Major problems with Vanilla Visa Gift...

San Antonio, TX

#274 Sep 21, 2012
WTF wrote:
You people are retarded "theys a scam imma call da newz" ...You have to register the card online before you use it so it knows the proper area code for tax law reasons, it says so right on the card backer... READING IS FUN-DAMENTAL!
Yes, WTF's tacky user name speaks for itself and more than likely typifies the caliber of employee who would work for Vanilla Visa. No one would even CARE what problems card users are reporting if they didn't work for this company or had something to personally gain from defending it. As if the company did not have a bad enough reputation as it is, "WTF" has only ADDED to their wall of shame. Keep up the good work, "WTF" -- your comments have only validated and CONFIRMED the scores of complaints against this ridiculous card and the shameful corporation behind it.
Deniese C

Valencia, CA

#275 Sep 21, 2012
Purchase A Vanilla gift card and even though there is a credit balance it keep saying decline and followed all of the rules and seems like every one else is having the same problem. I bought this at Sam's Club.

Newmarket, Canada

#276 Sep 29, 2012

Chesapeake, VA

#277 Sep 29, 2012

San Antonio, TX

#278 Sep 30, 2012
audreyphorner wrote:
An activation fee of anywhere from $4.95 to $6.95 is paid when the card is first purchased (doesn't matter whether the card is for $20 or $25 or WHATEVER). You will never receive full value for what you pay anyway! You ask why? Because that's only ONE of the ways that the corporation behind this card makes its money. Then they have all sorts of other features built into the card to make it hard to redeem, continually eat away at the value of the card, and diminish its worth. Why, you ask?? Because they CAN -- and because people like you keep buying it. Can't say it any simpler, folks: Don't buy this card. Don't buy this card. Don't buy this card. And pass this information on to anyone and everyone you know (that is, those you care about).


#279 Oct 7, 2012
The gift cards are only useable in the US now. Have tried to contact them but no luck!

San Antonio, TX

#280 Oct 8, 2012
chkymky39 wrote:
The gift cards are only useable in the US now. Have tried to contact them but no luck!
I had to chuckle at your post. Define "useable." Given the standard definition, I don't think you can call this card "useable" in the US!
Livid customer

Salt Lake City, UT

#281 Oct 9, 2012
I bought a $250 vanilla visa card and was advised that I needed to fax a copy of the receipt, front and back of the card, and back of the packaging because the card was unissued. Every time I would send a fax, I would be told that the fax was too dark. After about 7 attempts and sheer frustration, they finally got a clear copy. The company then completely lied to me and advised me that I would receive a card within 7-10 business days. It is now 4 months later and I do not have a card. I keep calling customer service and all they do is keep giving me their stupid apologies but will not give me a number to the department that is in charge of sending out the replacement cards. When I try to find out about why I haven't received my card, all they do is give me endless empathy and tell me that they are looking into it. I do not want empathy; I want a new card or a refund plus compensation for the headaches I have incurred. I would like to get an attorney and would not accept a settlement of anything less than $1000 plus the $250 they stole from me plus attorney fees. I think other people that have lost money on unissued cards should sue Vanilla Visa as well and not accept any settlement that are less than $1000 plus any attorney fees and legal costs. If enough people do this, maybe Vanilla Visa will change the way it does business and stop selling defective cards. The way the company treats its customers is absolutely atrociates and Vanilla Visa needs to be taught a lesson. I think the company purposely sells uniussed cards and then makes it difficult to receive a new card so that people will give up and they can keep the extra funds from the cards that are sold that don't work. If someone came in and robbed the company, I would walk up to the robber and shake his hand.

Leominster, MA

#282 Oct 13, 2012
If it says error when you try to register your card, check to see what you put for the expiration date

Ex 05/20 versus 5/20

If you don't add that zero it will give you an error when you try to register.

Also make sure you double check your card # just to make sure you have all 16 digits entered correctly.

I have purchased and received Vanilla Visa Gift cards for years and never have had a problem, other than the fact that it's non-reloadable which is a bummer!

