Major problems with Vanilla Visa Gift...
Refuse to provide

Salt Lake City, UT

#523 Jan 21, 2013
I see one major problem with this board and that is that it is mostly US Vanilla Visa complaints but there are also Canadian Vanilla Visa complaints. The topic should have been titled "Major Problems With US Vanilla Visa Gift Cards" rather than Major Problems with Vanilla Visa Gift Cards" to avoid confusion about which product this board is about. This board seems to be mostly about the US version but the Canadian vanilla visa customers come here to complain because they don't realize this is about a different product and the title does not make it clear.

The Canadian and US Vanilla Visa cards are two completely different products. There should be a board for the US Vanilla Visa complaints and a board for the Canadian Vanilla Visa complaints. Both the US and Canadian versions charge an activation fee. The Canadian version however has much more of a problem with unissued cards than the US version. With the US version, the person registers the card with just the zip code, but with the Canadian version, they register with their full name and address. Because there is more complete information that is required with the Canadian version, it is more likely to be accepted online.

However, there is one major drawback with the Canadian version. The Canadian cards do not work well over the phone because new security measures were implemented that require the merchant to verify the 3 digit security code (cvv2) on the back of the card with Vanilla Visa for the transaction to go through. I am not sure how well the American version works over the phone. I personally do not see how it can reduce fraud much to require the merchant to verify the cvv2. If a person got a hold of the card number, most likely they would also obtain the cvv2, and any person that found a lost card, stole the card, or stole the card information would also have the cvv2. I think the Canadian Vanilla Visa company is going to lose business from previous consumers that made payments over the phone in the past but now can't make their payments over the phone because of the new measures. I would never have implemented such an absurd rule if I owned Vanilla Visa.

Unlike the US Vanilla Visa card, the Canadian Vanilla Visa card can be used for gambling. The Canadian Vanilla Visa charges a 2.5% transaction fee to use outside of Canada or on international website, but the US Vanilla Visa cannot be used internationally. The extra preauthorizations on the US and Canadian versions for the tipping merchants, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and car rentals are similar. The Canadian version however has a 15% extra hold for business services with includes professional organizations such as spas and health clubs. I don't believe there is this hold on the US version.

As you can see, the US and Canadian Vanilla Visa cards are different card products. The US and Canadian complaints are lumped together on this board. The title of the topic does not clarify whether this board is designed for US or Canadian Vanilla Visa complaints. That can create confusion for US and Canadian residents alike that are trying to find out about more information about the Vanilla Visa product in their area. The posts on this site should be exclusively for the US version and the title on this site should make it very clear that this board is for US Vanilla Visa complaints. There should be a separate board for the Canadian Vanilla Visa complaints.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

#524 Jan 22, 2013
Refuse to provide wrote:
I see one major problem with this board and that is that it is mostly US Vanilla Visa complaints but there are also Canadian Vanilla Visa complaints.......
It is clear that there is one overriding common denominator with BOTH versions of the Vanilla Visa card -- they are BOTH much more trouble than they are worth to utilize.

With any other regular store gift card (including ones for on-line stores), it is treated as a "bearer owned" item, same as cash, with NO requirement for provision of personal contact information to the gift card issuer just to make the thing WORK. And with most regular store gift cards, the gift is applied against the total purchase price, PERIOD, regardless of whether the total purchase price exceeds the value of the card, or whether it is a restaurant, tipping related service, or WHATEVER type of vendor it is.

Security issues aside, there needs to be more personal responsibility for safeguarding individual property. Things get made much more complicated than should be (all under the guise of "security")-- and usually the card company is the one who comes out the winner, by being allowed to pocket unredeemed funds that customers have had to forfeit because of all these cumbersome (and stupid) restrictions.
kathryn

Toronto, Canada

#525 Jan 22, 2013
In October of 2012 I went to shoppers drug mart and bought a 250$ Vanilla Visa card, paid the fee and was on my way.Had a 250$ pre paid visa card ready to pay my BILLS that were due that day.

Went to call vanilla visa to make sure it had gone through because it dose take an hour or so. The system said that the card was at zero so I called just to make sure it went through on their end. I had been told that there was a purchase a month prior for the whole amount on the card for 250$. Now obviously this was not me considering I had bought the card a month after this had happened.

