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  #1  
Old 09-19-2009, 12:35 PM
craigthinks craigthinks is offline
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Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

Impact: Small scam scamming lots of people

Summary: Bizrate is running a “bait and switch” reorder/renewal scam and think it is a “benefit” to have your credit card charged without your permission at an unknown rate 6 months on an item you may not want to renew.

The Details
That’s correct Bizrate, the company that is lists the best prices on the internet wants a small piece of your money.
Okay Here is how they do a classic reorder/renewal scam…
First, you are ask to take a review survey of a product you just bought from a website for $100 bonus!
Then after you take the survey, you get a $100 window and it is magazines for free plus a $2.00 processing fee each. Note: you have to pay for my $100 bonuses at $2.00/each. (this is bait and switch)
But wait there is more…
It is set-up on “automatic renewal benefits” for the magazine by XEOS. Did you catch that, Bizrate thinks it is a “benefit” to have your credit card charged without your permission at an unknown rate 6 months from now on a magazine you may not want to renew. Question: are they going to ask you before they charge your credit? My guess not as that is the automatic part of the deal.
The prices are not listed for the renewals. So I did a quick search on Google and see if the prices are good for renews, but could not find the XEOS website for their pricing. I looked for TIME magazine subscriptions on Bizrate.com, but only one vendor came-up and it was not XEOS. Strange, there should be lots of vendors that sell magazines? And why does BIZRATE only have one? So I check with PriceGrabber.com that Consumer Reports magazine links too and yes there were lots of prices on Time magazine from a 3 month to a 2 year subscription.
So, it looks like Bizrate is in the automatic magazine renewal racket. And they are not listing other magazine stores. And they are not listing the reorder price of the free $100 bonus.

Here is the small print of the offer…
*For Time, Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated, National Geographic Adventure, Food & Wine, National Geographic Traveler, Fortune, Travel + Leisure, PCPhoto, Money, The Atlantic, Real Simple, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Essence, Inc, Health, Parents, Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, Town and Country, Southern Living, Harper's Bazaar, BusinessWeek, O, The Oprah Magazine, This Old House and Us Weekly $2 covers the cost of the issues and no p/h applies. All other selections include the first year already paid for by XEOS. All selections come with automatic renewal benefits. Click "Continue" for full details.

Note: I did find a blog about this on the Justin Everett-Church website. One person said they had to cancel $150 dollars worth of subscriptions. This seems odd as the bonus was only for $100 dollars. Which should be 3-4 magazines. Maybe they let you get more that $100 worth of bonus!?!

That is what *****thinks


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  #2  
Old 05-25-2010, 01:46 PM
BizrateHelpDesk BizrateHelpDesk is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

Dear *****,

We are sorry to hear that you felt the magazine promotion was misleading. That was not our intention. The offer is optional, and is meant as a "Thank You" for taking the time to fill out a Bizrate-hosted customer satisfaction survey.

It appears that you have three major concerns:
1) You are unsure about the way that the offer is fulfilled.
2) You feel the offer is a bait and switch
3) You are concerned about the terms of the automatic renewal.

I will try to address each of these concerns in turn.

Regarding issue one:
The magazine orders are fulfilled by our partner company, Synapse Connect. The first full year of each subscription is paid for by Xeos, a consumer electronics company. Bizrate is in no way involved in the fulfillment of the magazine orders, and does not receive the financial information about the customers who choose to accept the offer. In addition, Bizrate does not pass any information onto our 3rd party sponsor, Synapse Connect. Synapse sends out a reminder postcard before the subscriptions are renewed one month prior, which provides customers with information on how to cancel. Furthermore, customers may cancel at any time by calling (800) 429-2550 and speaking to a representative, or by contacting help@bizrate.com and asking that we reach out to Synapse on your behalf.


Regarding issue two:
The terms of this offer are stated in the survey introduction before you began your review, in this manner:
Please take a moment to rate your shopping experience at Naturamart and you'll receive a Special Thank You (exclusively for US residents) valued at up to $100 - up to 4 of your favorite magazines are already paid for. Just $2 each for processing.
They are stated again before you hit the submit button:
Thank you for completing your survey. As a Special Thank You, the first year of up to 4 magazines is already paid for. Choose from your favorite interests including Sports, Entertainment, Beauty and more all with the benefits of automatic renewal. This $100.00 value is yours for completing this review.
We feel that this language explains the terms well before the offer page appears. However, we apologize for any confusion.


Regarding issue three:
Many people enjoy the benefit of automatic renewal that comes as part of the magazine offer. However, as stated above, customers may cancel any time without penalty.

If you have any further questions about this, please feel free to send us an email at help@bizrate.com. Someone will be happy to assist you.

