The Short Of It
Buying prints from Shutterbug causes you to be - involuntarily and unknowingly - signed up with some scam outfit
Consumer Reports WebWatch:
"...Generates consumer complaints but are
legal -- which is all the more reason to
understand how such businesses operate,
and what Internet shoppers need to do to
prevent unwanted credit card charges online."
which will bill you automatically, forever, it seems.
The Boring Details
The scammers are called 'RESERVATION REWARDS' Webloyalty and they will bill you forever, presumably, if you don't call to put a stop to it [ 800 / 732-7031 ]. Unless you happen to catch this theft on your credit card billing, you will never notice that anything is wrong. RESERVATION REWARDS is a silent biller -- it never sends you anything in the mail.
No service was offered to me.
Repeated - m u l t i p l e - email request for a refund from Shutterbug yielded a deaf ear. RESERVATION REWARDS does the billing and it does give a refund -- but initially not a 100 percent refund! When I called to have my credit card charges reversed, RESERVATION REWARDS gave me only one month's refund but not a refund for all four months for which it had been billing my credit card. I had to call back to remind them to fix that also!
Don't do business with shutterfly.com. Apparently they trick you into signing up for a $10 coupon but doing this actually triggers a monthly billing by Sutterfly.com's friends / business partner, RESERVATION REWARDS. This is what I was told after calling RESERVATION REWARDS. Calling Shutterfly is useless .. you are kept on hold and nobody ever speaks with you. And you never get a coupon in the mail... I think this is a scam and that Shutterfly is unethical in having this relationship with RESERVATION REWARDS.
The Internet is full of stories of complaints about RESERVATION REWARDS (Google) (c|net).
Don't help Shutterfly cheat people!
The Internet has many complaints about the billing practices of shutterfly.com (Google ). Shutterfly.com is unethical, in my opinion.
My credit card statements - four months' worth:
Consumer Reports: Shutterfly Embroiled in Internet "Scam"
In 2009 ShutterFly engaged in a practice in which a hidden or difficult to understand offer, disclosed in relatively small print, was made during the order process to obtain a $10 discount.
Unbeknown to most users, this resulted in a $12 monthly charge to the victim's credit card which would continue forever. This charge appeared on victims' monthly credit card statements as "RESERVATION REWARDS / Webloyalty". Consumer Reports, a US based consumer watchdog publication stated that "Internet message boards are filled with complaints about Webloyalty, a Connecticut-based firm whose business tactics have raised the ire of consumer-advocacy groups. Webloyalty makes its money from customers who pay monthly fees for consumer discount clubs it operates. A consumer enrolls in these clubs by simply filling out an on-line rebate form like the one [...] on a partner [ShutterFly] site.
This enrollment automatically triggers the transfer of personal credit card data from on-line retailers to Webloyalty, thereby making consumers paid subscribers
of Webloyalty's services as well -- often without being aware of it."
It usually takes months of calling RESERVATION REWARDS repeatedly for victims to receive their refund. (See a blog page here: [http://nowscape.com/suck/Shutterfly.htm])
Link: Ofoto -- a Kodak company
After asking Shutterfly about this, THIS, here is its emailed response:
Date: January 6, 2011
Subject: reservation rewards [Incident: 110106-000088]
If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may reopen it within the next 7 days.
Dear Shutterfly Customer,
There was a website that you went to that you had to provide your email address twice and your credit card number. There was even a whole page of information that you had to read over that explained how everything worked. We could not sign you up for this and we can't refund you any money because we didn't take any from you. We have issued you a number for you to call to the reservation rewards so that they may handle this for you listed below:
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Shutterfly.
Shutterfly Customer Service
Don't Forget to Follow Us at:
Shutterfly Community Blog - http://blog.shutterfly.com/
Shutterfly Facebook Fan Page - http://www.facebook.com/shutterfly
Shutterfly Twitter Page - http://twitter.com/Shutterfly
Link ShutterFly Embroiled in Internet "Scam" -- Wikipedia
What can you do ?
Link: Peter Dizikes Special to Consumer Reports WebWatch
When Randall Wilson, a Consumer Reports WebWatch reader and antiques retailer in New Jersey, clicked on a seemingly harmless rebate coupon last year after completing an online purchase, he was in for a surprise.
Unknowingly, Wilson had allowed the company Webloyalty to obtain his credit card information and charge him for services he did not realize he was purchasing -- a mistake that took Wilson months to clear up.
"If they got me, they can get anyone," says Wilson, an experienced Internet user. "I never get caught in these traps."
Indeed, Internet message boards are filled with complaints about Webloyalty, a Connecticut-based firm whose business tactics have raised the ire of consumer-advocacy groups. Webloyalty makes its money from customers who pay monthly fees for consumer discount clubs it operates. A consumer enrolls in these clubs by simply filling out an online rebate form like the one Wilson saw on a partner site. This enrollment automatically triggers the transfer of personal credit card data from online retailers to Webloyalty, thereby making consumers paid subscribers of Webloyalty's services as well -- often without being aware of it.
The company's methods generate consumer complaints but are legal -- which is all the more reason to understand how such businesses operate, and what Internet shoppers need to do to prevent unwanted credit card charges online.
The Accidental Subscriber
Wilson's experience exemplifies the Webloyalty approach: Upon making a purchase on Allposters.com, an online poster and print store, an ad popped onto Wilson's computer screen for a site called ReservationRewards.com. The ad made a seemingly simple offer: In exchange for filling out an online form requesting basic information, including an e-mail address, Wilson would get a $10 rebate coupon for his purchase.
While he never got the rebate, he did, however, start getting a small monthly charge on his credit card account, which he did not recognize and initially shrugged off. "I noticed a $9 charge," says Wilson. "I thought it was just some little fee."
But by filling out the form for the rebate, he had become a paying member of ReservationRewards.com, which is a Webloyalty discount club offering travel bargains -- an arrangement disclosed in relatively small print on the form. When Wilson discovered who was charging him the $9 per month, he was surprised, since he had not typed his credit card number into the rebate form ...
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Last updated: November, 2013 Publisher's statement: Any inaccuracies will be corrected, if brought to publisher's attention.
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Do these things suck? ~~ Unpleasant experiences with companies, professionals and organizations. Scams.