Have you tried GrabSwag.com? Did you bid and win, or should we ask, did you sign up, give them your credit card and get a $99 fee without your knowledge?
If so, you may want to check your bank statement, but next time be a little bit more careful not to give your credit card information to any site on the Internet. It seems as if there are too many penny auction sites that have been charging consumers a fee unbeknownst to them.
We just came across GrabSwag.com from a sneaky affiliate marketer who commented on the “Fly Free Thanks to the US Mint” Forbes’ article on Yahoo, on how they won so many items on the penny auction site “BidsNew.” Bidsnew.com is just their affiliate link to GrabSwag.com.
So we went to check out GrabSwag.com and found that their site isn’t much different from other penny auction sites’ questionable, in my opinion, affiliate marketing pages.
But what really gets us, is how these guys are marketing right on their very own sign up page.
From the top, GrabSwag.com claims themselves to be “the #1 Penny Auction Site.” They then show symbols for the major news networks: ABC, WIRED, The Economist, TIME, Rolling Stone, PC Magazine, Entrepreneur, MSNBC, and USA Today. Then, below, “Never Pay Retail Again! Save Up to 95%” they tell consumers to “Complete the form below and GET 10 FREE BIDS.”
By entering your credit card on GrabSwag.com you will not just get 10 free bids, but a $99 charge.
At first glance, and I really looked the page over for a few seconds longer than some consumers might, I couldn’t find the terms or a price anywhere on the page – but then at second glance I found that by entering credit card information you won’t just get “10 free bids” but a charge of $99. The price and bid pack info is nested in such a way that the unsuspecting consumer may not see what they’re getting into.
Bid amounts and “Today’s Special Offer” Pop-ups
As I tried to leave the page I got the typical affiliate marketing pop-up telling me to wait and if I stayed I’d get a special offer, they make it sound like this offer is just for today. I closed it out and went to the site again, this time the offer pop-up changed as well as the bid amount to the right of the sign-up page:
Today’s Special Offer: Get an EXTRA 25 BIDS FREE! – Wait… Before You Go: We are giving a limited number of new sign-ups 25 EXTRA FREE BIDS at no additional cost! Now is your chance save as soon as you get started at GrabSwag!” The next time I went to the site and tried to leave, it showed 50 free bids.
GrabSwag.com seems to have 3 very different sign-up pages.
On the second sign-up page, (https://signup.grabswag.com/pg2v2c.php) both generated when going to GrabSwag.com – I found that the credit card section did not even have a terms & conditions link below it as the first did:
[Click screenshots to enlarge]
Notice that there are no terms & conditions on this second, different credit card page. The $99 charge is in very small,grey lettering.
For the most part, the items on GrabSwag seem to be cheap: a precision nose & ear trimmer, bid packs, 5pc bar sets, $25- $50 gift cards, a foot bath, barbeque tool set, 5 piece wrench set and a 6 cup rice steamer are all in today’s lineup, an iPod touch and Kindle on top.
Notice how there is not a terms & conditions link under the credit card box on the last two links. Also, notice how the $99 is in very small text and grey lettering.
Take a look at the following user review of GrabSwag.com on WhoScammedYou.com, notice how the reviewer notes that the terms & conditions link was not on the page when she signed up? The 3 different versions that we found is probably why.
“I AM ABSOLUTELY LIVID!!!!!
I found a link to grabswag.com and was hoping to get more information on the items that are in the auctions and how it all worked.
I went through each website screen carefully. On the first page, it asked for general information (such as name, email address, user name and password). Once completed, I clicked the button that said “I’m ready to start winning” and was brought to the second website page. This page had information on why grabswag was better than Ebay (I beg to differ…I at least know what I’m’ paying for and when with Ebay!!!) and as you scroll down to near the bottom, there is an area where you can enter your credit card. I thought that they just wanted it in case a bid was placed…BOY! WAS I WRONG!!!