Salt Lake City, UT

#283 Oct 16, 2012
I can see donzie why you would think the vanilla visa should work like a store gift card where the person can run the card and then pay the difference. The reason the card doesn't work like this is because it is designed to be used at more than just retail locations. It is designed to be used online and over the phone. Many merchants will preauthorize the card for $1 before running the actual transaction. What that does is temporarily reduce the available balance. Often times, customer do not factor this in when they make purchases online and over the phone and will run the card for the full value. If the card actually worked like a store gift card, then there could be funds held on the account. It is stardard for authorizations to hold 15 days. To get an authorization released on an account requires a merchant to send a fax. Most merchants are simply unwilling to send faxes. A 15 day hold would be far more inconvenient than the card simply declining and the person just having to make a phone call to customer service to find out how to use the card. Contrary to what you may believe, the cards are not designed to be purposely hard to use. The reason the card is set up where the person has to pay the difference first then run the card for the remaining balance rather than where it will approve for whatever balance is remaining if ran for more than the remaining balance is because the company does not want its customers to have to go through the hassle of an authorization hold. The autorization hold for restaurants is necessary to avoid the possible of substantial losses. The cards are someone only authorized for the amount of the bill, then the customer will add the tip to the card. In the past, many merchants would not collect the tip until well after the card was already authorized, so the company would have to suffer substantial losses becuase this extra money was not set aside for the merchants. The hold is not designed to annoy customer or inconvenience them; it is there to protect the company from losses. It would be a very stupid business decision to make the card hard to redeems just so the company can make a couple extra dollars from a few customers. First of all, the calls to customer service are very expensive for the company and would cost the company more than whatever balance was unused. Second of all, it would be completely ridiculous for the company to risk alienating some many people for the sake of a few dollars. Research shows that on average each unhappy customer tells about 10 other people about their bad experience. That would just be so idiotic to make a card purposely hard to use knowing that this would be a likely outcome. If Vanilla really operated like this, most likely they would remain insolvent very quickly. Vanilla does not want to go out of business, so they would never purposely make a card hard to redeem.

San Antonio, TX

#284 Oct 17, 2012
Baporove -- You have only re-stated ALL of the inherent well-known problems with this card, and all you are doing is even MORE damage to your company every time you try to defend it. The problem is that anyone who has a LIFE does not have the time to waste on this kind of nonsense. Believe it or not, customers are NOT inclined to pay good money just to activate a card that is hard to redeem, requires constant (most times futile) CALLS to some company's Customer Service, and then forces the customer to have to go back to the store just to teach store clerks how to process the card and make it WORK. It is NOT the customer's JOB to go through this ridiculous exercise in futility just so that Vanilla Visa can increase its profits.

The essence of the problem is that the card is a POOR PRODUCT -- period.

For that reason, anyone who has a choice of what to "gift" others would be better off either gifting CASH or a regular store or restaurant gift card that CAN be redeemed with NONE of the Vanilla Visa hassles to contend with and confusing issues to have to investigate. And everytime you DEFEND Vanilla Visa, I will continue to do everything I can to warn others so that they don't have the same kinds of headaches that I and hundreds of other customers have had to endure. Not to mention the embarrassing moments with card declines, which should never happen with a GIFT!

Salt Lake City, UT

#285 Oct 20, 2012
It is standard for prepaid cards to decline if used for more than the available balance, and not just specific to vanilla visa. It is also typical for there to be an extra preauthorization of 15-20% on prepaid cards if used at restaurants. If the extra hold was not necessary as some people seem to think, then the competitive forces would drive the prepaid cards to stop adding additional holds at restarants. The fact that the prepaid card industry as a whole has procedures in place so that the cards hold an extra amount at restaurants is strong evidence that the holds are necessary to protect the companies from potential losses. Donzie seems to think people are better off buying store gift cards rather than Vanilla Visa cards because of the possibility of declines. The problem with store gift cards is that they must be used at a particular store. If a person receives a store gift card but they don't want or need anything from that store, then they are stuck either buying items that they don't need or want or having to try to find someone to buy the gift card from them so they can obtain value out of it. Vanilla Visa cards are much more flexible and do not need to be used at any particular store. I recommend that anyone who has a vanilla visa keep the card in a secure place until they are very confident that they will not be returning anything that was purchased with the vanilla visa card because some merchants require that any funds be returned to the card that the purchase originated from.

