St. Louis, Mo., March 26, 2012 – More than 1,000 Internet shoppers from across the nation – including dozens from Missouri and Illinois – 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. St. Louis area 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.
“This company is a complete scam,” said a customer from Ballwin, Mo.
“We were ripped off,” said a man from Florissant, Mo.
Michelle Corey, 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,” she 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 more than 50 complaints in Missouri and Illinois.
A woman from Lake St. Louis, Mo., said she paid SaveMore.com for a fast-food discount coupon but never received it. A woman from St. Charles, Mo., said she paid $15 for a $25 bookstore coupon that was never delivered. A man from Jefferson City, Mo., said he never received the gift card he ordered.
“It was extremely frustrating,” he said. “I don’t understand how a company can accept money and not deliver the goods. I was cheated.”
The alert on SaveMore.com comes just weeks after the BBB issued a news release on St. Louis Daily Deals, a local discount coupon operation that has gone out of business. In that case, several small businesses complained that they were not paid by St. Louis Daily Deals, and some consumers said they were left with worthless coupons.
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 314-645-3300.
Contacts: Michelle Corey, President & CEO, 314-584-6800, email@example.com, or Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, 314-584-6743, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Bill Smith, Trade Practice Investigator, 314-584-6727, email@example.com