Major problems with Vanilla Visa Gift...
Metallica

Salt Lake City, UT

#543 Jan 31, 2013
Do you think that baporove and Very good card are really as obnoxious as they come across on this board or do think they are just putting on an act?
donzie

San Antonio, TX

#544 Feb 1, 2013
Metallica wrote:
Do you think that baporove and Very good card are really as obnoxious as they come across on this board or do think they are just putting on an act?
Yes, to both questions.
Angry Customer

Macon, GA

#545 Feb 1, 2013
I recently bought a Vanilla Gift Card and it did not work online at all. I asked for an exchange and they said I couldn't have one. This company is a Rip-off and they are a bunch of ungrateful dogs
Mr Big

Salt Lake City, UT

#546 Feb 2, 2013
Angry Customer wrote:
I recently bought a Vanilla Gift Card and it did not work online at all. I asked for an exchange and they said I couldn't have one. This company is a Rip-off and they are a bunch of ungrateful dogs
Why don't you just use a normal debit or credit card instead using these stupid prepaid gift cards for online purchases. You have to pay an activation fee to use prepaid gift cards and they are not guaranteed to work online. With a debit or credit card, there is no activation fee, and you can avoid have annoying declines.
Brittany

Ardsley, NY

#547 Feb 5, 2013
This is the worst card I have ever had . It says I have money on my card but when I go to use it , it declines .. I tried buying a pack of cigarettes an I was denied.. I'm not understanding is this normal? I tried ordering food over the phone ..denied.. I tried buying things online ..denied ..I would definitely love my money back..I got this card 3 months ago an haven't been able to use it ever since I bought it.. So basically they've been keeping my money from me.. Is there anything I can do about this
donzie

San Antonio, TX

#548 Feb 6, 2013
Brittany wrote:
This is the worst card I have ever had . It says I have money on my card but when I go to use it , it declines ..... I'm not understanding is this normal?......
Yes, Brittany, with the Vanilla Visa card, the denial problems you are reporting are "normal." If your total purchase is more than the value on the card, make sure that the store clerks collect the cost difference and apply it toward the total purchase FIRST before trying to scan the card. If they try to scan the Vanilla Visa card toward a total purchase cost that is more than the card's value, it will automatically decline.

Some of us are trying to put the word out there and make it prevalently known -- DO NOT BUY THIS CARD. REPEAT -- DO NOT BUY VANILLA VISA GIFT CARDS. They are far more trouble than they are worth. And why in the world anyone would willingly and knowingly pay upwards of $7.00 to buy one of these worthless plastic obstacles, instead of using cash or a normal credit card to cover routine purchases, is pretty hard to comprehend. That is, of course, your business and unfortunately, your problem now. But I do wish you luck.
Long Woody

Salt Lake City, UT

#549 Feb 7, 2013
I am baporove's boyfriend. Just as an FYI: baporove is gay. Baporove and I don't like Mr Big. We just tolerate him because he is friends with Very good card.

Baporove had to put up with a lot of nonsense when he worked for Vanilla Visa. Customers would ask ridiculously stupid questions like are you guys a scam. No company that is scamming people would ever admit to that. Baporove wanted to give a smart alack answer but had to refrain from doing so to avoid getting into trouble. That type of question does not deserve an honest answer.

Customers would often give sob stories about how they needed to pay their rent, needed to feed their families, how they were going to be put out on the street, and yadda yadda yadda when they wanted an authorization released without the required information or when they wanted the company to just put the money back on the account merely based on a claim that one or more transactions were unauthorized. Anyone can claim a transaction as unauthorized. There is a dispute process Vanilla requires to give the merchants ample time to respond. The dispute process would not be fair or reasonable if merchants were not given a chance to present their side of the story. Vanilla has a right to try to protect itself against fraud. The customer service representatives may give empathy statements but that is only because it is required to avoid bad performance reviews. Phone representatives are trained to display empathy but realistically, they couldn't care less about customers' situations.

Another thing customers would do is make threats to sue or give bad reviews on the product. These are just phone representatives. They couldn't care less if Vanilla gets sued or if bad reviews are made against the company or about the product.

Vanilla knows that most threats that consumers make about suing the company are just a bunch of hot air. A very tiny portion of people that threaten to sue actually carry it out, and corporations know this. The company has a commanding edge over the consumer when it comes to legal matters and much more resources available. Vanilla knows that even if consumers were to sue, they would be at a major disadvantage.
pissed off

Saint Thomas, Canada

#550 Feb 7, 2013
Anonymously wrote:
I have bought this card numerous times. I ordered stuff off of Sam-Ash, Amazon and Battle.net
I never had problems with it. Once I activated it with my zip code it was fine. I always bought the prepaid $50 or $25 card. I never had any problems with it. Personally you guys just have problems...
We really dont have problems, we are parents of 4 special needs children who always buy these cards to pay bills. We bought a 250$ and it had a card error we have been waiting patiently for 14 days for it to come in so dont tell us we got problems !!
Vanilla is Not Visa

Brooklyn, NY

#551 Feb 7, 2013
There are a number of refillable Visa cards. Vanilla was recommended to me. The first three transactions were great. I even got them to activate the card by telephone. The problem with their customer service is that when you go in, it asks you for your card number. most of the time, it tells me the number is invalid.

