”., meaning that your voucher represents a certain kind of value, 20 Euros in this case, which you spent again at Air Fast Tickets. It’s like a I.O.U in Dumb & Dumber:

So why buy a voucher of 29 Euro at Groupon, and spend this at Air Fast Tickets? The most logical reason could be that you pay less, beacuse that’s what we can expect from Groupon right?

We took a try and booked a ticket at Air Fast Tickets for 1 person, from Amsterdam to Milan, from the 11th of November and the return on the 14th of November:

Screen shot 2011 10 07 at 11.33.07 AM Groupons Air Fast Ticket Deal Misleading?Click on the image for a larger view

Costs for the ticket: € 0 Euro (you’ve bought a voucher before, so no extra costs) Costs for all surcharges € 84,09. Total Costs with the costs for the voucher are € 113,09.

The flight would be with KLM, so we also we composed exactly the same flight at KLM.com. Result: KLM was 5 Euros cheaper than Air Fast Tickets. Yes, we know this is only 5 Euros, but it’s still not cheaper than booking with Air Fast Tickets.

klm Groupons Air Fast Ticket Deal Misleading?

Click on the image for a larger view

So you expect any kind of advantage, mainly discount, at Groupon. And you end up with paying more along with some extra effort as you have to make 2 payments. Or are we missing something here? In order to be really sure, we decided to ask Groupon, social as we are, on their Amsterdam Facebook page:

groupon amsterdam Groupons Air Fast Ticket Deal Misleading?

In English: “Could you please tell me the advantage of the 29 euro voucher for Air Fast Tickets?

Unfortunately, after 4 days, we’re still waiting for a reply. Perhaps our fault, as this was a national deal and not a local deal, although we still believe companies have to answer this kind of questions as well. So we asked the same question on the national Facebook page of Groupon. We did receive some answers there:

Screen shot 2011 10 07 at 2.08.06 PM Groupons Air Fast Ticket Deal Misleading?

Long story, in Dutch. For you guys how can’t read Dutch:

  • We asked the advantage of the Air Fast Tickets deal. Groupon mentioned that booking with one of the Airlines is more expensive.
  • We mentioned that the price is the same (we composed it before but forgot to make a screen grab of it) and that it pretty much doesn’t make any sense to buy a voucher first and then spend it again.
  • Then they mentioned that “the expiration date of the ticket was longer compared to tickets you buy elsewhere”. We believe they meant the expiration of the voucher and not the ticket, because if you buy a ticket for the 14th of November, we are pretty sure that it expires after that date icon smile Groupons Air Fast Ticket Deal Misleading?
  • We specifically asked again:”Are you sure that booking this way is cheaper?”
  • Groupon answered that tthey are sure.

So Groupon is sure about the fact that you pay less. We already knew that this is not the fact, but we wanted to be really sure, so we composed the same ticket again. Big surprise, it became even more expensive…

Screen shot 2011 10 07 at 12.53.34 PM Groupons Air Fast Ticket Deal Misleading?

Click on the image for a larger view

So the total costs are not € 113,09 ( voucher + surcharges included) anymore, but suddenly € 128,09! We refreshed the page and the surprise became even bigger:

airfast Groupons Air Fast Ticket Deal Misleading?

Click on the image for a larger view

The total price is € 143,09! we’re familiar with the fact that airlines are constantly changing their prices in order to fill their flights. This is called “fluid pricing”. But Air Fast Tickets is a not an Airliner and the ticket prices are still the same on KLM.com as we write today!

Why is Groupon involving with this kind of companies? Why is Groupon suddenly selling deals with no clear advantage or discount for their users? And why are they saying that there is a price advantage for the user, even if we asked that question specifically again? Is this a result of the fact that they need to push their sales in order to keep up with the company’s ambition? Do you believe Groupon is misleading their audience with this “deal”? Or are the 2316 “gready” consumers to blame, who apparently are willing to buy any fancy deal Groupon offers them, even when you pay more this way?

We  have tried to compose this article with all possible care. We definitely want to hear if we misjudged some facts! We’re looking forward to your comments!

Source: ICON&CO

UPDATE: Seems like we’re not the only one that are sceptical towards Groupon’s way of offering “deals”, check this article on Business Insider, its’ called BUSTED: Groupon And Living Social Caught Inflating Regular Prices To Make Deals Look Better

 

Follow Category?

Follow Author?

Laurens Bianchi

Follow Tags?

No tags assigned

 

Comments (102)

  • Dennis
    10/10/2011, 19:36

    To be honest: I bought this deal and after reading your article I believe that is the first place I have to blame myself. But I can say now that the text in the deal was pretty misleading. It’s true that you expect to have advantages, jsut as eating in a restuarant with a Groupon or the sushi I’m going to get today.

     
    • So next time, please check the deal properly before buying it!

       
    • carlos
      02/02/2012, 20:12

      I totally agree with you guys. Air fast ticket and Groupon are misleading us!!!

      Last December I bought 7 tickets through Groupon.

      In January I booked 3 flights from Geneva to Madrid, Barcelona and Berlin which were confirmed by Air fast Tickets.

      However, the remaining tickets were cancelled by Air fast tickets because ” your (my) itinerary was not accepted by the Groupon offer regulations.
      You should proceed to a new reservation paying attention to select the departure airport valid in your offer”.