After hitting the “I’m ready to start winning” button on the second page…I was immediately charged $99! ABSOLUTELY NO WHERE did this site say there would be a charge of ANY amount at ANY TIME!!
As soon as I saw the receipt – I used the number that was listed 888-467-4217 and spoke with an Agent . I told her that I had NOT intended to purchase anything, I didn’t have the funds in my budget. She proceeded to try and sell me an option that would only be $45. I told her “No” and that I needed get my money back. After several minutes of her continually trying to sell me more – I me saying “No” again…she finally got the message and worked on my refund.
After several minutes of her entering information on her computer, she finally said that my account had been closed and that a credit of $99 would be put back on my card anywhere between 7-10 business days. Now, isn’t that convenient for them – that it takes only milliseconds for the money to come out of my account, but 7-10 days to get it back!!
I asked her to tell me where in the website the information was on the $99 charge – she said it was in the Terms & Conditions section. (Note: this section was NOT available until after they had my money). I have looked the T&C section over and have NOT found anything pertaining to charges upon starting the membership.
I believe that this company is DECEITFUL in that there is no information on any type of charges PRIOR to signing up. SHAME ON YOU!!
To make it right – PLEASE list any information about charges someplace visible on your site and let people make their own decision if they want to join or not. It’s not right to snag people’s money when they are unsuspecting.”-Source http://whoscammedyou.com/scams/3342/Grabswag_Nextown_Technologies_LLC#
GrabSwag Wrongly Displays BBB Accredited Website Badge
As you’ll see on their index and screenshots, GrabSwag.com displays the BBB Accredited badge on their index page.
However, a search on the BBB’s website shows us that neither GrabSwag nor Nextown Technologies, LLC dba GrabSwag are accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Grabswag.com has a Webutation.com rating of 40/100 – Web of Trust rating: Very Poor
Nextown Technologies is an LLC registered with the State of Florida
Nextown Technologies is on Twitter, their only follower, a python developer, is from Miami, FL. So we went to the FL SOS and found their business filing record: http://ccfcorp.dos.state.fl.us/pdf/98041735.pdf Dane Hofbauer is listed as the registered agent.
Domain Whois Record: GRABSWAG.COM 220.127.116.11
Nextown Technologies – firstname.lastname@example.org
7380 SAND LAKE ROAD
The address both on the domain registry info & FL SOS belongs to Regus, a virtual office provider:
We couldn’t even find GrabSwag’s terms & conditions.
I tried to find GrabSwag’s terms & conditions page. When clicking on the bottom link on the main auction page, don’t ask me how to get to it – it’s not easy, you have to close a lot of busy index page’s and pop-ups and keep trying, but it’s there.
On July 11th one person tweeted that the spam from GrabSwag.com’s affiliate ID 1014 was killing him.
We’re not too sure about the spam beyond the post we found on the Forbes article, but we do know that their exit pop-up screens and redirects to the sign up page are a bit of a headache.
What do you think of GrabSwag?
Did you find a $99 charge on your bank statement and didn’t know you would?
Let us know. You might want to report these sneaky business tactics to the BBB, the FTC and the Attorney General in your state, see our Scam Reporting Directory for more information.
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Peter July 15, 2011, 8:55 pm
Crazy! I see another class action coming: http://www.scambook.com/group/view/4/GrabSwag.com
Justin July 16, 2011, 8:48 am
Umm, yeah, that is on thought Peter, but I see that this GrabSwag auction has a business registration in the state of Florida from above information:
Registrant : Nextown Technologies – email@example.com
7380 SAND LAKE ROAD STE. 500 Orlando FL 32819 US
Florida is not on the list of the 21 license free states:
“This information is as of April 2010- laws are always changing so make sure you do your homework:
“Here is an alphabetical list of the 21 license free states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming”
It would just make good sense to me to contact that state registry for information, as well as make an inquiry at the Florida Better Business Bureau to see if they will review GrabSwag. It is a service they will provide upon request and they may also be interested about the display of the BBB logo on the GrabSwag landing page. From above:
“However, a search on the BBB’s website shows us that neither GrabSwag nor Nextown Technologies, LLC dba GrabSwag are accredited by the Better Business Bureau.”
