Bidders, Beware: Online Auction Site Racks Up Complaints

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chances are you’ve heard of or seen online auction sites, but there’s one out there some customers wish they’d never laid eyes on. 

CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman spoke with a consumer who believes tried to cheat him.  He’s talking because he thinks it’s the best way to say, “Buyer – or bidder — beware.” is an auction site where you can place penny bids for all kinds of merchandise, such as TVs, watches, and, in Ken Edwards’ case, a gift card.

“I actually did feel (like I won) for a second,” Edwards said. “It was a $20 gift card for $4.72. Until I found out they took out $48.”

He says they deducted it from the $179.00 worth in credit he bought to bid, and then asked him to charge the roughly four bucks he spent to win the card.  It didn’t make him happy.  After all, paints itself as the alternative to similar sites. 

Edwards said his experience was the equivalent of “getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick.”

He wrote the Better Business Bureau, which has collected other complaints about the website. BBC CEO Steve Bernas says people complain there are technical difficulties when they win, forcing them to start the process over. Others say they don’t realize they’re buying credits when they register.

Bernas adds: “They’re bidding on things and not getting the product they won.”

More than 500 complaints nationwide mean the Atlanta-based company gets an F rating from the bureau.

Wavee didn’t return calls, but a reporter for the CBS affiliate reporter in Atlanta caught up with someone from Wavee a few weeks ago when it did a story about dissatisfied customers.

“We do a great job.  We have three quarters of a million customers,” said the employee, who identified himself as “Paul.”

That employee also said Wavee customers get their prizes.  Edwards didn’t get his gift card, but he did get back the $179 worth of credit he bought to bid after he demanded it.  He says it took some work. 

Nationwide, dozens of complaints are still at issue.

  • joey

    Ebay or Evilbay as i call it is not much better these days, Theyre raising fees for sellers that is unreasonable.

    • Jim in Chicago

      ALL of those penny bidding sites are a scam. People regularly lose a LOT more than they will, mainly because they don’t read the fine print. If a bidding site asks for you credit card before you’re allowed to bid, they’re probably not on the up and up. It happened to me, so I speak from experience. Fortunately, I fought the charge on my card and ultimately prevailed. The offending charge was removed by my credit card company. So … be careful out there!!!

  • Davidd

    I had started to join u bid but the more I read aboutit I quickly sent them e request to refund my money adn I didn’t bid on anything cause it sounded so much like a scam. E-bay when I use it I pay through pay-pal so I know my purchase price can be refundedif ther is a dispute.

  • Don Carbonneau

    Have found “bots” on Craigslist that lead an inqiry only t get a fake email that includes a link to wavee. Totally crooked outfit. Consumer protection is non existant in this country an every corporation seems to be out to just fleece the cstomers . Not the way it should be Short term profits and crawl behind another rock. What weasels these perps are.

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