Here’s my experience with them:
1. I purchase a travel package for dates 30th Dec – Jan 1st, marketed by Crazeal (brandname of Groupon India) and make payment for the same on Nov 16th.
2. I get the vouchers on November 17th.
3. On December 22nd, I get a call from the merchant, who is to provide the actual travel service, telling me that despite several reminders, Groupon has not yet made the payment for my booking, and the booking is liable to be cancelled.
4. I promptly contact My Dipankar Ghosh of crazeal, who was interacting with me on this deal. He assures me that the payment will be made.
5. On 26th, the merchant contacts me again, and tells me that the booking will be cancelled if the payment is not made within 24 hours.
6. I promptly forward their mail to Dipankar as well as [email protected]…om.
7. No response fron [email protected]…om other than an automated response giving me a ticket number. On 27th evening, I try calling the travel support numbers of crazeal 9900026356 and 9900026351 more than a dozen times – the numbers are either busy, or they go on ringing and no one picks up.
8. On 27th evening, I email [email protected]…om giving the details of the case.
9. At 9:35pm on 27th, there’s the mail from Mr Abhishek Bose, Partner Service Manager, Crazeal followed by a call from him and another mail, in which I am assured that the voucher will be honoured.
10. At 11:35pm, I receive a call from the merchant telling me that the booking has been cancelled for non-payment. This is a complete contradiction of what I have been assured by Abhishek. Informally, the merchant also tells me that they were contacted by Mr Abhishek the day before, and he promised them payment by 12 noon that day, but it was not done, following which they were forced to cancel the booking (of course, this is the merchant’s version). I ask the merchant to confirm the cancellation in a mail, so that I have a written record.
11. I write promptly to the merchant, Abhishek, [email protected]…om as well as [email protected]…om, pointing out to them that whatever crazeal was saying is at complete contradiction to what the merchant is saying.
12. This time, I get a response from Mr Ankur Warikoo, CEO, Crazeal telling me that he is aware of the case, there has been some miscommunication and it will be resolved “first thing in the morning”.
13. The “first thing in the morning” happens at 6pm, when the merchant sends a formal email confirming the cancellation.
So, in effect, these guys sat on my money for about a month and a half and did not pay the merchant despite several reminders. As a result, I miss my vacation, that too, at the last moment, when making arrangements for any alternative is practically impossible. In every conversation with them, they kept on giving false assurances.
I will, of course, be taking them to the consumer court.
If you’re planning a vacation, even if a deal from crazeal/groupon seems attractive, remember: there’s no guarantee that if you purchase the deal, you can get your vacation. As for other products/deals from them, well, at least I am going to stay away.
Crazeal/Groupon definitely did not come out as a trustworthy entity to do business with.