      In other words, if I want to use the remaining coupons I have to flight to ZURICH.

      UNBELIEVABLE!!!

      Not only the flight tickets are very expensive, but also I have to pay a train ticket from Geneva to Zurich.

      Of course, I sent different emails to Groupon about this issue but they never replied.

      Fuck off Groupon.

       
  • Rudi de Groot 10/10/2011, 19:45

    This is exactly the reason why Groupon’s stock prices are dropping. They don’t check the deals well enough.

     
  • Deepak
    10/10/2011, 19:48

    People are gready, companies like Groupon even more adn they take advantage of both greediness!!!!

     
  • Mark Schors 10/10/2011, 20:10

    Well said my friend! Not the right way to activate your fans!

     
  • Mikel Sanzol 11/10/2011, 01:11

    Congratulations for this article ;) And also for all the investigation you did.

    I write from Barcelona,

    When I see this kind of things I can imagine the community manager thinking “Why my boss is taking this type of decisions??” So maybe, even in Groupon, the relationship betwen the Big Fish, and the real social manager is not very good…
    Or maybe there is a lot of money behind all this, but we have seen a lot of times how a company goes into a crisis because of this “litle” things.

    Thank you so much for sharing this :)

     
    • Thanks for the reply. That is definitely something community managers have to deal with. Therefore I tried to be friendly when asking them instead of being a big pain in the ass.

      Personally I believe that the Groupkn Sales department has to keep up with the ambition of the company and that their willing to close this kind of partnerships, but I cannot look into their strategy , so I’m not sure.

       
  • Peter from Warsaw
    11/10/2011, 11:43

    The article is true.
    I checked the Air Fast Tickets prices for a flight from Krakow to Athens. It came out more expensive than a regular ticket. Meaning I am able to find more interesting offers looking for a ticket at airline websites.
    This is an outrage.

     
    • Well I believe that Air Fast Tickets have the right to execute their own price strategy. As long as they don’t promote themselves a s being cheaper, because that would indeed be an outrage.

       
  • Igor Beuker 11/10/2011, 15:21

    Cheat, bribe, lie= short term.

    Open, honest, crm driven= long term.

    Cheers

     
  • G. Papakonstantinou 11/10/2011, 16:39

    Hi Laurens, our official reply to your comments is here:

    http://www.airfasttickets.co.uk/uploads/pdfreply_11-10-2011.pdf

     
    • Hi G. Papakonstantinou (don’t know your first name, sorry),

      Thanks for the comment, much appreciated.

      Your example is clear, but that still doesn’t explains the screens in this article above with the surcharges of 99,09 and after refreshing even 114,09.. Can you explain this?

      Ik checked KLM and your website again, without deleting cookies etc. here’s the result:

      Air Fast Tickets:
      http://bit.ly/rjqB7C

      KLM:
      http://bit.ly/mS4GyX

      As you can see, in my example I pay more at Air Fast Tickets. These are the facts this article is based on. You can imagine that it’s confusing and that it tends to mislead, but that is just perception.

      You mention that you haven’t had any complaints yet. I usually don’t do a check up on other websites after I’ve booked a flight, perhaps that could be a reason. Or people simply don’t see any disadvantage.

      But your Groupon Deal has been discussed online already before my article(it’s in Dutch and people are discussing whether there is an advantage or not):
      http://forum.viva.nl/forum/list_message/10130475

      Thanks again for the comment. Looking forward to your reply again.

       
    • David
      07/04/2012, 12:07

      When is Air Fast Tickets finally take the responsibility to help people, I wonder if they read all these comments here.

      Poor, poor, poor customer service…

       
  • Hi, a small update:

    Just had a call with the CEO of Groupon Travel, who has tried to explain that Groupon tries to make the best deals possible for its users. Travel deals cannot compete with deals like restaurants and surcharges of flights can change constantly due oil prices etc. The CEO composed a ticket to Barcelona and he saved 30 euros on his KLM flight per ticket, compared to the KLM website. I mentioned that my flight to Milan is still cheaper at KLM and that some people I’ve spoken to also have cheaper flights not using Air Fast Tickets.

    I mentioned that it’s not to their advantage that their social media community manager mentions on Facebook that there’s always an advantage with this “deal”.

    Very sportive to give me a ring, unfortunately they don’t want to write an official statement or comment here. The CEO mentioned that this belongs to marketing, but they are busy with a lot of other things.

    Looking forward to your thoughts on this as well!

    P.S. Still looking forward to a response from G. Papakonstantinou…

     
  • JJunkie 14/10/2011, 08:37

    Vandaag dezelfde actie in België…blijkbaar loont het toch de moeite om de actie in andere landen verder te zetten.

    Heb een link naar je post gezet. http://www.schilleziever.be

     
    • Hi JJunkie,

      Thanks for the reply. I’ve looked into the Groupon Deal, funny to see that they changed the conditions compared to the Dutch Deal, they highlighted the surcharges part for example and they mention that you can check the costs of the flight before you buy the voucher (seems like trying to avoid problems).

