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Vanilla Visa Gift Card / it won't work

1 340 Edge Rd.Forsyth, GA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 972-571-4672

My mother bought my brother and I our own $50 Vanilla Visa gift cards for our birthdays from CVS. We soon found out they were declined everywhere we tried them. I called the number on the back of the card and the customer service people just gave me a run around about how I was just doing it wrong. I tried everything they told me, but I finally got fed up. I went to the website and ordered another one myself. I got it in the mail, and this one didn't work either! When I activated it, the website told me I still had a $50 balance, but when i called it told me there was no money on the card! So my mom just wasted $100. Not to mention my sister-in-law looked this company up on google, and there have been tons of people with this problem. It has to be a scam.

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  • Sh
      30th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    I had $350 worth of these cards given to me at my bridal shower last year and found out they were now only worth $70, so I filed a complaint with the better business bureau and vanilla visa sent me a check for $350 and zeroed out my gift cards. I haven't cashed the check yet but I suggest that everyone who got burned by these cards file a claim against them too. I filed the claim on a Wednesday and the following week the check was delivered by FedEx. Good Luck!

  • Do
      31st of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    I (and several other family members) had the exact same problem occur (just after Christmas) with this ripoff card. After calling Vanilla VISA Customer Service and FINALLY getting an actual customer service rep on the line, I was given a little more information explaining the continual card "declines" I was experiencing.

    The first time my Visa gift card was declined, the company blamed it on IT technical issues they were supposedly experiencing at the time. THEN I found out that if the purchaser is attempting to purchase something that costs more than the value on the card, the store clerk must calculate the cost difference in ADVANCE and collect the difference in cost from the customer BEFORE scanning the Visa gift card. If the store tries to scan the card FIRST (applying it against the total purchase price) and collect the cost difference from the customer second, the card will be declined. Even though these merchants are supposed to have some kind of contract in place with Visa instructing them as to the exact sequence in which to process these transactions, the problem is that MOST store clerks are CLUELESS as to how to go through this ridiculous exercise.

    The process should not be this difficult and the burden should NOT be placed on the customer to have to teach store clerks how to process this stupid card!

    Because of all these card acceptance hassles and the fact that the card continually decreases in value over time, as far as I am concerned, these VISA gift cards (and others like them) are a ripoff and a scam. If the givers of these cards really care about the recipients they are trying to gift, they should stay away from these cards. Better to give cash or an actual store gift card that will be applied against the purchase price in a NORMAL fashion, without having to go through this nonsense.

  • Ry
      2nd of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I tried to use this card for a game online. I went all the way down to 7 eleven from my house with my brother and we each bought a $50 card. We tried online to buy but it wouldnt go through. This card has to be a scam. It is pissing me off so bad and this company should get sued and people who bought these cards should get a full refund.

  • Da
      16th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I Know! I bought one of these for an online game. The first time I put it into paypal, it worked. I was happy. But, when I went to go buy a second $25 card, paypal wouldn't take it! I looked all over the internet for a solution, but I got nothing! I had a replacement card delivered to my house, and that didn't work either! I was so desperate that I went to buy ANOTHER $25 card, But, when putting it into paypal, guess what! It didn't work. I got so mad I went to call the company, but their operators were full. I'm definitely going to file a claim with these people. I'm SO mad.

  • Ja
      21st of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I bought 3 $100 ones and after alot of hasseling with them, I found out that my cards had the incorrect CVV code printed on the back AND you can't use them online if the merchant verifies anything other than the CVV code & Zip code, that they don't store the address that they say they require for online purchases. I'm filing a complaint with my attorney general and the BBB.

  • Ru
      18th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am very mad. My son go $100 gift card and I told him to save it for disney trip and because of stupid service charge it had $50. How can I report this? There should be some kind of law... I am filling a complaint with BBB.

