Woman taken to cleaners by bogus daily deal
Published Tuesday, April 3, 2012 11:12AM PDT
A West Vancouver woman has sworn off online daily deal promotions after she says she was stonewalled by the company she hired to clean her home.
Ann Hunter signed up for two deeply discounted promotions through eDailyQuest.com for $45 for wall-to-wall house cleaning to prepare her home before the new owners arrived.
Hunter said the value of the deal -- $129 each -- made it irresistible.
"It was such a good deal…for three people to come in here and clean the house," she said.
But Hunter said she was met with an unpleasant surprise when she went to book an appointment through the Rent-a-Maid Canada website.
"What came up was pretty much a dead link or it had expired. So then I called the phone number and the telephone line had also been disconnected. So I thought ‘okay, something weird is going on here,'" she said.
Hunter started an online search to find out more about the company and didn't like what she found.
"All these articles and forums and blogs started popping up about Rent-a-Maid Canada not being able to fulfill their services -- people having the same experience as me," she said.
Consumer Protection BC says consumers should always Google the company before they pay for the daily deal.
"Go look at their website. Does it exist? Phone them up -- is someone answering the phone?" said spokesperson Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith.
It's also worthwhile to research online. There are a lot of reviews in forums and deal sites that can be helpful.
Consumer Protection BC does regulate gift cards in BC, but online daily deal coupons are considered promotional and fall outside of the regulation.
Hunter said she wasn't having any luck getting answers from eDailyQuest.com until Steele on Your Side took up her case.
She received an email from James Zender that said while Rent-a-Maid "did service a few of our clients, they grossly neglected many, many others, including clients from other deal sites as well."
"We hear your complaint...and we would be happy to issue you a credit for the $90 purchase you made."
Hunter is happy with the outcome but said she won't buy from daily deal sites again.
"I've actually disabled all the emails that are coming to me because I kind of don't want to participate anymore. It's left a bad taste in my mouth," she said.
The people who run the eDailyQuest.com site say they do their best to vet out bad businesses, but say the business world is not perfect, and some bad apples inevitably slip through.
Before you buy from a daily deal site make sure to check the site's refund policies.
Groupon has what it calls the "Groupon promise." If a business doesn't live up to it's end of the bargain, Groupon will make it right or return your purchase.
Watch CTV News for a full report tonight from Lynda Steele, and a sneak peak of our series on fare evaders…