      I composed a flight again on the Air Fast Tickets website (which doesn’t work on Firefox, so I used Safari). You can guess what the outcome is:

      Flight from Brussel to Milan (11/11 – 14/11):

      Air Fast Tickets; total 29 euro (voucher) + 80,76 = 109,76
      http://bit.ly/nU7v0j

      KLM; total 89,76
      http://bit.ly/pIAO6N

      So check prices before you buy your voucher. I still think this tends to misleading, as you buy at Groupon beacuse of discounts, that’s what made them big and interesting to the audience. Not to join smart marketing promotions whit no clear advantage for the users.

      P.S.: still no reaction from G. Papakonstantinou…

       
      • AirFastTickets 14/10/2011, 11:54

        Dear Laurens
        It is obvious that trying to give examples using various dates, flights, destinations and airlines we are coming practically to a “dead end”.
        We both agree I presume that airline tickets rates are very similar to the stock market. It is common knowledge that all airlines are constantly monitoring their seats capacity and they change the rates according to their load factors.
        Meaning that we can find a price for a destination now and in less than 10 minutes this price will cease to exist.
        The Hoteliers use the word “parity” for this rates change so we can say more or less the airlines are doing the same.
        Our advantage is that the rate offered to the consumer is a “locked” rate for one year. Please tell me if any Airline can guarantee to you that any “promo fare” will have the same validity?
        With our rate, consumer has the chance to find more than a couple of seats available while the airlines as soon as they sell the promo seats, they immediately revert to the normal fares…
        The fact for example that this time – with Belgium – the customers are invited to check the booking engine before purchasing, proves of the fairness of the offer and the openness of our company. We are inviting customers to check, before buying a coupon.
        We are not afraid of the comparisons, as we all belong in the same open market and everybody can check, compare and finally buy based on the preferences, the advantages and their long term planning.
        We hope that by that, we could explain ourselves and the scope of our offers. Although this is not the CEO speaking, we believe that you can rely on our words. We will be following the blog and hope to see your nice and in depth reports on other issues as well.

        AIRFASTTICKETS

         
        • Hi,

          Thanks for the reply.

          This article is about Groupon, a website that offers up to 70% discounts on deals, in combination with an Air Fasy Tickets “deal” from which Groupons claims that there’s always an advantage for the consumer (see the article). Well, sorry to say: there isn’t always an advantage.

          This is just way to let ignorant consumers think that they have a great deal on a website which attracks a lot of consumers, who expect to buy a great deal. but just buy a “voucher”.

          I think it’s wise that you informed consumers better on the Belgium deal, why didn’t you guys mention that on the Dutch Groupon as well?

          My approach of marketing is: long term, always be open, clear, honest, CRM driven. Not the way I showed in this article: fast, short term, unclear and tending to mislead.

          Perhaps is just luck that I composed a flight to Milan from Amsterdm and Brussels that accidentally are cheaper at KLM than your website.

          But most of all, I analyzed this as 1 big case: Groupon and Air Fast Tickets together. Not just you guys are Groupon.

          Thanks again for the reply, much appreciated.

           
  • Johan Van Assche
    14/10/2011, 17:10

    they came up with the same action in Belgium.
    I did the same investigation and came to the same conclusion.
    This is simply betrail.

    Johan

     
    • Laurens 14/10/2011, 19:36

      Hi Johan,

      I do believe that the conditions are more clear compared to the Dutch offer. My simple conclusion is that this kind of “deals” don’t belong to a group deal website like Groupon, who advertise with:

      “…for up to 70% off!”

       
  • Zeee 14/10/2011, 20:20

    Hi Laurens Bianchi,

    we have that same deal in Germany right now and already more than 10.000 people have bought a voucher, which is massive. I was thinking to buy a voucher as well, but then I did some research first. THANK GOD!!! I was sceptical, because I already had some bad experiences with groupon, where I paid more at the end and I hadn’t had any advantage at all.
    I just want to thank you a lot for sharing your findings with us, to avoid angry and disappointed people.
    You saved my day!!! Thank you very much for that.

    Zeeee

     
  • Kris
    15/10/2011, 10:45

    http://www.standaard.be/artikel/detail.aspx?artikelid=JL3H4JSA

    check this out. Somehow it works for Groupon to keep misleading and selling this…

     
  • Patrick
    15/10/2011, 17:30

    Keep getting “invalid code” when I enter my voucher code. Site can’t handle the traffic spike, keeps showing php errors.
    Air Fail Tickets instead of Air Fast Tickets

     
  • Marlen
    17/10/2011, 14:46

    I actually bought this and booked a flight from Amsterdam to Milaan. The total costs of my flight through airfasttickets was 260 euro. If I would have bought it from the flight company (alitalia) directly I would have paid 440 euro. And even all the other budget airlines were more expensive then what I paid!

    So, I’m one of the lucky ones. But I have to admit, I’m one of those cheap-skates that would spend 2 hours searching for the best deal just save a couple of bucks.

    So if you’re flexible with your date AND destination you can actually beat the system!

     
    • Hi Marlen,

      Good to hear that you had an advantage with your voucher. Unfortunalety that is not always the case with this promotion, although Groupon mentioned that there’s always an advantage. That is exactly what this article is about.

      The fact that Groupon changed the details on the dail page in Belgium shows that apparently they try to be more clear, but I still think that Groupon shouldn’t offer this kind of deals, which could be an advantage (like in your case) but a disadvantage in other cases as well.