Best wishes,

Bizrate Customer Support



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  #3  
Old 09-13-2010, 11:22 AM
Doug C Doug C is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

Dear BizRate, XEOS, Synapse Connect, et al:

Your high standards, business ethics, and explanations are, ah, err . . . . breathtaking!

My question is: How do you wind up with the consumer's personal and credit card info. without the consumer specifically giving it to you?

It was apparent after I fell for your bogus "survey" that you somehow already had this info, only possible if the online vendor had ALREADY sent it to you PRIOR to us chumps starting to complete the "survey" !

Doesn't this strike you as a tad unethical and perhaps illegal?

Do you have an agreement with each and every online vendor where this occurs, and that we may innocently order from, to receive, again without our permission, our credit card info?

Your deceptive pop-up followed my $221.37 order (#117010516) on 9/10/10 to CafePress.com for some custom printed clothing.

What, exactly, is your "agreement" with them and what is the exact nature of your partnership?

What legal statute allows you unauthorized apriori access to our personal and credit info?

I'll be you can't (or won't) answer this one!


Last edited by Doug C : 09-13-2010 at 11:31 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2010, 03:15 PM
BizrateHelpDesk BizrateHelpDesk is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

Dear Doug,

Thank you for commenting on this post. We're sorry to hear that you have concerns about your personal and financial after taking our survey. Please rest assured that we do not, at any time, have access to the personal information that you provide to CaféPress or any of our other merchant partners. As you say, it would be illegal to share personal and credit card information from company to company. We certainly do not do that. The only personal information we ever see is what you choose to provide to us while filling out our survey. Furthermore, if you uncheck the box that says, "You are authorized to share my information with CafePress.com" then we will not share your personal information to CaféPress.

The magazine promotion we offer is an optional "Thank You" for taking the survey. It is provided in tandem with our partner, Synapse Connect. From your comments, it sounds as if you may have been confused by the phrase, "...the first year of up to 4 magazines is already paid for" in the closing text of the survey. That phrase simply means that the overall cost of the subscriptions is covered by XEOS, another partner of Synapse. We do not share your information with either of these companies. In order to take advantage of the promotion, you have to fill out an order form, and hit the "submit" button. Furthermore, we do not get your credit card information even if you choose to accept the promotion. That data only goes to Synapse.

We sincerely apologize for any confusion or concern. Should you have any further questions you may contact us at help@bizrate.com, or by posting them here.

Best Regards,

Bizrate Customer Support

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  #5  
Old 10-12-2010, 06:33 AM
Doug C Doug C is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

Once again, after purchasing a replacement carafe from Mr. Coffee, I got this extremely annoying magazine scam offer from Bizrate. Here is the web page prior to hitting the "submit" button. Note that I have NOT given Bizrate my credit card info up to this point but they seem to already have it!
------------------------------------
survey by


Share Your Comments About MR COFFEE Store









Which of the following best describes the primary topic of your comment?





How would you describe your comments?











Nickname:

* BizRate believes in protecting the privacy of its survey respondents and the integrity of their comments. BizRate will provide its Publishing Guidelines upon request.







Thank You

Thank you for completing your survey. As a Special Thank You, the first year of up to 4 magazines is already paid for. Choose from your favorite interests including Sports, Entertainment, Beauty and more all with the benefits of automatic renewal. This $100.00 value is yours for completing this review. Plus, you'll have a chance to enter our Daily Cash Giveaway to win up to $25 today! Click 'submit' below to enter now and claim your selections.

Thank you for shopping at MR COFFEE Store, we look forward to your return visits!

By submitting your review, you agree to our Privacy Notice and User Agreement.

100% done
0%25%50%75%100%






Bizrate values your privacy and security. See our Privacy Notice.
Bizrate® is a registered servicemark of Bizrate.com. Copyright 2010 . All rights reserved.

------------------------------------This is like a bad dream - it won't go away!

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  #6  
Old 10-14-2010, 12:44 PM
PeterJohn PeterJohn is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

I am a "victim" of this scam as well. Your information on the scam explains why in the past few months I have started to receive at least 4 magazines not ordered by me. Thank you! Now to try stop the fraudulent charges.

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  #7  
Old 11-25-2010, 03:37 PM
rockefellerskank rockefellerskank is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience! It saved me from being scammed!

Hope you get your money back!

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  #8  
Old 01-07-2011, 05:59 AM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

When you order the magazines through BizRate they make it very clear they will automatically renewed in 6 or 12 months (the term is spelled out for you). They also provide an 800 number for you to call to cancel the magazine. I don't recall if it is a completed automated process or if you have to talk to a person who will try and talk you into keeping the magazine but whatever. You were getting a year's worth of decent magazine for 2 bucks so you should have go to through some pain to cancel them.

