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23 February 2024

Groupon blows off deal following rumours of ‘fraud’ make-up

The Groupon advert for the product (Supplied)

By Majorie van Leijen

Groupon blew off the deal offering ‘authentic’ MAC eye brushes, facial brushes and eye palette with a saving of 54 per cent, or Dh241 for the customer. The deal was sold out on the website two days ago. Many thought the products to be fraudulent.

Although Groupon does not wish to comment on the reason why it is blowing off the deal, CEO Ainsley Duncombe stated today (Wendesday): “We are refunding all customers who have ordered the product. Groupon is blowing off the deal.”

Yesterday, distributor of the products offered on Groupon, Tabasum General Trading made a similar statement, saying: “We are thinking of blowing off the whole deal.”

The lady responsible for the distribution explained that at the moment of speaking, she was in a dispute with MAC as she was not authorised to distribute the product in the UAE.

Days before the deal was cancelled Groupon users had been expressing suspicion over the product, disbelieving it was authentic. On the Facebook page of Groupon several comments were posted in reaction to the ad such as “is it original?” and “I love to buy this deal but a friend told me that Alshaya is the only sole distributor of MAC... how come the goods are come from Ajman? confused :(“.

Groupon commented on the reactions by stating that the products were “original” and that “the way we are able to bring this deal for you guys is because we deal with local and international merchants”.

Indeed, Alshaya is the only authorised distributor of the product in the UAE and it explicitly states ‘not to have any connection’ to the product offered on Groupon.

The distributor said yesterday that she was not sure which steps were the right ones. “When I started my business in the UAE with a trading licence of a friend, I was not aware of the restrictions on authorisation of selling the MAC products. I have just found out that we were not acting according to those rules. ” At the end of the conversation, she said that customers would get their products.

Groupon, upon hearing the rumors decided to call off the deal itself and explained that as a procedure, the products offered on Groupon are independently screened on being authentic, as well are the companies on being authorised to distribute the product.

Asked whether Groupon had been aware of the lack of authorisation of Tabasum General Trading to distribute the MAC products, it chose not to comment on the issue in particular.

As stated by Ainsley Duncombe, Groupon is working on informing the customers as of the time of writing.