1 But Wait, Now How Will I Discover Terrible New Dining Establishments I'll Visit Once And Never Return To? | The Billfold

But Wait, Now How Will I Discover Terrible New Dining Establishments I’ll Visit Once And Never Return To?

“Ding Dong, Daily Deals Are Dead: The thrilling demise of Groupon’s crummy business model.” WHAT A TITLE. Great title. Read the article if you like, but basicallyyyyyyyy: Groupon is going down and lots of people are happy about it because Groupon sucks. (Journalist/Groupon/hater Rakesh Agrawal is reveling in the fall, and detailing his I-told-you-so’s on Twitter. Fun!)

My least favorite part of Groupon besides the emails I’ve never managed to fully eradicate from my inbox, has always been their shitty, shitty writing and their shitty, shitty job ads looking for people to do their shitty, shitty writing. Take this call for writers, dredged up from my email from 2010: “Every business we feature gets a thoroughly researched and profoundly absurd descriptive write-up, and we are looking for a few freelance writers to add to our figurative stable of word wizards.” WORD WIZARDS. I’d rather die. I’m pretty sure I was halfway through trying to apply for this job when I decided that no, I would not do anything for money. (Thanks, Groupon.)


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j-i-a (#746)

There is no word in the English language appropriate for Groupon copy. The writers for Houston were particularly SKLURG. A few of my favorites, which made me so psycho that I saved them (a pattern):

One Month of Unlimited Boot Camp classes at Get Real Fitness, $25 (formerly $247). “The sun is an incandescent ball of gas with a fiery temper, directing 100 degrees of hot anger at Houston from April to October.”

20 Units of Botox at the Houston Texas Dental Spa, $135 (formerly $270).
“When you uploaded your latest family pics, your face-recognition software tried to tag your sharpei with your name.”

45-Minute Signature Facial with Masque at Aesthetic Surgery Institute, $39 (formerly $99). “Although fragrant and vibrant, a fresh bouquet of roses may only remind your mother of her bygone bloom of youth and formerly petal-soft skin.”


Megano!@twitter (#1,923)

@j-i-a Oh man, this just sounds like someone fucking with Groupon, and because Groupon is terrible, they didn’t even call them on it.

j-i-a (#746)

@Megano!@twitter Or maybe not! From an interview with the PR director of Groupon in 2010:

“Our staff enjoy their personal lives but it’s not uncommon for them to work 12 hour days because they want to. The masterminds in Editorial are responsible for the quirky, snarky humor and messaging that we’ve become known for and do a great job of reflecting the Groupon spirit to the millions of consumers who read our write-ups each day – and that personality is reflected internally through company meetings, pranks and pretty much any other opportunity we have to be weird.”

It makes my skin crawl kind of. I bet that Houston writer got a wacky memo over the office airhorn like “Sweet SHARPEI reference you editorial snowflake, here’s a groupon for varicose vein removal as a LITTLE BONUS from the best company ever”

@j-i-a Perhaps that boot camp writer was just a big They Might Be Giants fan? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JdWlSF195Y

@j-i-a That copy is unreadable! Some of the Boston stuff looks like a crappy imitation of the Urban Daddy style, with its fauxsauve ‘Gentlemen, This is Vodka’ skeeziness. Instant unsubscribe for me. (Though I still keep UD around, because they have cool stuff.)

la_di_da (#1,425)

Yes, Groupon sucks. BUT they created a whole new business (or at least revolutionized it) to create scenarios in which I will never have to pay full price for dinner again in New York. Scout Mob, people. Holy Crap. Also, Savoured NYC, for you gourmands. Now we have a new business model that resembles the old in that it’s free, but featuring the kinds of establishments and merchandise Groupon did. Free coupons for everyone! Yes, it’s less of a discount than Groupon, but it’s better for the business owner, as she doesn’t have to cut her own throat with the discount and still gets more business. I repeat: Scout Mob.