      Therefore you should always check where you can get the best deal, instead of just buy a coupon.

       
  • ro777
    19/10/2011, 14:43

    hihi

     
  • ro777
    19/10/2011, 14:44

    test one

     
  • Heidi
    14/11/2011, 13:36

    Nice, that you wrote about this. I knew I wasn’t the only one wondering about this deal.

    However, I think that you have to be very aware of ticket prices in general before buying the voucher.

    I made a good deal when I bought the “voucher” from groupon, knowing I will fly home to Finland for christmas. I know that normally a ticket from AMS to HEL is more or less 200-250 euros. I checked flights on other comparing sites (such as supersaver.nl) and then air fast tickets.

    I ended up buying the ticket for 125 euros, which is way cheaper than what I normally pay for a ticket. I do have to transfer flights, which takes time and energy, but it is true that the ticket is way cheaper than normally.

    However, I don’t think I will be using air fast tickets website again. It’s slow, annoying and I couldn’t pay for days because the system was down- hence a lot of stress if I would even be able to get my ticket before it gets sold out! Also very inconvenient that there is no customer service number for Holland, I had to call to the UK for just some simple questions. I consider that as very bad customer service.

    I think I’ll just stick to good old super saver from now on- it’s fast, clear, reliable and you can pay with iDeal, which is awesome, since I don’t have got my own credit card.

    Thanks for this great writing though, it’s good that someone says things as they are!!

     
  • Laurens Bianchi 14/11/2011, 13:56

    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. I think you’ve made a wise conclusion:

    Alway check (air flight) rates in andvance, no matter what.

    Thisw as just a smart way to promote Air Fast Tickets, nothing more.

    Regarding their website: I totally agree with you.

    Thank again and have a great flight home!

     
  • just0022
    19/11/2011, 13:12

    Nooo I bought this deal.. it only saves me 10,- FAIL!

    This is also a bit strange, DNS with no address, and created on 15 sept 2011:
    http://www.whois.net/whois/airfasttickets.info

     
  • David
    01/12/2011, 14:00

    Great blog posting. I looked at the offer and was also excited at first at what looks a good deal until you read the small print. Given that the voucher only covers the “flight price” and not taxes/surcharges I wanted to compare Air Fast Ticket’s price with/without using a voucher. As soon as I saw that Air Fast Tickets ONLY sell tickets using the Groupon vouchers then you know you are in big trouble. They are clearly just a sales vehicle set up to allow Groupon take a commission on flight prices. The comment above about how the DNS has no address and was only created on Sept 15 highlights even further that this whole offer was schemed up in a Groupon marketing brainstorm a couple of months ago. The real problem for Groupon seems to be that retailers have tired of their high commission and are looking at research that shows the inital spike in business interest/publicity does not appear to convert to newly acquired loyal customers. The very fact that the customers are driven to your business from Gorupon is the problem as they are clearly the price conscious and e-savvy customer set.

    Another comment above also noted as to these are key reasons why Groupon’s stock is plummeting… which is true.

    http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NASDAQ:GRPN

     
    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the reply. I totally agree with it. Remarkable fact is that today they offering the same promotion again here in Holland…

       
  • David
    01/12/2011, 14:19

    Hi Laurens,

    Yes – that’s how I came to your blog today as I am actually based out of Amsterdam right now and saw today’s offer. When I googled “air fast tickets” your blog comes up on the first page. The fourth entry in fact… above air fast ticket’s own twitter account. Made me realise I wasn’t being paranoid and I certainly benefited from all the homework you put in…so thanks again.

    Sadly, over 3000 people have failed to do the same quick Google search and have bought in. Shame that Groupon are failing to see the bigger picture and are totally driven by the short term bottom line (which their IPO will force them to do even more so now).

    Fool me once… shame on you, fool me twice… shame on me.

     
    • Remarkable fact is that both Groupon and Airfast Tickets replied to me.

      Groupon by phone, while I adviced them to write a reply on their own blog or as a comment in this post. They refused to do that, because they were to busy or something like that.

      Air Fast Tickets replied with a sort of statement….in a PDF whcih you can download at their website… I guess Google searchbot likes blogs more…

       
  • Kelly
    04/12/2011, 14:23

    I ordered this from Groupon.nl 2 days ago without doing research. I have to blame myself for that ofcourse, but never the less, I am very disappointed with Groupon. Right now I am e-mailing them for a refund, because I think it’s outreageous they claim to be cheaper while you can get cheaper tickets on other places – much cheaper.

     
    • Laurens 05/12/2011, 15:33

      Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for the reply. I believe you can get a refund if you reply to them within 10 days.

      Good luck.

      Laurens

       
  • Thomas266
    13/12/2011, 19:36

    I actually bought this so know I looked at possible travel options and I am getting a good deal with a voucher, so my question is>

    Is Air fast tickets not a fraud? can I preside my ticket buying process????

     
    • Peter
      13/12/2011, 20:11

      yes it’s save but not much cheaper! I just went to London last weekend via air fast tickets

       
  • Thomas266
    14/12/2011, 09:32

    What makes me nervous is>

    I agree with the terms and conditions.

    but can I read it?

