By now, most of us know that when something says it’s free, it is very likely not true. Lately, there has been an influx of so-called penny auctions. Some are legitimate sites, but many are tapping into this new wave, and taking advantage of unsuspecting customers. ZBiddy.com is one of those unscrupulous sites in my opinion.
Here’s how they trick you…
You land on their front page, and it explains how you can, for example, get a $200 product for only $8.26. It sounds good, and with all the press some other sites have had, people tend to think it’s legitimate. So, you click on “sign up”.
That click takes you to a page where it asks for your name and email address. There’s a little more info about how you could win auctions at amazing prices. So far, so good.
The next page asks for your credit card info. Sounds reasonable enough. Obviously if you are going to be bidding and buying you expect this. Nowhere on that page does it say you are about to buy something. But beware, if you put in your credit card info, the next page says, “Thank you for your purchase for $99!”
Then, you call the customer service number and explain how you’ve been mislead, and they promise to refund your money. So, you check your email and it says they will refund your money, in 5-7 business days!
This is what happened to me today. I still haven’t gotten my money back yet. I’ll let you know in a few days if and when I do.
UPDATE: The next day I DID receive my refund in full. I also tried a little test…
On a friends computer, I went to the site, put in a different email address and name, and after that, it took me to a page where I can pick which amount of bids I want to buy. Now they appear to be completely legitimate.
So, my conclusion is this- My first experience was through a spammy offer that said, “Complete any two of these offers and get a free Dell laptop”. (That ad was on Publishers Clearing House website- a legitimate site.) When I clicked through that link, it forced me to buy the $99 bid package. So, maybe zbiddy is a legitimate company, but the one who sent me there wasn’t. Either way, I count myself lucky to get my money back, and I’m staying away.