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Vanilla Visa - Gift Card review: Rip off

G
Author of the complaint
1:25 am EST
Review updated:
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This review was chosen algorithmically as the most valued customer feedback.

"Vanilla Visa" gift cards are a RIP OFF! Do not buy one nor consider giving it as a gift. The decrease the amount of the Gift card every month. When you try to use it, it declines over and over. When you FINALLY get to use it by applying half the money you were supposes to have... they the C>C. continues to decline!

I will NEVER get on of these again...further, I will email EVERYONE at work, neighbors and friends alerting them of this rip off Gift card.

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More Vanilla Visa - Gift Card complaints & reviews

Vanilla Visa - Gift Card - Vanilla Visa RIPOFF Cards
Resolved
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.
110 comments
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B
Aug 05, 2022 7:26 am EDT

SCAM. 2 min after checking my balance on the automated phone line my balance was wiped out with a purchase for the exact amount of the balance on the card. Filed the paperwork for fraud with them and now crickets.

W
Aug 15, 2022 2:57 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

The same thing happened to me! I was told that the investigation would take 44 to 90 days!

Obviously hackers are getting into their online site! That's the only explanation for it happening so quickly! Meanwhile the crooks are out here smiling, shopping, having a field day at your expense! And injury upon insult...you are out of money for 44 to 90 days!

It's so humiliating you check your balance, everything is fine and in under 2 minutes your card gets declined! You find out why! Someone took all your money!

There needs to be better security for honest paying citizens! Two step authentication!

A
Aug 04, 2022 6:15 pm EDT

This card is most definitely a scam customer service is horrible and the card is a straight waiste of money. Do not get the card anyone who is thinking of getting one

A
Jul 29, 2022 7:10 pm EDT

I bought a vanilla gift card for 170 and 2 hours after buying it, when I went to use it I no longer had a dollar balance, that has happened to me several times, I recommend that you do not buy with them, you buy it and since the active one uses the money and they say it was cloned, the situation of this company is very strange, they have to investigate it

M
Jul 18, 2022 5:37 pm EDT

Someone gave me a $100 vanilla gift card. I made a few transactions and had a $58 balance left. I got to albertsons and the clerk tells me my balance is 24 cent! I check my transactions and someone hacked my card for my $58 and used on a website I've never even heard of before and money is just gone. DO NOT BUY THESE CARDS. PLEASE BEWARE PEOPLE ARE HACKING THESE CARDS AND ARE STEALING PEOPLES HARD EARNED MONEY!

I
Jul 10, 2022 1:50 am EDT

My buddy at work got me a card for 40.00 yesterday. But by the evening the money was gone. Someone went online and spent $39.75. The cards are compromised so purchase them at you own peril.

A
Jun 30, 2022 1:58 am EDT

I bought a vanilla visa gift card to use for a bill and it wouldn't let me use it and now I looked at the balance and it shows the 30 I put on it as being sent to some lady I don't know and I didn't send any money to her. I want my money back now my bill is over due and have interest charges. Vanilla visa gift card I will be telling everyone I know don't trust jt.

A
Jun 29, 2022 5:30 pm EDT

I received a Vanilla gift card. And it had been used by someone else. They declined my dispute and then continued to say that they did not receive my dispute even though I had an email confirming that they did in fact receive it. Weird. Weird, weird company. Do not get this gift card.

W
Jun 25, 2022 3:53 pm EDT

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy this gift card. Not only is it not accepted anywhere I tried, but I just checked my balance and someone hacked into it and used it on Amazon. This company is an absolute JOKE. Their so-called "customer care" is an even bigger joke. There is no live human to talk to. It's all automated. Why is that, you ask? Because they don't WANT to talk to you because they are a sham of a company. I reiterate: DON'T USE THEM!

S
Jun 24, 2022 5:03 pm EDT

This year my son with special needs his first job this summer! He decided to buy me a vanilla visa gift card using most of his first check! He was proud of the gift, it’s the first gift picked out, bought and paid for it himself! I tried to use the card on Amazon at 9pm Monday, it wasn’t accepted so I thought I needed to activate it! At 10:20osh I went to balance.vanillagift.com were they ask you to put in the card information, and there was a balance of 75$, I added a pin number and ZIP Code and try to get on Amazon! But it still didn’t work so about 20 minutes after adding the card info I went back and did it again! This time it showed a zero balance and A pending charge for $75 to a business that cannot be found online and the phone number that vanilla gift card representative gave me is no longer in service and can’t be Google!