     
  • Haba
    14/12/2011, 16:24

    The same deal came for sale today here in Finland, some 25 000 people have purchased the deal so far, some say they have made a good deal, I think we´ll be hearing other opinions later on :I KA-CHING

     
    • Britt
      17/12/2011, 21:28

      This is also available in Norway.
      I checked before buying vouchers, and found good priced tickets for our family in July. Therefore decided to try, and bought 5 vouches. Have now spent the afternoon/evening trying to book tickets. However, I am not able to finalize and pay for the tickets. After inserting names, passport no. etc for all passengers, it ends up “pending” and “sorry, flight is fully booked”.
      So – there goes our cheap summer holiday flight tickets. Seams to me, they try to sell something they don´t have.
      I have tried several dates and several different flights, but ends up with the same result. I now have a lot of “pending” flights on my list, but are not able to pay and finalize any of the flights.

      Have anyone experienced the same problems?
      I will ask for a refund of the Groupon vouches, if I am unable to find flights!!!

       
      • Juha
        19/12/2011, 09:35

        Yep…Totally same situation in Finland. I have tried to book flights several days in a row and all for nothing! Everything I try to book is sold out. I think we have been seriously fooled this time and I want my freakin’ money back.

         
        • Mel
          21/02/2012, 21:17

          Hi all,

          I am only now discovering all this and same thing, i could book, enven pay but then discovered they took only one part of the payment! while there is enough money on the account! I bought the vouchers (6 of them) months ago so i cannot even ask them to refund me as one has to ask for refund within 15 days. Has anybody complained to the police about it? So many people have been fooled by them, is it possible to take action in justice, take them to court? I am so upset and feel so disappointed, int hem and in myself for having trusted them :'(

           
  • sophie
    23/12/2011, 11:26

    We reclaimed per mail and they paid the tickets back !
    please find here our messages :

    1° : “sophie XXXX, déc.-12 19:04 (CET):
    Bonjour,
    J’ai acheté 2 bons pour des vols AR à 29 euros prix unitaire et je ne peux les utiliser car aucune page de validation du paiement n’est disponible.
    Après avoir validé les réservations, celles-ci sont mises en attente du paiement.
    Mais je ne peux effectuer ce paiement, car j’accède sur le site panasoft qui me présente ses produits et sa société, mais ne me permet nullement de saisir mon moyen de paiement et ses coordonnées.
    Je tiens à votre disposition les impressions des pages concernées.
    Comment procéder ??
    je souhaiterais me faire rembourser ces bons.
    Merci de donner suite,
    Cordialement”

    2° ANSWER :

    “Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 20:38:59 +0000
    From: airfast@citydeal.fr
    Subject: [Groupon] Re: Bons inutilisables
    ————————————————

    Farid A, déc.-22 21:38 (CET):Bonjour Madame XXX,
    Nous avons bien reçu votre demande de remboursement concernant le deal avec notre partenaire Air Fast.

    Nous sommes heureux de vous confirmer que nous vous remboursons vos coupons. Le montant total de XXX euros sera crédité sur votre compte bancaire dans un délai de 14 jours.
    Nous vous remercions pour l’attention que vous portez à nos deals et nous nous tenons à votre disposition pour toute autre question ou interrogation,
    Farid A de L’équipe Groupon / Citydeal

    0 800 94 94 25 ( Numéro d’appel gratuit )

     
    • Laurens 23/12/2011, 11:43

      Thanks for the info. I believe you can always get your money back within 10 days.

      Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

       
  • iacopo
    10/01/2012, 21:18

    I have even a bigger problem with the airfastticket from Stockholm, it promised connection to different cities in Europe with a decent discount on the ticket…but instead of having direct flight to Milan or Barcellona, even London! they force to book 2 stops flight on an absurd price….it makes it impossible to use the coupon if you don’t decide to loose other money. Moreover I’m writing to groupon sweden to cancel my coupon and they never reply…Assholes

     
  • Vaes Jean-Paul
    10/01/2012, 21:47

    Het Groupon aanbod voor de zgn. goedkope vluchten tegen € 29.00– is regelrecht bedrog !
    Ik ging in op een aanbieding om vanuit Brussel voor 29 € naar verschillende Europese bestemmingen te vliegen. Ik wil naar Madrid.
    Uiteindelijk blijkt de vlucht € 167.– te kosten, én heb ik een heenreis die met tussenstops verloopt en over 2 dagen is gespreid !
    Dezelfde vluct met SN Brussels Airlines kost € 152.– en loopt rechtstreeks !
    Stop dat Groupon boerenbedrog !

     
  • Benjamin
    19/01/2012, 12:16

    Thank you for putting this up. This offer just came available i Denmark, but i wasn’t too sure about it, so i went on to check if anything was written about this before and boom! Here we are. Not going to use this deal after i read your article. Thanks!

     
  • Colleen Farrell 23/01/2012, 10:26

    Thanks again for the article post.Really looking forward to read more.

     
  • sam
    01/02/2012, 01:29

    Hi,

    here from France, I didn’t buy yet this Deal and won’t in the future. The Tutorial video (in french) show a reservation for 3 people for around 259 euros. But during the payment, this price falls to 109 euros. People could think the price decrease because of Groupon’s deal. I think if we ask Groupon on this, they will explain they just “paste” two different reservation on video, (that’s explains the difference). What a shame !

