Cudo and Spreets launch a framework for a Group Buying Code of Conduct!

Today, Cudo announced the launch of a draft Code of Conduct for for the Group Buying industry and a framework to complete the code in partnership with Spreets and a number of industry bodies, including ADMA, AIMIA, Telsyte and others.

This is no PR stunt, this is an important step that was born out of necessity. The growth of the Group Buying industry in Australia has lead to more than twenty companies starting daily deals websites; this growth brings real risk to merchants, to consumers and to the category as a whole. Once agreed though, the Code will bring a set of principles that will go a long way to protecting Merchants and consumers from that risk.

Cudo and Spreets as industry leaders at least recognise the importance of putting merchants and members first, ensuring the group buying experience continues to be strategically sound for merchants, and enjoyable and worthwhile for members. As the category grows, our introduction of this voluntary Code of conduct provides a framework from which to implement some of the fundamentals of good group buying and promote best practice.

We have invited our Group Buying competitors to get involved in the development of the code and sign up to the finished document, I sincerely hope they do – many existing Group Buying businesses will have to mend their ways if they are to sign up of course, let’s hope they do that too!

The draft Code of Conduct is as follows:

Our commitment to members is to:
1. Always offer you great deals – genuine discounts on quality products and services from first class merchants
2. Never engage in misleading advertising, such as advertising specific discounts or products that don’t actually exist (known as ‘Bait and Switch’)
3. Make our deal descriptions and terms & conditions clear using plain English so you know what to expect in return for your voucher. Where exclusions exist, they will be equally clear using plain English and will never be intentionally misleading
4. Make our website terms and conditions clear and in plain English so you know what to expect from your experience with our sites
5. Respect your privacy at all times and abide by the Privacy Policy you agreed to when you joined the site
6. Respect your email account at all times, taking measures to protect it from hacking or other fraudulent use
7. Work with our merchants to make sure you can easily redeem your voucher and that you are treated as good as or even better than a typical full paying customer
8. Provide responsive and helpful customer support and service – seeking to fully understand and resolve your issues
9. If you’re not fully satisfied with your experience, we’ll seek to understand why, address the issues and, if your issue cannot be resolved, provide you with a full refund or credit
10. Do what we say we’re going to do, every time

Our commitment to merchants is to:
1. Work with you and your team to make your group buying promotion as successful as possible
• Help you package and price the right deal for your business
• Help you prepare for the increase in customers
• Help you manage the increase in demand including capping your offer as necessary
• Help you maximise your up-sell opportunity to enhance the experience of new customers at your business
• Help you get customers coming back
2. Provide you with clear payment terms
3. Provide fast, effective, personal customer service through a dedicated account management model
4. Do what we say we’re going to do, every time

10 thoughts on “Cudo and Spreets launch a framework for a Group Buying Code of Conduct!

  1. This is bullshit!

    Especially no 4:Make our website terms and conditions clear and in plain English so you know what to expect from your experience with our sites
    No 8: Provide responsive and helpful customer support and service – seeking to fully understand and resolve your issues

    Please stop lying through your teeth Mr.CEO.

    If you spend some time reading the comments on your Facebook page, you will see that there are a lot of customers who are extremely dissatisfied with the service that your company provide.

    If your T&C clearly states that a refund will be processed if we are not happy with the deal. Fortunately, I was very happy BUT a change in the management of the merchant meant that the deal I bought is no longer valid.

    This meant that I had to request for a refund ( which I felt your company should have informed the me instead ).
    Here comes the hard part, there is no number to call nor a direct customer service representative that I can reach. This is the reason why Groupon is clearly the leader.

    You, sir, are terribly at your job. I say this because you are clearly blogging and promoting the culture and your promise of your company and yet customers are clearly unhappy with the service of your company.

    I have been trying to reach anyone from your company to get my refund. If you do have a conscience and not lying about the article I have just read; then get your staffs to refund my money.

    1. Hi Nicholas, thanks for your thoughts.

      I am somewhat confused as I think your case perfectly reinforces the level of support we provide and the lengths we go to provide a great service.

      I chatted with our excellent team of support people and they confirmed that you had emailed on the 12th with a request for a refund, the fact that the business in question was no longer accepting Cudo vouchers is somewhat out of our control and even though we have now provided offers for some 2,000 businesses we have had only a handful of issues like this (this business went bust unfortunately). We immediately refunded your purchase at our own expense and let you know by email that we had done so. You then altered us to the fact that your card had since been cancelled due to fraud however we have confirmed that the refund was successful and you will have no issue recovering these funds from your card issuer.