I would say stay far away from this company because they happy part of the scam! Or how would this fake business that doesn’t exist no the card number expiration date and pin$

M
Jun 13, 2022 5:16 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

Vanilla Visa Gift card company is a scam. They said a purchase was made on my gift card that we were given for our anniversary, which it was not. I filed a dispute 4 1/2 months ago, and keep getting a run around as to a resolution of the matter. They are a fraudulent company and should not be in business.

P
Jul 22, 2022 6:46 pm EDT
Replying to comment of M. Donald

Hi.. Did you get a response? I filed a dispute for $320 4.5 weeks ago, there's still no news.

J
Jun 08, 2022 3:11 pm EDT

I purchased 3 Vanilla Gift cards for Christmas gifts in December 2021, all 3 were hacked and spent in other cities. I made disputes with customer service, I’m doubting if I ever get my $260 back. I used my credit card so I will go to my bank and claim fraud if the money isn’t returned. DO NOT BUY THESE CARDS!

B
Jun 04, 2022 6:33 pm EDT

I went to check the balance on my Vanilla Gift Card one day and the balance was almost gone! I had only made one purchase and I should have had a balance left of over $79.00. I contacted the company and disputed several of the charges. I also filled out a dispute form and mailed it to the dispute department. I haven't heard anything back yet. In the meantime; I have lost out on being able to use my gift card! Who knows if I'll ever get that money back!

Y
May 23, 2022 2:00 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I purchased a $100 Vanilla gift card at my local CVS store. When the person who got this card opened it she discovered the CVV code is scratched off and there are very obvious signs that somebody opened the card package previously and then glued it back together. Since the CVV code was damaged we couldn't even check the balance or transactions online. So I called Vanilla customer service and of course they told me that the balance was already drained with multiple online purchases on target.com

The retailer, in my case it is CVS, doesn't care (even though shouldn't they be responsible for selling hacked cards and not protecting them enough on shelves?) and sends you to Vanilla who takes forever to investigate. The whole experience is just terrible because - first it's a gift card and you feel really bad when the person the card went to can't use it, and second - there is a big headache to resolve this.

There are so many complaints about Vanilla gift cards. Don't buy those!

W
May 12, 2022 8:39 pm EDT

Will never purchase another visa gift card...their customer service for a lost card is a joke ... I'm not even sure the email given to me for sending the documents about a lost card is even legitimate.

Will NEVER buy another visa gift card

A
May 10, 2022 8:39 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I got a vanilla card for 30 dollars I got home tried this activate the card they said it was on hold cause of a pending transaction don't how that happen I got nothing so I'm out 34 dollars I'm on a fixed income and they don't seem to care the need investigated

B
May 10, 2022 3:15 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

yes this Vanilla gift card is a complete fraud. I got a card as a $250 gift card that on checking the balance realized a purchase was already made. I called and submitted a dispute packet that they said would be investigated and i had to wait 90 days for a response. Now at the expiration of that period, they are saying i have to resend the dispute packet, seems nothing was done. This probably means another 90 day wait so i can forget or walk away from this.

Also, their customer service is an overseas entity that is clueless to what they should be doing.

The FTC will be hearing from me.

C
May 04, 2022 9:06 pm EDT

They scammed me out of $650! I bought and returned something online with this card… the refund says ‘completed’ but every time I try to use the card, it’s denied! I am sick to my stomach that they are getting away with this over and over! Customer service does NOTHING to help (when you can actually get a human on the phone) and can’t answer any questions on why the funds are being withheld from me! Unreal…now I’m screwed out of so much hard-earned money that they’re withholding from me and keeping for themselves…without ANY reason. Funds should be refunded to original form of payment without a single issue but they’ve decided to withhold the funds for NO apparent reason. PLEASE never buy these awful cards:/! I can’t believe they’re getting away with this

S
May 19, 2022 7:37 pm EDT

I bought a Vanilla gift card for $500 on January 5th 2022. Left the store, my boyfriend had the bag, we got home, couldn't find the card, my boyfriend called CS and had them place it on hold to see if we found it. SURE ENOUGH 30 mins later we found it in the seat of the car. SINCE THAT TIME, WE HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING TO HAVE THEM RELEASE THE HOLD SO WE HAVE ACCESS TO OUR MONEY. THEY REFUSE.

They treat me like I am committing fraud because we found the card and want the funds released. I have the card and the receipt, that's all you need to prove ownership in every store or purchase in this country, yet this place says that's not enough to prove we own the card.

THIS PLACE IS A SCAM. THEY ARE STEALING PEOPLES MONEY AND WHAT EVER RETAILERS OFFERING THIS CARD TO CUSTOMERS NEEDS TO PULL IT FROM THE SHELF.