     
  • Mikael
    08/02/2012, 08:09

    ***************!!!HOAX WARNING!!!*************

    READ BEFORE ENGAGING IN ANY INTERACTION WITH AIR FAST TICKETS!!!

    I tried booking flights from Helsinki to Paris via Air Fast Tickets with some family members.

    My mother-in-law booked three flights on her credit card first and got confirmations of the payment and the tickets to her e-mail. After this I did the same with my credit card and the same confirmations resulted.

    The NEXT DAY the company system sent an e-mail to my mother-in-law that her tickets were cancelled due to a problem with the credit card. (The credit card was expiring in the same month as the flight, 4 months from now!!!)

    We tried getting the same flights again with another credit card but couldn’t find them. We tried asking for help from the customer service. They said: “Sorry, we can’t help. Only you can make bookings.”

    The result was that those flights to Paris were never found again.

    Next I asked the company to cancel my flight also to get us all on a different flight to a different destination. They tell me that the only way to cancel is to charge me all the taxes and fees AND a service fee AND to loose the voucher (29 €)! A total damage of about 60 €!!!

    NEVER HAVE ANY CONTACT WHAT SO EVER WITH THIS COMPANY!!!

     
    • Traveler
      15/02/2012, 10:59

      I think in this case you are partly to blame yourself. When using vouchers like this to book you should imo always book all seats in one go as you can never be sure if everything is ok with both orders.

       
      • anja bruyneel 15/02/2012, 11:02

        well, nothing to blame myself because i wish i could do that but the system does not allow you to do it. And it throws you out constantly and you loose all data you put in. So you can insert again the 4 code numbers, 4 passport numbers etc and without result!!! any hint is welcome!!!thanks

         
        • Mel
          22/02/2012, 11:30

          you do not have to refill the personal data part, just click “load names” or something like that, it has saved names, dates of birth and passport numbers, etc… the only info you have to put again are the codes which I recommend you copy/paste to save time

           
    • Mel
      21/02/2012, 21:24

      Hi,

      I am afraid when i read this as we paid tickets but they only took part of the money and when we try to pay the rest, a message appears saying that the payment has been completeed or partially completed. I feel like crying, they really use and abuse people. What can we do? to whom can we turn to to get refund -though we bought the vouvhers months ago or force them to meet the deal?

      Thank you all for sharing, i will never ever again use this company after i manage to use the 6 vouvhers already paid, IF I manage!!!!

       
    • Mel
      22/02/2012, 12:42

      Hi, same happened to us. We booked yesterday flights to Prague and reeived an email confirming the payment. Then we got an email that the payment was only pratially successful and that they would contact us to solve the problem. Today emails telling the bookings have been cancelled! no explaination but “there is a problem with the credit card”. What? there is money on the account and it does not expire before a long time, what the heck!?? The credit card belongs to my firend, so is this the problem, that the owner of the card and the traveler do not have the same name???
      Do they keep the money then or give it back? and also, I tried to look for the flights again but cannot find them anymore…those were direct flights, for 4 people at a price of 431 eur and few cents…now it is flights with a connection that they offer, and for 4 people it would be close to 950 euros!!! Can i contact the police? Please, help if you’ve been through the same situation, what did you do? how to get back the 29 eur x 6 tickets money??? I bought them couple of months ago…

       
      • Laurens 22/02/2012, 13:30

        I recommend to contact both Groupon and Air Fast Tickets.

        If they care about their customers, they can offer you a solution.

        If they fail at this, send your complaint to your local Travel Association and/or Consumer Association.

        Make sure you’ve a strong case and that you can proof that you’ve been harmed by them.

         
  • anja bruyneel 14/02/2012, 08:37

    has anyone ever tried to book the flight with several vouchers so for several persons? i wanted to use it for me and my family to fly from rome to brussels and it never worked. after having contacted them several times by email (they just replied i had to put a certain sign between the different voucher numbers and it did not work) i called them and after a while they just hung up!!!) They gave me as a ‘hint’ that i should book all flights separately, so think i book a flight for my baby and afterwards for myself but the flight is full, will my baby have to travel alone??? I LOST THREE HOURS TRYING AND TRYING AND IT DID NOT WORK OUT, SO I HAVE A LOSS OF VOUCHERS (because i will not be able to travel alone) so that is 116 euro!!! Amazingly bad promotion for their company, and i will make only bad publicity!!!

     
    • Laurens 22/02/2012, 08:54

      I’ll recommend you send your issue to Groupon a.s.a.p. for a refund.

       
  • Mike 21/02/2012, 19:15

    Groupon did the same in Denmark, and the deal ends up putting me as a customer in an incredible unfavourable position.

    My flight from CPH -> LON and back only saves me approx 20€ which is perfectly fine. What is annoying is that similar alternatives cost 50% less(found via momondo.com). As Groupon aggressively pursue 40-70% discount rates i feel quite cheated.

    Im now considering putting up a website that has one sole purpose: kill groupons flight deals. It seems i’m not the only one in Denmark or even europe who is pissed off. Its a BS move, they really should check the deals more thoroughly and ensure that there is a clear benefit.

     
    • Laurens 22/02/2012, 08:56

      Good initiative, make sure you check everything properly, you can use my article as a reference.

