Major problems with Vanilla Visa Gift Cards

Posted in the Gainesville Forum

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emily

Belfast, ME

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#587
Mar 23, 2013
 
The vanilla card is useless. All I wanted to do was pay for my netflix, since the bank was closed I decided to purchase a vanilla card. They charged me a dollar more than advertised to purchase it. I proceeded to try to register the card to myself so I could make my netflix purchase. The website didn't activate it. I called the customer service line. They told me after getting all my information that they couldn't identify me as a person in a federal database and therefore couldn't activate it (I am a 30 yr old adult with 2 bank accounts and bills in my name, how do I not exist tied to my social security number?). They told me they could activate it as a gift card. Why would i have spent 5 dollars on a gift card i can't really use anywhere since it's not activated as a debit/credit card. They wouldn't try activating it under my boyfriend since they had already tried under me. My boyfriend purchased a card a few days later insistent that he would be able to activate it under himself. Same reason, bank closed for the weekend. They apparently found him as a person, but would not/could not pay netflix. What's the point? Never again!!!!

“Seriously guys...”

Since: May 12

The 'Shwa

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#588
Mar 23, 2013
 
The funny thing is, while the Vanilla Visa gift cards suck huge monkey hienie, the Vanilla Mastercard gift cards have never presented me with a problem.
I've used 'em for on-line purchases and gaming, as well as in-store.
Carolyn

Attleboro, MA

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#589
Mar 24, 2013
 
I am well aware of the proper use of a gift card, and this card does not work, it is declined all the time for store purchases for under the value of the card. Obviously there are problems with the card and not the people using them, simple is not the word I would use especially as you cannot talk to anyone about why the card is not working. Never, ever buy a vanilla gift card, ever!!!!!!
REGISTER THE CARD

Mariposa, CA

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#590
Mar 24, 2013
 

Judged:

1

If you don't call the number on the back of the card and register your zip code the card won't work. REGISTER YOUR ZIP CODE, and you shouldn't have any problems. AND always keep your receipts! If the card doesn't work, the store clerk ringed it up wrong. So, bring your card and receipt back to the store, or call Vanilla Visa and give them the code on the receipt... Vanilla Visa will then activate your card.

The only time I've ever had a problem/decline is when I forgot to register the card. Otherwise, I buy one every month and pay my bills online... They're great if you know how to use them.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

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#591
Mar 24, 2013
 
REGISTER THE CARD wrote:
If you don't call the number on the back of the card and register your zip code the card won't work. REGISTER YOUR ZIP CODE, and you shouldn't have any problems. AND always keep your receipts! If the card doesn't work, the store clerk ringed it up wrong. So, bring your card and receipt back to the store, or call Vanilla Visa and give them the code on the receipt... Vanilla Visa will then activate your card.
The only time I've ever had a problem/decline is when I forgot to register the card. Otherwise, I buy one every month and pay my bills online... They're great if you know how to use them.
Oh, brother -- what a ridiculous load of #*!*. The clerk "ringed it up wrong??" You pay upwards of a $5.00 to $8.00 activation fee EVERY MONTH to "pay your bills on line?" Good grief. Get a life, and cut the crap! Vanilla Visa will not "activate" anything except a major headache!

“Seriously guys...”

Since: May 12

The 'Shwa

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#592
Mar 25, 2013
 
REGISTER THE CARD wrote:
If you don't call the number on the back of the card and register your zip code the card won't work. REGISTER YOUR ZIP CODE, and you shouldn't have any problems. AND always keep your receipts! If the card doesn't work, the store clerk ringed it up wrong. So, bring your card and receipt back to the store, or call Vanilla Visa and give them the code on the receipt... Vanilla Visa will then activate your card.
The only time I've ever had a problem/decline is when I forgot to register the card. Otherwise, I buy one every month and pay my bills online... They're great if you know how to use them.
The activation process is EXACTLY the same for Vanilla Visas and Mastercards. I dunno why but the Visas are garbage, although with effort you CAN finally get them to work. The Mastercards I have never had a problem with. I activate them and away I go. The only time I ever had one declined was my fault because I miscalculated the taxes between countries and was short about a dollar.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

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#593
Mar 25, 2013
 
Whisgean Zoda wrote:
<quoted text>
The activation process is EXACTLY the same for Vanilla Visas and Mastercards. I dunno why but the Visas are garbage, although with effort you CAN finally get them to work......
There are two entirely different (separate) companies behind these cards.

