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  1. #1
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    VistaPrint Selling Phone Numbers?
    This is so unexpected that I had to share it:

    I just got a call from a number I didn't recognize: 888-682-0313.

    So, I asked the Big G whose number it was, and got this page:
    http://whocalled.us/lookup/8886820313

    I had expected that the caller had just scraped the whois records, but to my surprise, it turns out that isn't the case. Seems that it's some telemarketer that VistaPrint sold the number to (read the comments towards the end of the page)!

    Other comments on that page mention a web design company, and even Discover Merchant Services. But, it'd be easy for VistaPrint to figure out who's got a site. After all, webmasters are going to have the web address printed on their stuff, so it's pretty obvious. So I'm going for VistaPrint, possibly selling the number to a web-design place.

    As for a Discover connection, that sounds like it's bull. The real Discover leaves messages, not to mention using both email and snail mail in an effort to make merchants miraculously find the 1 active user of the Discover Network that's supposedly out there (There's way more Visa and MC txns.)

    I guess too many people have learned how to navigate the gauntlet of sneaky add-ons, so now they're resorting to using their "established business relationship" to get by the DoNotCall list.

    It's too bad, because they have pretty good products, but I suppose I shouldn't have expected any better from a place that's already got a minefield of tricks set up for those coming to their confirmation page.

  2. #2
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    I was just on that whocalledus site a few minutes ago. Had 2 calls from Canada, I guess the Do Not Call list doesn't apply and wondering if I'm going to start getting more from our friends up North.

  3. #3
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Vista print bought a new company a year or so ago and that company has been harrasing their customers for some time now

  4. #4
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    I sympathize. I used to get unsolicited stuff from VistaPrint too. ugh...

  5. #5
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up Leader. I'll avoid them like the plague.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I'd like to avoid them too, but I haven't found another CHEAP (but products don't *look* cheap) printer of magnets and other stuff like that. Lots of places have cheap business cards for sale, but when it comes to the less-common things, the others either don't do it at all, or want lots of money for it. I'll check out any recommendations anyone has!

    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    Vista print bought a new company a year or so ago and that company has been harrasing their customers for some time now
    Oh, really! So that means they're probably responsible for at least some other no-message mystery calls I've gotten. Hmph!

    I haven't been inundated with calls like a lot of the people on that list, at least, I don't *think* I have. Usually I have my phone off all day (I only had it on yesterday to expedite some business), so maybe I've just missed the other 10,000 attempts...

  7. #7
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    When you make a deal with the devil you have to pay the price. I've read posts elsewhere on ABW where vista is "recommended" with a caveat. But no matter what the warning, I see the responses like Leader's where Cheap is the deciding factor.

    Now you are all pretty savvy people when it comes to recognizing affiliate scams and other bug-a-boos of the business but it seems as soon as the word Cheap is mentioned common sense is placed aside.

    They have to make up the difference somehow and it will be any way they can. Of course they are selling your personal info, that is a given.

    A lot of companies are finding gold in customer data and the lure of Free and Cheap keep reeling em in. Or in this blatant example, just sell it all; Comcast

    Now I suppose you could say that getting something Cheap is a fair trade off as long as you can stand a couple of annoying phone calls. But I think it is kind of hypocritical of an affiliate marketer to continue to support a business model that is always exposed here in the forums. Most of you would not send one click to a company that you knew sold customer data like vista does. If you don't support legitimate businesses or just ones that don't sell all your info then all we will have left are companies like vista. I will and have paid more for products and services to make sure I don't have to worry about a company subsidizing their income with my personal data.

  8. #8
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    aRealHoot, cheap or inexpensive pricing is not the deciding factor of whether a merchant is honest or dishonest. To suggest that a merchant that can offer a lower price is a real disservice to merchants that have streamlined their manufacturing, bought in larger quantities from their suppliers or have otherwise reduced their costs and passed that savings on to their customers.

