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Warning: Vistaprint/Passport to Fun

This isn't so much a true "beware" as it is a "be really really careful" type post. Hopefully this post is relevant--I'm pretty sure I'm not the only artist who has used Vistaprint before.

So around January of last year, I got some "free" business cards from Vistaprint.com, with a $5 shipping fee. I got the cards (which looked very nice) and everything was great until earlier this month, when I noticed a strange charge on my credit card. Upon further investigation, I found out that I had been signed up for a travel discount service, "Passport To Fun," during a Vistaprint customer satisfaction survey.

PTF had been charging me $14.95 for the past six months. Now while I do admit that I should've checked my credit statement more closely (I am usually away at college, with checking the statement the least of my worries), here are some things that I found clearly wrong with PTF:

1. They said that I had checked the box on the Vistaprint customer survey that stated that I wanted a $10 rebate on my order, as well as a free month's membership to PTF. I am pretty sure that I never checked this box. Thinking about this logically, it makes no sense for someone of my situation to bother with this. The 100 business cards I got were more than enough (and I knew it then); my purchase from vistaprint was supposed to be a one time thing, so why would I need a $10 rebate for $5 shipping? Also, I am a college student---there's usually no time for me to travel. If I ever do go traveling, it is with my family--and on my parent's credit card (my credit line is puny, it doesn't make sense to try to travel or pay bills with it).

2. They hadn't notified me that I was signed up for PTF. They said that I supposedly recieved an email (which probably ended up in my spam box, if it ever existed), but other than that I never got any membership card, statement, or any other physical proof that I was signed up for this membership.

3. The PTF customer service representative I spoke to on the phone was very rude, though I'm honestly not sure if that was on purpose or because of a lack of a grasp on the English language (PTF is an overseas company, apparently centered in India). It was also very VERY difficult to find out how to reach an actual person on their phone line.

What also really disturbs me (though I don't know the exact legality of this) is that Vistaprint just handed over my credit card info to PTF. I'm not the only one who's had problems with PTF/Vistaprint. PTF apparently is connected to several other different companies, e.g. Today's Escapes, that are connected to other online sites, including Bargain Network and Travelocity. Some people have been charged as much as $60 per month. Here is some more info and testamonials about this particular scam.

-http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/182/RipOff0182736.htm
-http://andymatic.com/passport-to-fun-and-todays-escapes-on-credit-card-bill/

I called my credit card company up, and finally managed to obtain a four month refund from PTF with their help. So in other words, just be careful guys! I still think Vistaprint does good work, but I really disapprove of the way it allows scams such as PTF to be sneaked in (and I can't for the life of me, think of why a business would want to antagonize their customers this way).
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.
https://artistsbeware.info/

Comments

( 50 comments — Leave a comment )
growly
Feb. 13th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC)
Sadly, I have heard of this happening before with this company. :/
I personally use overnightprints.com- they're cheap (not free) high quality, and definitely don't sell your info to scam companies.
lemonfruitpie
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:35 am (UTC)
Oh, I see! Thanks for the info there :3
witchiebunny
Feb. 13th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
You *did* check it, when you agreed to the terms and conditions. It's how they get you. I did the same, but fortunately had been made aware of it and called them to cancel it immediately. It's pretty sneaky.
lemonfruitpie
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:34 am (UTC)
Ahh, how shifty indeed! :( Bleh.
rhodielady_47
Feb. 13th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)
And you're still out $30 for the two months they didn't refund.

Guess what? If a company you did credit card business with goes under, it's still legal most places for the company to sell its customer information database as a way of making extra money to pay its final bills with. And if it saves your credit card number (and most do), that number is included in the database!

I've also been told that signing your credit card IS A VERY BAD THING TO DO. What you need to do instead is write "Photo ID Required" on the signature line on the back of the card.
Hope this helps--please pass this info along.
:)

lemonfruitpie
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:36 am (UTC)
Well, I had my CC number changed, so it shouldn't be a problem anymore, hopefully :(
(no subject) - rhodielady_47 - Feb. 13th, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
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kiriska
Feb. 13th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
Crap. Wait. So when do they charge you?? I got the free business cards off Vistaprint two months ago and didn't notice anything strange on my CC bill (rechecking now though...). I'm really freaking out now though. D:
lemonfruitpie
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC)
They charged me every month; it showed up for me as "AP9 Passport-to-Fun _phone number_". It can however, show up as something different. I'd just look over your CC bill for any funny looking charges :( Good luck!
(no subject) - kiriska - Feb. 13th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lemonfruitpie - Feb. 14th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand
aaaamory
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC)
Their TOS says their base is in Bermuda. They have some offices in the US. And if it sounds like they have Indian accents they probably contract out their customer service like most companies.
lemonfruitpie
Feb. 14th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
Ah, figured D:
tyreenya
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)
same thing happened to me over a year ago. I got charged one month, and I called them and told them I wanted to be taken off. They refunded the second month. The guy was polite about it too, which was all good.

NEVER AGAIN will I deal with Vistaprint.
lemonfruitpie
Feb. 14th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
Gah! Lucky you caught it early though :( I don't think I'll be using Vistaprint again either.
leagreen
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:50 am (UTC)
It happend to me too...
so from now on i order my free business cards from http://www.dcp-print.com.
I really like the designs and the quality is very good.
ksharra
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:58 am (UTC)
I use GotPrint.com - they're inexpensive (even if you upload your own designs), and they do real quality cards.
raeraesama
Feb. 15th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
Wow, nice. I think they'll be getting some business from me with those prices!
thaily
Feb. 13th, 2008 09:13 am (UTC)
Oh and I was looking to get some business cards there!
Thank you very much! O_o
lemonfruitpie
Feb. 14th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
No problem! Glad it helped you avoid a potentially bad situation:3
badkitty
Feb. 13th, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
wow! i have a few friends who got those cards- i hafta go warn them now :(

i'm really sorry they duped you like that, it's shady practice.
but thank you for bringing it to our attention!
lemonfruitpie
Feb. 14th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
My pleasure :3 Hopefully your friends don't have anything fishy happening on their accounts.
unclekage
Feb. 13th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
This is actually fairly common, not that it makes it any less sleazy. Anytime you click one of those "take our satisfaction survey!" or anything else that follows an online transaction, you are in danger of being enrolled in this program without your knowledge.

US Airways got me with it. After making a reservation, there's a big button that says "CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE BONUS 500 MILES!" Well, I like bonus miles, so I clicked it. It started telling me about this swell Passport to Fun program that was FREE for the first month, after which I'd be billed $14.95. I said, "Ewww, no way," and just closed the window. Little did I know that by clicking the "free miles" button, I was automatically enrolling myself in their program. The next time I make a reservation I am going to look very, very carefully on the page to see where (and if) it says "by clicking this button you agree to..."
lemonfruitpie
Feb. 14th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Oh, that sucks! :( I get a feeling I probably got hit by the same. Boo on shady business practices.
rileycostello
Feb. 13th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
I've used vistaprint -multiple- times, and have never had a problem. I've paid with my checkcard (which I check pretty religiously) and my credit card (which I also check pretty religiously)- and have never seen this come up. I do hope I don't see it come up now that it's been pointed out, though. :P
lemonfruitpie
Feb. 14th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
Yea--good luck with that! :3
(no subject) - maggock - Feb. 18th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rileycostello - Feb. 18th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
risperidal
Feb. 20th, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the warning!!
( 50 comments — Leave a comment )

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