WASHINGTON, DC – LivingSocial, the local social deals rival to Chicago-based Groupon, boosted its traffic by 80 percent selling a $20 Amazon card for $10 last week, but the deal spawned a rash of negative comments on the LivingSocial Facebook page and stories about the deal across the Web on sites that allow comments.
Some LivingSocial users complained they still had not received their paid for deal days afterward. Some users apparently tried to take advantage of the deal more than once, which is not allowed. Others claimed they were unfairly accused of doing so. Complaints ranged from credit card problems to the way LivingSocial agents responded. Many complaints about the company were harsh.
We have requested a response from LivingSocial both when we did our original story on the deal last week and again this morning.
Hitwise Intelligence data shows that LivingSocial “closed the gap” between it and Groupon, with its traffic surging 80 percent while Groupon’s actually fell 20 percent. Hitwise suggests that means that “the race for dominance in the group coupon space is far from over.” Mashable opined that LivingSocial’s traffic is likely to return to Earth this week, although the company likely gained many new members and national attention, good and bad, from the deal.
Groupon is recognized at the 800-pound gorilla in the space. Groupon turned down a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google, which is launching Google Offers, its own version of social deals amid rumors that Facebook may also become a competitor, further demonstrating how hot the sector remains.
Not all comments on stories about LivingSocial’s Amazon deal were negative. One pointed out that in a deal this size (reportedly 1.3 million people bought the Amazon discount, the company says) there are always some disgruntled customers. However, the way a company deals with such responses on a social media platform and otherwise can seriously affect its business going forward.
The Amazon deal followed the online retail giant’s investing $175 million in LivingSocial, the second larger player in the space currently.
I noted in our first story that I bought the Amazon discount card from LivingSocial using a credit card and had no problems with the deal.
For more see: Was LivingSocial’s Big Amazon Deal a Bust?
Email TJS Editor Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournal South dot com.