Ad Alert

Tour De Tavern Groupon

Advertised savings on coupon site may not be as big as you think.

Ad Alert

Tour De Tavern Groupon

Tour de Tavern Groupon

This Groupon for a one-seat, two-hour pedaling tour of Old Scottsdale, Arizona advertises big savings based on a “$50 Value,” which is presumably what the ride would cost without the coupon from the online deal site. Presumably.

But a reader who wrote found that the math didn’t add up:

…if you visit their website (Tour De Tavern), the price of one seat is actually $35. Clear as day this company is deceiving consumers by making them think they are getting a 46% discount on the price through Groupon when they are actually only receiving a 23% discount of the real price! could not find one-seat rates on Tour De Tavern’s website so we called the company in Arizona. An employee confirmed that the cost to climb aboard the contraption for two hours is currently $35 — an off-season rate that runs from June to August. The reader’s email to arrived June 29, nearly a full month after the price dropped from its usual rate of $50 to $35.

So why did the Groupon fail to reflect the seasonal rate change in the advertised value of the offer? That part’s unclear. Tour De Tavern told that the company informed Groupon of the change in pricing “sometime around June 1.”

We also asked Groupon what happened, but it has not responded to our inquiry.

Tour De Tavern said that it wasn’t overly concerned about Groupon’s failure to adjust the value amount because business is slow in the summer when temperatures on most days top 100 degrees. In an email, the company said that “most people have no desire to be outside doing strenuous activities.” But the pedaling tour may not be as physically demanding as you think. As one recent reviewer on Yelp divulged: “Insider tip: the bike has a motor, so really there’s no need to pedal at all. Lol.”

It’s unclear how many of the more than 370 Groupons sold were purchased when the actual value should have been advertised as $35. As a solution to the problem — the Groupon is still being advertised with the same savings — Tour De Tavern told that it will now charge regular paying customers $50 year-round “so as not to appear deceptive as this was never our intention.”

The bottom line: Be wary of advertised savings on Groupon.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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