Carol Poindexter from Cardiff was one of many who claimed the company should have been more forthcoming about the exclusions and conditions of use on the coupons. ‘It sounded like a great deal, but it’s only when you apply that you find out the offer is only valid on Mondays, which is really not very convenient for myself or my husband because he plays darts on a Monday afternoon. He said he wouldn’t mind if I wanted to go ahead and do it on my own, but it’s not really the same.’
Others were equally dissatisfied when they studied the small print and discovered that the offer was only valid with a pre-existing medical condition, and that instead of lethal injections the discounted Dignitas service relied on trained staff turning off the lights, creeping up beside you in the dark and shouting ‘Boo!’.
‘I managed to survive the whole experience – it was very disappointing,’ said Bertie Jones, 81, from Daventry. ‘Though to be fair, when they saw I hadn’t died they did offer to finish me off with a big stick, but by that point I had an awful headache and decided it wasn’t the best time to go.’
Sue Quezacotl from Poole in Dorset also had a bad experience. ‘She’d been suicidal for many years after a leg waxing accident in 1997,’ said her friend, ‘but after buying the coupon she was so delighted about the considerable saving she’d made that she decided life wasn’t so bad after all, put the coupon aside and rebuilt her life.’
‘However, within a few days she began to be more and more upset about the money wasted on the Groupon voucher, and tried to call them to arrange a refund. Her body was found the next day. Police say she almost certainly strangled herself with her telephone cable while waiting on hold.’
But not everyone was complaining. Arnold Muffet from Lancaster was very excited about his Dignitas booking. ‘To be honest, I wasn’t really thinking about suicide at all, but at these prices – well, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.’