In any case if you forget...which is generally the reason people get mad...they only remember the free magazine..not the auto-renew part. The company makes money on people who forget and they say...I forgot..I will keep the magazine and pay the bill....but if you don't want to and you can't get customer service from the mag company (by the way I usually get very good or fully automated service)...you can go through your credit card and dispute the charge. State the company was not authorized to charge your card. Your card will be credited back the amount within a few days...and the magazine will stop after a while.

To blame the company as crooks is pretty off the mark. Everything is pretty clear up front what they will do and why you have to do to stop it.

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  #9  
Old 02-22-2011, 11:59 AM
TCBaywatcher TCBaywatcher is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

I filled out this survey in good faith that I would receive a year of four magazines at no cost. This means I would not have to give up a credit card number to receive this GIFT. I read very carefully along as I went from page to page. When I got to the spot where I had to agree to PAY (FREE?) 2 dollars PER MAGAZINE to fulfill the survey I was trapped. I could not BACK OUT! I immediately entered BIZRATE in my search engine to let them know I want My info erased and what came up? BIZRATE $100.00 GIFT Scam.

You had already got me past entering my info before you spring the 2 dollar fees at me.
In MY book THAT IS A SCAM!

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  #10  
Old 02-25-2011, 07:29 AM
izhar izhar is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

hey this is freaking me out now.
I just orderderd somthing from bodybuilding.com and as soon as i was done this thing for free magazine poped up saying to complete the survey for the last product ordered at bodybuilding.com. I completed the survey and clicked submit.
Now i was switched to another page with pictures of alot of pictures of magazines there i didn't click anywhere and closed the page.
should i be worried?

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  #11  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:15 AM
frendpan frendpan is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

Hi Everyone,
I used to work for BIZRATE, it's a great company, that's why I trust them, while sort of;-) As for the magzine, it's free for the first year, I have tried twice, and both worked. The way to aviod additional charge after the first year is you have to call the magzine company (not BIZRATE) to cancle after the first year, of course they don't like it and make you go through an insane automated phone process to cancel, the trick to bypass the automated phone system after you select "cancel" is you keep hitting "#" key to confuse the phone system and then it will transfer you to a really person, once you talk to a real person, it's very easy to cancel, good luck...

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  #12  
Old 04-17-2011, 06:55 PM
elly26 elly26 is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

Hey Doug,
I was wondering if you could help me out....

So I was at the end of the survey page where it has the "submit" icon, and I clicked it but as soon as i did, i smelled something funny and just completely Xed out of the page.
Am I safe from completely falling into this scam??
I feel like they have already gotten my credit card info from the website I was ordering something from.

Please tell me I'm okay! =(

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  #13  
Old 06-12-2011, 08:07 PM
tedEbeare tedEbeare is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

I received the BizRate "Survey & magazine" offer after making a purchase at easyspirit.com. After completing the survey, I was sent to the "select magazine" page, and even though there was a $2.00 fee per mag, it seemed like a good deal (as long as I remembered to cancel when my year was up). BUT, after I entered my card info, I received a notice that "an error had occurred"; then another notice that the offer had expired. I was then given a page to select 4 issues of 4 magazines, whereas the original offer was for ONE YEAR'S WORTH. I would never have entered my info if the original offer had been for only 4 issues, no matter what the news stand price is. I closed that site & came here.
I've sent an e-mail to BizRate's customer service dept. and plan on sending easyspirit.com one also, just to let them know what's happening. I was very pleased with Easy Spirit, but something needs to be done about BizRate's bait & switch--particularly after they have credit card info.

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  #14  
Old 10-28-2011, 06:59 AM
remolifd remolifd is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

Wow, thank all of you for your posts. I may not be a scam victim, yet. As of right now 10-28-11, I had just completed the magazine survey and I am at the section where you choose your magazines then continue. There I stopped and had a feeling to see if I could find any further info. on this. I then came across this scam forum. After reading the posts, I am hesitant on continuing with the magazine order. I will have to give some thought, read more on this and see if anyone has been pleased with the $100 magazine gift offer. Thank you all again.


Last edited by remolifd : 10-28-2011 at 07:15 AM. Reason: text sense
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  #15  
Old 11-03-2011, 12:38 PM
hoolyon hoolyon is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

So my wife and I ran into this deal yesterday after she completed the survey. We then went ahead to pick out the 4 magazines and completed everything.

This isn't anything out of this world, we just need to remember to cancel the subscription before the renewal. Pretty simple.