    I am neither naive or stupid and strongly believe that most people are honest (perhaps that is naive and stupid) and unless I see a red flag that a particular merchant is doing something dishonest (and cheap ain't it) I see no reason to avoid them.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by aRealHoot
    When you make a deal with the devil you have to pay the price.
    I will and have paid more for products and services to make sure I don't have to worry about a company subsidizing their income with my personal data.
    You're right. That's what you get for FREE business card or whatever...
    You pay the price one way of an other.
    I don't do business with companies like Vistaprint. Fraud is written all over in pretty colored letters.

  10. #10
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    I'd like to avoid them too, but I haven't found another CHEAP (but products don't *look* cheap) printer of magnets and other stuff like that. Lots of places have cheap business cards for sale, but when it comes to the less-common things, the others either don't do it at all, or want lots of money for it. I'll check out any recommendations anyone has!
    I have used both Vistaprint and PSPrint.com.

    I can definitely recommend PSprint. They have great prices and their products are high quality. (better than Vistaprint, in my opinion) Not sure if they carry magnets, but they carry postcards, brochures, stickers, biz cards, posters, signs, etc...

    PSPrint also encourages ordering through your affiliate link. Also, promo code "Miami" (from affiliate summit) gets you 20% off your order (expires today, 08/15)

  11. #11
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I never got free business cards from them, I paid for custom made cards.

  12. #12
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arealhoot
    When you make a deal with the devil you have to pay the price. I've read posts elsewhere on ABW where vista is "recommended" with a caveat. But no matter what the warning, I see the responses like Leader's where Cheap is the deciding factor.

    Now you are all pretty savvy people when it comes to recognizing affiliate scams and other bug-a-boos of the business but it seems as soon as the word Cheap is mentioned common sense is placed aside.
    Some things are worth paying extra for.

    Swag stuff like the magnets aren't among those things.


    But I think it is kind of hypocritical of an affiliate marketer to continue to support a business model that is always exposed here in the forums.
    I think you're just looking for a cheap way to feel superior

    You obviously don't know my opinions enough to comment. Otherwise you would know that I don't go riding around here riding the "moral outrage" bandwagons. So you're barking up the wrong tree. There's no hypocrisy in me dealing with VistaPrint.

    Even in this thread, my point wasn't a "moral outrage" holier-than-thou issue, it was that I was irked as a customer!

    Quote Originally Posted by ZDig
    I can definitely recommend PSprint.
    Thanks, I'll check them out.
    Last edited by Leader; August 15th, 2007 at 04:05 PM. Reason: spelling~!

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    *Twiddles thumbs, waiting for the (expected-to-be) trollish response to be posted*

  14. #14
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    One other gripe I have about Vistaprint: the prices change depending on how you came into the site. If you come straight in, if you are a return customer, or by affiliate link, or by some marketing partner, the prices are all over the place! I'm not sure whats up with that, but it is annoying to question whether the prices you're seeing are the lowest available.

    Tip to online printers: just give me the straight-up price, keep in consistent, keep it fair...and I'll be back for more. (so far, psprint fits the bill)
    Last edited by Zdig; August 15th, 2007 at 05:17 PM. Reason: added comment

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zdig
    One other gripe I have about Vistaprint: the prices change depending on how you came into the site. If you come straight in, if you are a return customer, or by affiliate link, or by some marketing partner, the prices are all over the place! I'm not sure whats up with that, but it is annoying to question whether the prices you're seeing are the lowest available.
    (btw, the "thumb-twiddling" comment wasn't for you...)

    Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I just don't go to their site at all unless they've sent one of their gajillion "FREE!!" emails! So I hadn't seen the bouncing-ball prices for a while.

    I can see hiding the email deals from the regular traffic, but I don't see the point in changing the prices for coming in off of other links.

    Edit: I looked at PsPrint, their prices are okay, but they don't have any magnets. And for the postcards I looked at, the "short-run" economy ones have "10pt" paper. I'm not sure how thin/thick that is, so I can't really compare. And to get the regular ones ("14pt glossy") they make you buy 500, which is way more than I need...