Chicago, IL

#286 Oct 21, 2012
3 words. Screw this card.

San Antonio, TX

#287 Oct 22, 2012
Thank you once again, Baporove, for elaborating on all of the reasons why Vanilla Visa (and ANY card like this) is more trouble than it is worth. Every time you speak, you only make the case for the other side.

The “decline” problem is only ONE of the reasons people are better off buying store (or restaurant) gift cards (or giving CASH) rather than Vanilla Visa (or ANY other card like it). Not to mention the higher cost of paying $4.95 to $6.95 just to activate the pre-paid card. Don’t even try to presumptuously try to tell anyone what I think, since you self-servingly and conveniently leave out half of the information, and can’t get it right.

You’re not going to win this argument, Baporove, so you may as well give it up. Customers know what they want to spend their money on, and too many people DON'T like your card. You may as well get over it.
Livid customer

Salt Lake City, UT

#288 Oct 22, 2012
I agree that Baporove should stop trying to defend Vanilla Visa. The card is total and complete garbage. Baporove conveniently leaves out important imformation. It is obvious that he works for Vanilla Visa. Vanilla Visa is a horrible product and an awful company that treats it customers like dirt. Sure the customer service reps are full of empathy but do nothing to service their customers. I purchased a $250 more than 4 months ago and was informed that the card was unissued. I had to send 7 faxes before the company would process a request for a new card. Then I was promised by a customer service rep that I would receive a new card within 7-10 business days. Guess what, I have not received a card. The company lies to its customers and then makes to process of getting a replacement card extremely difficult in hopes that its customers will give up. Everytime I contact the company, the representatives give me the runaround and endless apologies. We are not 10 years old and do not need to be treating like little kids. Apologies may work on children, but they are not going to presuade me. Hey Baporove, why don't you tell that company you work for to stop selling cards that don't work. The company needs to stop apologizing and fix the problem. Most likely, I am just one of hundreds of customers that have received one or more defective cards. Hey Baporove, if you are going to ridicule customers, then you need to tell the whole story. Otherwise, stop defending this horrible company. Tell your bosses to stop selling defective cards. Through all of Baprove's babbling, he never mentions that he owns a vanilla visa. I bet Baprove doesn't have a vanilla visa because he knows it is a crappy card. Hey Baporove, why don't you put your money where your mouth is and buy one of these vanilla visa cards yourself. I bet Baporove will never buy a vanilla visa because he knows it is a lously card.

Donzie, I am glad that you continue posting comments and warning people about this shameful product. We need more people like you. If other people were as passionate as you about the vanilla visa card, then perhaps this atrocious company would stop selling defective cards or go out of business. I wish I would have read your posts before purchasing this card, then perhaps I could have saved myself tons of grief. Thanks Donzie for continuing to warn people about this shameful product and keep up the good work.

