The Consumer Council has urged group-buying website Beecrazy to provide information about its operating status and business situation.
The watchdog said it is concerned about rumors circulating in the market that the company may close its Hong Kong operations, exposing its business partners and customers to potential risks.
In a press release Monday, the Council called on Beecrazy’s management to come forward and provide an assurance that it can meet its obligations to all stakeholders.
The statement came after some netizens reported that the payment systems on the Beecrazy site failed to work when the consumers tried to buy discount coupons from the online platform.
A test conducted by the Hong Kong Economic Journal suggested that there was indeed some problem with the site.
Meanwhile, a person also complained that he was turned away by a Beecrazy partner store when he tried to use the coupons sold by the website.
Asked for an explanation, the partner store is said to have informed the customer that its tie-up with Beecrazy has ended.
The Consumer Council is concerned about such reports, given that another website, Funshare.com, had faced troubles earlier.
Founded in 2010 and later acquired by Singapore-based Ensogo, Beecrazy provides discount coupons by partnering with restaurants, shops, beauty salons, appliance stores and travel agencies.
The online platform has been popular with Hong Kong consumers, a fact evident from the more than 3.5 million “Likes” for its Facebook page.
There are worries that an abrupt halt in operations could affect quite a number of consumers.
Calls made to the company are now answered with recorded messages — “the line is busy” is the message that one often hears, the Hong Kong Economic Journal noted.
Meanwhile, its office in Cheung Sha Wan was seen closed Monday with a notice pasted on the door informing people that business has been suspended since June 16 due to interior renovation work.
The company has not issued any official statement so far regarding its operations, but one of its employees has been quoted in the media as saying that the staff was told, via an internal note Monday, not to come to work anymore.
A spokesman of Yahoo, whose group buying platform included Beecrazy as one of its suppliers, confirmed that Beecrazy is no longer with the platform and that it is arranging refunds for affected consumers.
The spokesman said that Yahoo has been unable to reach the head of Beecrazy.
Amid the concerns, the Consumer Council has reminded the public not to spend too much on any single group buying website.
As for those who are holding coupons purchased through Beecrazy, the watchdog urged the people to check the validity of the coupons and use them as soon as possible.
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