Groupon Deal: Too Good to Be True

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    For many families in Japan, eating traditional New Year’s food is a bid deal. Unfortunately, some people decided to buy their meals through a deal on the coupon site Groupon this year, and they ended up receiving unbelievably crappy meals. Angry customers posted photos of what they received online, and the comparison above shows, the product they bought looked nothing like what was advertised.

    The story has blown up all over the TV news and the internet. Clips about the scam have been all over the top-rankings on YouTube for several days now:

    Some who ordered the osechi set from Bird Café, a Yokohama-based restaurant, via online discount site Groupon, were horrified when they lifted the lid to discover a sparsely-populated box sloppily thrown together that didn’t resemble the rich osechi meal promised in the pictured advertisements.

    Japanese blogs and tweets are still buzzing over the shocking offense days since photos posted on 2ch, a popular Internet forum, were put up before the new year.


    Groupon released a statement Wednesday apologizing for the mishap. According to Japanese media reports, the Bird Café erred in two main ways: it shortchanged customers on the number of items and the amount in each box. Its advertisement on Groupon said 33 different types of food would be included, enough to serve four people. But the restaurant was short by about eight items and the fill was meager. The blunder occurred due to an overflow of orders that exceeded the allotted 500 sets and failing to leave enough time to prepare all the boxes, wrote Kenji Mizuguchi, the president of Gaishokubunka, the restaurant management company that oversees Bird Café, on his blog Sunday. In the same blog entry Mr. Mizuguchi announced his resignation as company president to take responsibility for the incident. The meal valued at 21,000 yen ($256) was reduced to 10,500 yen ($128) with a 50% off coupon on Groupon, a sharp discount that some online voices say is to blame for the end product.

    Itai News has noted that 2-channelers have humorously compared it to McDonald’s food and photo-shopped women on adult video covers. Here’s a mega mac:

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