  • Ap
      18th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    i got a $25 card for christmas. Had the same problem of it being declined everywhere i went. It finally took it for $12, and i knew that was the only time i had used it. I was about to throw it away, but curiousity got me and i wanted to see how much was left on it since it was being declined everywhere. Looked on line and it said that i was being charged service fees 2 months after i got the card. 2 MONTHS??!? And different amounts each time. by the time i was actually able to use the card, service fee's had eaten up $13 bucks not even a year after having it. I called customer service, where i couldn't understand a word this guy was saying and he clearly did not want to talk to me. I kept getting put on hold for 10-15 min at a time, where he was "checking with his supervisor". At this point, it's simply principal that i'm arguing for $13 bucks. I ask for this "supervisor" and she says she'll refund me 3.50 as a "curteosy". that they changed their agreement, from 1.50 service fees 13 months after activation to 2.50 after 7 months, which they can do at any time and as many times as they want. She told me that I was taking up too much of her time, and there is no way she'll refund any more. I explained that i had tried to use the card several times, and by the time it did actually take, I did not even have the opportunity to use the full amount because of the fees taken starting 2 months after activation. but she says it wouldn't accept becuase of the something the stores were doing incorrectly and that is not their fault. I've alwaysed been loyal to VISA, but that will change if this is how they run their company.

  • Tb
      4th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Silverton bank fails.
    I received one of these as a gift and when i got around to using it, the balance had been depleted.
    The bank that issues the cards has been seized by the FDIC, looks like they were involved in other shady business. I feel sorry for the people who got scammed

  • Ev
      29th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    These cards are total scam and should be illegal. The expiration date is purposely misleading for the recipient as the balance will be long gone before the expiration date ever arrives. I'm surprised there already has not been a class action against the thieves running this scheme. VISA should pay for letting their brand be associated with such a con game.

  • Wh
      11th of Jul, 2009
    +1 Votes

    CLASS ACTION AGAINST VISA USA AND COOPERATING BANKS-We represent holders of VISA Gift Cards from Pennsylvania and California. We are about to commence a Class Action on behalf of all victims of the sellers/issuers of these cards who have not gotten their full value. If you have information about your experiences with VISA Gift Cards that you wish to have included in the Complaint, please do not hesitate to contact me. It is not necessary to make any reference to your name or address in the Complaint. If you contact me by email and provide a phone number, I will call you. Otherwise, I will respond by return email.

  • Hy
      26th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    Vanilla visa gift cards just dont work. i process millions $ in cards at a big restaurant each year, and most gift cards work. vanilla visa does not, call them and find the balance, then run it for that balance, it declines every time.

  • Ju
      29th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    I had just boughten my Visa (vanilla ) piece of ### card. I was so excited when I purchased it for 100!!! dollars and with this economy????? I am not even allowed to use it online, even with pay pal I got through enough to have them send my confirmation four digit code...BUT... I keep getting charged and no code.all I wanted was to suprise my daughters and to do my daughter's birthday shopping. Six hours latyer and many sweat beads away from a panic attack, I get on the phone with Visa ( nan) reps and was basically told there was nothing they can do, no refunds, nothing. They were not even willing to help .

    Am I really stuck with this piece of ### card???? What can I do to at least get my 86.00$s back???? Anyone have any kind of suggestion?PLEASE

  • Au
      29th of Dec, 2009
    -1 Votes

    hey to use them on stores online you have to register it at the vanillavisa site. There you can put in your contact information and crap so that it works online. It should work for you. (it doesnt work for me, says theres some sort of problem with my account so im calling them right now).

  • Re
      17th of Jan, 2010
    -2 Votes

    I love vanilla visa gift cards. They are easy to use! I think that if everyone just read the terms a agreements and the usage of this card, OR ANY FOR THAT MATTER, They will see that they are all the same. And please dont forget that if you need a credit card to make a purchase for what ever reason then get a credit card and not a GIFT CARD. It only makes sense.

