NEWS

Online coupon seller goes out of business

09/13/2012 04:19 EDT | Updated 11/13/2012 05:12 EST
British Columbia's answer to online group-buying company Groupon is officially out of business.

Kelowna-based Go Sango, formerly known as — but no longer affilated with — Twongo, now owes $200,000 to about 100 companies.

Although business was booming, and the company had thousands of customers in B.C., it ran into serious money problems at the beginning of 2012 when it became embroiled in a legal battle with former parent company Twongo, said CEO Barry Chretien.

"We originally licensed a brand and platform from a U.S. company and they ended up, through this agreement that we signed, taking 35 to 45 per cent of our revenue, of our net revenue over time. And that's the main reason that dug us into the hole that we're in today."

Company tells customers to print coupons now

By February, Chretien said the company could have chosen to close operations, but owed merchants money.

"We decided to keep it going and try to either gain investment or sell the company to pay off the merchants and dig ourselves out of the hole."

That didn't work, and the hole got deeper, leaving the company unable to pay merchants who signed up to offer deals to the public.

The coupon company has now stopped offering deals, and Chretien urges people to print off their existing coupons before the website goes offline at the end of October.

He also suggests calling vendors ahead of time to check if they will still honour the deal.

Chretien is trying to sell what remains of GoSango. Its only asset is a list of email addresses and purchasing patterns of past customers and merchants.

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