WebPiggy took my $100 and won’t give it back

April 17 2013 by Ellen Roseman

After a bad experience, I’ll never buy a prepaid coupon again. And many people are telling me the same thing.

I paid $100 for $400 worth of meat at a Toronto store called The Butchers. Owner Marlon Pather couldn’t fulfill the orders and closed his doors for redemptions as the deadline loomed last September.

No problem. The deal site, WebPiggy, gave me a credit with no expiry date to use for other items.

But a few months later, my $100 credit is gone. I get an email that says WebPiggy has an alliance with Buytopia to feature its deals.

“Any WebPiggy credits are non-transferable, which means that you may not use them towards purchases on Buytopia, nor are they eligible for cash refunds,” says Trishelle in customer service.

How ethical is that? First, WebPiggy didn’t stand behind a supplier who reneged. Then, it didn’t stand behind its own pledge to customers.

Owner Harold Moore, are you there? Do you have anything to say to all the people you let down? Some spent $500 on coupons they weren’t able to use.

Another coupon site, Dealfind, also caught up in The Butchers fiasco, was acquired by TeamBuy. Owner Ghassan Halazon did talk to CBC Marketplace when asked about its restrictive refund policy in an April 12 show.

Be patient, Halazon said. As we grow, we will give refunds beyond the first few weeks. We will do better.

Who wants to wait? Groupon went public at $20 in November 2011, but its its stock price has dropped to $6.30. Investors are souring on the business.

After being burned, I’m dealing only with companies I trust to give my money back if a deal disappoints. If all of us do that, we can force the marginal players out of business.

33 comments

  1. MrDisco

    Apr 17 2013

    The entire group buy concept has been ruined by these unscrupulous vendors. Consumers should not trust any of them.

  2. Illyria

    Apr 18 2013

    Ellen, Webpiggy and Buytopia are two different companies. Why don’t you ask Walmart if they can compensate you for something you bought from Bed Bath and Beyond?

    No you can’t. That’s because they are two different companies, and transferring credit from one to another does not exist. Common sense.

    Trishelle is not educated in human resources or professional customer service and is simply told what to say by the owner, otherwise she is out of a job and can’t pay her bills.

    The owner is not Harold Moore, Harold organizes finances.

    I am annoyed you wasted your time to post information without knowing anything of what you are talking about. You lost money, so did everyone else that bought off their site.

    You wanna talk about it? Know what you’re talking about and stop making up stories. The only truth is you paid and did not receive a refund.

  3. Tim

    Apr 18 2013

    Thanks Ellen, for the info.

    I don’t really fault Buytopia, but I question what they gain by aligning themselves with a company of such bad name/nature as Webpiggy.

    I’m hoping this teaches all coupon companies a lesson. That when you don’t honour your commitment to your customers, eventually, your business will fail because your customers won’t honour you with their business.

    On that end, I hope Buytopia knows what it’s in for in its alliance with Webpiggy. I will be surprised to see Buytopia still in business 2 years from today.

  4. Yashy Murphy

    Apr 19 2013

    Thanks for shedding some light on this issue. I’ve gone through the same rigmarole as everyone else after the butcher incident and have had many failed attempts at trying to purchase anything afterwards.

    Would love to see Webpiggy owners held accountable for their actions and poor judgment.

  5. Harald

    Apr 19 2013

    The lesson here is TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

    These group buy / coupon companies have sales forces that aggressively sell to vendors, who don’t realize the real cost of fulfilling these risky deals (especially when they get popular). The coupon buyers take out their wrath on the vendor (or the vendor goes out of business) while the coupon companies pocket the profits.

    The answer is simple – don’t play the game. If you think these deals are too good to be true, they probably are. And don’t complain when you end up losing your money.

  6. karen

    Apr 22 2013

    Looks like honesty and integrity has clear limits in the on- line coupon game. I too was burned by Webpiggy and will never buy from Buytopia due to its unholy alliance with Webpiggy. Buytopia did not do their ‘due diligence’ – or they would not have associated themselves with such a shady outfit. Alternatively- Buytopia is just as shady – either way- I’ll steer clear.

