Massive LivingSocial Deal for Amazon Gift Card Left Some Angry

A massively successful promotion by "deal-of-the day" website LivingSocial left a bad taste in the mouth of many consumers who have been complaining they were unfairly shut out of the bargain.

Last week's daily deal on LivingSocial offered users a $20 Amazon gift card for just $10, while those who convinced three Facebook "friends" to sign up for the deal were promised free gift cards.

Although Amazon lost money on the deal, it also drove tons of traffic toward a site in which it recently invested $175 million. The promotion unleashed an online buying frenzy, as consumers scooped up 1,378,938 million Amazon cards in 24 hours, a rate of 7,600 an hour, or 80 per second, according to CNN.Despite the apparent success, many frustrated customers began posting complaints on Consumer Ally partner as well as LivingSocial's Facebook page. Complaints included cancelled orders, unauthorized billing of credit cards, an inability to delete credit card information from the site, and accusations of trying to skirt the "one card per person" rule by rude customer service representatives.

Here's a sampling from SiteJabber readers, reproduced without edits:

Bryan L.

Tried to get in on the amazon gift card deal. They advertised that if you can get 3 people to purchase through a referral link, the deal is free! I received the 3 referrals and was about to get my $20 GC for free. But then, this company cancelled my deal, with no authorization, and no reason for doing so. Tried calling them, nothing they can do, blah blah. Offered some of their imaginary money. Useless. This is a sketchy sketchy company. I am very upset that they already have my name, CC# and email address. Avoid this website!

Joy V.

Totally scammed out of a deal. Called to find out if multiple family members could order through same CC--was told as long as we each had our own LS and email account, it was no problem!! Come to find out, they cancelled the orders, but saved our CC information for our accounts. And now 5 days later it is still not resolved, keep getting the run around. Will NEVER deal with them again.

Mike X.

My spouse and I purchased 2 Amazon gift cards using two different credit cards on two separate accounts since limit one person. Both orders got cancelled. Called several times, spokes to 5 representatives, they accused me of open two accounts and tried to make multiple fraud purchases since the we same the same mailing address and similar credit cards. The representatives were rude and unprofessional that didn't listen to you. Three of them actually hung up on me during our conversation. LIVING SOCIAL IS THE WORST COMPANY I HAVE DEAL WITH STAY AWAY FROM THEM!!!

Similar complaints on LivingSocial's Facebook page have kept company representatives in overdrive as they respond with apologies and promises to resolve issues. Here's a sampling of the Facebook complaints, one of which we've edited for space constraints:

  • "Never received code for Amazon card. sent email no resp. couldn't get a hold of c/s. Charge is still showing on my credit card."
  • "My wife never received her amazon card, nor did my kids. When my wife wrote them they said that it was because she had already ordered one, which was not true. No notice, no messages, nothing..."
  • "Never received code for Amazon card. I emailed 3 times, and only got the response that they were working on it. Called customer service twice, got put on hold, then the computer voice said, "good-bye," and hung up. The charge for the card is still showing up on my credit card. That's not just bad service, that's criminal."
Customer service responses resulted in some angry posts as well:

  • "Unbelievable. You people keep on lying and saying the same thing again and again like you are some kinda robots. Have you been brainwashed or not? Why don't you just admit that you living social made a huuuuuuge mistake and apologize to everyone at least. You will definitely remain in history as the worst business ever! You SUCK!"
Living Social did not immediately respond to a request for a comment, but the company has placed a link to FAQs about the Amazon gift card prominently atop the site's support center.
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