What do you think, Peter?
wmknave July 17, 2011, 2:15 pm
Even if you agree to pay the $99 and get your 157 (or so Bids), here’s how it works:
You find an IPod that is only going for 97 Cents!!! You bid on the IPod and the price goes up to 98 cents. Only a Penny!! But the bid actually cost you 75 cents. Your 157 bids only gives you $1.57 worth of bidding power (all for the low cost of $99).
Say you get into a bidding war with another member. They up the bid by a penny….you up the bid by a penny…and so on. When the cost of the IPod gets to $4.12, you have completely run out of your ability to bid any more (unless you buy new “Bids” for 75 cents apiece). It just cost you $99 to LOSE the Auction, and you only had $1.57 worth of bidding power. (97 Cents plus your $1.57, plus your competitors $1.58 = $4.12)
What’s to say that there aren’t bidders out there whose sole purpose is to outbid you, so that you NEVER win. (Like EBay – some unscrupulous people have two accounts – one seller and one bidder. Their Seller account puts an item up for sale, and then with their “Bidder” account, they always win the auction. (Since they’ve won their own auction, it doesn’t really cost them anything.) But now they know the Maximum amount that you were willing to pay for the item. So they send you an EMail saying “Sorry you didn’t win, But it just so happens that I have a second identical item for …(and it’s magically for the same amount as your maximum bid!!))
Harry Bowman July 17, 2011, 9:50 pm
I’ve been looking around, and Nextown Technologies is actually located at
235 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 532 6330
and a meetup for Django developers there contains several programmers who say they designed the GrabSwag site or worked for Nextown. They were headed by Paul Bissex of Cheapside, Massachusetts.
Barry July 18, 2011, 11:29 am
I saw the news article on a Fox affiliate website about Grabswag and how cool the site was. I went there to sign up and get an account and to my surprise and dismay was charged $99.00 for the ten free bids. No where did it suggest I was making a purchase nor did it provide the opportunity to confirm a purchase. This is a rip-off site. I have already contacted my credit card company to dispute this charge.
Barry July 18, 2011, 11:36 am
On further investigation the whole “news site” I was on is a hoax. I got to this site from a link. Here is the hoax site, looks good and I fell for it: http://www.consumerinfonews.com/deals-of-the-century/index4.html .
Shannon July 19, 2011, 1:33 pm
I clicked on the link posted on Facebook to learn more information about GrabSwag. I wanted to see what items were available and take advantage of their offer for 10 free bids. I entered my credit card information assuming it was for when I made bids and purchased something. There was nothing at all that indicated I would be charged $99.00 Before I knew it they had charged my credit card. There was no warning at all. I sent them an email demanding my money to refunded and verification that my credit card information was deleted from their records. I got no response to the email. I also called the number 888-467-4217 and was on hold for over 30 minutes. There was nothing in the hold message that even indicated I was called GrabSwag. It just continued to say, “Please continue to hold, the next available agent will be right with you.” Obviously, my call was never answered.
loina July 19, 2011, 1:35 pm
They pulled the same foolishness on me too… but I didn’t let them win. I was on the phone with them for the longest time speaking to manager after manager after manager. Eventually I told them that I would be going to BBB and to Visa’s fraud department. They offered to refund part of the $99 and I wouldn’t have it. I read to them their service agreement and enlightened them on its shortcomings which meant, anywhere we went-civil court, BBB, Credit Card fraud department, I would win. And in addition to getting my money back, I would also sue for damages. After consulting with another ‘manager’ they agreed to give me my money back. Once the money is back, I’ll cancel the card…
They are HORRIBLE and DISHONEST… I hope people read this before getting scammed!!