The trick to getting through to customer service is to press the pound key when it asks for your credit card number. After 5 attempts and not succeeding in getting you to put in the right number (there is something wrong with their system or else it is my cell phone in a bad reception area) so you are finally given an option to talk with a customer service agent. Just press zero and you will be connected with a warm body.

Once I actually got someone on the phone they were quite helpful. The card is not accepted by every store.(and I have the refillable card)

But my first 3 over the phone transactions were. No problems there. It does not seem to cooperate with systems that want to over verify who you are. Even if all the information is correct! Systems that just ask for the number, Date and secret code seem to work fine. Once it looks to verify you by address, it will run into gliches that customer service cannot help you with.

The one transaction that wouldn't work, so I loaded the money into my paypal from the card and paid for the item with paypal. A little backwards but it worked.

The thing is really good for not spending too much!
You have a hard enough time just trying to spend whats on it!!

I tried to get glasses tonight and after three calls to the glasses company, three calls to Bancorp Visa (Vanilla) and 2 tries on the glasses website, i finally gave up and dumped the money into my paypal and then paid for the glasses with Paypal via their website. It just refused to verify my cards address no matter how right it is!

Like I said: It does curb one's spending habits-
:)
Vanilla isnt - Correction

Brooklyn, NY

#552 Feb 7, 2013
The card is accepted by stores.(I didn't try but it seems so) The problem is that is not always accepted by on line services or via the internet.

So in these cases you have to dump the cash from your card into your paypal and then pay with paypal.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

#553 Feb 8, 2013
Vanilla is Not Visa wrote:
........ Like I said: It does curb one's spending habits-
:)
So you think that paying this ripoff company upwards of $7.00 a pop to put a set amount of funds on a consistently problematic card (that incurs one hassle after another just to make it work) is going to "curb spending habits." I guess that's one way to look at it! Of course, most customers would prefer to have more personal CONTROL over their funds, streamline checkout processes, not have to deal with Vanilla Visa customer service every time the card doesn’t work, and not have to worry about forfeiting unredeemable funds to the very company that has already ripped them off.(That’s just me.) If I need to learn how to control my “spending habits,” I’ll take a Dave Ramsey course (or otherwise find some realistic way to get help with the core of that problem).
Claudia

Jersey City, NJ

#554 Feb 8, 2013
Why don't we get together to bring this matter public and try getting our money back. My daughter worked very hard to earn the 300 dollars she put into my card for nothing! It was a complete rip off.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

#555 Feb 9, 2013
Claudia wrote:
Why don't we get together to bring this matter public and try getting our money back. My daughter worked very hard to earn the 300 dollars she put into my card for nothing! It was a complete rip off.
Claudia, I've been doing everything within my power to bring this matter public. And when googling Vanilla Visa, and especially when also putting in the word "problem," this site is what often comes up. The problem is that most unsuspecting customers are NOT looking for problems with this card before buying it. Stores prevalently and strategically place this card near their check-out aisles, and I dare say that most customers buy this card on impulse when they are not able to find a more suitable "gift" for someone. Then they find this site only after they encounter problems and are stuck trying to use it. Class action law suits have already been filed -- just google "class action Vanilla Visa."

All we can do is just keep putting the word out there to warn others. Complain to your store's management, loud and clear. TELL THEM they are marketing a very poor and problematic product. Write your state's attorney general's office.(If they get enough complaints, they may eventually investigate.) Tell everyone you know, "DON'T BUY VANILLA VISA!" Perhaps we can at least "save" a few souls at a time from this nightmare card.
Refuse to provide