They told me they needed our info faxed over, receipt, card info and everything so we did so that same day. Had called to make sure they got our info was told the other company claiming to have this purchase a month before had till the end of November to contact them. They never did so they went on telling us that we would get our card in 7-10 business days ( that would bring us to the beginning of December). Second week of December rolls around and nothing.

Gave them a call said again should be 7 - 10 business days. Every time we called we got the same bull****. Let it go though you know some companies. It is now January 22nd, I called of course because still no mail, only to be told that the other company now magically has till March/April to contact them".

I dont see why they have cut of dates if they are letting this continue even after telling me my card had been mailed out?. Every time I speak to someone all they say is sorry or sit and dont say anything at all.. When I get transferred to a supervisor it is the same thing not a conversation more of a them just saying sorry.. I honestly will never buy another one of these again !

I wish I new if I could take legal action because at this point I definitively would! I personally believe it is a scam because if this "other company" randomly called after they were told they had to and magically found records why are they giving them more time'. If this company called shouldn't they have faxed the info not be given two more months to prove this.. After I have sent a receipt that is MY proof of purchase within 24 hours of buying the card!.

I think this is all the company personally:.I believe we will never get our money back.
Auntie Mimi

Cleburne, TX

#526 Jan 22, 2013
I wish I had read this before I purchased one. Got one for my daughter's teacher as a xmas gift and it was declined when she tried to use it, and shows a $0 balance like it was not paid for. I'm trying to get this resolved, but will never deal with Vanilla Visa gift cards ever again!!!
Angry Customer wrote:
I purchased a Vanilla Visa Gift Card for someone in early November but they have never been able to use the card. It has been declined everytime they've attempted to use. I have called Vanilla Visa customer service over and over and each time they have said that they have corrected the problem only to have the card denied again and again. This problem is now over a month old. Checking the account on the website shows that the account is has no charges and the money is available and even customer service verifies this. But still the card is denied each time an attempt is made to use it.
BE WARNED!!!!!
DO NOT PURCHASE VANILLA VISA GIFT CARDS!!!!
baporove

Salt Lake City, UT

#527 Jan 22, 2013
Refuse to provide wrote:
I personally do not see how it can reduce fraud much to require the merchant to verify the cvv2. If a person got a hold of the card number, most likely they would also obtain the cvv2, and any person that found a lost card, stole the card, or stole the card information would also have the cvv2. I think the Canadian Vanilla Visa company is going to lose business from previous consumers that made payments over the phone in the past but now can't make their payments over the phone because of the new measures. I would never have implemented such an absurd rule if I owned Vanilla Visa.
How can you possible know how much fraud Vanilla Visa has to deal with that is from merchants not verifying the cvv2? Do you have stats to back up your claim that requiring the cvv2 will not substantially reduce fraud? Vanilla Visa is a multi-million dollar corporation that has to deal with large volumes of fraudulent cases. Obviously a multi-million dollar corporate would hire very smart statisticians to crunch the numbers on fraud cases from merchants not verifying the cvv2 and would be able to calculate pretty accurately the cost savings of implementing the new security measures. When a company is dealing with a large volume of fraud, even a slight reduction can be a tremendous cost savings to a company. It is obvious that you do not see the amount of fraud that occurs. You are obviously not qualified to make this assessment that requiring merchants to verify the cvv2 will not significantly reduce fraud. You also go to state that this is a poor business decision because Vanilla Visa will lose customers that use this card to pay over the phone. How do you even know how many customers pay over the phone much less be able to draw a conclusion about the loss of revenue from these type of customer that will occur based on the new security measures? Where is your research and proof?

It seems to me that you are just dissatisfied with the new security measures and want to act like you know more than a multi-million dollar corporation about how it will affect profits. If you really were that smart, you would not be wasting you time criticizing Vanilla Visa with your arrogance. You would own your own corporation or be out enjoying life. You are in no way qualified to make an assessment that Vanilla Visa made a bad business decision by requiring merchants to verify the cvv2.
Long Woody

Salt Lake City, UT

#528 Jan 23, 2013
I do not believe kathryn's story. It sounds to me like kathryn is trying to scam vanilla visa out of $250. Anyone can make a purchase or get a friend to make a purchase and claim it was unauthorized, and there are very smart people out there that can create a fake receipt. It is people like kathryn who file frivolous disputes that cause Vanilla Visa to have to tighten up on security and charge higher fees. Kathryn needs to stop trying to scam vanilla visa out of $250.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

#529 Jan 23, 2013
Ohhhh, Boporove and Long Woody -- you two are indeed excellent spokespersons for making the case against this card and the proponents behind it.

