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Bidders, Beware: Online Auction Site Racks Up Complaints

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Screen grab from the Wavee.com website (Wavee.com)

Screen grab from the Wavee.com website (Wavee.com)

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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 Wavee.com tried to cheat him.  He’s talking because he thinks it’s the best way to say, “Buyer – or bidder — beware.”

Wavee.com 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, wavee.com 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.

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