Salt Lake City, UT

#556 Feb 9, 2013
Long Woody wrote:
I am baporove's boyfriend. Just as an FYI: baporove is gay. Vanilla has a right to try to protect itself against fraud. The customer service representatives may give empathy statements but that is only because it is required to avoid bad performance reviews. Phone representatives are trained to display empathy but realistically, they couldn't care less about customers' situations.
Long Woody, nobody cares that your friend is gay. This is completely inappropriate to be posting on this site. If you can't keep it professional, then you shouldn't be writing. You assume that all Vanilla Visa representatives think the same way as your friend and only care about avoiding bad performance reviews. I am here to inform you that you are dead wrong. There are customer service representative that truly want to help consumers but are very limited by the company's strict protocols. Some of the representatives truly are empathetic toward the customers and not just feigning empathy to avoid bad reviews. It sounds like your friend doesn't care about people. If he really has this attitude, then he should not be working in customer service. People should work in customer service because they want to help consumers, not because they need a paycheck. When you make broad based assumptions about Vanilla Visa phone representatives, you are talking about my friend as well. My friend really does want to help consumers but the company is so stringent and uncaring that she often can't satisfy the consumers. Some of the representatives wish Vanilla had a more user friendly product so that they felt good about the product they are servicing. Stop assuming that everyone thinks the same way your friend does because the truth is not all the Vanilla representatives are as callous as he is. My friend is certainly not like that. If your friend's only motivation for being courteous toward people is to avoid bad performance reviews and avoid losing his job, then your friend should not be working in customer service.
Investigation

Toronto, Canada

#557 Feb 11, 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
Monica

Clinton, Canada

#558 Feb 12, 2013
Attempted to use my Vanilla Visa at a store and it didn't work called customer service they told me it would be 2 weeks before I would be able to try to use card again. These cards are so frustrating don't buy them.
Former employee

Salt Lake City, UT

#559 Feb 13, 2013
I just quit Vanilla Visa because I want to focus more on my studies in school; however, I do think that Vanilla Visa is an excellent company. Personally, I think that a good percentage of the people that are calling in about blocked/unissued cards are trying to scam Vanilla Visa out of money. All the person has to do is fax a copy of a receipt and front and back of the card and give some personal information and they get a card in the mail. I will admit the front of the cards often come in too dark so that it is an inconvenience for the honest people but I think a good percentage of the people that are calling about this issue are trying to defraud the company. If I owned the company, I would be much more strict than Vanilla Visa about getting a card sent if it came up as blocked/unissued. I would require people to fax their driver's licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, notarized sworn statements that they purchased that particular card and would require the person specify the card number, and I would require that the person put their thumb and finger prints on the faxes as well. I would also fix the problem with faxes coming in too dark if I were in charge. That would make it much harder for people to scam Vanilla Visa. Anyone that was not willing to do that would have to relinquish his or her funds. I would however agree to pay all the expenses the person incurred plus an additional $20 if they could prove beyond reasonable doubt that they purchased the card or cards. If the person bought another card and it were blocked or unissued, then they would just have to suffer the loss because at that point it would be assumed risk. I having these requirements to blocked/unissued cards to be replaced would discourage people from trying to defraud Vanilla Visa.

I also think that a large percentage of the disputes are frivolous. I think many of the people spend the funds off the cards and claim the transactions as unauthorized because they think Vanilla is a big company, and that they can afford to pay out some money. What these bone heads don't realize is that it forces the company to have to tighten up on security and makes the card less convenient for honest people. My requirement for the dispute process would be the same as for unissued cards. If the person lost the dispute, then I would require that the person pay a dispute filling fee of $50. I think this would discourage people from committing fraud as well.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

#560 Feb 13, 2013
Former employee wrote:
..... I would require people to fax their driver's licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, notarized sworn statements that they purchased that particular card and would require the person specify the card number, and I would require that the person put their thumb and finger prints on the faxes as well. I would also fix the problem with faxes coming in too dark if I were in charge. That would make it much harder for people to scam Vanilla Visa. Anyone that was not willing to do that would have to relinquish his or her funds. I would however agree to pay all the expenses the person incurred plus an additional $20 if they could prove beyond reasonable doubt that they purchased the card or cards.......... My requirement for the dispute process would be the same as for unissued cards. If the person lost the dispute, then I would require that the person pay a dispute filling fee of $50. I think this would discourage people from committing fraud as well.
You know,“Former Employee,” when you take your ridicule of Vanilla Visa THIS far – we all know you are really auditioning to go on “Comedy Central.” You could do a whole comedy sketch on this, embarrass the beejeebees out of Vanilla Visa, and make money to boot. Now all you need is a talent agent – maybe Baporove would take the job?
SHARON

Brooklyn, NY

#561 Feb 13, 2013
This card sucks. i waited days for an eight dollar purchase to go through. I'm sticking with american express the store was all out the store was all out and with good reason.
Angry customer

Cornwall, Canada

#562 Feb 15, 2013
I just got a 250 dollar visa from vanilla and i went home it didnt work, called customer service they were very rude and did no help. They said tht "there is bad cards out there" because when my 250 card was activated it activated a 0 dollar balance nd now i have to wait 2 weeks for them to replace it. Avoid their product, its a scam this is how their making money

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