  16. #16
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    (btw, the "thumb-twiddling" comment wasn't for you...)
    i know

    just thought i would vent a little more

  17. #17
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    Leader: I think you're just looking for a cheap way to feel superior You obviously don't know my opinions enough to comment. Otherwise you would know that I don't go riding around here riding the "moral outrage" bandwagons. So you're barking up the wrong tree. There's no hypocrisy in me dealing with VistaPrint. Even in this thread, my point wasn't a "moral outrage" holier-than-thou issue, it was that I was irked as a customer!
    With me having such a small presence on planet ABW (post total) I suppose you feel it is necessary to make sure that I am put in my place as I've seen many of the "old timers" here do on a regular basis. I understand and appreciate your position here but I think you missed my point completely.

    I see many merchants exposed here as not being affiliate friendly and then several ABW members will rip them apart (many times with good cause) for the good of the affiliate community. I applaud that endeavor as it helps us all. I understand the frustration you all feel at finding a bad or ignorant merchant that seems to have no clue as I have dealt with those merchants also.

    But the point of my post is that I've seen vistaprint touted as good or okay here on this board in spite of the fact that their business model is one that would be outed as a bad merchant to be avoided as an affiliate. That is the hypocrisy I am pointing out.

    From reading ABW over the years I've followed the dynamics of the board and it is pretty much like many large forums. I wholly expect to be banned for expressing an opinion that is perhaps not understood or misconstrued. Like many of my colleagues we don't normally post on boards like this because it is so hard for some people to remove personal feelings from a post. I don't have the time to write between the lines so that my posts are not read between the lines.

    rematt - cheap or inexpensive pricing is not the deciding factor of whether a merchant is honest or dishonest. To suggest that a merchant that can offer a lower price is a real disservice to merchants that have streamlined their manufacturing, bought in larger quantities from their suppliers or have otherwise reduced their costs and passed that savings on to their customers.
    Of course not, but with an online business like vistaprint you have ask whether the price of the product is worth the price of doing business with them. That same question is asked by many affiliates when they first evaluate a merchant.

    Leader, I just noticed your troll comment and I find that both petty and an excellent example of the reason why many people I know who could add a lot to ABW do not post on this forum. One thing I learned a long time ago was that I should never dismiss anyone and what that person may be able to teach me. Once I stop believing I can learn from others no matter who they are, I cease to grow and become stagnant.

  18. #18
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    "But the point of my post is that I've seen vistaprint touted as good or okay here on this board in spite of the fact that their business model is one that would be outed as a bad merchant to be avoided as an affiliate. That is the hypocrisy I am pointing out."

    To me that's just differing opinions since we all have different factors on what constitutes a good merchant. We are all individuals/businesses. As far as your other colleagues/other people, I mean c'mon. Usually that's not real and it's some imaginary backup team. If you feel it's one sided or whatever, tell them to join and post. It's that simple. Most successful people I know have no problem in expressing their own opinions on matters. Nobody is banning you or stopping you from expressing yours, so that shouldn't be used as an excuse.

    "But I think it is kind of hypocritical of an affiliate marketer to continue to support a business model that is always exposed here in the forums."

    What if an affiliate is making sales and their site visitors like them? There's something I don't like at checkout with Drugstore.com but they're one of my best converting merchants and converting means people are buying from them which means they like them. Should I pull them because someone here has a problem with them? I'm not.

  19. #19
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aRealHoot
    Of course not, but with an online business like vistaprint you have ask whether the price of the product is worth the price of doing business with them. That same question is asked by many affiliates when they first evaluate a merchant
    Unfortunately I don't get your reference. I've had no dealings with Vista Print and therefor had no negative or positive impression of them. In fact the only negative I've heard to date is this thread. That being said I now have a reason to avoid Vista Print.

    Perhaps you have developed a formula that helps you identify merchants "like" Vista Print, if you have please share it with us. If price is the only way that you can determine the honesty of a merchant than you're going to pay more for just about everything. By the same token "cheap" is never the deciding factor of whether I buy from one vendor or another either. I tend to rely on word of mouth (from trusted sources), consumer complaints (must be taken with a grain of salt) and past experiences I may have had with a particular vendor.