I WANT MY $500 BACK

WHO CAN TELL ME WHAT TO DO AGAINST THIS COMPANY ? THIS IS WRONG AND THEY NEED TO BE STOPPED. !

S
May 01, 2022 9:08 am EDT

I had a Vanilla Gift Card given to me worth $150. Shortly after I assigned a pin # to the card 2 charges were made to the card which amounted to $149 and change. Customer service is almost non existent, and the lady I was finally able to try to talk to had a foreign accent that was next to impossible to understand. This company is a joke and needs to be investigated by the FTC.

A
Apr 08, 2022 2:16 pm EDT

My card was declined and then on the same day, two transactions that were not mine were made. I have waited on hold forever to get it resolved. This is a SCAM.

P
Mar 27, 2022 6:53 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

This company should be investigated shut down and a lawsuit should be filed for all the money vanilla gift cards has stolen from the American public your money is stolen off t

O
Feb 28, 2022 9:11 pm EST

This Vanilla Gift Card is a scam and they have terrible customer service. They let you wait for forever to be able to talk to a real person (not to mention that the connection is so choppy) and when a real person finally picks up the call, you can hardly understand her because of the choppy connection. Then she hangs up on you.

I called because of the GCs that I received with $150 on it. When I received the link in the email, it worked fine. But then I did use it right away and after 2 months, I decided I am ready to use it. But the link on the email is no longer working so I called the number provided in the email. - [protected]. You have to be very patient because they will let you wait for hours.

I have 3 cards I received from my employer as a prize last Christmas. The 2 with $50 on each had no problem. I just noticed that after I used both and left a small amount of balance, there were succeeding transactions on each cards that I did not initiated but somebody did.

DO NOT BUY VANILLA CARDS.

J
May 03, 2022 10:31 pm EDT
Replying to comment of Owen910

I received a vanilla gift card for my birthday and didn't open it until a few days later and someone had already used it at a jewelry store, now how was that possible!

S
Feb 02, 2022 1:41 pm EST

My nephew bought me a $50 vanilla visa card for Christmas a couple years back. To be honest with COVID and other life events I totally forgot about it, but when I found it I was surprised to see an expiration date listed on the front of the card. I called and it let me activate it so I thought I was all set, but no I wasn't. When I tried to use it for my purchase the cashier told me the card was declined because it was expired. Why did they let me activate it and then shut it down?

I went online and under the FAQ's I found information that these are not suppose to expire, according to the website all you have to do is call and you can get a replacement card. Well that's a lie, they want your card number and because it is expired they can't find it and after three attempts they hang up on you! They play all kind of games and there is ono way to talk to a human or leave a message.

I have several visa credit cards ad I am going to cancel them all, this is BS. What kind of a company is this that rips off people and why haven't they gotten in trouble yet? I think I'll go online to the BBB and report them, I am pissed off.

I
Jan 26, 2022 5:56 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I received a $50 Vanilla gift card and attempted to use it for ~$45 just two days later. It was declined. Over and over. And I have been unable to get a live person on the phone - I called, was on hold (yes, miraculous to even get to an option for a real person!) and then the person that picked up said "hold please" and disconnected the call.

This company/product is beyond terrible. Please spread the word and encourage people not to waste their time or money on something that ends up not being a gift at all, but rather a terrible experience.

J
Dec 17, 2021 12:26 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

So, I'm mowing my lawn and find this Vanilla Gift card in the grass. Now, I know why. I thought I would contact customer service to find out my balance. Checking your balance does not work through your phone (android), desktop or phone. When you call, they give you a random number to choose. When you hit the number, the call hangs up. I'm waiting on their customer service now. 20 minutes. My guess is you stay in waiting limbo until you give up. This company is a total and complete scam. Guessing a disgruntled customer tossed it out their car window in disgust.

D

Vanilla Card does NOT honor its Terms and Conditions and created internal processes preventing the activation of the Gift Card. Stay away from purchasing this gift card.

M
Dec 05, 2021 9:53 am EST

I purchased a Vanilla gift card from Walmart for $200! After i purchased it and went to use it the card was declined and after i checked the balance there was only .14 cents on the card! It had 2 pending transactions on it one for 197 and the other for 2.30 for pay pal! I reached out to the cardholder and they told me to reach out to pay pal and they told me it would take 15 calendar days to resolve the issue cause it was used fraudulently! Now i am waiting for my 200$ to be refunded to my card! Never ever will i buy this card ever again! I understand its not the vanilla cards fault but its also NOT my fault either! But at the end of the day Vanilla is responsible for their product! And they treat innocent customers like myself like we are the problem! Bad customer service!

