Groupon is a great way to save money at your favorite restaurant, on home repairs, or on a host of other goods and services. Poking around on their site, you may discover discounts on some new experience you’d love to try. But what about savings on something you’d maybe prefer not to do, like take defensive driving?
Yes, Groupon offers have been used by defensive driving companies across the nation as part of their marketing campaigns for years. These offers are often flashy, promising deep discounts to purchasers. However, as with any discount offer, the actual value may be hard to determine, especially in certain states.
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VIDEO: Is There a Defensive Driving Groupon?
If There’s a Groupon, Does That Make It a Deal?
I have used Groupon on many occasions to save money. I’ve downloaded restaurant Groupons onto my phone between appetizer and entree. Hooray for technology. I eat out often, and it’s always a bit of a rush to find a deal in real-time.
For other goods and services, it can be more challenging to know if I’m getting a deal. This problem presents itself when I’m shopping for something I purchase rarely or don’t know anything about. Take, for example, my recent search for an exterminator.
Being in the fortunate position of living in a relatively bug-free home, I don’t have much experience with the extermination industry. What is included in a basic service? Is a basic service what I need? If it is what I need, how much should it cost?
After spending a little time on Groupon (as well as some time on the phone), I discovered that “basic service” is defined very differently by different companies. For some, basic service included applications inside my house only; for others, basic included the exterior as well. Some “services” only included the elimination of some types of bugs but not others. I also learned that even if two companies were comparable in basic service, they could vary wildly in price. After talking to these companies on the phone, it was further revealed that the “regular price” for these services didn’t necessarily match the regular price quoted in the Groupon offer. Confusing, right?
That Goes for Defensive Driving, Too
A recent search for defensive driving at Groupon.com turned up some interesting results, made all the more intriguing if you know a dirty little secret about Texas defensive driving.
Before I let you in on the secret, let’s take a look at what we can save with a defensive driving Groupon.
Company 1’s defensive driving Groupon promises a 49% discount on their basic course, bringing the final cost down to $25.00, down from the regular price of $49.95. Clicking “See More Options” reveals three more packages with similar discounts:
- Texas State-Approved Online Defensive Driving Course Plus Driving Record —
- Texas State-Approved Online Defensive Driving Course with Audio Read-Along—
- Texas State-Approved Online Defensive Driving Course with Audio Read-Along and Driving Record—
With nearly 1500 sold and a fair customer rating, seems legit.
Company 2’s defensive driving Groupon offer doesn’t have the swagger of Company 1. After all, Company 2’s $25.00 offer only boasts a 37% savings compared Company 1’s 49%. Is Company 1’s course $10.00 better to begin with? If the copywriter who wrote Company 2’s “Highlights” also wrote their course, then, maybe?
“Drivers learn how to act in dangerous situations while steering their cars and may save on their auto insurance by becoming a Safe Driver.”
However, they are neck and neck with Company 1 for number of stars (and overall reviews), so somebody’s buying them.
Like Company 1, Company 3’s defensive driving Groupon offer is “Trending,” according to their Groupon listing. While they haven’t had as many reviews as Company 1 or 2, Company 3’s rating is slightly higher.
As you can see in the picture, on the day of my search, Company 3 has doubled down. They’ve stacked an offer ON TOP OF THEIR OFFER!
And don’t forget, the SALE ENDS SOON! There’s even a countdown timer to get your heart rate up.
So What’s the “Dirty Little Secret” That’s Gonna Help Me Decide?
You’ve waited patiently for the secret, the “one weird trick,” so here it is…
Texas state law dictates that state-approved driver safety courses cannot sell for a price of less than $25.00. If you’ve poked around much searching for defensive driving, you’ve probably seen sites exclaiming, “Lowest Price GUARANTEED!” Pretty easy claim to guarantee as selling the course for less would result in the state shutting down the school. Knowing this, let’s take a look back at the Groupon offers I discovered.
Knowing there’s a state minimum price helps the folks at Company 1 work the math backward. They can calculate a regular price that makes offering you the state minimum look like an incredible deal. Pretty sure that’s how they came up with $49.95.
A look at their website reveals that $49.95 is what they normally charge, although the “Texas State-Approved Online Defensive Driving Course with Audio Read-Along” would set you back $64.95 if you bought it there, bringing the Groupon savings percentage to 54%. This technically makes it a deal, but you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get there.
The Texas insurance discount course offered on Company 2’s website lists for $49.95 but sells for $25.00. That means, if you buy it direct, you get the same price, but at a deeper discount.
A trip to Company 3’s site reveals that they don’t play any games with the price at all. There’s no mention of any price save for the state minimum. Funny, even after the double discounted Groupon, they want to soak you for an extra $8 bucks! By the way, the sale that ends tomorrow seems to run every other day so, unless you want to get soaked for an extra $13 dollars, set your calendar for an odd day of the month to buy.
Is There a Defensive Driving Groupon?
As we have discovered, the answer to that question is yes. Are any of them currently worth your trouble? Maybe not so much.
Our advice is to visit the website of any company making an offer on Groupon, whether you’re looking for defensive driving, a new restaurant, or skydiving lessons. Seeing the way companies structure their Groupon offers may give you a little insight into their integrity.
If you haven’t been blown away by the Groupon deals we’ve talked about, feel free to check out our reviews of who we think are the top defensive driving companies out there. After seeing how they do business, you’ll be glad to know that Companies 1, 2, and 3 don’t have to rely on empty promises to be at the top.
John FabelI have a long and checkered history with defensive driving. I took my first "court invited" course at age 15 and realized immediately that there had to be a better way. Since that first experience, I have gone on to teach defensive driving classroom courses and to author four internet courses in 2 states. After nearly 25 years in the industry, I can help you find a course that will be the best fit for you.
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