    If you've had a bad experience with them than please share that information with us. If you read posts that recommended Vista and didn't share your negative experience than you're no help at all. Criticism after the fact is pretty useless.


    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Leader, I just noticed your troll comment and I find that both petty and an excellent example of the reason why many people I know who could add a lot to ABW do not post on this forum.
    I don't really care how you "find" it.

    You came into this thread with a chip on your shoulder, and surprise! I'm more than willing to tell it like it is! I thoroughly expected you to make a troll response, so I said so. And, your (earlier in your post) comment about expecting a ban tells me that you intended to do exactly that.

    One thing I learned a long time ago was that I should never dismiss anyone and what that person may be able to teach me. Once I stop believing I can learn from others no matter who they are, I cease to grow and become stagnant.
    Oh, garg.

    I was going to write a decent rebuttal, but such utter BS sanctimoniusness really isn't deserving of serious efforts.

  21. #21
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aRealHoot
    From reading ABW over the years I've followed the dynamics of the board and it is pretty much like many large forums. I wholly expect to be banned for expressing an opinion that is perhaps not understood or misconstrued. Like many of my colleagues we don't normally post on boards like this because it is so hard for some people to remove personal feelings from a post. I don't have the time to write between the lines so that my posts are not read between the lines.
    If you don't want to post...don't post...I don't get it? Yes, on almost any forums if you express an opinion someone might disagree. If you just like to read and "lurk" that's totally cool.

  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Vistaprint is registered in Bermuda and conducts 80% of it's business operations outside of the US. They were originally from France, moved to the US in 2000, then moved offshore to Bermuda in 2002. Just an opinion, but I think they did this not only to avoid paying taxes (Bermuda is tax free for corps), but also to more easily avoid US restrictions on certain types of activites. They have been blacklisted for spam many times over the years and I believe that situation was a main driver of their move to go offshore.

    (http://www.secinfo.com/d14D5a.z3wz2.htm)
    From their earlier prospectus:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A percentage of our revenues are derived from offers made to our customers by third parties who have had their business practices challenged in the past.
    We currently derive a portion of our revenues from order referral fees paid to us by merchants for customer click-throughs and orders. In general, these third parties offer memberships in discount programs or similar promotions to customers who have purchased products from us and we receive a payment from the third party for every customer that accepts the promotion. We believe these programs deliver significant benefit to those of our customers who choose them and that the terms of each party’s offers are clear and unambiguous. However, certain of these third parties have been the subject of consumer complaints and litigation alleging that their enrollment and billing practices violate various consumer protection laws or are otherwise deceptive. We have from time to time received complaints from customers regarding these programs. Customer dissatisfaction or a termination of these relationships could have a negative impact on our brand and our revenues.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Smells like reservation rewards / ap9 shopping essentials scam stuff...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Our practice of offering free products and services could be subject to additional judicial or regulatory challenge.
    We regularly offer free products as an inducement for customers to try our products. Although we believe that we conspicuously and clearly communicate all details and conditions of these offers—for example, that customers are required to pay shipping, handling and/or processing charges to take advantage of the free product offer—we have in the past, and may in the future, be subject to claims from individuals or governmental regulators that our free offers are misleading or do not comply with applicable legislation. For example, one of our subsidiaries and our predecessor corporation were named as defendants in a class action lawsuit alleging that the shipping and handling fees we charged in connection with our free business card offer violates sections of the California Business and Professions Code. Our free product offers could be subject to challenge in other jurisdictions in the future. If we are subject to further actions in the future, or if we are compelled or determine to curtail or eliminate our use of free offers as the result of any such actions, our business prospects and results of operations could be materially harmed.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    FTC has been investigating all the free shenanigan stuff - VistaPrint does tons of it - just a matter of time before they are negatively impacted.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "We ... contract for targeted e-mail marketing services from vendors such as AzoogleAds.com and MyPoints"
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yeah, we know, we all get the emails by the truckload.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Government Regulation
    We are not currently subject to direct national, federal, state, provincial or local regulation other than regulations applicable to businesses generally or directly applicable to online commerce. The European Union, however, has extensive personal data privacy, electronic mail solicitation and other directives. Several states of the United States have proposed legislation to limit the uses of personal user information gathered online or require online companies to establish privacy policies. We do not currently provide individual personal information regarding our users to third parties without the user’s permission.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I find the "We are not currently subject to direct national, federal, state, provincial or local regulation other than regulations applicable to businesses generally or directly applicable to online commerce." interesting...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Bermuda law permits a company to indemnify its directors and officers, except in respect of their fraud or dishonesty. Our bye-laws indemnify our directors and officers in their capacity as such in respect of any loss arising or liability attaching to them by virtue of any rule of law in respect of any negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust of which a director or officer may be guilty in relation to us other than in respect of his own fraud or dishonesty, which is the maximum extent of indemnification permitted under the Companies Act.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    And when the executives have set things up, like moving the company to Bermuda, to protect themselves against liability, I smell something rotten.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    VistaPrint Limited operates, and intends to continue to operate, in such a manner that it will not be considered to be conducting a trade or business within the United States for purposes of United States federal income taxation. Whether a trade or business is being conducted in the United States is an inherently factual determination. Because the Code, Treasury Regulations and court decisions fail to identify definitively which activities constitute a trade or business in the United States, we cannot assure prospective investors that the Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, will not contend that VistaPrint Limited is or will be engaged in a trade or business in the United States, or that a court will not sustain such a contention.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Tax dodgers!