P. S. Spence July 20, 2011, 12:08 pm
GrabSwag is run by liars, without true intention of heart. The smallest of points they have overlooked will now put them in a lot of trouble. Let that begin Spirit
Ron July 20, 2011, 1:07 pm
I also contacted my cc company about a grabswag charge.
They refuse to give refunds on unused bids, even though their terms & conditions (#13) say otherwise.
I may also report them to the feds here:
Concerned Consumer July 20, 2011, 11:03 pm
To all those who may not have checked yet: Grabswag.com advertises on its homepage that it is a BBB Accredited company, using the BBB’s logo. It (Grabswag) is NOT accredited. Maybe try a complaint like that to start.
Rich July 24, 2011, 11:55 am
Just alerting you who aren’t familiar with the technology, all the auctions on the front page are fake.
If you refresh your browser you will see the timer for all products goes back in time. This is presumably so visitors to the site will see auctions being marked SOLD right before their eyes. But it is false. You will not be bidding against other users, your chances will be as random as the lottery. If they even let anyone win that is.
Rob July 24, 2011, 12:14 pm
There is also a forum website at pennyauction watch that complained about the scam of the grabswag.
I also got scammed by grabswag. I called their customer service number (888) 467-4217
and was offered to have 50% rebate so as fool as I am I accepted it. But after reading the complaints in the forum I will demand a full refund of $99.
Amanda July 24, 2011, 12:51 pm
Yes, this is the post here. Thanks Rob.
stephanie July 25, 2011, 1:37 pm
I did some investigating into grabswag after being ripped off by these cronies and i found out who was behind this scam. GrabSwag.com, is a scam, partnered with a company called IMM Interactive/Copeac which is owned by Mike Krongel, which is a scam affiliate network that sends consumers to these sites via fake news articles and gets paid for it. If you click on one of the fake news sites that they are running below, and in internet explorer use webpage privacy, you will see emediatrack.com, on the privacy, which is owend by IMM Interactive/Copeac ( This is how I found out who was behind it). IMM Interactive and Mike Krongel has duped consumers out of millions of dollars says the FTC, by running fake news sites, like the one linked below, and they are currently being sued by the FTC, for false advertising and deceptive marketing practices, for using fake news websites like the one linked below. Here is a link to the lawsuit: http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/1023232/index.shtm
The FTC is trying to stop them but apparently can’t. Lets get these people shut down!!! Report GrabSwag and IMM Interactive/Copeac, to the FTC, Attorney Generals, BBB, IC3, FBI and lets get a class action lawsuit going against both of these companies scambook!!!
Here is one of their fake news sites they are behind, which if you do webpage privacy in internet explorer on the grabswag page, you will see ” emediatrack.com” which links you straight to Copeac/IMM Interactive: http://www.consumerinfonews.com/deals-of-the-century/index4.html
Here is a link to the IMM website and the grabswag site that says free, yet charges you $99 : http://www.imminteractive.?com
The contact information I have is:
135 Crossways Park Drive
Woodbury NY, 11797
Phone: 631-719-1250 x 3121
Amanda July 27, 2011, 4:03 pm
Thanks Stephanie/ Very interesting findings.
janet July 26, 2011, 11:07 am
Thanks for all the above information. When I looked at it thought “this is great”. But then when I got to the website that wanted my credit card info, I started to question it. I’ll stick with Ebay and Amazon. I at least know what I’m getting and don’t have to pay until I purchase or give out my info until I DO purchase. Checked for BBB approval and ran across your page. Thanks for the warning. I didn’t give them my info and I didn’t go back because of the free offers. I think what tipped me off was that I’d get those extra purchasing points at NO Cost. Hmmmmm thanks so much for the tip.
Justin July 26, 2011, 11:36 am
The Florida BBB has developed a review of the business behind GrabSwag(dot)com with limited info but is definitely not Accredited nor have a rating at all yet.
