I have been purchasing deals from different group buying sites for almost a year now and I’m really into the hype! Nevertheless, I was able to restrain myself in purchasing deals that I want, to deals that I can use. Well that’s the thing about group buying site, a person would compulsively purchase deals online for cheaper prices, even though they do not really need it.
Anyway, this story is about my experience in about the group buying sites I have often used.
I first bought a deal at Ensogo for a hair treatment at a salon near our place. It was actually the owner of the said establishment who told me to get the deal online so I can avail their discounted rates. I got the deal just after it was published. Signing up was easy since everything was carefully instructed in the site. All information regarding the deal is there – the contact number of merchant, the validity, the restrictions and other useful information. And since I am familiar with the merchant, reservation and service was expectedly good. In the end I was happy about getting the deal because I really got cheaper price for my hair treatment without much of a hassle.
Next thing I know, I was checking other deals from different sites such as Deal Grocer, Metro Deal, Cash Cash Pinoy, and Deal Dozen. I was lucky enough that I have never encountered any problems with any of these sites, including the merchants. I guess being choosy in the deals is a contributing factor also.
So back to the story, my second hunt was a restaurant deal. Luckily, I got discounted hotel buffets just in time for a certain occasion. Just like Ensogo, signing up to other group buying sites were simple. All you need to do is fill out the details and come up with your own password. What’s tricky about it though was the choice of payment. Credit card and paypal are always available and some sites offer over the counter (OTC) payments or bank deposit. Nevertheless, credit card transaction is still a better choice than OTC because it is efficient and less-hassle. In my case however, I would usually go for OTC payments since I don’t want to incur credit card debts. For Ensogo and Deal Grocer, they would require you to resend your invoice, attaching a scanned copy or a photo of the deposit slip. For the MetroDeal and Cash Cash Pinoy, they use Dragonpay. In this case all you need to do after payment is follow the instructions in your invoice and input the needed codes. After their processing, your vouchers will be ready in your account. Despite the effort, OTC payments have worked well for me.
Now this is the part where I will rant about Beeconomic
It was actually my friend Lorenz who told me that Beeconomic also have fairly good deals. After cheking their site, I was able to spot a restaurant deal (Max Brenner to be exact). And like any other transaction, I used OTC payment. Since I was new to their site, I read instructions carefully – from signing up, purchasing a deal and even the FAQ. Sadly, it was not a user-friendly transaction at all especially for OTC payments. What is confusing in their site is that you wouldn’t know the status of your transaction. I was expecting that “pending” purchase will be posted in my account as a proof that I did click the BUY button and that I need to pay the certain amount for the transaction to be confirmed. In their site, they have NONE! In fact, I thought that my purchase was not recorded so I made another transaction with the same merchant.
So the deal ended, and after days of waiting for my voucher, I got an email from Beeconomic that my transaction was a fail. I was really angry about it since I paid the deal and followed their instructions for confirmation carefully. After 5 consecutive emails a day, I finally had it! I sent them my ultimatum email in ALL CAPS ranting about how my deal was not credited even though I have proof of purchase for it. Moreover, I told them that I am sick of their computer generated replies and their hotline is always busy.
After a few hours, I got an reply from a certain Bob who told me that my transaction had some system error which led the vouchers not being processed in my account. Hence, he just gave me the codes so I can present it to the merchant when I decided to avail the deal. Thus, I told Lorenz about what happened and how I was greatly dissapointed on his recommendation. He told me that I can avail a refund as a remedy. In that case the refund would be converted to credits and not cash, and those credits will be used for the next transaction.
Since I got tired in dealing with Beeconomic after a week of relentlessness email, I told Lorenz that I will first call Max Brenner and see if they will accept no paper voucher, and granting they do accept, I would avail the deal. But take note that I will avail it not because I really wanted it badly, but because I DON’T WANT TO TRANSACT WITH BEECONOMIC anymore.