by: Jim Strickland Updated:ATLANTA —
A local coupon company will pay fines and refunds over consumer complaints that their bargains went bust.
Consumers complained that they could not redeem the vouchers they bought at loclly.com.
Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland discovered research that some small businesses said they got burned too.
"We've had issues," said Sellar's Goodyear operations director Melisa Anderson.
A loclly.com coupon at the Cobb County auto service center was good for an oil change and tire rotation.
Strickland found their voucher still for sale, even though the repair shop's has been trying to sever ties with loclly.com for weeks.
Sellars has taken in hundreds of coupons, but said they haven't been fully reimbursed. The shop is supposed to receive about $12
back for each $19 voucher purchased by consumers.
"We have sent several in, have only got a portion back. We're right now out about $1,200 at this point," said Anderson.
Amber Kemp of northwest Atlanta will get a $99 refund. She blew the whistle about a vacation deal to Las Vegas that never came through.
"I received a voucher and could never redeem the voucher. I tried to contact loclly so many times and they kept giving me the
runaround," Kemp told Strickland.
Along with a fine, the company will pay more than $4,000 in refunds and set aside $15,000 more for future complaints.
"You know, most of these cases are $20, $30, $50, $100. They're not big, but in the aggregate they do amount to quite a bit," said Consumer Protection Administrator John Sours.
Loclly.com's attorney David Turner issued a statement saying most of the trouble stemmed from a few vendors who did not live up to the terms of the vouchers.
Turner said the repair shop experienced a delay in reimbursement because it submitted too many vouchers at once.
The repair shop owner said he kept his end of the bargain, and will protect customers who bought vouchers through Monday.
"We want people to know that if they purchased it before Sept. 9, we'll honor it until the end of the month so they're not out any money," said owner Tim Sellars.