As Groupon readies to storm China’s online discount market, it is hearing what it likely hopes will be the last of its New Year’s stumble in Japan. The Consumer Affairs Agency in Japan issued a recommendation on Tuesday to the online coupon company’s Japan unit suggesting that it take steps to avoid another mishap along the lines of its New Year’s meal muddle. Groupon faced the wrath of Japanese food lovers scorned when orders of the traditional Jan. 1 meal, known as “osechi,” placed via the U.S.-based company arrived late and in unsettling form.
“We recommended Groupon Japan take care not to misrepresent the products being sold on the website,” said Kazuyuki Katagiri, a Consumer Affairs Agency official who oversaw the Groupon Japan case. “We consider it an important matter.”
The agency’s response came in the form of a recommendation, because, well, it doesn’t actually have the power to penalize the company should another incident occur. But Mr. Katagiri said the agency “will watch the website from now on.” He also said complaints about other deals offered through Groupon, separate from the osechi debacle, have come to the agency’s attention.