Groupon has agreed to settle 17 lawsuits that were consolidated under U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw in San Diego for $8.5 million. The lawsuits alleged that the daily deals site sold coupons with illegal expiration dates and provisions.
One of the lawsuits claimed that “Groupon effectively creates a sense of urgency among consumers to quickly purchase ‘groupon’ gift certificates by offering ‘daily deals’ for a short amount of time.” The lawsuit explained that “Consumers therefore feel pressured and are rushed into buying the gift certificates and unwittingly become subject to the onerous sales conditions,” Bloomberg reports.
According to the terms of the settlement, customers who purchased Groupon coupons before December 1, 2011 will be able to redeem the coupons no matter the expiry date, or get a refund from the settlement fund. Also, for the next three years Groupon will sell no more than 10 percent of all daily deals with deals that have less than a thirty-day expiration date. Groupon allegedly disputes the claims of the plaintiffs, though spokesperson Julie Mossler said that the company doesn’t comment on litigation.