    Google for it and you'll find very long lists of burnt customers! Here's just one example of a site containing long lists of overbilled , scammed, tricked customers:
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/online/vistaprint.html

    It's disgusting that this kind of behavior is tolerated in our country. To me it's worse still when they move offshore to screw us with impugnity.

  23. #23
    15 years and counting
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    I you sell a phone number why not a credit card #
    They use an ersatz MetaReward, too.
    "AP9 VPRewardsUs and/or IK9 VP Rewards US are the billing descriptions that may appear on your credit card statement or other billing source statement if you have enrolled in VistaPrint RewardsSM a program administered by Adaptive Marketing LLC."
    http://www.vprewardsus-program.com/V...sUS_qanda.html
    http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/...Off0137239.htm

  24. #24
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    Due diligence in regards to vistaprint

    Google search
    vistaprint scam
    vistaprint spam

    (I see Donuts beat me to the details, good research)

    This alone does not condemn vistaprint but it has been my experience that when a company employs such tactics they are also involved in marketing programs that would raise a red flag.

    A company I recently worked with as a adviser had in place several, what I like to call, back door programs. They were proprietary systems I had not seen before. But the key was they were very effective marketing tools that as an affiliate I would not want to see on any site I promoted. Part of what this company was doing is similar to what vistaprint is doing including the use of personal info for monetary gain. Phone calls from telemarketers is only scratching the surface.

    From the standpoint of the company I worked with, using those marketing techniques was a no brainer as it added greatly to their bottom line. For me it was eye opening and somewhat disappointing to see the flagrant disregard of a customers trust. But the mindset of many companies today is one of success/profit at any cost.

    My own online businesses encompass several different venues including affiliate marketing so I like to keep close watch on these programs and tactics.

    So now back to my original statement, why would an affiliate support a company like vistaprint as a customer when they would not promote them as an affiliate?

    Leader, I suppose I need to reply to your last post as it seems you want make it personal between us and you are now anticipating my feverish troll response. Sorry to disappoint you but I am here to learn and exchange ideas. If for whatever reason that irks you, too bad as I am not here to please or submit to your bullying. If you need to now ban me to keep the status quo it will be of no consequence to me.

  25. #25
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    I am working for a small company right now who just got rid of one of their affiliates for over-emailing their clients. Their not the juggernaut that Vista print is but their very honest.

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