       
  • Jo
    22/02/2012, 00:19

    Hi,
    I stupidly bought this deal and hve also ended up paying more than I would have without a voucher. My concern is on my e-ticket it says “PRICES ARE NOT GUARANTEED UNTIL TICKETS HAVE BEEN ISSSUED”
    The money for the flight has already been deducted from my account. Does this mean they can charge me more money at the airport?
    Thanks!

     
    • Laurens 22/02/2012, 08:56

      Not usre, as we look at this subject from a marketing point of view. Good luck with it.

       
  • Mel
    22/02/2012, 18:42

    Hi all,

    I might have good news for you(us) all: after a long fight with groupon (city deal) and air fast tickets via emails and phone calls, and prayers, and tears in my heart, I got on the phone with an air fast tickets employee and she was really kind in her assistance. She recommended that for people who travel with family, for instance 2 adults and 2 kids that instead of booking for 4 people at once, one should book for 1 adult + 1 child and not pay and book again for another 1 adult + the other child and in the end pay for both bookings…and….it seems like it works! at least I pray what I see on my emails is true, that we did e-tickets and are finally able to use the vouchers on dates and at prices that are good. I wish you all to be able to book your flights, keep on trying and do not lose hope! I will keep following the post and comment… I want to believe it but I still remain careful, i don’t want to be disappointed again…

     
  • Willem
    23/02/2012, 11:56

    Same problem here, this is a complete SCAM. Is there a place we can file an official complaint? Ombudsman in Belgie?

     
    • Laurens 23/02/2012, 14:24

      Although it’s in Ducth, I’m sure anybody can find its local Consumer Association:

      http://www.consumentenbond.nl/over/internationaal/Zusterorganisaties

       
    • Mel
      23/02/2012, 14:31

      Hi guys,

      so after 24h I come to confirm, we got the flights using the vouchers!!!!

      Guys try as I described above, you should be able to book also…you have to be flexible on dates though and also, do not hesitate to search same dates and click enter every minute or 2 as prices vary from minute to minute… wish you “luck” ;-)

      one happy “customer” at last! (though I will not risk it anymore = will not buy any more these kind of vouchers)

       
  • jon benson
    26/02/2012, 14:12

    After all of groupons responses and political nonsense, the net result is that after buying these vouchers “I” no longer subscribe to any of groupons offers, eventually if you get ripped off you dont go back ?

     
  • Sabrina
    05/03/2012, 11:31

    They are offering this deal here in Dubai and its looks that is the same promotion that they offered in other countries, i checked on the normal airline and practically the prices are the same with the voucher than with the airline, so NO DEAL THERE!!.

     
  • pichereau
    05/03/2012, 16:34

    Bonjour je me retrouve dans le même cas que mes prédecesseurs, j ai acheté deux billets d’avion aller retour pour 29.00€ et à ce jour toutes les destinations que je sélectionne, le même message: DESOLE PLUS DE VOLS DE DISPONIBLESPOUR CETTE DESTINATION; c est une pure et simple arnaque je ne sais pas si je renouvellerai une même expérience à l’avenir, j ai plus qu’a demander le remboursement.

     
  • Manos
    19/03/2012, 17:22

    In Greece they had the same deal fro 59 Euros. The most disgusting thing is that there are no tickets available costing more than 59 euros. So there is no way to find a real deal (at least in Greece). And this expiration thing does not exist. I booked a ticket, they said I can pay up to one day later, and then they cancelled my flight before 24 hours passed, because they said I did not pay!!!
    Thank god I god my money back for this “deal” that is a definite European scam..

     
    • Miguel
      25/03/2012, 14:59

      Hi Manos,
      We are having the same issue in the UK and would like to get our money back too. Could you please tell us how you did it to get your money back? who did you contact?

      Much appreciated.

      Regards,
      Miguel

       
      • Laurens
        26/03/2012, 08:53

        Contact Groupon a.s.a.p., best way to get your money back.

         
  • anja bruyneel 26/03/2012, 07:00

    Hi all,
    i would already be happy if i managed to book, even with a slight LOSS of money, but the system does not let me book, there is always a problem, i contacted them and they said that ‘today there is a problem with our system’ , which is a ly because there is constantly a problem with their system. i tried to book a flight since October can you believe this? No results.good luck to all, i think i am giving up, lost 132 euro!!

     
  • Rob Gilham
    31/03/2012, 13:09

    Exactly the same issue. We purchased two vouchers from Groupcon
    and then visited the airfastflights site. EVERY flight we tried was either nothing available or offered flights that arrived in the middle of the night and departed the next morning!

    What a total con. Not only are you paying more for your ticket, once you include taxes and other rip off prices (24 euro’s to check a single bag!) but you get limited or no availability.

    The whole affair has left us 56 euro’s out of pocket as the vouchers are not worth the paper they are written on.

    I’ve since read that Groupon have been warned by the trading standards in the UK for false advertising and misleading customers. It seems their motive is just to grab your money and rip you off. I’ll be warning all my friends of what a con they are and will be watching with pleasure when they go out of business.

     
  • kathryn Chapman
    02/04/2012, 20:34

    I too bought cheap flights from Groupon and have not been able to book anything for the dates I have, I will not be buying anything from groupon again and will certainly be warning anyone that I introduced,
    I am £60,00 out of pocket and disgusted.

