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Summary:

Unorthodox accounting metrics are not new to Groupon. In the latest instance, the daily deal site says it isn’t happy that some “clever peop…

Groupon Deal Counter
photo: Groupon

Unorthodox accounting metrics are not new to Groupon. In the latest instance, the daily deal site says it isn’t happy that some “clever people” are using its Deal Counter, which states how many times a given deal has been sold, to “make (consistently incorrect) estimates of our total company sales.” So the company is purposely making the Deal Counter less accurate.

A post on Groupon’s official blog explains the numbers you’ll now see on the Deal Counter:

Instead of showing the exact number of Groupons purchased, the counter is now reduced by a random percentage – sometimes 0.5%, sometimes 19.5%, or anything in between.

Additionally, we are capping and rounding the counter from time to time. We now precede the Groupon count with the word “over” to reflect that the actual number is always actually larger than what’s being displayed.

The company perkily says it doesn’t like people trying to guess how many deals it’s sold “for the same reason you probably wouldn’t like if people tried to guess your weight all day.”

Groupon has had a bad few months. It delayed its IPO, ran into trouble with the SEC for a self-congratulatory “internal memo” and for its accounting metrics, and lost its new COO back to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) after just five months. It is also facing two class action lawsuits. According to recent reports, though, it’s planning to go public late this month or early next month.

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  1. An actual quote: “We’re blogging about it to be transparent about our lack of transparency.”  This is exactly what investors do not want to hear.  It’s like Groupon’s running the playbook on how to torpedo a company.

  2. kevin naughton Monday, October 10, 2011

    Everyone knows Groupon MISSTATED all their financial revenue, reports and standing.Now we hear this about PURPOSELY MISSTATING the accuracy of offers sold.
    MORE THAN A FEW PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT THE ENTIRE GROUPON / LIVE NATION JV
    KNOWN AS GROUPONLIVE.COM (to sell discounted concert tickets) WAS A TOTAL HOAX, A SHAM. NONE OF THE FIGURES GIVEN TO ROLLING STONE AND MEDIA BY LIVE NATION EXECS WAS TRUE OR ACCURATE IN ANY WAY.  IT WAS TOTAL DECEPTION BY LIVE NATION AND SOME OF THEIR “CONSULTANTS” TO GET A FAVORABLE STORY IN THE PRESS LAST SUMMER ABOUT TICKET SALES.  WE KNOW FOR A FACT, THE FIGURES REPORTED BY BOTH GROUPON AND LIVE NATION MARKETING EXECS WERE COMPLETELY FABRICATED, THEN FED IN A “PRESS RELEASE” BY LIVE NATION, AND ACCEPTED WITHOUT ANY INVESTIGATION OR QUESTIONING BY THE MEDIA. ESPEC THAT JOKE OF A STORY IN ROLLING STONE, WHERE THEY QUOTED  THE MANAGER OF (THE JOEY LAWRENCE OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS) , MS> BRITNY PSYCHO SPEARS.  I DON”T THINK ANYONE BOUGHT THAT STORY. SOMEONE SHOULD LOOK INTO THE NUMBERS THEY STATED THAT “OVER 400,000 OFFERS WERE BOUGHT”, BUT PEOPLE INSIDE AT LIVE NATION SAY IT WAS LESS THAN 25,000 OFFERS…BIG DISCREPANCY.  SEEMS LIKE BIRDS OF A FEATHER DO FLOCK TOGETHER…GROUPON DECEIVERS + KINDRED FOLKS AT LIVE NATION ENT.  LET”S GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TRUTH, MAKE LIVE NATION PRODUCE DOCUMENTATION TO SUBSTANTIATE CLAIMS, MARKET BY MARKET, ARTIST BY ARTIST FOR ACH CONCERT DATE.  THE PAPERWORK DOESN”T EXIST! THEY CAN”T EVER PRODUCT IT TO BACK UP THEIR LIES, ER…CLAIMS TO STOCKHOLDERS AND MEDIA.

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