F
Dec 24, 2021 3:51 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

At least you were to speak to someone. I spent an hour trying to get a human on the phone for the same problem you had. Bought a $200 card and it would not work. They told me to contact the seller (Walmart) and Walmart told me they couldn't do anything, that it was on Vanilla. My situation still has not been resolved. I even called Mastercard and the bank listed on the back of the card. Both stated it was not their problem. This has been a nightmare. DO NOT BUY VANILLA GIFT CARDS!

R
Jan 28, 2020 9:25 am EST

A fraudulent Company taking advantage of it's customers. I purchased a $50 dollar Visa Gift Card directly from the company site at vanillagift.com Upon trying to use the card over multiple vendors I continued to get declined stating that the card was invalid.

After calling the company and having to use the Lost or Stolen option (you will not reach a human otherwise). I was told not all vendors accept their cards. Problem is, this is not the first Vanilla gift card I have purchased. Just the first one I Purchased DIRECTLY from THEM.

I am then told I have to take it up with the retailer! THEY ARE THE RETAILER, after asking for a supervisor I had to repeatedly tell her I bought it from them. To which then her answer was, we do not issue refunds on VIRTUAL cards!

I asked repeatedly for a number or physical mailing address to their LEGAL department to which I was told they do not have that information.

THIS IS CONSUMER FRAUD!

R
Apr 23, 2019 6:24 pm EDT

I just added money to my Vanilla card. When I called for the balance because the back of my card had 3 numbers on it not 4. They said they would hold my card unless I provided them with certain documents. I just put that money on the card to pay my medical insurance. It will be canceled if it is not paid! I will hold Vanilla responsible for any medical bill I get!

C
Apr 01, 2019 1:44 pm EDT

I received a $100.00 Vanilla Visa gift card for a Christmas gift 2019. I went to use it on E bay and found it only had $0.39 left on it. Someone used the card on Pay Pal .

I received a $100.00 Vanilla Visa gift card for a Christmas gift 2019. I went to use it on E bay and found it only had $0.30 left on it.

i

R
Jun 12, 2017 10:59 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I was given a $50 Visa Gift card by a neighbor for helping her fix her roof. It was 3 weeks old and I went to use it at a restaurant.
The server told me the card was only good for $41. I showed him the receipt for $50 and he just said Visa has fees.
VISA GIFT CARDS ARE AN ENORMOUS RIP OFF! DO NOT BUY THEM, THEY ARE A SCAM

C
Apr 04, 2019 2:06 pm EDT
Replying to comment of RobSMoberg

Why are these cards still sold. Why isn't there a investigation?

C
Oct 20, 2016 1:46 pm EDT

Total Rip off my children bout these for my birthday and were never used i found them in my desk and saw they had expired. So I called to replace and when I contacted Vanilla they said they were activated and the fees ate the 100.00 worth of credit. I never opened the gift cards and they were never activated so what, joke, so beware

O
Dec 07, 2015 1:41 pm EST

Vanilla Gift Card is a total rip-off- I gave a $25. gift Card to a young who had a new baby. She could not redeem goods with it...embarrassing. I contact the customer service department to no avail. I had to her cash and take back this useless card. Vanilla owes me $25. And I am expecting to be reimbursed. Signed Retiree

E
Jan 04, 2014 7:38 am EST

Beware of Alexis Patterson of Louisville Kentucky on Facebook she says she works for vanilla reload for example
Buy a card she can add zero's $300 to $3000 but when you give her the info she blocks. You from her facebook and emptys the card

T
Jun 04, 2013 3:58 pm EDT

I'm not surprised to read about the scam and all these complaints about VANILLA VISA gift cards. As a merchant, I've seen a few of these Vanilla Visa gift cards at the retail level. Of three incidents where buyers used the Vanilla card for payment, all three incidents turned out to be fraudulent. So basically it sounds like the company, Vanilla Visa, is stealing not only from the consumer, but from the merchants as well, by claiming that the charges were fraudulent and should be charged back. On the other hand, I have to say in hindsight that the particular buyers who presented the Vanilla Visa gift cards were themselves shady characters who not only used Vanilla Visa cards, but other gift cards (Target, etc.) as well -- all turning out to be the subject of fraud analysis. Perhaps they were using these gift cards but somehow loaded the cards with stolen accountholder data, hence the fraud. Or the gift cards could have been purchased with different credit cards that contained stolen cardholder info.

