FLOOZ.COM : The Problem With Flooz
Aug 15, 2001
The Bottom Line
is that Flooz was a somewhat revolutionary idea that lacked implementation. Their support services and selection of merchants was less than satisfactory.
This review was originally written in January of 2001 and is being moved from a retired site review area to the new category for Flooz. No updates have been made to this review as I have not again used this service for the following reasons.
Flooz located at www.flooz.com is an online currency that is sponsored by none other than Ms. Whoopi Goldberg, not that she should have any bearing on your decision.
Flooz can be purchased in the form of gift certificates to be sent to friends and family or you can start your own account. Often times they will have special offers that if you send so much to a new member, they will match that amount in your account. For example, if you send $25.00 they will match that amount.
The benefit to using an online currency like Flooz is that you can make purchases at e-commerce sites without having to reveal your personal credit card information. However, unlike other online currency companies, Flooz is very limited as far as sites that accept the currency.
Your Flooz account number is similar to a credit card number and can be used at online merchant sites to pay for purchases including shipping and taxes in most cases. The problem with Flooz is that it can only be used at designated stores. Currently they have over sixty (60) different stores that you can spend your Flooz dollars.
The merchants that currently subscribe to Flooz are mostly high-end stores with very little to offer the thrifty shopper. For example, if you are looking for health and beauty items then don't count on finding stores that offer reasonable pricing like Drugstore.com or Planetrx.com because instead you will find merchants like Tony & Tina, where prices start at $16.00 for an eye pencil. The same applies whether you are searching for pet products, music items, or whatever product it might be. Their merchants listed cost much more than many of the online sites offering the same products without the store name.
When Flooz originated there were more merchants available that fell into the "normal" budget like Drugstore.com, Pets.com, and Toysrus.com but for whatever reasons they decided to drop Flooz from their forms of payment. Granted a couple of these companies went out of business months later but I doubt that has anything to do with them deciding not to accept Flooz.
Over the Christmas holiday I had a couple hundred dollars in Flooz money to spend that I had won through various online events. Out of the stores listed on their site, I was only able to locate two that were even close to being reasonably priced. The two were Barnes and Noble Booksellers and Tower Records. I wanted to get the most for my money and these were the only two merchants that even came close. Since it was free Flooz money I didn't see any reason to complain about the high dollar merchants and the lack of mid-range stores.
One area that Flooz is lacking in is their customer service department. There is a severe lack of communication on the part of the staff as well as between the Flooz company and their online partners.
In October of this year, I made a purchase at the Barnes and Noble website for a total of $30.70 but due to a problem at the BN.com website, my order did not go to processing but the funds were removed from my Flooz account. After repeated e-mails, telephone conversations, and online chats with customer service the problem was finally resolved in the middle of December. I was told multiple times that the issue was resolved only to be told a week later that they had no record of talking with me. The only way this matter was ever resolved was to speak with a supervisor and to make sure that I had detailed notes with the names of parties I had spoken with.
Although Flooz would make a nice gift for a friend or family member, there are so many limits with actually spending the currency.
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