Behind the Controversy

The company is off to a rough start.

By + More

A few skeptical readers wrote to tell me they thought I didn't do enough research on before writing about it and potentially driving new customers to it. They pointed me to a Los Angeles Times story, the Consumerist, and the Better Business Bureau, which gave the company an F grade.

"I'd check into the viability of this company before offering some free press," scolded Norman Mok of the Armchair Economics blog. Mark from Texas wrote in to say that he signed up for and then quickly canceled his membership after learning about the Better Business Bureau rating.

Further investigation into this company suggests that this relatively new company is experiencing some growing pains but nothing that—to me, at least—sets off any major alarms. The BBB gave the company an F because's original partner, which was scheduled to handle the transactions at gas stations, pulled out of the deal. The BBB's Michael Galvin says the company failed to properly disclose that it did not currently have a way to process those transactions. The website explains the debacle and tries to dispel much of the criticism about the company that has been circulating online. is working quickly to install a new partnership that will enable the gas station transactions to take place, says spokesman Greg Salsburg. He couldn't specify when the new contract would be in place but promised it would be soon. We'll keep watching; meanwhile, anyone interested in the "buy now, use later" idea would probably be better off waiting until the kinks have been worked out of the system.