The Ethics Alarms KABOOM!—a special designation for ethics-related stories that make my head explode—has a new variation, thanks to Groupon: the repeating KABOOM!, triggered by two related KABOOMs in the same episode. My head has been exploding repeatedly since I learned about this late last night.
Hold on to your craniums, for here is a Groupon press release sent out earlier this week, the first of the KABOOM! twins:
Commemorate a man historically powerful enough to be on money with $10 towards $40 on a local purchase while they last!
CHICAGO, Feb 14, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Starting tomorrow, Groupon ( http://www.groupon.com ) (NASDAQ: GRPN) will be kicking off Presidents Day weekend by giving customers 10 dollars off 40 dollars when they purchase a deal for any local business. The $10 bill, as everyone knows, features President Alexander Hamilton — undeniably one of our greatest presidents and most widely recognized for establishing the country’s financial system.
Beginning Saturday, Feb. 15 at 9 am CST, shoppers will be able to redeem this offer by using the promo code “10OFF40LOCAL”, which isn’t very catchy, but neither was President Hamilton’s famous saying, “Nobody expects to trust his body overmuch after the age of fifty.”
President Hamilton is best known for the fiscal sensibilities that led him to author economic policies, establish a national bank and control taxes. Customers can honor our money-minded commander-in-chief and find deals by searching Groupon.com for local deals all through President’s Day weekend. Promo codes are limited, and more information can be found at: https://www.groupon.com/faq#faqs:content-269
The emphasis is mine, and I’m paying for every bit of it, let me tell you. My head is doing a terrific Dante’s Peak impression as I type this.
But that’s not all: here comes Groupon’s KABOOM! #2. Is the company embarassed? Chagrined? Are heads rolling? Oh, noooo! For when an enterprising American, one of the few who received a competent fourth grade education, was kind enough to alert Groupon to its unforgivable gaffe, this is what he received in return:
It would all be hilarious if it were not so ominous….and unethical. Continue reading