GrabSag still shows that BBB Accredited logo on many of the landing/registration pages. BUT there is now an alert !!!
This Business is not BBB Accredited
Nextown Technologies LLC
(888) 467-42177380 Sand Lake Rd Ste 500, Orlando, FL 32819-5257http://www.grabswag.com
! There is an alert for this business !
Recent complaint received from consumers indicate that while registering for Grabswag’s penny auction site they are asked for personal and credit card information. Once they start the process to bid they are charged a $99. Consumers report that the fee was not disclosed.
Complaints are pending.
This company offers a penny auction site.
Thank-you again BBB
Amanda July 27, 2011, 4:03 pm
Thanks for letting us know, Justin. I did alert them of this.
Mary July 28, 2011, 8:07 am
Before I do business with any new site that I read about that involves money (and sometimes even no money), I always go to Google & put in “reviews of whatever site I am looking for”. That is how I came to this site & now I know not to do business with Grabswag.
Virginia Roman July 29, 2011, 1:50 pm
This place is a scam, first I got scammed with the $99.00 charge which I called and complained to them and they offered to give me a 50% credit refund which I took it as it was better than $99.00. I decided to place bids and make the best out of the $50 already spent. Well every time you bid the bid goes back up 15 secods. I was bidding on a $50 amazon gift card. I was winning BUT of course the claim all bids are in REAL TIME, ALTHOUGH when the timer got down to 1 second and I was winning it never went to 0 or mentioned that I have one the bid. It just stayed at the 1 second marking for up to 20 seconds. Then other bids started reseting the timer back 15 seconds. This incident has happened few times already. This is definitively a SCAM. They are not being HONEST and telling consumers what its really about. I have recorded my screen where it shows this SCAM and I will report them.
Bob July 30, 2011, 10:32 am
Gragswag.com sucks bigtime. After winning a Kindle 3, I could not get them to tell me when it would be shipped. I waited. After two weeks, still no word. I called, they said maybe another 7-10 days. At that point I demanded my money back. After all, their guarantee states “all products shipped within 3 days”. They didn’t like it, but they did refund my money.
After I calmed down a bit from the phone call, I wrote a email detailing all the problems I had encountered, including the abysmal customer service. A few hours later I got a phone call from another Grabswag rep who informed me they would be sending the Kindle anyway. WTF? She was very difficult to understand and obviously was not happy about making this call. No apology for all the screw ups, just raced through her “script” to get to the end.
So, now I’m getting both my money back & the Kindle? I can guarantee you I’m not holding my breath!
Hailey McElhaney July 30, 2011, 2:27 pm
Thanks for all the above information. I looking to buy a used iPOD on Craigslist. I emailed someone who had a decent deal and recieved the following email response:
> Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 14:34:21 -0700
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: IPOD Classic
> To: >
> Sorry it took me a while to respond, someone already got it, but Ive been telling people where I got it.
> I just picked up 4 new ones for a fraction of their retail price at grabberswag.com and I have just been reselling them on craigslist for extra money.
> Since the site is new theres like nobody online, nobody is bidding, its like xmas all over again. The trick is to bid right when the counter hits 4 seconds and you win pretty much every time.
After her response, I tried the website. When it asked me to put in my CC info, I knew it was probably not right, so I used a Visa Giftcard I had with $12 on it. The website wouldn’t let me proceed. It kept erroring out, stating that my zip code did not match my CC statement. It was then that I Googled and came upon these reviews.
Thank you all for the feedback. You just saved me $100.
matt smith July 31, 2011, 8:26 pm
Thanks to Hailey for her above post. I am in the Akron, OH area and just contacted someone about a used iphone 4. They told me the same exact thing but with slightly different wording!!!
I just cant believe I almost actually fell for it!!!
They must be using a computer generated program to post on Craigslist and then auto respond to any emails that are generated.
