Merchants and consumers waited nervously this last week as gift certificate seller CityDeals teetered on the brink of collapse while still in debt to many individuals and companies. Answers arrived when the company issued a news release Sept. 7 that Utah’s Seven Peaks acquired CityDeals’ assets.
“The acquisition of CityDeals by Seven Peaks assures that CityDeals will continue to provide tremendous benefits to consumers and regional business owners and have stamina to deliver those benefits over the long haul,” said Bruce Law, vice president of marketing at Seven Peaks, in a news release.
The news release also said Seven Peaks is working to reimburse all customers and businesses hurt by CityDeals’ failure to follow through with contracted payments.
“As part of the acquisition, Seven Peaks is working with merchants to ensure all deals sold online to date through CityDeals will be honored,” Law said. It also said Seven Peaks is working out arrangements to take care of any merchants who have been awaiting payment from CityDeals.
Originally, CityDeals entered into an agreement with separate discount gift seller Deals That Matter. CEO James Saccomano said both sides were looking to benefit from the other in some way.
“We did enter into an agreement to acquire certain assets of CityDeals, but it was never a merger,” Saccomano said. “That was late Sept. 1. The following Tuesday certain things came to light and we rescinded the agreement.”
According to both parties, a period of negotiating followed with the decision that the companies would go their separate ways.
Currently, whether certificates will be accepted is up to individual businesses.
Manager of Provo’s Awful Waffle, Ashley Wakefield, said they will still honor CityDeals certificates.
“We love our customers,” Wakefield said. “We want them to come back. Certainly the situation is unfair for business owners, but it’s more unfair for the customers.”
Basa Body employee Vicki Gillespie Asay said her company located in Orem is awaiting a reimbursement of $450 because of CityDeals’ failure to repay them according to set contracts.
“We can’t keep giving out free products,” Asay said.
Employees at Johanna’s Kitchen in Sandy said they are still accepting CityDeals certificates. Employees at Indian Fusion in West Jordan said they will accept CityDeals certificates so long as they are validated.
Traci Gundersen, director of Utah Division of Consumer Protection, said they are currently receiving complaints on the issue.
“We have received several complaints,” Gundersen said, “and welcome any consumers faulted by the situation to file a one.”