According to a Ripoff Report article about Sour Apple Repair, the College Station repair shop failed to honor daily deal vouchers from Brazos VIP, a local daily deal site that paid the company thousands of dollars to honor them.
“BrazosVIP.com was recently informed by our customer service team that Sour Apple Repair in College Station is not accepting vouchers for iPhone Screen repair purchased from our site. We respect and value our customers’ time and trust. Brazos VIP had compensated Sour Apple as agreed, in full, months in advance for iPhone Screen repair vouchers which were recently dishonored.
We never sell our customers vouchers which we do not fully expect to be honored as printed. However, if that ever happens for any reason, refunds are easy,” says a spokesperson for Brazos VIP, a popular local website that serves as a platform for local businesses to sell and get paid in advance for discounted products or services.
“Our company paid in advance for the vouchers,” the spokesperson for the daily deal site continued. “Brazos VIP sold the vouchers to our members in good faith that they would be honored. Refunds were issued immediately to customers complaining Sour Apple would not honor the vouchers they purchased.”
Brazos VIP customers with Sour Apple vouchers have reported the following scenario: Sour Apple representatives tell the customer that Brazos VIP sold them the voucher erroneously that they had not agreed to honor. Then, they instruct the Brazos VIP customer to request a refund online from Brazos VIP customer service for the voucher. Sour Apple employees then accept payment directly from our Brazos VIP member at the same price the repair was offered for on their voucher.
“Having our customers be told their voucher was improperly issued hurts our business and hurts the customer. Fact is, we paid in good faith, in advance for Sour Apple to honor every voucher we have issued,” states the Brazos VIP spokesperson. “Brazos VIP has paid Sour Apple Repair over $10,000 in both cash and credits and we have the paper-trail and checks cashed by Sour Apple to prove it.”
Brazos VIP does not want customers to experience any inconvenience. “The company maintains a very liberal refund policy,” the deal company’s spokesperson says. “The customer service team that helps people login to their accounts or deal with other technical issues is empowered to issue customer refunds immediately in most cases. Sour Apple is aware of this because we sometimes a phone was un-repairable and several of the hundreds of customers we sent them who couldn’t use their voucher for that reason were given a quick, no-hassle refund. Now, they are using that knowledge of our easy refunds, telling customers with valid vouchers whose phones they can and should fix with the voucher as payment to instead request a refund from Brazos VIP and pay them directly.”
When the company learned of the issues Brazos VIP customers were having, they immediately ceased sales of Sour Apple iPhone Repair vouchers on BrazosVIP.com
Image: Brazos VIP issued over 13,000 vouchers, only 11 of which were refunded for the reason: “Merchant is open and refuses to honor.” 3 of those 11 refunds were issued to customers who purchased legally valid, prepaid Sour Apple Repair vouchers. In effect, Sour Apple Repair collected payment from Brazos VIP, but told the customer they had no dealings with Brazos VIP and that their voucher was not valid. They would then instruct the customer to seek a refund from Brazos VIP and charge the customer directly for the repair for which they had already been paid in advance by Brazos VIP. The net effect was a customer who felt deceived by Brazos VIP and Sour Apple Repair getting compensated twice for repairs the deal site sent them.