Audrey August 1, 2011, 10:14 am
Wow, I so wish I had checked out reviews first! First off, I e-mailed a woman on craigslist about a ridiculously cheap Wii and received an e-mail just like the pervious post, directing me to grabswag.com. Unfortunately, I went to the site yesterday, submitted my card info (won’t be doing that again) and wasted $99. Luckily, I read all of these posts, and called customer service. Instead of being on hold I dialed ‘0’ and immediately got someone. After some discussion she offered me a 75% refund since “the $99 charge was clear in the Terms & Conditions”. Then I asked to speak to a supervisor, and of course they were not in.
So I had her go over the terms and cond. on their site and directly beneath that was their refund policy, (see below).
#15: All payments for bid packages are non-refundable except for any bid amounts remaining unused on the 1st bid package purchased by a user. The refund will be available for 7 days from the date the user purchased its 1st bid package, provided that the user requests such refund from GrabSwag within such 7 day period.
Explaining that their refund policy is clear that I deserve the entire refund, not 50 or 75%, she said she would check “to see if my supervisor is back in yet”. Then she got back on the phone with me and gave me the full refund. We’ll see it if gets credited back to my account. It took about 10min but it was a good learning experience to not do anything like that again. It probably helped that I gave her a sob story about being a broke, single young woman:). Hopefully it will go as smoothly for the rest of you.
stephanie August 1, 2011, 6:47 pm
Below is a new website, that Mike Krongel, who owns grabswag, and is marketing the company through his affiliate network, IMM Interactive/COPEAC, is using to lure consumers to grabswag and rip them off.
New Link: http://www.daily-lifestyles.com/?p=0002&s=3275
If you click on this link, and click through on the grabswag link, on internet explorer, use webpage privacy, and you will see emediatrack.com in the webpage privacy, which links you to COPEAC/IMM Interactive.
Amanda, lets get this scam artist shut down, along with grabswag, they are already being sued by the FTC, for deceptive marketing, the exact type of marketing they are using for grabswag, such a shame.
135 Crossways Park Drive
Woodbury NY, 11797
Phone: 631-719-1250 x 3121
art Godfrey August 1, 2011, 7:04 pm
I had the same bad expierence with Grabswag. I signed up and got hit with the $99.00 fee. I called the company and finally got thru and they gave me only 50% of the fee back. I reported them to the BBB, FTC, Atorney Generals Office here in Florida and was interviewed on Channel 6 News in Orlando, Fl. which aired last Wednesday nite. I also reported them to the FBI scam alert. I was then contacted by MSNBC and did a phone interview with them about the site as well. Hopefully we can prevent some people from getting burned like many of us have. I am not stopping at what I already have done, and will pursue more avenues. It is not the money, it is the principle.
Craig August 4, 2011, 5:49 pm
I also got caught in the $99 fee. I did call and ask to be reimbursed after I realized what happened. They told me no to the refund but they would close my acount?? I went ahead and decided to bid since I wouldn”t be reimbursed. I won an auction for a Kitchen Aid mixer two weeks ago and still have not received the mixer. I called the FTC to see what I could do. I emailed grabswag and then called them to tell them I was going to dispute the charges to my charge card and have the charges removed. I also informed them I reported them to the FTC. They were not happy. How do you go about filing a class action suit for fraud and get everyone else that has been treated in the same way to follow suit?
Bob Forst August 9, 2011, 3:26 am
These guys got me with the same scam. As soon as I saw they charged my account $99 I e-mailed them saying I did not authorize– got no response. 20 minutes later I called the 800 number on the back of my debit card: My bank returned the $ to my account and is now going after Grabswag. Many complaints of fraud; these jokers are bound to be shut down.
Marv August 9, 2011, 7:19 pm
I just paid $29.25 for 39 bids with 10 free, so it looks like they are offering lower priced options also. Fortified with the knowledge gained here, I will proceed to have my money refunded.
