False Advertisement on BuyTopia: La Vie en Rose Boutique

One of the group buying websites BuyTopia offered a good deal in the end of December 2011:

http://www.buytopia.ca/deal/588

$25 for $50 Worth of Merchandise at ANY La Vie en Rose Boutique in Canada

buytopia-rose-boutique-false-ad

According to the advertisement it offers 50% off, and customers assume that they can spend $50 at La Vie en Rose Boutique and just present voucher at checkout. Experienced customers expect to pay HST on top of it as well.

But this deal turned to be one more false/deceptive advertisement from BuyTopia.

Basically there are two important things which attracted thousands of customers:

  • 50% off ($50 worth of merchandise for $25)
  • Makes a Perfect Holiday Gift! Many people expected to use it before the New Year

Note that there are no restrictions on the picture about “Holiday Gift” as well. Details do not mention any restrictions also.

But the voucher’s fine print specify the following limitations:

  • Voucher can be redeemed as of January 1, 2012
  • Minimum purchase of $65 required

It means that “Makes a Perfect Holiday Gift!” does not really make sense, because the coupon can only be redeemed as of January 1, 2012, i.e. after holidays.

Minimum purchase limit means that it the person will have to spend $40 to get $65 worth of merchandise, i.e. 38% discount instead of promised 50%.

Why BuyTopia lied in their promotion? Why not just advertising “$65 worth of merchandise for $40″ which gives 38% discount?

16 comments to False Advertisement on BuyTopia: La Vie en Rose Boutique

  • bennxta

    HI,

    I purchased an item from buytopia.ca. They were offering a deal from Goodbuyfirst.com.

    I have contacted buytopia.ca several times and they have never provided me with a reply.

    Goodbuyfirst.com and buytopia.ca are sending me several emails, to confirm my delivery address, which I confirmed. They sent several more even though I have already confirmed my address.

    Goodbuyfirst.com also sent me a link to “sign up” and to enter a voucher number.
    However, there was no voucher number from buytopia.ca. The instructions were to re-purchase the item at a substantially higher price using a ‘voucher’ and to pay the extra ‘taxes’ applicable.

    I have been charged by these companies, have asked for an update with no response and was asked for personal information and to “sign up” more without ever receiving my goods or a reply from anyone who work in these companies.

    BUYTOPIA is a SCAM!!!!!

  • Dealhunter

    Trueler,

    This is not a scam. With every deal there comes fine print, regardless if you like it or not.

    With the comment, “Makes a Perfect Holiday Gift!”, it’s just marketing words – it doesn’t say “Holdiay 2011″ and it doesn’t even say, “Christmas Holiday”. You are basically inferring people couldn’t use this as a Christmas 2011 gift since the start date is 2012. Well, if the voucher is valid for 1 year, it still leaves a lot of room for voucher holders to purchase gifts down the road for 2012 Holiday season.

    Regarding the discount, again, it’s not a scam but just cleverly placed words. Remember, this is MARKETING. To ask people to spend $65 is reasonable and at least they do put that in the “Fine Print” as oppose to letting people buy it and then telling them at the time of redemption. Yes the deal looks sneakier after you do all the math but in the end, you still save SOME money and this is WAY LESS a scam than other deals out there.

  • Trueler

    Hi Dealhunter,

    Thanks for you interest in other posts :)

    Did I really call it a scam? Perhaps I should…

    BuyTopia advertised 50% discount here. How can it be a fine print for this?

    Just imagine that even if you bought the voucher itself as a gift. Recipient will go to the store and will have to pay $15… for gift… Does it make sense?

    I think advertising something before some holiday (like New Year’s Day) with a slogan “Makes a perfect holiday gift” let everyone think what it actually implies.

    I should also mention that BuyTopia already run scams before.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • James

    Trueler I enjoy your way of exposing scams and I will enjoy, but I’m with Dealhunter on this one. Marketing is exactly that. As long as it is printed in “The Fine Print” which isn’t really fine print anymore, but actually gets Top of the ad space and is usually printed larger than the rest. Do I think this is a good deal? For me…no. But for someone looking to spend some money at this store? Yes. Bargain hunting is needed nowadays, but people who don’t read the conditions on deals, shouldn’t complain when they are enforced. Many of these deals these days are scams. That whole tablet from dealfind for instance, but there are good bargains to be had. Read the terms and conditions and see if the deal is for you.

  • Trueler

    James,

    Well. But it’s still a false representation. Claims in the main promotion and in the fine print must not contradict each other.

