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VietNamNews

Joint purchasing raises concerns

Update: November, 17/2012 - 10:42

 

A screen shot of nhommua.com. The company closed temporarily and its CEO was dismissed. — File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— After buying vouchers for discounted goods from nhommua.com, one of the top joint purchasing websites in Viet Nam, many customers found themselves unable to use them when the company closed temporarily and its CEO was dismissed.

Joint purchasing, where many people purchase the same product in order to get a discount, has become the latest online shopping trend in Viet Nam.

Those interested in a particular product "buy" it with their credit cards, although the sale does not take place until a certain number of people have expressed interest in the item.

Hong Minh, a customer in Ha Noi, said two restaurants denied vouchers she bought from the website, even though the deadline had not yet passed.

"I often buy goods and services on joint purchasing websites, so I was confused," she said.

Nguyen Lan Phuong, a restaurant owner in Ha Noi, said the business had been forced to deny Nhommua's vouchers since it was uncertain whether the website would be able to honour them.

Phuong said the company typically reimbursed the restaurant for part of the vouchers after 15-20 days, while the remainder was not paid until later.

Kely Pham, the company's new CEO, admitted at a press conference on Thursday that several partners had denied Nhommua's vouchers after the company abruptly stopped operations at all its offices in Ha Noi, HCM City, Hai Phong and Can Tho.

Suppliers were not able to contact the company while the website was down, he said, making them wonder whether their vouchers would be reimbursed.

He added that the company has contacted its partners to confirm that all transactions would be honoured. Customers could contact the company to get their money back if they were still concerned or if suppliers refused to honour the vouchers.

The CEO also said the company would be back in business on Tuesday.

In response to questions about the dismissal of CEO Tom Tran, he said economic police have been investigating Tran at the request of a shareholder group that believed his management style was not transparent enough, resulting in losses for shareholders.

The management board appointed Kely Pham the new CEO last Tuesday. But due to negative reactions from shareholders, he did not take the seal of HCM City's branch from the ex-CEO.

Founded by Tran in 2010, the company now has 900 employees working in Ha Noi, HCM City, Hai Phong and Can Tho. The website gets around 4 million page views each month. — VNS

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