Justin August 16, 2011, 12:21 pm
In all fairness, I would like to point out that GrabSwag has removed the BBB Accredited name and logo from its present advertorials and fake news sites that I have viewed recently. The BBB of Central Florida has written to this company requesting they remove all mention of membership in the BBB from their advertising as the company is not an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau.
This Business is not BBB Accredited
Nextown Technologies LLC
7380 Sand Lake Rd Ste 500, Orlando, FL 32819-5257
Rating F On a scale of A+ to F
! There is an alert for this business !
Recent complaints received from consumers indicate that while registering for Grabswag’s penny auction site they are asked for personal and credit card information. Once they start the process to bid they are charged $99. Consumers report that the fee was not disclosed. Complaints are pending. This company offers a penny auction site.
Factors that lowered Nextown Technologies LLC’s rating include:
• BBB concerns with the industry in which this business operates.
• Length of time business has been operating.
• 30 complaints filed against business
• 30 serious complaints filed against business.
• BBB does not have a clear understanding of this business.
• Business has failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints.
• BBB does not have sufficient information to determine size of business. BBB evaluation of business is based on rating formula’s smallest size classification.
• BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business. BBB made one or more requests for background information from the business. BBB has not received a response from this business and/or has not been able to verify information received from this business.
The name and logo of the Better Business Bureau is a federally registered trademark owned and controlled by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB) The CBBB does not allow any company to use the name or logo without first signing a use agreement form and never as an implied endorsement. The BBB of Central Florida has written to this company requesting they remove all mention of membership in the BBB from their advertising as the company is not an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau.”
Susan August 17, 2011, 1:05 pm
I had the same problem no warning on the 99 fee when I called they refunded me back 50% should have pushed more now knowing what I do. They then gave me a bunch of bid, but you can’t win and everytime I bid it added.75 cents to the price so if you bid too much the $5.00 item will cost you $100.00 when you add the .75 cent for every bid you make. (can you imagaine if I had bought more it would be like adding 1.75 for each bid). I am now on hold with customer service to get some resolution but I have been on hold for over 20 minutes and no answer. Oh BTW customer service is 9-5 est M-F only good for a 24 hour bid site. I saw the get it now has anyone done that?
Michael August 21, 2011, 5:09 pm
This is a disgusting business. My poor wife was scammed by these morons and they refuse to refund. This has got to stop. Confirmed myself by observing that these auctions, or atleast the home page auctions are fake as they are all the same and are rarely won if at all.
They go on and on and on and on until it bleeds your wallet try!!!!
Amanda August 22, 2011, 9:14 am
Hi Michael, I am sorry to hear this.. Thanks for posting your experience.
Amanda August 22, 2011, 9:14 am
Michael August 22, 2011, 10:09 am
Hi Amanda. My wife had signed up but was shocked at the $99 charge. She did not see this the first time, so we went through the sign up stage again, and as your article shows there is a small notice that you can barely see that mentions a $99 charge.
She didn’t want to bid after the $99 charge obviously. I showed her your article Amanda and you make so much sense. The free bids and the $99 charge amounts to very little bidding power on the site.
Stay away guys.
Gina September 10, 2011, 9:53 am
You people that put your credit card number out there on the internet when something SAYS FREE is completely ignorant,,,,if you have to put a credit card number in folks ITS NOT FREE! ,,,just plain ignorance on the consumer part,,,UGH! The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity!ANONYMOUS
Justin September 26, 2011, 5:50 am
GrabSwag does make a statement in their “GrabSwag Terms of Service” document that any bid amounts remaining unused on the 1st bid package purchased by a user is refundable upon request of the “user” if made within the initial 7 days from purchase.