Why should using a GIFT CARD require "effort" to use them? I donít know about YOU, but if I'm going to pay a 20% activation fee (or more) to purchase one of these stupid things, and then plan on giving it to someone (at least someone I care about), I have every RIGHT to expect it to WORK (the first time); expect it to be applied against purchases without automatically tacking on tips and gratuities or hijacking any OTHER extra funds that have NOT BEEN EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED by the customer; expect it to be applied against purchases without turning the checkout transaction into a major PROJECT; and expect the entire process to be obstacle free and incur no more time and trouble than using CASH, any other type of normal store gift card, or a routine credit card. Any card that is far more trouble than it is worth to redeem, does not DESERVE to be inflicted on the public and customers should be duly warned: DONíT BUY VANILLA VISA GIFT CARDS!
Darnell

Atlanta, GA

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#594
Mar 26, 2013
 

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If you're a 30 year old adult with 2 bank accounts why do you need a gift card to pay your netflix bill. you don't sound very smart. Then you do the same thing the following weekend for the same reason. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So maybe you're not stupid, you're just crazy. Also, if the gift card company is asking for the info you claim then you didnt buy a gift card, you bought a reloadable card like Greendot, Netspend, Myvanilla which is different than a gift card and the law requires you to provide you're personal info (just like your 2 bank accounts required your personal info). Which brings us back to you being stupid. Good luck with life in the trailer park.
Vanilla Apparent Fraud

United States

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#595
Apr 12, 2013
 
Contact the Consumer Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. They now have more authority to take action against consumer fraud. Also contacting your local television station is not a bad idea in addition to filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

The Consumer Protection Agency will be very interested in this story. I am in the middle of collecting information surrounding the misrepresentation and misappropriation of my funds, which is consumer fraud; amongst other issues. The dollars add up for Vanilla Visa as they are fraudulent with the consumers purchases of their product.

Be persistent, fight back. The money is the issue, and secondary to the apparent fraud displayed by this company.
Jessie

United States

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#596
Apr 15, 2013
 
I do NOT work for Visa or MyVanilla. I bought the card at the dollar store thinking it was just like the other visa gift cards. Now, I have a debit card.:/ Still, I'm not complaining. I needed one, anyway.
I'm not denying that you guys have had problems. I'm just saying from my own experience thus far, I haven't had any issues with the card. Maybe I just got lucky? Either way, I don't think it's realistic to say that all the positive reviews are from visa representatives posing as consumers. I'm sure that happens, but for all of them to be fake? No. I don't think so.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

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#597
Apr 18, 2013
 
Jessie wrote:
I do NOT work for Visa or MyVanilla. I bought the card at the dollar store thinking it was just like the other visa gift cards. Now, I have a debit card.:/ Still, I'm not complaining. I needed one, anyway.
I'm not denying that you guys have had problems. I'm just saying from my own experience thus far, I haven't had any issues with the card. Maybe I just got lucky? Either way, I don't think it's realistic to say that all the positive reviews are from visa representatives posing as consumers. I'm sure that happens, but for all of them to be fake? No. I don't think so.
No, Jessie, they may not ALL be fake. However, most people who have found their way to this site have done so because they experienced a PROBLEM (often a multitude of them). It is generally not the other way around. It becomes a matter of credibility. When hundreds of customers post, citing the same or very similar problem, that lends credibility. Most of us have learned to smell through the others, and many posting that they had NO problems are not even talking about the same card. It can usually safely be assumed that those getting overly defensive about the card having something to LOSE from the bad publicity -- that's just a fact of life. From your first paragraph referencing the Vanilla Visa gift card and then immediately talking about a "debit card," it is not clear whatever point you were even trying to make -- those are two entirely different payment mechanisms and companies behind them. Be that as it may -- if you have no problems, enjoy your peace. Otherwise, you'll just have to put up with the complaints.
Gray

