Groupon and Living Social have sold tens of millions of daily deals and are now a major force in retail. But they rely heavily on getting businesses to offer their goods and services at deep discounts. In exchange, businesses hope for payoff in the form of return customers.
Sometimes, though, the flood of extra business causes more problems than it solves.
Ailie Ham had just opened Creative Hands Massage in Washington, D.C., when she decided to offer deals through Living Social and Groupon last year.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Twitter is going to the dogs. Yesterday, Patch, a Jack Russell terrier, boarded a train near Dublin. When the train staff discovered him, they posted his picture on Twitter. It was re-tweeted more than 500 times. Within a half hour, his owner saw the photo and tweeted: That's my dog. Then she opened a Twitter account for Patch, in case he should go missing again. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is adding staff to its hospitals to meet the mental health needs of vets of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. As Erin Toner of WUWM in Milwaukee reports, some clinicians say the help cannot come soon enough.
ERIN TONER, BYLINE: The VA hospital in Milwaukee is a hectic place. On most mornings you have to circle the parking lots over and over to find a spot. Luckily there's valet service if patients would rather leave the parking to someone else.
NPR's business news starts with the back story on VIP loans.
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WERTHEIMER: A former mortgage company, Countrywide, used a VIP loan program to buy influence with members of Congress, staffers and other officials, including a number at Fannie Mae, the government backed mortgage giant central to Countrywide's business. That the bottom line of a new report out today from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney spent his July Fourth holiday marching in a New Hampshire parade, and backtracking statements a top adviser made about the individual mandate in the Obama health care law.
There was something for almost everybody in Wolfeboro's Independence Day parade: a local brass band, bonnet-wearing Daughters of the American Revolution, a Zumba instructor shimmying across the bed of a pickup truck, and even a Jimmy Durante impersonator, complete with prosthetic nose.
In Britain today, parliament continues its hearing on the interest rate scandal at Barclays Bank. This week, several of the bank's top executives resigned, including the chief executive, Bob Diamond. Yesterday, parliamentarians quizzed Diamond for three hours.
NPR's Philip Reeves is in London, where he says outrage is growing.