Apparently, honesty really is the best policy when it comes to promoting your daily deals service in the United Kingdom. If you don’t believe me, just ask Groupon, which has now found itself under official investigation from the British government following almost 50 complaints about the company in less than a year.
The company was officially referred to the Office of Fair Trading by the British Advertising Standards Authority after it had dealt with Groupon’s 48th incident of breaking advertising standards in just 11 months. (Eleven breaches were upheld by the ASA, with an additional 37 breaches of the standards that were “informally resolved” during the same period.) In a statement, the ASA said that it was particularly interested in Groupon’s “failure to conduct promotions fairly, such as not making clear significant terms and conditions,” as well as its “failure to provide evidence that offers are available.”
Citing “serious concerns” over Groupon’s ability to adhere to advertising standards, the ASA explained that “it is in the public interest that we refer the matter to the OFT,” which is better placed to address trading practices for the company. It’s the first time that the ASA has been forced to refer a company to the OFT since 2008.
In its own statement on the matter, Groupon said that it was “constantly evolving business process to ensure customers receive the best possible experience at the highest standards. We are co-operating fully with the OFT to ensure that the rights of customers are protected.”
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.