Milwaukee, Wis., March 26, 2012 – More than 1,000 Internet shoppers from across the nation – including dozens from Wisconsin – said they never received discount coupons purchased from the Texas-based daily deal site SaveMore.com.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says customers from 45 states filed complaints in the last 10 months. The BBB urges extreme caution when dealing with SaveMore.com, a business with close ties to Douglas Van Arsdale, founder of the notorious debt settlement company, Credit Solutions of America.
SaveMore.com has an “F” grade with the BBB, the lowest grade possible.
Customers said they bought discount coupons for businesses ranging from bookstores to fast-food restaurants to beauty product distributors, but ended up with nothing. Wisconsin consumers said they tried repeatedly over several weeks or months to get SaveMore.com to send their orders, without success. Several said emails and phone calls were not returned.
One customer from Menasha said, “I do not think this company will follow through with the refund. I think they string people along in hopes that people "forget" about them and then they pocket people's money. Very dishonest."
"I tried calling the customer service line and got no answer. I would like to cancel my order immediately. This company is a scam," said another customer from Lake Geneva, Wis.
Randall Hoth, Wisconsin BBB president and CEO, said the number of consumers affected is astonishing. “We may never know how many people were taken in by this company,” he said.
The BBB in Dallas, where SaveMore.com is headquartered, issued a warning about the company five days before Christmas and urged SaveMore.com officials to address the complaints. Since then, the number of complaints has skyrocketed. The company has failed to respond to hundreds of them.
Records filed with the Texas secretary of state show that SaveMore.com is a name used by the company Lifestyle – Save More, LLC, at 12700 Park Central Drive in Dallas. Augur, Inc., a company owned by Van Arsdale, is listed as manager.
Van Arsdale was the founder and CEO of Credit Solutions of America, which listed an address in the same building on Park Central Drive. Credit Solutions ran afoul of several attorneys general in 2009. Suits in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Maine, New York, Texas and Oregon alleged the company reneged on promises to help clients get out of debt. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, who sued Credit Solutions in June 2009, said that the company “promised real relief to consumers . . .only to leave them in even worse shape because they had to pay the company.”
Credit Solutions has an “F” grade with the BBB, recording more than 500 complaints.
Since starting business less than a year ago, SaveMore.com has drawn 26 complaints in Wisconsin.
A woman from Milwaukee said she paid $25 to SaveMore.com in early December for a bookstore gift card, but hadn't received it by February. She left nine messages for someone from customer service to call her back, but no one ever did, she wrote in her BBB complaint.
The BBB suggests that consumers be cautious when considering purchasing discount coupons through third-party marketers:
- Look closely at the history of both the coupon sellers and the businesses that will be redeeming the coupons.
- Buy only those items or services you truly need or want.
- Pay with a credit card whenever possible, in case you need to challenge the charge.
- Check for a BBB Business Review by going to www.bbb.org or by calling 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).