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A new daily-deal competitor

Clark Behind The Headlines

From HLN's Money Expert Clark Howard

There's a new competitor for Groupon, and it could score you some cash.

AT&T has decided that it is ready to take on Groupon, starting in three of the nation's biggest cities. They are going into Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta.

Here’s how it works: it goes through one of AT&T's branded websites, You simply go there to register. I did it and there’s nothing to it. You put in an e-mail address and your zip code. Then it sends you an e-mail and you click on that to reserve a $10 voucher at no obligation, no cost to you. That $10 is to spend on your first deal, what probably will be a typical half-price kind of deal.

On the issue of all the deal-a-day sites, their traffic is declining. There's also a lawsuit right now going on against two of the big daily-deal sites, claiming that the way the coupons expire is a violation of the gift card provision of the recent credit card law. That law says gift cards can’t expire for five years, and you can’t be charged inactivity fees until you don’t use the card for a year. The law concerning gift cards is much, much friendlier than it used to be. Whether it applies to daily deal coupons, that’s for the courts to decide.

In my own case, I confess that I've stopped using any of these deal-a-day coupons because I made the horrible mistake of buying one and then forgetting to use it before it expired. I mean, I didn't eat anything for three days to make up the money I lost on that!

But I just want you to know this offer from AT&T is out there. And I’m very curious to see if a company that’s so unrelated to discount marketing will be able to establish itself in the daily-deal market. If you live in any of those three cities, go pick up your free $10!

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