Consumer Alert: Complaints pile up about Daily Deal emails

Class action lawsuit filed against one major daily deal company

By Allison McGinley - News Director

ORLANDO, Fla. - Pay $15 for $30 worth of food, get three oil changes for $49, or train your dog for half the price.

For many consumers, the deals are hard to resist the daily deal offers that pop up in their inbox.

But some of those offers aren't working out as advertised and complaints about major daily deal companies are piling up.

Jay Johnson thought he was 'cleaning up' with a daily deal coupon. 

But then he discovered a problem, "I went to try and schedule the cleanings by calling the vendor and the cleaning company never called me back," said Johnson.

He phoned the company that sent him the offer he purchased and they sent him back to the cleaning company. The voucher eventually expired.

Johnson said he was frustrated.

"You pay for the service and you put effort into calling and to try to chase someone down. As time goes on it gets frustrating," he said.

Local 6 found the number of frustrated daily deal consumers is growing.

In fact, a multi-million dollar class action suit claims one company sold deals that expired in an "unreasonably short period of time."

Better Business Bureau records reveal more than 2,000 consumer complaints against major daily deal companies, a majority of them filed in the last 15 months.

The BBB blames the popularity of the offers combined with overwhelmed businesses.

"Consumers have been so quick to take advantage of those opportunities especially with the service industry that that small company couldn't keep up with the volume," said Carrie Hurt of the BBB.

The daily deal industry tells us they hear the complaints, and things are changing.

"Daily deal sites now have learned from this problem and are creating schedulers who work with that service establishment and create a process of how many deals, how many redemption they can take per day so they're not overwhelmed," said Bonnie Carlson of the Brand Activation Association.

Carlson says daily deals are still a win-win for customers.

"Consumers get a great deal and it gives them a chance to try something new," Carlson said.

Johnson says instead of a good deal he learned a 'valuable' lesson.

"I don't think that I would buy one of these online deals from a vendor I'm not already familiar with," Johnson said.

The daily deal site that sold Johnson the cleaning services has refunded the amount he paid for the offer.

The site says they will always refund the consumer if a business closes, an event is cancelled or if a company refuses to accept a coupon.

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