Kelowna, British Columbia merchants and consumers doing business with GoSango.com are up in arms and appear to have every right to be. Daily dealing GoSango.com(formerly known as Twongo.com) apparently sold deals and then balked on making payments to the merchant or merchants as promised.
The company originally launched on September 1st, 2010 as Twongo Canada Limited. In February, 2012 Twongo.com underwent a name change to GoSango.com. The original launch was in Kelowna, BC then expanded throughout the Okanagan and into the Lower Mainland.
Show me the money
Merchants are now complaining they’re not getting paid by GoSango and want the company to show them the money. Lane Martin, owner of a furnace company, had no problem being vocal regarding GoSango.com and the dilemma produced by lack of payment.
Mr. Martin signed up three times with the daily dealer to attract new customers to his furnace business. The first deal went off without a hitch, deal number two had some issues but was resolved, and the third and most popular deal was supposedly the second largest deal that Gosango.com had run.
That’s great, except for one major snafu – Mr. Marin has yet to see any of the money that GoSango.com collected from customers on his behalf.
A sign of the times
During an interview with CBC News, Mr. Martin stated that “I have probably 115 emails, one excuse after another, and I haven’t received a dime from them.” CBC News spoke with two other merchants who also say they’re owed money by GoSango.
GoSango CEO Mike Minor told CBC News GoSango has had cash flow problems and is restructuring. But he said his priority is to do everything possible to keep the website alive so that customers can access their coupons. Mr. Minor stated that the vast majority of GoSango clients and customers are satisfied with the service.
That may soon change. CBC News visited the company’s Kelowna office on Tuesday; it was empty, with no phones or computers. The only item visible was just a single whiteboard in an abandoned lobby. Is it possible the whiteboard had detailed gotta- get-a-way instructions, or perhaps it just represents a sign of the slowing daily deal times.
Website stuck in a loop
I just checked out the website. The ‘today’s deal’ button is looped back to the homepage. There are no careers listed, just a phone number that gets answered by an automated answering system. The ‘live chat’ appears to be automated with bot responses.
Unfortunately the only recourse for customers that purchased vouchers appears to be those businesses that were being promoted. As for merchants like Mr. Martin, who is out about $8,000, the only recourse may be legal actions.
Although the majority of business intentions may have been honorable, this seems to be another example of a CEO or founder that bled a company dry then ran from those that were owed monies. I have written about and been a direct party to those that use excuses such as ‘cash flow is tight because the company is not being paid for services rendered.’ Unfortunately that is the unscrupulous side of business. As a contractor running a crew or an investment advisor, there were times when a builder, home owner or client didn’t pay for whatever reason. I still met my obligations, including paying those that worked for me, without burying my head in the sand, pointing fingers, and ignoring emails and phone calls. I’d like to see these CEO’s, founders and wanna be entrepreneurs held liable for capital accountability issues.