Why I Grabbed None.

, posted: 27-Aug-2013 23:58

Most are probably aware that there are large number of daily deal sites around - grabone, groupon, yazoom, dailydo, livingsocial, treatme to name just a few.

The general expectation one would have when visiting these sites is that they offer a good deal with at least some sort of discount compared to what one would normally get dealing with the merchant directly. 

On Tuesday 27.8.2013   I noticed a deal on Grabone for Fresh Moki delivered from Hawkes Bay Seafoods. I had no idea what type of fish Moki was and with my wife being quite particular about seafood I googled and found that Blue Moki is considered by many to be a good eating fish while Red Moki doesn't have such great reviews.

I thus thought I would check the Hawkes Bay Seafoods website to see what type of Moki they were supplying and I was pleased to find that it appeared to be Blue Moki.

Before I purchased the deal however I noted that the prices at Hawkes Bay Seafoods website (delivered) were less than being advertised at Grabone.

Grabone (delivered) :                          1kg $17      / 2kg $30        / 3kg $43
Hawkes Bay Seafoods (delivered) : 1kg $16.90 / 2kg $28.90  / 3kg $39.90

Thus for 3kg Grabone was approximately 7.2% more expensive.

I thought that this was odd and so with genuine motivatiion posted a genuine question on the Grabone discussion board pointing out the higher Grabone pricing and a link to the Hawkes Bay seafoods page.

Within 30minutes my post was invisible to others - I only noticed this because not having received an email from Grabone I went back to the site and found that it said '0 discussion posts' yet if I was logged in my post still showed - when I logged out it was not visible - thus it had been hidden from other users view.

This annoyed me as I had been genuinely interested in the deal and had asked a genuine question - I called Grabone and the CSR had the cheek to tell me that my discussion post breached their post guidelines. I said that this was a lot of nonsence as in summary these said (1) Read others posts (2) Read T&c deals (3) Dont diss merchant and (4) keep relevance.

The continued unwillingness to actually answer the question and his evasive nonsence about my question having breached their guidelines annoyed me and so I said that unless I received a satisfactory answer I would feel at liberty to post on FB and elsewhere about 'the deal'.

He then put me on hold and when he came back said that my post hadn't been hidden but had been quarantined while they sought answers from the merchant. I said this was fair enough as long as there was a prompt answer but didn't think they, given the nature of the public's expectation that Grabone sold 'deals', should continue to sell the deal at a higher than merchant price if they couldn't provide a satisfactory explanation why,
Some time later Grabone posted on the discussion board "Hawkes Bay Seafoods are selling 1kg of Moki for $16.90, this deal is $17 and includes the convenience of delivery too :-) "

This post by Grabone seemed to me to be misleading as well as it could be read to imply that the Grabone deal was better as it included delivery - as I had pointed out to the CSR the Hawkes Bay Seafoods Website had said in capital letters "THIS PRICE IS FREIGHT INCLUDED".

By not displaying my initial post with their reply Grabone also didn't show the link to the page which showed Grabone were $3.10 or 7.2% more expensive for the 3kg deal.

I called Grabone again and spoke to the same CSR ; they said they would get back to me but no email was forthcoming.

I have kept screenshots of both websites so that they can't argue with any of the above. I note that tonight Hawkes Bay Seafoods is now showing MOKI as out of stock but was certainly available on the screenshots I took earlier today.

I'm sure that many of you have seen technology items advertised on some daily deal sites at significantly higher prices than similar items that are available on ebay, DX etc... -the difference in the above case is that we are talking about the same product shipped from the same supplier rather than a slightly different item which one has to import.

Anyway while the difference wasn't large I think there are principles involved here and the above meant that I Grabbed None - I will have to seriously consider whether I deal with either Grabone or this merchant in the future. It certainly reinforces the fact that one cannot trust that a deal on such a website will actually be a good one.

Comment by nate, on 28-Aug-2013 11:47

Epic fail.

Comment by Dratsab, on 28-Aug-2013 14:38

If you looked around enough, you'd find this sort of thing is exceptionally common on these sort of  sites. Especially tech gear which is often drop-shipped from overseas.

I brought some stuff from GrabOne a few years ago and didn't really think about the price. Emails from them since then have generally hit the trash folder pretty fast but one day I saw something I thought would be useful so did a price check on eBay. I found I could get the item for around half the price (delivered) that was advertised by GrabOne. I wouldn't actually consider buying anything from them now - I only remain on their mailing list in case an email with something I think may be useful comes along, then I'll hunt for it and get it from eBay :-)

Comment by Rachel, on 28-Aug-2013 16:32

Hi Andrew, Rachel from GrabOne here. We've taken a second look at that deal, and double-checked with the merchant that a good deal was offered. The deal included North Island delivery. Hawkes Bay Seafood does say Delivery Included, but that's within the Hawkes Bay. If you check out this page: http://www.hawkesbayseafoods.co.nz/Delivery.html, you'll see that delivery to Auckland is usually $7.50 (you can test this by adding it to your cart - delivery is added on). This makes buying direct from Hawkes Bay Seafood $24.40 - or 43.5% more expensive. We always strive to offer the best deals - so thank you for pointing out that there may have been an error, and allowing us to clarify. Cheers, Rachel

Author's note by drajk, on 28-Aug-2013 19:21

Rachel, unlike Grabone's action in hiding my post on their discussion board I have allowed yours to show.

