Thousands of people who thought they were getting half-price gasoline by prepaying for gas cards through Ottawa-based website Your City Deals won’t be getting the deal, but the site's co-owner says clients will be getting a refund.
Two weeks ago, Your City Deals offered $100 Petro Canada gas cards for $49, and nearly 10,000 cards were sold in just three days.
Lydia Peltz said she bought six cards for herself and her husband, then learned that the company wouldn’t be honouring the deal. Now she’s out $300 and worries she won’t get it back.
"They got all of your personal information from mailing address, name, and credit card information from when you bought the cards," Peltz said. "So it sounds like it was a big way of collecting that … and I’m also worried that they’re not going to be refunding us the money."
'I’m a rookie and I didn’t expect all this traffic,' site co-owner says
Your City Deals lists its address as 44 Murray St., a photocopy company that rents post office boxes and has nothing to do with the website.
CBC tracked down Phil Dzidah, one of the owners of Your City Deals. He said he and his partners took over the business just three weeks ago and didn’t anticipate such high demand for the cards.
"I’m a rookie and I didn’t expect all this traffic, all these people," he said.
Dzidah said nearly $500,000 in transactions were logged in 72 hours and because of the high volume, PayPal refused to release the money, leaving Dzidah without the cash he needed to pay Petro Canada for the cards.
Dzidah had said buyers can expect a refund from PayPal and that their personal information will remain private. A PayPal spokesman told CBC News all refunds have been issued.