     
  • snakecaKE
    04/04/2012, 05:19

    I have bought this as well and actually got a really great deal and flights to Rome. but I had to search for a long time to find some flights but I suceeded….but now reading this I am quite worried that they will cancel the flight before we have to go :( I really don’t hope so.

     
  • AngryBird
    06/04/2012, 17:15

    I too bought 3 vouchers from Groupon and my husband bought 3 also. Stupid us! From the beginning the flights seemed impossible to reserve for the Air Fast Tickets groupon-site did not work properly. The link to Terms and Conditions never functioned, but we still had to approve them before we could proceed to payment. The first 3 times the payment never went through, and when I complained they claimed the failure was because of my card. The 4th time I tried first with 2 of my own credit cards and then I made a reservation in my husband’s name and card, and never got any of these through payment. And guess what? They made the payments go through MANUALLY without asking our permission first. So there we were, landed with a double booking for the same 3 persons for the same flight. Then it got nasty. I have been trying to cancel the double booking, but it seems to be almost as impossible as it was to get the flights. Their “customer care” is rude and the company’s politics is to direct complaining customers to contact their legal office email. And note! No names or direct contact information is given out. They hide behind anonymous email addresses. We have lost almost 500 euros in this deal.

     
  • Carry
    13/04/2012, 09:56

    I bought 2 vouchers and started with enthousiasm at the site of Air fast Tickets but after put in the voucher code there was no discount tot see. And that is what you want to know before the booking. But after reeding this, there is just none. And after reading more, there is also a possibillity that the booking doesn’t work right. I probably should forget about the deal and take my losses. Groupon seems to be misleading, so they probably would do this more often.
    Thanks Laurens, for your information.

     
  • Max
    23/04/2012, 18:36

    Same problems.

    I bought 5 of these tickets for my family as I am getting married in Istanbul and it seemed a cheaper way for them to travel to me.

    Been trying to book tickets for the last 4 days each time saying “sold out” and yet a few hours later the tickets are on sale again…

    I have called countless amount of times and so far have received 4 different solution to it not working.
    – clear my history/cookies and use a different browser… Nope
    – The plane is actually sold out, so why are they onsale again?
    – The airline company has withdrawn the flight from the offer (apparently they can do this) But once again the flights are back on offer.
    – There is a sync error with the website and the airline and the prices may be incorrect, hence them not processing my payments…

    I have a reservation now and keep trying to get payment through but nothing… Im sick of this!

     
  • mel
    16/05/2012, 19:17

    Do not lose hope and keep trying on booking with your vouchers. remember to refresh and erase history between the attempts. I had 6 coupons and was sooo frustrated thinking i had lost all my money but thank God I did manage to book all of them in the end. And on the flights, very good service. Best wishes to all who bought. ps: i will never by those vouchers again though

     
  • hey there and thanks for your information ? I have definitely picked up something new from proper here. I did however expertise some technical issues the use of this site, since I experienced to reload the site a lot of instances previous to I may just get it to load correctly. I have been puzzling over if your web hosting is OK? No longer that I’m complaining, however slow loading circumstances instances will very frequently affect your placement in google and can injury your high quality ranking if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am including this RSS to my e-mail and could glance out for much extra of your respective exciting content. Make sure you replace this again very soon..

     
  • sssam
    30/05/2012, 15:11

    Same issue in finland. I was just planning trip to rome, as I saw tens of people selling (desperately) these groupon vouchers in local ebay… 4 coupons for 40€ etc..

    after checking the rates on Air Fast Tickets, it did not make any sense to use the vouchers, EVEN IF I GOT THEM FOR FREE!!!

    hahaha, what a scam!

     
  • st
    23/07/2012, 11:43

    Same problem in Denmark. I called them for a refund but it wasn’t possible after x days. Seeing this article gives me the hope that I can call consumer protection and get my money back. I bought 4 tickets :-s.
    Booking worked for me, but checking the options and the prices I realized this is a scam.

     
  • Jatin
    02/09/2012, 11:28

    I brought this deal from Dubai to london and I applied for refund since I am unable to get the visa. Groupon Customer Support rejected it saying that it was not a valid reason and they told me to sell it to someone else. Who will even buy it?!

     
  • gregory daly 10/10/2012, 12:15

    Ok, I have been duped by this website. I bought tickets to Prague from Madrid for €33 each. I wanted to go with my wife for a weekend to which the price says: €0 plus €492 in tax. Now working in the industry, I know that tax is nowhere near this price for travelling within Europe. I am very dissapointed with this and dissapointed with myself for believing that it could be true

     
  • imagine retractable banner stands
    22/03/2013, 22:22

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing on your rss feed and I am hoping you write once more soon!

     
  • Seo katalogi 10/04/2013, 05:48

    Impressive how pleasurable it is to read this blog.

     
  • super katalog 10/04/2013, 06:06

    I can’t believe how lucky I am that I visited this blog.

     
  • seokatalog 10/04/2013, 06:15

    I can hardly believe that such well-designed blogs exist.

     
  • Katalog stron 10/04/2013, 06:17

    Due to this blog I made a decision to start writing.

     
    • Igor Beuker 12/08/2013, 12:23

      Hi Katalog, That sounds really cool, good for you!!!