Marissa (#467)

@la_di_da Yeah, I don’t use Groupon but I loooove Goldstar for events. I went to the SF Symphony five times this summer for less than $20 per concert.

melis (#42)

I hate coupons, if only because they present other humans with the opportunity to say “queue-pon.”

@melis how ELSE would you pronounce it?!

Dancercise (#94)

@melis That’s why I pronounce it “Greue-pon.”


KOO-PON. It is the only way.

@Reginal T. Squirge I dunno guys, I’ve watched a lot of extreme couponing in my day (first mistake) and i’m pretty sure those guys would know what they’re talking about…!

(please make sure in your head you pronounce my comment extreme queue-poning.)

Think about how you pronounce other words that are spelled exactly the same way! “Group”, “soup”, “troupe”. Then pronounce “coupon” like those words!

This is the same thing that bothers me about people that say, “Tee-use-day”.

@Reginal T. Squirge I know that being as 9 times out of 10 I am clueless, and also “I don’t understand humour” it can be hard to tell when I actually am “in on” “the joke” BUT I DO PRONOUNCE COUPON PROPERLY!

However, I did used to pronounce Tuesday “Choosday” so feel free to mock me mercilessly for that one. Or “Katchup” (ketchup) or “Melk” (milk)

“Choosday.” what even.


It’s “care-a-mel”, not “carmul” for the same reason it’s “care-a-van”.

@Reginal T. Squirge also:

“shed-ual” not “sked-ual” RIGHT?!


“Sked-ual”, like “scheme”. Like “school”!


wondajules (#80)

@Reginal T. Squirge Have you seen the commercials for Coupon Suzie? I had to rewind it 3 times just to make sure she wasn’t saying “Poop on Suzie”… so maybe say “queue-pon” if you would like to avoid folks randomly defecating. For the record, I like to mix it up. Life is too short to pronounce words just one way. Or something.

WaityKatie (#1,696)

One time I was hate-watching “the Millionaire Matchmaker” and the contestant was a dude who wrote for Groupon. He had accumulated his millions through Groupon stock options. (actually I’m pretty sure it was just 1 million, but still!) It just filled me with so much impotent rage that someone got rich by writing that mind-melting garbage.

i somehow managed to get rid of all my groupon emails, i had managed to rack up at least 3-5 of them per day and I’m pretty sure I only ever signed up for one!

the only thing I ever used it for was wine making. and the last time I did it, the lady even told me she was very unhappy with the groupon experience as she was processing my order. awkward…

But would you do anything for love?

But how I am I going to get the rest of my hair all lasered off for cheaps now? How? Life as a very hairy lady is hard people!

It’d be interested to see a comparison with Livingsocial’s (slightly different?) model — like, they seem to put on a lot of their own events. Also, their writing is just plain dreck, not even trying to be weird.

nonvolleyball (#305)

@stuffisthings I’ve had a $25 Groupon giftcard for almost a year now, & still haven’t found anything to buy with it. every couple weeks, I forward my husband a suggested use, & he’s like, “…but this is a Living Social deal?” so apparently for me, at least, they’re doing a much better job of finding stuff people actually want.

sunflowernut (#1,638)

I knew a girl who worked at Groupon for a year or two – and she hated it. She basically had to live Groupon 24/7. She recently quit and has never been happier.

cmcm (#267)

I feel like a real dick for being such a Groupon tourist.

I think I’m going to go make another appointment with that chiropractor now…

selenana (#673)

But Krista from effingdykes works there and I looove her!

ThatJenn (#916)

I use Groupon at least sometimes, with mixed satisfaction, but I can’t stand that they sometimes don’t even bother to put the business name in the email – you have to click “view deal” to see where the coupon is for because the space where they’d normally tell you that is full of gibberish.

Dorothea@twitter (#1,952)

I particularly hate Groupon this week as they utterly cocked up a key-part of the only 2 day holiday I’ll be taking this year. The poor boat hire guy (was a boat trip on Loch Lomond) felt my wrath, but I saved some extra up for when they emailed me to ask me to fill in a survey on ‘customer service’. I took delight in telling them I would never, ever use them ever again.

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