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  #16  
Old 12-14-2011, 06:30 AM
heheman3000 heheman3000 is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

I signed up for this in December 2010 and called the phone number 1-800-927-9578 to cancel it just now, and it seems to be legit. It found my subscriptions under my last name and ZIP and I cancelled all of them. I wouldn't say this is too much of a scam other than that it preys on forgetful people. A year's subscription to four magazines for $8 wasn't a bad deal. They have to make money somehow, so too bad for the people that don't cancel.

I also didn't want to take a chance that they would charge me anyway, so I voided the credit card I had ordered them under and obtained a new number. Can't be too safe with these things, and it's easier than filing a claim...

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  #17  
Old 02-11-2012, 10:07 AM
gomez1 gomez1 is offline
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Re: Bizrate free $100 gift magazine reorder scam

The Bizrate deal is a steal....for you! I have used this for years. $2 handling fees or subscription price for one year on a fairly good choice of magazines. The distributor will send you a card in the mail weeks before the subscription renews at a higher rate. Just call and refuse their automated offers before the date on the card. Done. I even used old emails with links from product reviews provided years in the past and submitted new subscription requests (not renewals, the magazines start coming right away and may overlap an issue with your old subscription, but at two bucks who cares). They finally caught on to the old link usage, so that gravy train ended. It's not a scam and btw, only suckers buy magazines and subscriptions at full or half price. Many, many mags are provided free of charge...ad revenue is what keeps these companies going. Enjoy your cheap mags while you can get 'em.

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  #18  
Old 12-06-2013, 09:54 AM
RobertPlattBell RobertPlattBell is offline
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Any Negative Option deal is a bad deal

I took this "survey" which implied I would entered into a contest for $100 or something.

I was happy with the company (ORS Racks Direct) I bought the products from online, so I wanted to give them good feedback on the survey. Now I realize that the "survey" was pretty bogus. It also makes me question the integrity of the company, that they would link to this sort of thing.

I was shocked that the "reward" was a bunch of magazine offers. Magazine offers are worthless, IMHO, as most magazines want subscribers so they can sell you to advertisers. You can subscribe online for very little (e.g., the Atlantic, sans ads) or get reduced subscriptions or free subscriptions just about anywhere.

$2 for a six-month subscription? That is not "free" nor is it a bargain.

The Negative-Option gag is troubling, as it requires you to call or write or e-mail to cancel before your credit card is charged. Most people forget, or their cancellation request is "lost" somehow. AOL was famous for this sort of thing.

Is it a "scam"? Well, maybe, maybe not. It is smarmy. And it is deceitful that this survey promises $100 rewards, but gives you crummy magazine subscription offers for $2 apiece.

WHAT IS REALLY TELLING AND REALLY CREEPY is the response from Bizrate here, which sounds so saccharine and sweet. Even worse are the cheerleading posts (which are obvious shills) saying what a great deal $2 magazine subscriptions are.

Here's the deal, when dealing with any company online:

1. If someone lies to you from the get-go, don't expect the relationship to improve. Bizrate has telegraphed what sort of people they are by saying you are getting a $100 reward or implying you are entering a contest, when in fact, they are offering magazine subscriptions (would you have done the survey if they had told the truth? No.). Whenever you enter into a business relationship, predicated on a lie, no matter how trivial the lie, it will only go downhill from there.

2. NEVER, EVER, EVER, do a "Negative Option" deal online, if you can at all help it
. Yes, it is OK to have your utility bill charged to your bank automatically. No, it is not all right to have some internet company do the same thing. It is very hard to get your money back from online companies, who will claim they never got your cancellation notice, or whatever. In most cases, you have to cancel your credit card to get them to stop charging you.

3. NEVER enter online "surveys" - no one really cares about your opinions and they are not worth tons of money to anyone. You can't make money taking online surveys (despite the ads on facebook to the contrary). Surveys are used as come-ons for all sorts of scams, so just walk away from them.

4. If it sounds too good to be true - it is.
No one is giving away free money samples this week. The Bizrate survey plays to the "something for nothing" mentality, and guess what? "Something" ends up costing you at least $2 per subscription - perhaps a lot more if you fail to cancel the subscription in time.

Shame on Bizrate. But then again, we expect this sort of thing on the Internet these days.

I contacted the seller and told them I though their linking to Bizrate was shady and his response was "we get that a lot, but our marketing department thinks it is a good thing". If enough people complain to the sites LINKING to Bizrate, something could be done.

Fixing Bizrate, on the other hand, is likely impossible. Once a company goes down this road, there is no turning back.

Expect several grooming posts from Bizrate or its proxies to follow. Act shocked....


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