O
Feb 07, 2013 9:11 pm EST

I put 100 dollars on this card and when I first tried to use it, it failed. I called their customer service number on the back [protected]. It asked me to enter the 16 digit number and press # so I carefully did and pressed # and it said it was invalid. Did that about 3 times and I got so disappointed I found this page and was going to rant but then I went to their website www.vanillavisa.com and entered the info carefully and it said I had all the money there so i thought "Why cant i use it then?" Then it had a column that said "register card" and had you enter your zip code. I did that and tried again with their customer service. Turns out they were trying to say more words for me to enter stuff like the cvv and the expiration date before I press # but I was doing it so quickly and pressing pound that I didn't hear them until I slowed down. WAIT TO HEAR WHAT THE SERVICE PEOPLE SAY BEFORE PRESSING THE # BUTTON! That's what I did and now I can use this card :)

F
Apr 16, 2012 2:15 pm EDT

Someone mentioned something about the maintenance fee to cover servers, etc. and as a software engineer I will be first to say this is complete s*** and that comment was probably from a plant working for the bank. That $4.95 just to buy the damn thing will more than cover "server costs" 20 times over and then some. Stick with store gift cards

A
Apr 02, 2012 2:19 pm EDT

I bought a 100.00 dollar vanilla gift card at the end of march 2012, I try to pay my bill and it was beeing decleine! we try getting ahold of a customer representative but all you get is a stuppid machine repeting it self... never ever buy a vanilla visa card. Does any one know were to call or who to get ahold off.?

R
Feb 20, 2012 9:22 pm EST

On December 20th 2011 I bought a Visa Prepaid Gift Card for my husband for a Christmas gift. This was a $75.00 Gift Card which I also paid $5.50 for an activation fee. The card in total cost me $80.50. When my husband went to use the card he was unable to do so. Apparently the company packaged the cards wrong and we did not receive a working card. We call them immediately and were unable to fix this issue over the phone. The request that we fax the front and back of the card, the package and the store receipt of the purchased card. We did this beginning of January and a week later we were told they could not read the numbers on the front of the card. So I went back to staples and re-faxed it again on 20 Jan. One month later and no calls or new card I call them again. Apparently they still can’t read the front of the card and can’t give us our money back or a new card. So as of right now Vanilla Visa has stolen our money and wont do anything to fix. I am going to be trying a new method of getting my money back by scanning the stupid card in color. Maybe now they can read it and stop stealing our money. If any of you out there were affected by this leave a post.

Also to those out there that bought these cards from Shoppers Drug Mart and did not retain a receipt and lost their money because they will not reimburse you or send you a new card without one, Please leave a post with your story. Maybe we can get enough followers on this group that we will get their attention and everyone can get their money back. My advice never again by a Visa Prepaid Gift Card!

Join the group below
http://www.facebook.com/groups/177740905672089/

D
Jun 24, 2011 3:58 pm EDT

This card is a scam! DO NOT BUY THIS CARD! They use restaurants as a way to snag 20% without you knowing it. If you use a $50 card, only $40 of is usable at a restaurant because Vanilla withholds the $10 as a supposed tip the restaurant may want to add on later. Who does that? Why do they care what tip I leave? I'll explain why they do this. They claim they hold the funds and them put the funds back after 8 days if no tip is added. Of course at the moment of purchase the waiter comes back to you and says you only have $40 left on the card so most people would think the card must be maxed out and discard it. But they don't know they will get their money back in 8 days. They just snagged your $10 bucks! This company should be out of business for pulling this obnoxious trickery!

F
May 26, 2011 1:16 am EDT

Don't buy them. And for the jerks that keep posting rude statements about researching this product. Here's a factoid: VanillaVisa Gift card asserts it can be used anywhere THAT'S ANYWHERE Visa is accepted. Wrong. PayPal won't touch them because Vanilla Visa won't allow you to register your address, only a zip code. And as for the kid that stated that they have to charge after 6 months, because it costs them too much for their servers, you are about as intelligent as a grape. The data takes no space, number one, and it was 13 months, before they decided to change it to 7 months. Figure out the balance, find a store that does split transactions and zero the balance yourself. These ### don't deserve the money.

S
Apr 26, 2011 12:53 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

Tried to use the gift card, DECLINED! was asked by the wait staff to hang around until card was accepted. (a little embarrassed in front my guest) finally when it was accepted minus twenty dollars I was on my way. Tried to pull up web site to see why there was such a difference from the face value to actual value and computer gave me a warning NOT TO OPEN SITE. So I would not recommend purchasing this card.

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