And I must say, Boporove, you outdid yourself, as your last post was particularly obnoxious. Long Woody sounds like he might be Boporove's "Mini Me." Keep up the good work, guys! You two will help put Vanilla Visa out of business before we know it.
Refuse to provide

Salt Lake City, UT

#530 Jan 24, 2013
Long Woody wrote:
I do not believe kathryn's story. It sounds to me like kathryn is trying to scam vanilla visa out of $250. Anyone can make a purchase or get a friend to make a purchase and claim it was unauthorized, and there are very smart people out there that can create a fake receipt. It is people like kathryn who file frivolous disputes that cause Vanilla Visa to have to tighten up on security and charge higher fees. Kathryn needs to stop trying to scam vanilla visa out of $250.
What makes you think that Kathryn is trying to scam Vanilla Visa? Most of the people that purchase the card are honest consumers. Kathryn is one of many consumers that have purchased cards that had already been used. Where do you get off making cavalier assumptions that Kathryn is trying to commit fraud against Vanilla Visa. If she has the proof of purchase that shows when she bought the card, then most likely she did not authorize the transaction that was on the card. Kathryn paid for the card plus an activation fee and has every right to expect a replacement card with the full $250 on the card in a timely manner. I would be upset too if I had gotten the run around the way Kathryn did. Believe it or not, there are people that have legitimate disputes and should not be responsible for transactions they did not perform. I would strongly suggest that you stop the judgmental attitude.

By the way, I find your screen name to be very tacky. I understand that you think it is a cool or funny, but I think it shows no class.
Disgruntled

La Plata, MD

#531 Jan 24, 2013
You can not link it to paypal. Paypal states this clearly. Anyone know who takes it?
Ignore Baporove

Salt Lake City, UT

#532 Jan 24, 2013
Dear valued consumers:

Vanilla Visa apologizes for baporove's unruly behavior on this site. It is clear that baporove and his friends are trying to stir up trouble and tarnish Vanilla Visa's reputation. Vanilla Visa would never knowingly hire someone like baporove to represent the company. I urge everyone on this site to ignore baporove and his friends' snide remarks. It seems like baporove is a disgruntled previous employee that wants to ruin the company's reputation. I urge baprove and anyone involved in his scheme to stop writing on this board to avoid possible LEGAL ACTION.

Vanilla Visa is an excellent card product and prides itself on legendary customer service, ethics, honesty, and integrity, and offering a quality product. Most of Vanilla Visa's employees are very friendly and eager to assist its customers. It you have any questions please feel free to call 1-800-571-1376.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

#533 Jan 25, 2013
Ignore Baporove wrote:
Dear valued consumers:
Vanilla Visa apologizes for baporove's unruly behavior on this site....... Vanilla Visa is an excellent card product and prides itself on legendary customer service, ethics, honesty, and integrity, and offering a quality product. Most of Vanilla Visa's employees are very friendly and eager to assist its customers. It you have any questions please feel free to call 1-800-571-1376.
Yeah, right. No legitimate company spokesperson would actually apologize for another company employee (or former employee), referring to him as having "unruly behavior." Like the hundreds of customers complaining about this card are all really going to buy into your line and call 1-800-571-1376 so that we can get strung along, lied to, hung up on, and bamboozled by Vanilla Visa customer service personnel who have all been trained to constantly say, "I'm sorry" (while doing little to nothing to solve legitimate problems)-- and probably all can't WAIT to move on to another company that produces a product customers can at least easily use without it coming back to bite them in the *!&*.
Metallica

Salt Lake City, UT

#534 Jan 25, 2013
donzie wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, right. No legitimate company spokesperson would actually apologize for another company employee (or former employee), referring to him as having "unruly behavior." Like the hundreds of customers complaining about this card are all really going to buy into your line and call 1-800-571-1376 so that we can get strung along, lied to, hung up on, and bamboozled by Vanilla Visa customer service personnel who have all been trained to constantly say, "I'm sorry" (while doing little to nothing to solve legitimate problems)-- and probably all can't WAIT to move on to another company that produces a product customers can at least easily use without it coming back to bite them in the *!&*.
I think you're correct that it is not a real company spokesperson. It seems like it is probably one of baporove's friends trying to play a prank on him. Very good card has stated that he likes to "mess with" baporove. I don't think that baporove would believe that it is a real company spokesperson that is threatening him with possible legal action unless he is very gullible.
Mr Big