    Trishelle is the ultimate company gal – looks like quoting the small print and reiterating the motto is all she can do – I hope you are paid in Butcher’s coupons for your staunch loyalty.

    It’s unfortunate that one writer has chosen to trash Ellen Roseman when her motives are pure and whose work speaks for itself.

    My mantra with all of this is simple – Karma’s a %#%$^ and their turn will soon come

  7. Steve

    Apr 22 2013

    These people from Webpiggy should be taken out of business. Both Harold and Trishelle are big liars and I hope that their conscience will trouble them till they sort this out ethically.

    There must be some legal means for us to deal with them effectively. I am not sure how they are still able to remain in business after that Butcher’s shop fiasco.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? If Buytopia is truthful in what they are saying about their relationship with Webpiggy, they should disassociate themselves from Webpiggy entirely.

  8. Ken

    Apr 23 2013

    I have a question. Why didn’t you simply go to your credit card company to reverse the charges??

    You have almost 2 years to do this with any card. Or did you simply choose to not use your credits, so you would have something to write about?

    I’ve used webpiggy regularly over the past few years and I can’t believe you found absolutely nothing to buy. I got credit from the butchers deal too and used it towards numerous other meat deals WP ran.

    Did you go to the site on a regular basis, or just check it once in a while?

    This level of complaining over nonsense isn’t newsworthy.

    And a few months after you got your credits they closed, Ellen?? The butcher deal was over 2 years ago. Why would you have only received a credit a few months ago??

    Sensationalizing the story doesn’t benefit anyone.

    Furthermore, the company is closed. Would you expect that if Walmart closed, they would call all their customers with store credit to come in for a cash refund? Hell no. Give your head a shake.

  9. James

    Apr 23 2013

    Illyria = Ken. Same writing style and reference to Walmart.

  10. Ken

    Apr 25 2013

    Yes James, I must be the only person who has heard of Walmart and for some reason posting with 2 names. Why??

    Ellen, I work for Visa and that’s standard policy with us and Mastercard. Not sure about the rest.

    Why check every day? Well, by that rationale, why go to Walmart to use your credit? Why not get someone to bring the products to your house, when it’s convenient for you to look over? (Kind of like the daily emails that are sent…)

    Wow! You have no one to blame but yourself, with that kind of thinking.

    There you go again, showing your lack of journalistic professionalism and sloppy fact checking. Groupon is probably the worst culprit of them all. If you care to use the highly effective and efficient Google search bar, you would easily find dozens of customer service horror stories. Here’s a quick one. Took about 8 seconds to find:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3877775

    They may respond, but don’t do anything, but give you store credit (sounds familiar). Not to mention their over 1,000 complaints on the Better Business Bureau (over 800 in the past 12 months). Seems legit.

    Do you think that if and when Groupon closes down, they will “do the right thing” and mail out cheques to everyone with credit. (Is that a better reference for you, James?)

    Perhaps, instead of whining that you lost $100 because you didn’t put any effort into redeeming your credit, you could report on something that could help people? Just a thought.

  11. sas

    Apr 25 2013

    I hope the ministry of consumer services looks into this case.

    To me, Webpiggy took the money but did not deliver the “goods”.

    Lessons learned here: If the deals are too good to be true, they must be bad.

    Wait for the crowd to tell their experience before get your feet wet. Maybe you will save yourself a headache.

    If you can’t resist, how about a small amount, say a $25 coupon instead of $100 or more. Thus, your loss won’t be so painful.

    I never got into these “group coupon” buys, because I have never thought they were good business model.

    You may disagree with me, but I’d rather spend a bit more for peace of mind and vendors’ accountability.

  12. NormaK

    Apr 26 2013

    I’m sorry to read of these unfortunate (understatement) experiences.