Salt Lake City, UT

#290 Oct 27, 2012
I find Livid customer's comments and personal attacks against me to be rather distasteful. Whether I work for Vanilla Visa or have a Vanilla Visa card is nobody's business and has nothing to do with how the card functions. Contrary to what Livid customer implies, I have never said anything dishonest or misleading in any of my posts. Livid customer's attempt to discredit me only demonstrates that he or she has no tact. There are a few disgruntled customers like Livid customer and Donzie, but most of the people who purchase a Vanilla Visa are satisfied with the product. There may be more than 200 posts but that is only a very tiny portion of the people who purchase Vanilla Visa cards. There are thousand of people that think Vanilla Visa is a wonderful card. I would say at least 75 percent of these negative comments are without merit from people that made assumptions about the card rather than actually findout out how the card works. Almost any type of card (debits cards, bank cards, prepaid cards, credit cards, and visa gift cards) will decline if used for more than the available balance. Vanilla Visa works the same way as any of those type of cards. If store clerks are really that clueless as Donzie implies, then they should immediately be fired. Vanilla Visa should not be reprimanded just because some cashiers don't know how to do their job properly. The extra preauthorization on restaurants does not just protect the company. It also protects the consumers and the merchants. Companies are not just going to take losses lying down; they are going to try to make them up somewhere else. Vanilla Visa could eliminate the preauth at restaurants but then they would have to either charge transaction fees, higher activation fees, or higher fees in another category, or more fees. I personally think it is better to have a temporary hold that will go back to the account within a few days rather than have to pay higher fees for the card. Companies do need to make a profit in order to stay in business and continue to offer their customers a quality product. There is nothing misleading about calling Vanilla Visa a gift card. It is designed to be given as a gift and does not have monthly fees unless it is not used within 6 months. Most prepaid cards have monthly fees that commence immediately. Vanilla Visa cards are far more flexible than store, gas, or restuarant gift cards.
Vanilla and MIO Predators

Phoenix, AZ

#291 Oct 29, 2012
I received 3 Vanilla giftcards totalling $550 that were purchased at Walgreens. I got them because I earned rewards from my company and these cards are a scam. I received 2 for $25 each and after the fee can only use $21.05 on each card. I have tried to use this card EVERYWHERE and it gets declined at the gas station, even though I tell them the exact amount, at , even at 3 other retailers. I went online and there are NUMEROUS complaints regarding this and the MIO giftcards by the same slimeball company. I EARNED these and I am so sad and humiliated that I keep getting declined at the checkstand.
I have filed complaints to the BBB and hope Walgreens will take this into consideration, I have contacted my employer but someone at the company keeps buying these useless vanilla cards and probably are wasting their money! Please advise, I have been able to use the $500 but am sure that once I get down to the balance of $25, Vanilla, will just steal the rest. Please stop contributing to this company's obvious predatory scheme.
File a complaint to the BBB! The company on the website is Itc Financial Licenses, Inc. probably a scam company too but look it up on corporation WIKI and see the names and see what we can do to stop these people from ROBBING US!
Vanilla and MIO Predators

Phoenix, AZ

#292 Oct 29, 2012
Just got off chat with Amazon, they only take Amazon giftcards, and won't take it.

Also, the name of the parent company is
They have a contact page!

San Antonio, TX

#293 Oct 29, 2012
Baporove just can't stand it that people don't like this card. And even though indeed it is nobody's business WHO he works for, he needs to get over himself even thinking that anyone CARES. His transparency is blatant.

In the first place, baporove, nobody is saying (or has said) anything about using the card for "more than the available balance," and your attempt to SPIN it that way is only one of the reasons your comments have been deemed dishonest and misleading.

FOCUS, baporove: customers are fully aware that if making a purchase that costs more than the "value" of the card (and I use that term lightly), they must cover the cost DIFFERENCE through another means. The PROBLEM is the required sequence that the cashiering process must follow in order to APPLY the card against the purchase, and that customers are being told the card is DECLINED with NO explanation provided. Then the CUSTOMER has to start researching the cause of the problem and go back to teach the store clerks what to do. And guess what, baporove?? THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE and that is only ONE of the reasons this card is clearly more trouble than it is worth. You want to FIRE any store clerk who does not automatically know how to do this ridiculous exercise? Okay, baporove, that would be the vast MAJORITY of them -- so even though firing all the store clerks might help PROTECT customers from purchasing this card, your solution might not work for the overall economy.

And why is it that you keep conveniently IGNORING all of the other problems that customers continue having with this card, even when making routine purchases that do NOT exceed the card's value??

