The apparent collapse of Kelowna-based social-buying firm has left an upstart city business with a $5,000 hole in its revenues while another is also left holding unpaid debts.
The website, GoSango.com - which started business as Twongo but is no longer affiliated with that company - has also left other Okanagan businesses without cash for services they were promised, according to Okanagan news reports.
Angela Veltri, owner of a Kamloops kickboxing fitness centre called Kix 4 Chix, offered three-month memberships at one-third the face value. The offer through GoSango brought in 103 new members.
The deal was slated to pull in $10,000, split between Kix 4 Chix and GoSango. But the due date to pay the funds came and went in August without any contact. Earlier this week she was told by a staff member the company was in financial straits and there was little chance she would get the money owed.
The Daily News reached a former employee Friday, who refused to comment.
"It's definitely a huge hit," Veltri said.
Dan MacCuish, kitchen manager at Dirty Jersey Sports Bar & Grill in North Kamloops, said the establishment is out several hundred dollars after it sold $20 coupons for food or drink.
"We haven't received payment of any kind. I spent an entire day trying to contact anyone by phone - it didn't take a message."
On Friday afternoon, another Kelowna-based social buying company, SmartBetty.com, announced it had purchased the assets of GoSango.
SmartBetty owner Bruce Maki said the money paid to purchase GoSango, which he declined to detail, was paid to Whiteboard Law in Kelowna. The law firm will disperse the funds to satisfy a portion of debts.
Maki said he did not know how many cents on the dollar GoSango creditors would receive.
SmartBetty is a franchise firm that partners with non-profit companies.
"The social buying industry had a few hiccups in the valley but it's a healthy and viable advertising venture."
Veltri said she is "in doubt, but hopeful" with the recent development.
For now, the gym owner is telling customers to go through their credit card companies to obtain refunds because services were never rendered for money paid out.