Guelph, Canada

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#598
Apr 19, 2013
 
To WOW and Vanilla,
To WOW: its great that you know paypal. What seem simple to you, may not be for others. The idea of giving a "prepaid" visa in the first place is the "convenience" not the aggravation.
To Vanilla,this has nothing to do with math.

From what I am reading, it seems like a security problem esp. if the activation number maybe linked to a different account, invalid, and the website info is different.

Not sure is "Visa" aware of this problem. Which company is issuing this Visa? Did anyone have success in talking to Visa?
Bengal

Delray Beach, FL

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#599
Apr 21, 2013
 
If you don't register your card for purchases, they will be declined. Simple as that. Vanilla is a great card and they stand by the consumer with any disputes with retailers.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

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#600
Apr 21, 2013
 
To BOTH Gray and Bengal (who obviously have not read even a representative sampling of the hundreds of posts here reporting the same and similar problems):

YES, Gray, Vanilla Visa is well aware of the problems, have been noted to outright LIE to and hang up on hundreds of customers when confronted with card issues, and they are well oware of the class action law suits that have already been filed against them. Customers have jumped through every one of Vanilla Visa's hoops and activated these card farces out the wazoo. Vanilla Visa reps are quite used to the "issues," and tell customers they are sending replacement cards through the mail, which never come. This "procedure" repeats over and over and over and over again. And it's been a pretty sweet deal (so far) for the company.

And NO, Bengal -- you are as clueless as they come. Assuming you are even talking about the same card -- With Vanilla Visa, nothing is "as simple as that" and your presumptuous, cavalier attitude about it is obnoxious (and suspicious). There may be a few isolated cases where customers have had good service from this company. More have NOT. And YES, Bengal, many (if not most) of these customers are educated, intelligent, hard working folks who only want (and rightfully expect) value for what they paid for (and, instead, got nothing more than a humongous headache with this thing). I suggest you use your card in peace (if it is working for you) and stop assuming everyone else is doing something wrong. The only one wrong is YOU.
Satisfied customer

Salt Lake City, UT

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#601
Apr 24, 2013
 

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I have been buying Vanilla Visa cards as birthday and Christmas gifts for the last 2 years and have not had an complaints from any of my recipients. The cards do work a little different than traditional gift cards, so at the beginning it can take a little bit of time getting used to how the cards work, but once someone figures out how the cards work, they are very easy to use. Unlike store gift cards, you can't apply the card toward a purchase that is more than the face value. The difference must be paid first, then the card can be ran for the face value. Also extra holds on restaurants can be slightly confusing at first, but once you figure out how the funds are held and returned, it is very easy to use the card. Just make sure you divide the available balance by 1.2 and there should be no problems. When the funds are returned to the card, you can use those funds at retail locations. Vanilla Visa has these extra holds to make sure there is enough to cover in case of a tip but if no tip is left, the extra funds usually return within a few days.