What you say is interesting - HOWEVER

(1) The product on Hawkes Bay seafoods website said "THIS PRICE IS FREIGHT INCLUDED" - doesn't say only Hawkes Bay


(2) Hawkes Bay Seafoods delivery page which you quote doesn't say anything about free local delivery - in fact it doesn't even make a local distinction


(3) I was actually in the Hawkes Bay last week and on buying another Grabone deal had a Hawkes Bay Seafood voucher popup on checkout, something like spend $7 for $14 - I had looked at the Hawkes Bay Seafood website then and found that there was a local delivery charge which virtually negated the saving. I have just gone to the site and as you can see in the below screenshot there is a local delivery fee.


IN ANY CASE as the Hawkes Bay Seafood Website said "THE PRICE IS FREIGHT INCLUDED" as per (1) with no distinction as to local vs North Island it would in my opinion be false advertising on their behalf if they then charged for freight to Auckland for the Moki (when that deal was offered at that time-now out of stock).

I note that Grabone had not claimed there was a saving being made when the deal was listed - normally a saving % is displayed so was Grabone aware Grabone was more expensive.

IN SUMMARY people can come to their own conclusion but I think something smells fishy about this whole deal and I don't believe its the fish.

Comment by Mike, on 29-Aug-2013 07:42

Hi AndrewApologies for this error, I believed I had taken down all of the material from a previous promotion but obviously had overlooked this.Our main shopping page is the front page and Im guilty some time of neglecting or overlooking the others.I take full responsibility for the error, and this has little or nothing to do with Grab-one who have every reason to be very annoyed with me as I was unwittingly in breach of our agreement to not have any loaded competing products at the time of the promotion.We have ran several promotions like this over the course of the last 3 months and have sold a considerable amount of fresh seafood to the most part, lots of very very happy recipients. Unfotunately you have not uncovered a major conspiracy to defraud the New Zealand public just a full-time fishmonger, part-time webpage operator, making a human error (that incidentally you were the only person to notice, so couldn't have been that obvious) and some flustered call centre staff who after trying multiple times and failing to get hold of me  (because I was in the factory with fishmonger hat on, and not sitting on the computer next to the phone) obviously panicked and took your question down from the discussion board (a mistake but under the circumstances understandable, and certainly not a hangable offence) probably best summed up as human error.All the other stuff about pricing etc, if you can get fresh fish cheaper than what we are offering it at , knock your self out.Let me summarise with this, very happy to discuss if you want to call me (Hawkes bay Seafoods and ask for Mike), but i won't be replying to any responses from this point on this blog, have a good day and once again apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

Author's note by drajk, on 29-Aug-2013 16:31

Mike, Thanks for your post but perhaps not the attitude I get from reading it - No one said it was a major conspiracy, comments like "if you can get fresh fish cheaper than what we are offering it at , knock your self out" do not in my opinion reflect well on the sincerity of your apology.

I wasn't the only one who noticed - someone else posted on my facebook post that they had noted the cheaper pricing on the company website.

While you have taken responsibility that is great, however in closing this saga I would have to say that if Grabone had taken my genuine question in the good faith with which it was posted and had treated me with respect as a long time Grabone customer  rather than with arrogance and apparent disdain then none of this would have needed to become so public.

When Grabone hid my discussion board post and subsequently posted what I felt was an ambiguous response refusing to actually acknowledge that I was speaking the truth I became upset and told them that I would make this issue public unless I received a satisfactory explanation in a short period of time. When I had heard nothing in around 10hours I posted the blog and the next morning linked to it on Facebook and Twitter.

Despite the truth as illustrated by MY POSTS. Rachel from Grabone posted above that Grabone were cheaper which was factually incorrect as you have now admitted.

Given that I posted a link to the page on your site with my initial question to Grabone it was easy for them to verify the truth and in my opinion (as I told them in one of the early phone conversations) if they were waiting to discuss with you they should have suspended the 'deal' until they had done so. Instead they continued to maintain that Grabone was cheaper which as you have now acknowledged wasn't the case.

The disdain from Grabone, their arrogance and their failure to recognise someone who has been a frequent customer in my opinion reflects badly upon them and if I was GM at Grabone/APN I would be investigating how their staff handled this issue and taking action to ensure that in future a similar issue is handled more appropriately if it arises.

drajk's profile

Andrew Knox
New Zealand