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Call Kurtis: Bought Living Social Deal But Merchant Closed, Now What?

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Eight-time Emmy Award winner Kurtis Ming is CBS13's consumer...
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A Citrus Heights mom bought a Living Social deal. But when the company offering the deal went out of business and she couldn’t get a refund, it was time to call Kurtis.

Some new companies use these deals to get their name out there. But for some, they can’t stay in business.

So how do you get your money back?

“She loves princesses, coloring, very outgoing,” said Angela Waters.

But Angela’s six year old daughter wouldn’t get a princess party from Enchanted Theme Parties.

The Rancho Cordova company that offered a Living Social deal, $50 toward a $150 party, went out of business. Angela says all Living Social would give back, was a ten dollar credit, instead of the $50 she paid.

“On the voucher it says paid value does not expire so i was a little bit upset,” said Angela.

The voucher does say “we provide refunds upon request only where the relevant merchant has gone out of business before the promotional period ends.”

But she didn’t request a refund, until after the voucher expired.

So is she owed anything?

“It’s going to depend on what Groupon or Living Social or one of the other companies has in their policies,” said Russ Heimerich, California Dept. of Consumer Affairs spokesperson.

Heimerich says these type of vouchers don’t quite fall into the same category as gift cards, which never expire in California.

“The courts haven’t spoken as to whether or not that actually qualifies as a gift card,” said Heimerich.

We contacted Living Social. They responded in an email saying:
“We made a mistake…” and are “sorry about that and the inconvenience this caused the consumer!”
— Elizabeth Hebda, spokesperson

We’re told their policy is to refund people when a company goes out of business.

After a deal expires, you can get a credit toward a future Living Social deal.

After we got involved, Angela got her $50 credit and learned a lesson about these deals.

“Time is short, you have to use it as soon as possible,” said Angela.

We checked with Groupon. They tell us the paid value of your voucher never expires.

And depending on whether the deal is expired, you’ll either get a Groupon credit or a refund.

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