To increase the likelihood of the cards working online it is recommended that they be registered. However, registering the card in no way guarantees the cards will be accepted by any particular online merchant. Some merchants choose not to accept gift cards and that should always be expected when buying any gift card. For routing purchases and online purchases, it is always best to use a debit card or credit card because are accepted by almost every merchant. The Vanilla Visa cards are meant to be given as gifts and not meant to be used as a primary card. People buy these cards expecting them to work to pay bills, monthly subscriptions, and online purchases, the type of purchases the cards are not meant for and they wonder they their cards don't work. When you try to use the card how it is not intended to be used, there is a good change it will decline. People need to get a clue and stop blaming every problem they have with the card on Vanilla Visa. It does take a little time to learn about how the cards works, but once you get used to it and learn how the system works, the cards are very easy to use and work like a charm. I got a card as a birthday gift initially and had to learn about how to use the card but once it did learn about it, I understood it and found it to be very user friendly. My friend had the same type of issues with the card at first, but when I explained about the temporary holds on tipping merchants and that the cards are not guaranteed to work online every if registered, and how to use this card for purchases that exceed the face value, my friends had no problems with the card. It is not that the card is a poor product, it just takes a little bit of time to get used to. I have been a satisfied customer for 2 years.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

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#602
Apr 24, 2013
 

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NONE, and I do mean NONE, of your comments in ANY WAY negate the legitimate problems and issues inherent with this sorry piece of plastic. I would not give this card as a GIFT to anyone I care about. If I WANT to give the intended recipient a major headache and obstacle course to have to LEARN how to overcome (like that's all we have to do with our time -- LOL), then I might give them this atrocity of a card just out of meanness. But that's probably not a very good idea either. MUCH better to give cash or a regular store gift card -- withOUT the activation fees and NONE of the hassles that go along with trying to expend the Vanilla Visa gift card (which incidentally more and more consumer advocates are wanting our legislatures to take a very close look at).

DON'T BUY VANILLA VISA, folks. Too many customers have stated (too late) that they wished they had heeded this advice, and then write in SO SORRY that they purchased it anyway.

May as well give it up, Vanilla Visa marketers. Most legitimate customers come to realize that this card is far more trouble than it is worth.
Metallica

Salt Lake City, UT

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#603
Apr 24, 2013
 

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Satisfied customer wrote:
I have been buying Vanilla Visa cards as birthday and Christmas gifts for the last 2 years and have not had an complaints from any of my recipients. The cards do work a little different than traditional gift cards, so at the beginning it can take a little bit of time getting used to how the cards work, but once someone figures out how the cards work, they are very easy to use.
What you are saying is inaccurate. The cards have a multitude of problems. It has nothing to do with getting used to how the cards work. There are people are purchase cards that come up as unissued, and also cards where the funds were already spent before they had a chance to use the card. The person then has to go to a big hassle to get a replacement card with the correct amount of money on it. Also the cards will often come up as declined but when the person goes to check on the account it will show pending authorizations. Then when the people call Vanilla Visa to inform that the transactions did not go through, then are then advised that the merchant needs to send a fax, but most of the time the merchant does not have the authorization number because their system does not show the transaction went through. The people then have to wait a long time for the funds to go back to the account. There is nothing to get used to. The card is lousy product. Vanilla Visa's employees and managers care more about following stringent policies and procedures than providing good customer service and having loyal customers.

If you really were just a normal satisfied customer, why would you even care that there are negative reviews on this product. It seems to me like you have something to lose by Vanilla Visa having bad reviews or you would not have come to this site to try to discredit the people posting negative reviews. You may as well give it up. People on this site already know Vanilla Visa is a lousy product.
Guest

Jonesboro, AR

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#604
Apr 27, 2013
 

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Prepaid cards can't be used online, only a credit card can. Greendot card is another card that can't be used online. gift cards and prepaid credit loaders aren't accepted online.
donzie

San Antonio, TX

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#605
Apr 27, 2013
 
Guest wrote:
Prepaid cards can't be used online, only a credit card can. Greendot card is another card that can't be used online. gift cards and prepaid credit loaders aren't accepted online.
"Vanilla Visa" is a gift card that is problematic to use anywhere, anytime, and any place.
joseph

Los Angeles, CA

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#606
May 12, 2013
 
my card was stolen i called customer care and they had me on hold for2 hours and when they anwsured they did not anwsured my question

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