    Personally, I’d never used WebPiggy. I’ve purchased only Groupon deals and only twice: one with The Body Shop and one with a local restaurant that we frequent and utilized both immediately.

    My experiences were positive. Buyer beware!!

  13. maazbin

    May 1 2013

    To Melissa Grosser,

    Please provide me with a contact for Harold Moore or anyone at Webpiggy. They are cheats & I’m not going to let them get away with my money.

    They sat on my $100 since the Butchers scam & never gave me a refund or responded to my emails. This is unethical business practice.

    I also have a credit with buytopia & I want to pull my money out, having it refunded quickly.

    I am questioning the credibility of a company that entertains any business activity with Webpiggy, which has scammed money.

    I am looking forward to a response asap.

    Thanks,

    Maazbin

  14. Al

    May 1 2013

    I too was taken by Webpiggy as the numerous others on this site. Perhaps we shold file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Ontario. Owner Harold Moore needs to be put on record so that he is that everything he has done is scrutinized to the core.

  15. Jason R

    May 13 2013

    I’m a customer who has also been affected by Webpiggy, Dealfind, Teambuy, Groupon. We are purchasing from companies that rely on work being done by other businesses. They are the middle man and have no control sometimes.

    This industry is horrible with customer service and promises. I have spoken to Harold during the Butchers’ issue. HAROLD is NOT the OWNER! It’s like going to Walmart and yelling at the customer service girl for a product that’s broken. Why would the owner pick up the phones and answer emails? Think about it!

    There are usually multiple owners in companies like this. Be smart and make smart purchases. You win some, you lose some. We don’t want to lose but bad things happen.

  16. WebPiggyVictim#0001989

    May 14 2013

    James Vettese is the person who was answering emails after Harold & Trishelle were apparently terminated by Webpiggy.

    The website URL is also registered under his name. He explained to me that Webpiggy has not gone out of business, but that they have partnered with Buytopia.ca (would bankruptcy have protected them?).

    I was left with close to $300 in piggybucks as a result of the Butchers scam and several other failed deals where the vendors could not deliver what they promised.

    I checked the website several times per week over the past year or two, but the quality of their offerings dropped dramatically (spas teetering on bankruptcy, laser hair removal, botox injections in Scarborough strip malls, crap that the buyers at Winners would turn up their up noses at).

    I purchased several other deals with piggybucks that went sour over this period as well.

    I tried to get a refund from VISA immediately after the Butchers scam came to light, but they refused a refund because I had waited too long (120 days was the limit they gave). Piggybucks was my only option.

    The BBB has a huge list of complaints, but will not take any action (says it’s not their role).

    What can we do to exact some revenge on those who benefited from this debacle and pocketed our cash?

    I am positive that James Vettese and his buddies feel safe in thinking nobody will bother taking this to court over $100-$300. But when you multiply those amounts by the thousands of victims, there may be something to slam them with here. They should not be allowed to get away with this.

    Mr. Vettese has simply moved on to another marketing job and is likely formulating his next scam.

    First step towards getting some justice for our losses, anyone?

  17. jenny t

    May 14 2013

    i am in the same situation. $300 worth of credits due to The Butcher, a few returned Webpiggy vouchers, numerous unanswered phone calls, some unreceived products.

    And now Buytopia is hiding behind the nonexistent Webpiggy’s back. Great going.

    I am an active member in my community and will advise people AGAINST Buytopia. Such a scam.

    Losing their reputation over a few emails of very frustrated customers. Nice business decision.

  18. Julien S

    Nov 7 2013

    Any updates on any of you?

    Before their shutdown, I tried to use up my credit of $200. Either the product never got delivered and i kept getting re-credited, or the product was so much on backorder that they cancelled the request and gave me back credits.

  19. Ray

    Dec 17 2013

    My Vegas trip is not going to happen any more. I contact the BBB, but they can’t do much except take your complaint, log it and follow up.

    My ccard company says the purchase was made beyond the time limit to reverse it.

    So if there is another way to go about getting some kind of justice, let’s all do it.