And BTW, baporove, the over 278 comments now left about this card on this ONE board alone, represent only a small representative sampling of the people who HATE this card. There are hundreds of other websites where people have complained about this card, and that is not including the ones where there are class action suits pending. Many vendors have even stopped marketing this card, because they were getting caught in the middle of all the problems their customers were having and they could not afford all the ill will the card was creating. It's called exercising "good business practices," baporove. You should try it sometime. And let's face it, baporove, MOST customers never even take the time and trouble to write in to complain -- they just never buy the product again! How's that working out for you??

Keep posting, baporove. Every time this card name is "googled," this site comes up. The more you help to bring attention to all of these complaints, the better warned and protected customers will be.

Salt Lake City, UT

#294 Nov 1, 2012
I would like to apologize to grandma shelly for calling her a moron back in July. I was in a bad mood that day and lashed out. I would never buy a vanilla visa card because there are too many things I don't like about it. First of all, the card is difficult to use online. Even when the card is registered, if often gets declined by the merchant but results in a 7 day authorization hold that can only be lifted with a fax from that company. Getting merchants to send faxes is extremely difficult so the majority of the time when this happens, the customer has no chose but to wait for the 7 days. Often times when the card is ran at the pump, it will show as declined with no explanation but there will be an authorization hold for $75 that does not release for 7 days. Then the customer has to try to find another method of payment. These cards are not user friendly at the pump; they should only be used inside at the gas stations. Most hotels and car rental agencies will not accept this card, and when they do accept the card, Vanilla automatically preauthorizes it for an extra 20% supposedly to protect the merchant. Almost every prepaid card has an additional hold at hotels and car rental agencies. I think the hold is totally unnecessary because the hotels and car rental companies already have their own holds in case of incidentals. Believe it or not, even though the hold is supposed to protect the hotels and car rentals companies, these merchants find it very annoying because it causes their customers to have embarrasing declines and causes them to loss business. The prepaid card companies should butt out and let the hotels and car rentals companies determine what holds they need to put in place to protect themselves. At liquor stores, the cards will often preauth for an extra 20% but there shouldn't be an extra hold because people don't leave tips at liquor stores. Baporove, everytime you post, you explain why you think the 20% hold is necessary at restaurants. You've made your point. The 20% hold may make perfect sense to you but it does not make sense to the typical customer. You are correct that the terms and conditions state there is a 20% hold on tipping merchants and that when making a purchase for more than the available balance, it must be ran for the exact amount or less to approve. The problem is that the typical customer will try to use the card when they receive it as a gift without reading the terms and conditions. Even when the typical customer reads all the terms and conditions, they can't remember everything because most people can only retain a limited amount of information without extensive studying. The average customer does not want to study just so they can remember everything they read in the terms and conditions. They expect the card to be easy to use. Customers expect to be able to apply the balance of the card to the purchase first and then pay the difference when they make a purchase at a retail establishment. The problem is that the card gets declined with no explanation when making a purchase for more than the available balance if the cashier doesn't manually enter the exact amount or if the customer doesn't pay the difference first. When calling customer service, the customer has to go through a lengthy automated system and sometimes they are put on hold for up to 20 minutes before they reach a representative.
One thing I hate about companies in general is that they try to find any excuse they can to blame the poor call center reps for their unhappy customers rather than genuinely getting to the root of the problem. Baporove, you come across as someone who is young and arrogant with a big ego. If you are going to be successful, you need to think like a typical customer. You have this attitude that anyone who doesn't think the way you do is wrong. You aren't going to convince anyone that you have a good card by having a know it all attitude.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Gainesville Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Review: Top Of Gainesville Night Club (Dec '10) Mon Feds 9
News Broadband survey looks to boost internet servic... Oct 24 DCR 4
Jane Allen East Ky Loves you Oct 7 Big blue nation 1
Go Vols Sep 27 Ole coal miner 3
Shooting Sep 26 Austyn Finch 3
News Jehovah's Witnesses construct a newly designed,... Sep '16 Matt9969 19
Journalist files suit against Burts pumpkin farm Aug '16 Iceman cometh 1

Gainesville Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Gainesville Mortgages