Cleverbuy Closed: Beware of the Clever Scam

Deal sites have gained popularity as consumers as an offer to save seem irresistible.  One of the bigger group buying sites is Cleverbuy.  They have simultaneous deal offerings everyday.  Last February, they even emailed me an invite that their Affiliate Marketing Program at 7th High Bonifacio High Street.  It was party I didn't go to because I don't drink but I heard it overflowed with food, drinks and they even raffled of f travel packages

So when I saw that they had an offering for Paul Calvin's Deli, I took the bait and bought six vouchers for the family.  We were planning to use it this June since the deal is valid until June 30, 2012.  But, when we called Paul Calvin's Deli, we were informed that they are no longer honoring Cleverbuy vouchers since Cleverbuy failed to reimburse them for the previous ones they accepted too.

We were surprised as we watch the news at ABS-CBN that there is a wide-scale fraud going on.  Up to date, there are over 100 consumers filing a complaint to the DTI.

And sadly, there are also many who are unaware of their schemes as their site is still up and running with consumers availing of their deals.

Of course, I want to be compensated so I did my best to investigate about this issue.  First, I checked their Facebook page and they were so many comments worried clients like me.  

Here are some relevant information I've gathered:

                                                  See Chris Aranyez and David Stautigel Here
  • Chriz Arañez (09175143733) was the former country manager of Cleverbuy.  During his management, Cleverbuy executed a travel deal from TripToe (managed by Ms. Leah Ramos) which had many consumer complaints since last March, 2012.  Chriz Arañez forwarded advance payment to TripToe who they failed to execute their part of the bargain.  
    • TripToe Travel and  Cashmere Travel and Tours both based in Iligan are owned by Amielyn Madale Limbona who is currently facing an estafa case
  • Edgardo Garcia replaced Chris Arañez as country manager and he is expected to appear on June 8.
  • David Stautigel is the general manager of Cleverbuy and representative of the owner Christian Bayer who is now in Germany. He is also the Czech Republic's Country Manager.
  • Ronald Rodriguez and Marissa Topacio are the  Sales Manager and Channel Sales Manager respectively.
  • Cleverbuy and J2 Travel and Tours are sister companies.  Both  are closed since May 29, 2012
  • Cleverbuy is part of Webix Business Solutions Inc., which develops websites (dating sites, porn sites...) for European clients which are legal in Europe.
  • Yesterday (June 5, 2012), Cleverbuy closed its China Bank account.  Thereby making all their checks bounce (criminally liable for B.P. 22)
So what to do now?
The only we can do is file a complaint and hope for the slim chance of being reimbursed or getting our moneyback.

Join other consumers in reporting them!
  • What to bring: 
  • Where to go: NBI Anti-fraud Division, 5th floor, NBI Taft Avenue, Manila on June 8, 2012 2 P.M. to file a complaint along with other victims
    • Wear at least smart casual