TeamBuy customer raises warning after spa coupon not honoured
Company says TeamBuy still owes them money and cannot honour vouchers until it's paid
A Halifax woman is unhappy with the group buying website TeamBuy after she tried to book a spa appointment using her voucher but was told her request wouldn't be honoured.
Three other businesses, including a restaurant and massage clinic, have told CBC News they also struggled to get money from TeamBuy.
TeamBuy is an online company whose business model is based on group purchases to get deals at local retailers.
Customer Jessie Tanner says she bought a coupon to Enlighten Laser and Skin Clinic, but was told she couldn't use it because Teambuy still owed the business money.
The group buying website then refused to refund her money.
"They were rude, and they hung up on me, and I had to chase them for my money," she says.
After several calls and emails, she was given "team bucks," coupons instead, but those can only be used for products and services purchased through TeamBuy.
Tanner says it is not her fault the company refused to pay the spa.
"I would like my money back and I would like an apology for the way I was treated. Because I have never had a customer service rep hang up in my ear before," she says.
Shannon Garroway, one of the owners of the spa, says she's made several calls and sent dozens of emails to TeamBuy.
"We should get paid for what we're worth and we're not getting paid for it. Being a small business, we can't continue to operate like this here," she says.
Garroway says the company refuses to address the issue.
Until recently, Enlighten Laser and Skin Care Clinic continued to serve clients at a loss, but had to stop because it couldn't afford it.
"Just frustrated, personally, with the situation in so many ways. I feel like we're being disrespected. We feel like we worked for this business for three years to make a name in Dartmouth and yet we feel like our name is being dragged through the mud. We've never had to refuse a client in our life," says Garroway.
Peter Moorhouse, president of the Better Business Bureau for Atlantic Canada, says the BBB has received complaints about group buying websites.
"You really want to make sure that you understand fully what you're signing up for. You want to read the fine print, you want to understand what the terms and conditions are, you want to understand what the terms and conditions are if you're unsatisfied, or if you're not able to utilize a voucher, you know, what your recourse is as a customer," he says.
TeamBuy says it's looking into the complaints.
According to TeamBuy's website, it's still selling group buys to the Enlighten clinic in Fall River.