DTI issues warning on CleverBuy

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 06 2012 01:55 PM | Updated as of Jun 07 2012 04:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued a warning against coupon buying website CleverBuy, amid rising number of complaints from consumers.

"Bago kayo bumili, tumawag kayo sa DTI... We're issuing a warning or notice to the public on Cleverbuy. Now its up to CleverBuy to show up in our office before we lift this warning," Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said.

As of Wednesday morning, CleverBuy no longer offers any deals on its website.

Several consumers have complained they paid for travel packages on CleverBuy but did not get any confirmation from the company. They have not received any refunds from CleverBuy, despite promises by company's representative Edgardo Garcia.

Meanwhile, employees of CleverBuy also sought help from the media. Aside from not receiving wages and commissions, they said they are now being harassed by irate customers and merchants of CleverBuy.

"Kami pong empleyado ay biktima rin, we just did our job," said Joey, a CleverBuy employee.

Manny, another employee, said they have not received their salary from CleverBuy.

Based on documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Cleverbuy's stockholders are Garcia and German nationals Christian Georg Bayer and Norbert Bayer.

The employees confirmed that Bayer owned the company, while Garcia is merely the manager.

"Hindi po sya scam, isa po siyang lehitimong companya na mismanaged lang talaga," another employee, Dale, said.

The DTI-National Capital Region office and the National Bureau of Investigation are already receiving complaints against CleverBuy to hasten the filing of cases in court.

Complaints can be filed with the DTI-NCR office at (02) 7513330 and the NBI Hotline (02) 523 8231-38. - Report from Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News