    Thanks,
    Trueler

  • dealseeker

    Why do people still buy from Buytopia? Have you guys ever called their 1.855 number? They answer their phones with Hello. No reference to the fact that you called Buytopia to begin with. That in itself is a sign of shadyness in my opinion.

    Secondly they never provide the telephone numbers to their merchants which all daily deal sites do now. Another site that is similar to them is Dealticker. They recently ran a deal for fake Dr. Dre headsets that they were passing off as the real ones with false pictures.

    People who don’t do their due diligence on these sites deserve to lose their money.

  • Lauren

    I also dislike BUYTOPIA, I purchased 3 house cleaning vouchers (Eagles Touch House Cleaning if you ask) and the company went out of service, shut down both phone numbers and never returned any of my 5 emails. I am still waiting on a refund to our mastercard. A few weeks after this spectacle, BUYTOPIA has the audacity to run yet ANOTHER deal with the same cleaning company!!!! I was shocked when I saw the deal! I called to tell them why would you do this, do you now look into the companies you represent, and the associate basically told me to “have a nice day” and hung up on me. So I made a complaint telling customers to beware on BUYTOPIA’s discussion page, they immediately removed my comment and blocked me from ever posting again!!
    RUN, don’t walk away from buying anything off BUYTOPIA!!!!!

  • Jenny

    I have also had a bad experience with Buytopia. After buying a spa package from Vikaspa one of their venders I was unable to reach the spa for months in order to book my appointment. The voucher expired and Buytopia offered no support. I truly question the integrity of this company, as there is no accountability for their venders and their costumer service is lacking. I will no longer support them and would strongly recommend people be very cautious when dealing with them.

  • Donald

    I recently bought some discounted underwear from Goodbuyfirst through Groupon voucher, however i think and truly so, that the underwear which were shipped from China after hustling with the customer service for more than 2 months are FAKE Calvin Klein. Anyone has this experience with their advertised boxer shorts?
    http://goodbuyfirst.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=144&products_id=413&zenid=7d7a456f4f4edc8ecf081b23a01281cc

  • Jennifer

    Do not buy from goodbuyfirst. Total ripoff products. I ordered bamboo towels from Groupon/goodbuyfirst and received towels that looked like they were bought from the dollar store.

  • I’ve purchased from Buytopia recently when they had razor blades on sale for a great price….a couple of weeks later I received an email, saying that due to ‘quality issues’ they were no longer offering the product and refunded the money, which they did….however, just after this transaction, my credit card was charged with unknown charges for a personal cell phone bill from Sprint…!!!! I’m not saying it’s buytopia’s fault, however, the ONLY place I’ve used that card WAS buytopia….never again!!!!

  • Paula

    Buytopia is a very corrupt company. I purchased a $200 voucher for laser treatment and found out the company went out of business, 3 months after the deal was made. I ended up complaining to the Better Business Bureau and should be getting a refund.

  • Tatiana

    I am extremely disappointed with my experience with BUYTOPIA.ca I was under the impression that I was saving money by buying tickets from you to the JZ concert when in fact I paid $168 over what they are worth. I only found this out after I received the tickets. the are worth $85 less per ticket than what I paid! To date I can still get them cheaper. You will save nothing with Buytopia.ca If you want to get ripped off then go ahead and use them.. Not to mention It was difficult for me to get credit from greatcanadianrebates.com because buytopia.ca was also being difficult with them. I tried to get them to rectify this but they did nothing.

  • Susuu

    I’ve never done business with Buytopia, nor will I ever do so. However, I do know one thing about them. They’re spammers. For the past 6 months, or so, I’ve been inundated by their email pleas for me to buy, buy, buy. I refuse to attempt to Unsubscribe from their sucker list, as that would only confirm that their messages have reached a live human being. Now, anything from them is directed to my Spam folder, and promptly trashed.

  • Robert

    Call Ontario Government at this number.1-800-869-9768. The Government is now going to investigate their business practices I would suggest that anyone with issue with this Company file a complaint.

  • Diana

    Hello. I also have been overwhelmed with buy emails from buytopia.ca. Same as with Ncrowd.ca did at first too. That is until I was making purchases from ncrowd to the tune of $2,000.00. I was not receiving any products though so I emailed and all of a sudden I started to receive a few of the cheapest small items the following week. But the big stuff I never received ever. Now apparently they are out of business with more than $1,600.00 of my money. Also I found out that they have reinvented themselves as another online company that does not accept any responsibility for the previous named company. Go figure. Only well known established online companies if any for me.

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