Small business owner says Groupon accounting confusion cost her $2,000

DENVER -- A small business owner who depends on Groupon for new business said some accounting oddities have cost her $2,000 and she hopes her story reminds other small business owners to remain vigilant when working with similar third party sites.

The local business owner said as part of her merchant contract with Groupon, she’s not allowed to say anything derogatory against the company so she asked the FOX31 Problem Solvers not to use her name.

The business owner said she signed on to advertise her company through Groupon a year ago.

Groupon sells deals for her business on its site. Groupon takes a cut and sends the remaining money to her.

Initially, she said she was receiving checks from Groupon for $500-$800 twice a month. While the number of clients she sees has remained the same, she noticed recently those checks from Groupon were more like $300 as of late.

The business owner, previously an accountant of 30 years, started looking into the numbers. She said she found Groupon was giving her customers refunds once, twice, even three times even though that person had only bought one product initially. The small business owner said it’s had a huge impact on her.

Groupon said it’s not aware of any issue like this, and without the business’ name, it can’t investigate the claims further.

The Better Business Bureau said regardless of what happened in this small business owner’s case, it’s a good reminder to all small businesses to remain vigilant.

“Technology can have snafus and the accounting and business practice of that third party might not under strict controls to be checking every single business, every single month so you can have some small snafu that slips through the cracks,” said Krista Ferndelli with the Better Business Bureau. “It’s really on you to make sure you’re reviewing [the numbers].”