Salt Lake City, UT

#535 Jan 26, 2013
I formerly posted on this site as Livid customer. Although my story about receiving a defective card was a fake story, my sentiment about this card was very real. There are real customers that have bought unissued cards that had to go through something similar or worse than what my fake story portrayed. I used this fake story to mess with baporove, and Very good card was in on the prank as well. Very good card uses this product but thinks the activation fee should be less. I however believe this card is trash and would never purchase it or recommend that anyone purchase it. I am friends with Very good card and baporove but I do think that baporove is very arrogant. I do think baporove's hatred toward his grandpa and toward Vanilla Visa consumers is apalling. I have met baporove's grandpa and I thought he was a very nice man. I do not feel the least bit of pity for baporove because I think he deserved to get fired for being rude to consumers. Baporove however thinks that consumers are to blame for his loss of employment because his termination was due to numerous complaints about him. Therefore, he gets joy out of seeing Vanilla Visa consumers suffer.

Very good card and I decided that I would pretend to be a company spokesman for Vanilla Visa that was threatening a lawsuit if baporove continued posting because we thought it would be fun to see if we could scare him. Donzie and Metallica both figured out very quickly that I was not a real spokesman. How could I have written the article differently so that it seemed more believable that I was a Vanilla Visa spokesperson threatening to sue baporove if he didn't stop writing on this board?
donzie

San Antonio, TX

#536 Jan 26, 2013
Mr Big wrote:
....... How could I have written the article differently so that it seemed more believable that I was a Vanilla Visa spokesperson threatening to sue baporove if he didn't stop writing on this board?
Most "multi-million" companies, as Boporove claims Vanilla Visa to be, are not going to threaten anything on a public forum like this. If they can PROVE that someone is telling lies in order to hurt their business (and they KNOW who it is), they can get their corporate attorneys to write a letter directly to the person, advising him/her to cut it out or else legal action will be taken. But they are not going to start making idle threats and use bullying tactics on a public forum, because they know they would appear even worse to an already angry customer base and alienate them even more.

However, the problem is that Vanilla Visa is not the innocent party in too many of these cases, and I'm pretty sure that their corporate executives are just ignoring all the complaints, hoping they will go away. I can't speak for Boporove, but if customers are truthfully reporting what happened to each of THEM, there's not one thing Vanilla Visa can do about silencing the messengers. If the company has smart people behind it, they would work to completely restructure the product and vastly improve relations with their customers. So far, that hasn't happened.
Refuse to provide

Salt Lake City, UT

#537 Jan 26, 2013
I have a friend that works for Vanilla Visa and wants to express her opinion about the product but is worried about losing her job if she posts on this site. Would it be too risky for her to talk about the product or is it highly unlikely the company would ever find out who she is?
donzie

San Antonio, TX

#538 Jan 27, 2013
Refuse to provide wrote:
I have a friend that works for Vanilla Visa and wants to express her opinion about the product but is worried about losing her job if she posts on this site. Would it be too risky for her to talk about the product or is it highly unlikely the company would ever find out who she is?
If she is already known as a disgruntled employee, and says things that tie into any problems or former discussions that she may have already had with her employer, they might connect the dots and it could be risky. If employees start posting information that only Vanilla Visa employees would know about, it could have negative consequences for all Vanilla Visa employees. I would think that the answer to this entire question depends on her background and relationship with the company, her ability to remain completely anonymous with anything she posts, and the type of information she is wanting to communicate.
Vanilla is Scam

Falls Church, VA

#539 Jan 27, 2013
I was given a vanilla gift card for my birthday. Could not use it at all. Was declined several times at all major stores!
This vanilla is an absolute rip-off !!!! Should be investigated by the FBI !
Janalene

Lumberton, NC

#540 Jan 27, 2013
Jen wrote:
My card had about $2 of credit left in it, which I deemed useless so I ended up cutting it up. That won't give me any problems will it? Sorry if this is a silly question.
You can order an electronic gift card from an online retailer with your remaining balance. When the remaining balance on visa gift cards is less than $5.00 I usually will order an Amazon e-gift card in that amount, and have it applied to my account. I shop at Amazon enough so it's always useful. I've done that for other online retailers as well. Amazon has a minimum e-gift card amount of $0.15.
Investigation

Toronto, Canada

#541 Jan 28, 2013
I am a Canadian ethicist and writer currently doing the research for an investigative story about Incomm (the corporation) and the problems with the Vanilla Visa product line (in terms of activation, "blocked cards", card reissuing, customer service, and so forth).

