GoSango leaves city retailers with financial losses
A number of Kamloops businesses burned by the collapse of a Kelowna-based group-buying website are encouraging their clients to seek compensation through credit-card companies.
“I think the worst part is trying to be diplomatic about it with my customers and trying to keep them happy,” said Angela Veltri, owner of the Kamloops location of Kix 4 Chix.
“They’ve put me in a really bad position and they’ve put everybody in a really bad position — especially small business.”
Veltri said she signed up with GoSango — a group-buying website formerly known as Twongo — in August, offering a $300 membership package for $100.
GoSango ended up selling more than 100 of the packages, bringing in more than $10,000 — money that was supposed to be split down the middle with Veltri.
That puts her out $5,000.
Veltri said she is encouraging clients who bought the packages to seek compensation through their credit-card companies, to help her cover her losses.
“I’m out quite a bit of money,” she said.
“But, I’m trying to do the right thing by honouring these certificates.”
For now, Veltri said, she plans to honour the certificates regardless.
“It’s $100 they spent,” she said.
“I’d like them to get their services.”
That’s not the case with other Kamloops businesses left holding the bag after GoSango’s collapse.
“I don’t think it’s fair that we should have to honour it,” said Mia Sheldon, office manager at Pogue Mahone Irish Alehouse.
“But, I feel bad for the whole situation.”
Like Kix 4 Chix, Sheldon said Pogue Mahone is encouraging GoSango customers who bought their two-for-one gift certificates to seek compensation through their credit-card companies.
While she wouldn’t put a number on it, Sheldon said the pub’s losses were nowhere near the $5,000 claim by Kix 4 Chix.
“It’s not significant enough to worry about,” she said.
“But, we’re left holding the bag. It’s just a bad thing. To me, it smells like fraud.”
Last week, GoSango owner Michael Minor announced the company’s business assets had been purchased by Smart Betty, another Kelowna-based company.
Minor also said the businesses waiting for payment from GoSango would “be paid out in trust by our law firm over the coming weeks.”
That’s cold comfort to Veltri, who said she spoke to Minor by phone this week.
“He wasn’t very apologetic at all,” she said of the call.
“He said I was going to be getting a percentage of my money.
“They say that a portion of the proceeds is going to be paid back, but what’s that? Five per cent?”