      The fact is, this was all done a week ago and our team of pro’s has emailed you a number of times to confirm that this is the case. I am proud of the work Kelvin and his team does and the commitment they have to deliver on the Cudo Promise, we don’t always get it right, but we do try very hard!

      Over a million customers come to Cudo every month looking for amazing offers, hundreds of thousands find them, now and again there will be an issue, often outside of our control, but that doesn’t stop us. We opened our Facebook page in an effort to uncover such issues, and we never delete even the most scathing comment.

      That’s our commitment to excellence.

      Sorry you don’t agree. Please response to our support team and confirm that you do indeed have the funds.

  2. Dear Billy,

    I find it interesting to see you comment on the article today http://www.news.com.au/business/shape-up-group-buying-sites-on-notice/story-e6frfm1i-1226164921928 when your company Cudo.com.au has still never to bothered responding to my countless emails and forms sent through about a recent wine deal. (Tax invoice 1000598279)

    The misleading offer on your site advised on a 10 day delivery period while I ended up waiting 2 months for my delivery. Had I known I would have canceled my order. I actually asked for a refund which was never actioned by your company.

    As a suggestion, responding to genuine customer enquiries would help the industries profile. Having an accessible support line and infrastructure in place before you make misleading statements would also prevent legal issues. I won’t be using Cudo because of the follow up service I received from the company you are response for.

    Regards,
    Nicholas

    1. Thanks Nicholas, it’s regrettable that we dropped the ball with your enquiry – sorry.

      We are far from perfect at Cudo, but our focus is on getting as close to perfect as we can, and where we don’t meet our own high standards we have to be open to criticism, that’s how we’ll close in on our goals.

      I’m glad you reached out here and I hope we can regain your faith in the future.

  3. Billy, this is a great idea and @redealize we applaud this move. It would be great to see the Oz deal industry get behind something like redealize.com.au as part of the code of conduct. An approved secondary market for unwanted deals (like the ISP markets that exist for domains). @redealize we’re a young (boot strapped) startup and would love to partner with you, Cudo, and Spreets to help make the industry better.

  4. Hi Billy,

    In all fairness its the government regulators who forced this ADMA code of conduct in the first place – “regulate your industry or we will regulate it for you”. I agree that this was needed but it doesn’t mean much when one of the Group Buying code of conduct members (I wont name and shame) was running a Ferrari drive day with photos of a relatively new Ferrari F430 when the details of the ad stipulate a much older Ferrari 360. This photo was right next to the “Group Buying Code of Conduct” stamp which i thoughts was ironic.

    To some this example might not be that bad, but it shows a general attitude in the industry of cash grabbing , and lets be honest, this isn’t just by the group buying sites involved, Its by the Industry as a whole, Group buying popped out of no where to become a billion dollar industry (Telesyte predictions for 2012). The cash grabbing is going on by the merchants (after that cash influx into their business, being blinded by $$$ upfront before work has been done), its also by the buyers after that elusive 70% off and having a high expectation of what they are about to receive (whether it is a product or service), however out of these three sectors there is only one that comes out of this situation better off and that is the group buying companies. I am not saying this is bad or good, its just the way it is, in some instances merchants are getting a great deal too but the scales are tipped too far one way. Its one thing to pay ADMA 5k to be part of a code of conduct, its another to sacrifice sales numbers in order to do the right thing by the customer and that is where the difference will lie.

    I like that the big guys are moving towards products now rather than hospitality services because lets be honest, labour costs in AU are way too high and unaffordable for companies to slash in half, even though they are meant to be taking these costs and pulling them out of their marketing budgets, there needs to be allot of re educating in the marketplace as to how this can work for high end merchants because i believe that it can, the model just needs tweaking. Also its allot easier for a company with a warehouse that is overstocked to get rid of product in the thousands than it is for a restaurant to happily service 2,000 customers. Hopefully this will stop that bad mouthing coming from the public about bad experiences, so all that needs to be solved now is the logistics of getting thousands of Haviana’s to happy customers when they buy them! (aherm Living Social!)

    I would like to congratulate you for all of your success at Cudo, in all the sites that i have heard negative stories about, Cudo was never been a topic of conversation I wish you all the best in your new venture, I hope to meet with you one day and we can chew the “Group Buying Industry Fat”.

  5. Mansour, please accept my apologies, two comments were waiting for moderation on my blog when I thought I had disabled the option. My bad… I appreciate your comments though.

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