My interest was piqued because of my personal experiences with Vanilla Visa and Incomm. I spent 5 weeks dealing with the call center in Utah, before tracking down the Canadian Incomm officers. I have recently been in communication with a number of senior Incomm Global executives.

My own experiences have left me with a series of questions:

- How widespread is the "blocked card" issue?
- Why is the replacement process so convoluted (and apparently in conflict with the fact that these cards are designed and given as gifts)?
- How widespread are problems during the card replacement process (e.g., with improper instructions, scan/fax visibility issues, timelines, and so on)?
- How routine is it for someone to 'give up' during this process, leaving their money unused and with Incomm?
- What is Incomm's knowledge of these problems, what have they done about the issues, and what are they prepared to do about the issues?

I have a number of other questions, too.

Given that I am a Canadian and have been dealing with the Canadian stream of the Vanilla Visa product line, I will probably be forced to focus largely on the Canadian product. But given that Incomm is an international organization, and that these issues may (if research indicates) overlap with issues in other markets, my preliminary research is going to have a much larger scope.

I am looking to collect individuals' reports about their issues with Vanilla Visa gift cards and/or Incomm pre-paid cash cards. I have set up an e-mail address at [email protected] om for the purpose of collecting information.

If you have a story that you would like to share, please e-mail me at [email protected] om and include as much information as you can. I am looking for information such as:

- Name, location, and other relevant personal details
- Card type/value
- Description of the nature of the problem
- Description of the nature of your efforts to remedy the problem
- Description of the outcome of your resolution attempts
- Names/details of the people/places you spoke with during the process

Please let me know whether you are comfortable with being included in the story (and, if so, if there is any information that you would like withheld). Please also let me know whether you would be comfortable with me contacting you to discuss your situation further. Of course, everything is fully voluntary. Note: Please do not send any confidential or sensitive financial or personal information!

I am not yet sure where this story will take me. But my hope is that it will be published in a major periodical, widely distributed and consumed, and that it will help to generate positive change in the corporation and the broader industry.

[email protected] om
baporove

Salt Lake City, UT

#542 Jan 28, 2013
Mr Big wrote:
I am friends with Very good card and baporove but I do think that baporove is very arrogant. I do think baporove's hatred toward his grandpa and toward Vanilla Visa consumers is apalling. I have met baporove's grandpa and I thought he was a very nice man. I do not feel the least bit of pity for baporove because I think he deserved to get fired for being rude to consumers. Baporove however thinks that consumers are to blame for his loss of employment because his termination was due to numerous complaints about him. Therefore, he gets joy out of seeing Vanilla Visa consumers suffer.
Very good card and I decided that I would pretend to be a company spokesman for Vanilla Visa that was threatening a lawsuit if baporove continued posting because we thought it would be fun to see if we could scare him. Donzie and Metallica both figured out very quickly that I was not a real spokesman. How could I have written the article differently so that it seemed more believable that I was a Vanilla Visa spokesperson threatening to sue baporove if he didn't stop writing on this board?
Oh yeah, Mr. Big you are an awesome friend. You never say anything positive about me. Every time you talk about me, the information is predominately negative. I really don't consider you a friend. I just tolerate you because you are friends with Very good card. Honestly I don't know why he even likes you because you are such a jerk. How can you pass judgment on me by stating that I deserved to be terminated by Vanilla Visa. You don't have any idea what I had to endure when I worked there. Some consumers can be very annoying, especially the ones that I kept giving the correct information to multiple times but refused to accept it. Many consumers do not want to hear the truth. All they want is to hear what is pleasing to the ears even if it is inaccurate information.

There are hundreds of consumers that type to scam Vanilla Visa out of money. One method is by filing disputes for transactions that they know they authorized. If you ask me, I think anyone filing a dispute should be required to mail or fax sworn statements from at least 3 witnesses plus a sworn statement that must be notarized in addition to a drivers license. I also think there should be a dispute filing fee of $50 to start a dispute. If Vanilla Visa did this, I think it would discourage people from filing frivolous disputes.

You didn't have to live with my grandpa, so you have no idea what it was like. You think you know someone just because you met him a few times. You are such a judgmental prick.

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