  • Cs
      3rd of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    My son got two of these gift cards in the amount of 25.00 each for Christmas this year. Well I sat down and read the terms, conditions etc, tried to go online and register it. Here in lies the problem # 1, Family members that buy these cards do not open the cardboard they come in and charge you 4.95 for btw. So we are military overseas and this was a cheap and effective option to let our child pick out what he wanted here at the local PX. These cards can only be used in the 50 US no territories etc. So I registered the cards over the telephone, the lady was very nice and tried to be helpful.. Well 6hrs into this ordeal to use his gift cards to purchase playstation games so he could get the games he wanted for his psp that we bought him for christmas still no luck, and yes I did register them with our US home of record address that we still maintain. This is not the first time I have had problems with Vanilla Visa Gift cards but it will be the last. These are such crap that I dread putting them into the recycle bin which could cause contamination to the other recyclable materials in there. Just my two cents on things. CS

  • Jo
      19th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Well Rebecca obviously works for Vanilla, to blatantly lie like she is. I had ordered from 5 Different restaurants, just as an Experiment to test these pieces of Trash. I only bought one card, because of course they are scams, the total was $20. I ordered from Domino's, I got a Call back from them saying my Card was declined, I payed with Money and it was some good pizza. 3 Days later, Called Pizza Hut, Gave them the Number, I get a call 5 minutes later "Sir you card has been declined" I reply okay, I will pay by Cash. A week later. I call PaPa Johns, the Last Pizza Victim, I give them the Card and do you know what happened next? Takea a Wild Guess. Got a Call Back! Okay, Sir I will pay cash.

    I was not done however, I called my Local Chinese Restaurant (That delievers) Just yesterday, and I had my $20 ready in my pocket. I gave them the card number and OOPS. It has been declined. Not just once, Not Twice. but Four Times in One Month. Thank god Vanilla does not take out money because of the card being Declined (Some cards do that as a service charge)

    These cards are Crap, now there is only $18.05 on the Card but I paid $25 for it, and I wsnt my Money back. BBB here I come :)

  • J3
      17th of Sep, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have recieved 1000.00 in vanilla visa gift cards from my brother overseas Thet dont get regular programming so I download movise and songs for him as well as TV series. He has always paid me in gift cards. I have found no problem in using them on line or making any purchases. I know that if you dont use them within a certain time there is a monthly service fee attached to them which come with the instructions, I feel bad for those who are have trouble with these cards, Since I have had no problems. I go online to check my balance. Unlike my debit card the Vanilla visa has no fee for using it for purchases. If you just store it away for a couple of months and dont use it just know that there will be a monthly service charge attached. Be careful where you purchase your card, always purchase from a reputable vendor and check the card right away online for the balance. Good luck to all

  • Jo
      20th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    I received one of these Vanilla Visa cards recently (Canada). I tried to use it at a restaurant for it's full value, as part of the bill. Declined. I made numerous phone calls the next day trying to find out what happened, and finally got the answer. It seems that when you use the card at an establishment that has tipping - hotels, bars, restaurants, taxis etc. - the Visa company (NOT the establishment) adds what they call an up charge of 15% (to cover tips, I suppose). So, naturally when you try to use a $100 card in a restaurant to pay $100, the company tries to authorise $115, which is declined. If you use it for less, but don't add a tip (you pay the tip in cash, for example), then the up charge is returned (credited back to your card) a few days later.

    When I protested (loudly!) that they - Vanilla Visa - had no business telling me what a tip should be, and that *I* am the one who decides how much to charge to the card, and that this is not in the cardholder agreement in Canada, I was told that it is covered by the clause that states the company can change the terms whenver they like.

    Their online informations state that the *restaurant or bar* may add up to 20% to the preauthorization charge, to cover a possible tip. This a complete untruth - I witnessed it myself, the restaurant preauthorizing the full amount of the card only, which was declined.

    Think of the amount of interest these guys are making of the up charges before they credit them back.

    It is a scam - period.

  • Pa
      3rd of Dec, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I frequently buy and use the vanilla gift card and I have not once had a problem with them.

  • Sh
      15th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    I bought one of these cards and have tried it with 4 different online merchants and paypal and none will take it because all you can enter for registration on your card is your zipcode. Even though their website states the following:
    "5.What billing address do I use for online and phone transactions?
    Your personal information is not associated with the Card therefore you should use your mailing address. This will ensure that if a problem arises you are able to be contacted by the merchant."
    It says right on their site to use your "mailing address" which is what most online merchants want to verify, however apparently in Vanilla Visa land, your mailing address is just a zip code.
    I called the 800 number and some guy kept repeating as fast as he could that they can't record an address to the card. Funny every other gift card I have used registers your mailing address, whats their deal? This card is completely useless as I bought it specifically to use online.

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