15. Bid Credits
Bid credits, referred to as “bids”, are sold in the form of multiple-use packages referred to as Bid Packages. Such Bid Packages must be purchased and paid for prior to use in an auction. The standard Starter Bid Package is $99 (132 Bids for $.75 per bid) and may include additional promotional bids. Promotional bids may be offered by the site from time to time in GrabSwag’s sole discretion and are free to the user.
Upon winning an auction in accordance with these Terms and Conditions, the user will be offered the opportunity to purchase the item at the ending auction price. Upon participating in but not winning certain selected auctions, the user may be offered the opportunity to purchase the item at the listed retail price, minus the original pro-rated price of bids used by the user in the auction. Such purchases must be paid for in full upon placement of the order and must be purchased within timeframe stated on the website. Payments can be made via major credit/debit cards and other approved methods offered by the website.
All payments for bid packages are non-refundable except for any bid amounts remaining unused on the 1st bid package purchased by a user. The refund will be available for 7 days from the date the user purchased its 1st bid package, provided that the user requests such refund from GrabSwag within such 7 day period.
But with one hand they give you the right of refund of this surprise debit to your credit account and with the other hand, make disclaimers in this same document that will give them an excuse not to.
Firstly in this clause:
14. Bid Expiration and Account Termination
(a) Bids expire after 90 days of inactivity on your account or one year from the date of purchase (whichever occurs first). If Your Account is inactive for at least six (6) months, then Company may at any time thereafter, terminate Your Account.
(b) Company may terminate Your User Account without notice and at the sole discretion of Company. Company reserves the right to temporarily or permanently terminate Your account at its sole discretion if Company determines You have violated these Terms of Service, any laws, or the rights of our other users or other third parties, then Company may, in its sole discretion, withhold, cancel or otherwise retain any and all of Your account balance, pending deliveries and/or refunds for pre-purchased bids.
and further in this clause:
The Company may terminate Your membership, delete Your profile and any content or information that You have posted on the Site, prohibit You from using or accessing the Service or the Site, and/or cancel any pending purchases for any reason, or no reason, at any time in its sole discretion, without refund, with or without notice, including if it believes that You are under eighteen (18) or have violated any of the terms set forth herein.
That is quite a statement “for any reason, or no reason, at any time in its sole discretion”
Why do you think so many people that have been taken for these mandatory sign up bid packages have reported that they were terminated and were unable to log into their accounts after they contacted GrabSwag about getting their money back?
To protect your rights more fully, you do need to submit your request for refund to GrabSwag as soon as possible and in a written communication that can be retained as proof.
Frank November 27, 2011, 8:06 am
I am currently filing a formal complaint with Florida Office of Attorney General. It is obvious that grabswag and Nextown Tech care less and if fraud is being practiced then the AG needs to know.
Frank December 23, 2011, 7:17 pm
FOLLOW-UP: I received a reply from Florida Attorney General Office, which states in part “Our office reviews complaints to develop information about patterns of business activity which might indicate the need for formal investigation or legal action by our office….If a pattern is discovered, what originated as a private dispute between buyer and seller may become a matter of broad public interest and thus warrant the Attorney General’s intervention under the state’s consumer protection laws…
“I am forwarding your complaint to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), Division of Consumer Services. The DACS is the state clearinghouse for consumer complaints and has a voluntary mediation program to assist individual consumers. The telephone number is (850)488-2221 or toll-free within Florida (800)4356-7352. You may also contact DACS online at http://www.800helpfla.com/.
“In addition, you may also wish to contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) for determination of any jurisdiction they may have. The IC3 is a combined effort of the National White Collar Crime Center and the FBI. The IC3 only accepts online complaints through its website at http://www.ic3.gov. You may call IC3 toll-free at (800)251-7581.”
SO the BOTTOM LINE IS: complaining here will accomplish nothing other than venting. Contacting Florida AG office to help them to discover a pattern and hold Nextown Technologies, LLC responsible is what is needed to prevent others from being sucked in.
I am still waiting on my cheap axx $25 gift card from grabswag.com that cost me nearly $100.00