S'pore daily deals site offers deals without retailer approval

DealOn.com.sg is allegedly offering discounts from merchants which have not signed up for its service, and two affected retailers have lodged police reports against the Web company.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor on
DealOn.com.sg has been accused by three restaurants and a travel site for posting deals without their knowledge or permission.

Deals site DealOn has been accused by at least four merchants in Singapore for offering discounts without the companies' knowledge.

According to The Straits Times Monday, restaurants The House of Seafood, Three Wombats Cafe, Suan Thai restaurants and tour agency Singa Travel, all said they have no dealings with the Web site, even though their "offers" were advertised as late as last Saturday.

Rick Poh, operations manager at Serves U Right F&B Consulting, which manages Three Wombats Cafe, said he was alerted to the situation when a customer tried to redeem a voucher purchased from the Web site.

"We have told customers to stop using the Web site and alerted some of the other merchants advertised," Poh said.

Three Wombats Cafe and The House of Seafood have both made police reports after their businesess appeared on DealOn.

When contacted by the news agency, a DealOn spokesperson said while it has partnered merchants who pay service fees to advertise their offers, they "also promote non-agreeing merchants' products free of charge to increase their sales revenue".

"We will pay non-partner merchants the featured price once the deal is purchased, whether it is redeemed or not, within three business days," he said.

The spokesperson added if DealOn receives feedback from merchants that do not want to be listed on its site, the deals would be removed. Deals for The House of Seafood and Three Wombats Cafe were taken down last Wednesday following requests from the merchants, but reappeared on the Web site last Friday without the retailers' permission, the report noted.

The Consumers Association of Singapore told The Straits Times it has not received any complaints about DealOn yet, but advised consumers to check with merchants directly before purchasing vouchers from such sites.

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