Company responds following scam claims

Local

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Owner of GiftBar Alex Minicucci has addressed claims that his website is involved in scamming businesses following an initial report from the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.

“I certainly don’t fault them for bringing this to attention to the community, but I don’t think we’ve had ample time to explain all of this,” Minicucci said.

Issues with the website came to light when a customer at Body Relief and Spa in Queensbury attempted to use a gift certificate she bought from the website. The only problem, the wellness center had never heard of the company. Minicucci said that confusion could be linked to their association with an industry trade group.

“Automatically, every time someone becomes a member of the Spa Industry Association, we get notification at GiftBar, and we add them to our site,” Minicucci said.

GiftBar’s partnership with the Spa Industry Association is listed on the trade group’s website. As for the incorrect numbers listed for the businesses on gift bar’s website, Minicucci’s said he hired college students to make sure everything was listed correctly.

“I am monumentally disappointed to see four listings that have bad addresses or phone numbers or whatever weird information is on there because we’ve spent a lot of money trying to verify and cleaning up the list,” Minicucci said.

Four local businesses in the area have said they had no idea about the company. Since NEWS10ABC’S first story, two have been taken down from the website. The owner says he’s reached out to a third.

Minicucci sent his own warning to consumers as the holiday season approaches to be cautious of scams.

“There are people who scam in the gift card business, that is true. And people should be aware,” Minicucci said.

According to Minicucci the Spa Industry Association is going to list GiftBar’s partnership more prominently on its website. GiftBar is also going to send additional emails to make sure businesses are aware of their membership to the website.

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