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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

St. Louis Daily Deals Collapses; Coupon Company Leaves Businesses in Lurch

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 11:52 AM

click to enlarge Your coupon from St. Louis Daily Deals could be worthless.
  • Your coupon from St. Louis Daily Deals could be worthless.
Editor's note: Apparently there's been some confusion with readers thinking that the coupon company reported on in this story is Voice Daily Deals, operated by Riverfront Times. It is not. Our coupon service remains in business and continues to offer spectacular bargains.

Original story follows...

St. Louis Daily Deals has gone out of business. The company, owned by husband and wife Lorilee and Bill Cummings of Warson Woods, shut down sometime this month. 

Now area businesses that contracted with the online coupon service say St. Louis Daily Deals has left them on the hook. According to the BBB, St. Louis Daily Deals sold coupons for two area home cleaning companies worth thousands of dollars. Under terms of the contract, the coupon company was to keep 30 percent of the money from the coupons with the cleaning companies getting the remaining 70 percent. But St. Louis Daily Deals never paid the household cleaning firms their cut of the money. Now those businesses are struggling to honor the coupons without any reimbursement from St. Louis Daily Deals.

"It's killing us," the owner of one of the house cleaning companies tells the BBB. The business owner says he's honored 41 coupon purchasers but is telling others that he can no longer accept the coupon.

The same goes for a Kirkwood spa that tells the BBB that St. Louis Daily Deals left it on the lurch for $2,000 and it can no longer afford to honor the discounted facials it sold through the coupon company.

The BBB says the Cummings have not responded to its investigators and urges consumers to use caution when buying online coupons. As Riverfront Times reported last fall the online-coupon industry has gone from boom to bust in the past year, with restaurants and retailers offering more conservative discounts to guard their bottom line. Moreover, many of the coupon business -- including the heavyweight in the industry, Groupon -- fail to turn a profit. In the fourth quarter of 2012, Groupon reported a net loss of $42.3 million

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