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Are travel deals the biggest headache in Group Buying?

We’ve seen the explosion of a lot of group buying sites and daily deal sites since 2011 and it has been estimated that total revenues are in excess of Php100 Million a year (and it is still growing). As such, it’s not a surprise that problems and issues tend to crop up more than their usual fair share.

Perhaps, these issues have risen because of the volume of transactions, the impulsive buying habits of consumers towards these deals (higher likelihood of buyer’s remorse?) and the clever wording of the so-called “fine print”.

I noticed though that a lot (or the biggest) of these headaches that group buying sites are experiencing come from travel deals.
Last year, we heard of the story with MetroDeal and their travel package that got screwed up leaving a lot of customers not being able to avail of the vacation package or get a refund for it. This got the attention of DTI and I also heard that a competitor reported them to Facebook which eventually led to the closure of their FB Fan Page and losing more than 500k fans (MetroDeal has since then created a new Fan Page).

Last month another deal site, CleverBuy got into some problems with their travel/vacation package. I am not familiar with the deal or how it went but this email newsletter from the company’s CEO might shed light:
Oftentimes, the issue mostly stems from over-booking, fluctuating prizes of plane fares that are package along with the deal, and the fine print that usually requires customers to buy vouchers in pairs, upsells them, or include additional hidden charges. 

These travel deals and the travel agencies that offer them could be the next target by the DTI. And, it might soon blow over that customer confidence towards online shopping will degrade instead of improve.

I haven’t really tried getting a vacation package from any of the deal sites before so I don’t have any first-hand experience. If you have any experience before, feel free to chime in at the comments.
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