Consumer reviews and reports on scam companies, bad products and services
Video Blocks
Deceptive marketing
8th of Jun, 2011 by BlockVideoBlocks
Video Blocks is ripping people off by their deceptive practice of offering "unlimited downloads" for one week as long as you give them your credit card info. But, if you download any of their content within that 7-day "free trial subscription" window and then want to cancel your trial subscription you must be very careful to do so within that one week or you're out fifty bucks.

I only downloaded a few things that first day and then didn't get back to cancel my subscription within the 1-wk time frame. They're now telling me "Tough luck, chuck. We're making you pay $50 for those few lousy downloads you will probably never use." Two deceptions here: 1) the downloads are not unlimited but limited to something like 20 per day; 2) if you do not cancel your subscription within the 7 day trial period window they refuse to budge when requested to remove the charge from your account. So, you're stuck with a $50 one-month subscription which you do not want and do not intend to use.

The way they try to cover themselves is with a disclaimer which is bogus. It says, "You may request a full refund for up to 30 days from the date your trial or subscription started, as long as you have not downloaded any clips." [Makes no sense. It's not a trial unless you try the product. They're saying we'll refund you your money as long as you didn't try our product. That's insane! The disclaimer continues with further bogus stuff.] "Unfortunately, given the nature of our business we cannot provide any refunds if you have downloaded clips. This is because we pay our content providers commissions based on downloads of their files."

The issue here is simple. Who would ever request a refund on an item they never got in the first place? You're naturally going to download some stuff to see if it's what you were looking for. That's what a "trial" is supposed to be, after all. THEN, if you're not satisfied, you should be able to request a refund. But NO, they say they have "content providers" they must pay. Well, they make YOU pay their content providers and them many times over for a subscription you didn't want after you saw what it was.

This is just so, so wrong and deceptive and ought to somehow be prosecuted as fraudulent. I'm still trying to move up the customer service supervisory chain to get my money back. Stay away from this company unless you're fine with wasting your money on an exorbitant $50 per month subscription or love to play "fine print" games with deceptive marketers.
Comments
3049 days ago by Rafiky
I knew they were up to no good when I tried signing up for their so called no obligations free trial. There is a pre paid debit card I reserve for "trials" like these to avoid any surprise or dubious billing. Before I signed up, I emptied the debit card account, leaving just a balance of $20.00 just in case they charge the usual ''verification'' fee. To my surprise my card was declined. Declined you say? Were they planning on charging me more than $20.00 ? What happened to the "No obligation free trial?"

That was more than enough red flag for me. VideoBlocks is a big fraud. Be warned!
2945 days ago by NikkiJones
Hello,

I'm the new head of customer service for VideoBlocks.com, and I want to sincerely apologize for the terrible experience you had with our company, and I would like the opportunity to make it up to you.
For starters, I will make sure all of your payments are fully refunded. You can email me directly: nikki at videoblocks.com and we can get the refund processed immediately. (Or if you prefer, you can use the contact form on our website--those go directly to me now)
In response to your frustration over the lack of service you received, I again apologize and make no excuses for the way you were treated. Our company is very new, and we were completely unprepared and overwhelmed by the growth that we experienced.
To remedy this problem, I was hired full time to manage customer support to make sure that customers are taken care of promptly and politely. We recently added live chat to our website, and added additional employees to answer the phones. (It is also worth noting that we do not outsource this support--all of our employees are at our office in Virginia). Now that I am in charge, all phone calls and emails are answered within hours, if not immediately.
Finally, thank you for the comments on our free trial terms not being clear enough. We never meant to mislead anyone, and didn't realize there were any problems until we read your post and heard from other customers who were upset that they were not notified about the billing more clearly. We are working to make the free trial terms much more clear, and we have begun emailing users when they sign up so that they know what is going on and who to contact in the event of a problem.
Once again, I apologize for causing you frustration, and I hope that after we connect I can make you a happy customer. Or at least a happy former customer! Thanks ~ Nikki
2909 days ago by Anonymous
Yeah I had the same problem. Talked with Nikki online, presumably the same person who wrote that super sweet note above. Nikki was not so willing to provide me with that same kind of refund. I sent a formal request to them today for a swift refund. If not, I will also head over to the BBB. Tedious.
2907 days ago by NikkiJones
Dear Anonymous,

Can you please email me your information and reference this post so I know who you are and I ensure that you are issued the proper refund?
2862 days ago by Zijman
I was swindled. I downloaded several clips during my trial. then was charged 81.99...on the 8th day. DON'T DO IT. Thanks for nothing videoblocks.com.
2680 days ago by Kindler
Video Blocks poor business model is only poor for the people unlucky enough to sign up for it.
For Video blocks it is a huge money spinner.
This will however come round to bite them on their dishonest asses as news spreads like wildfire about their spaghetti-like terms and conditions which lure people into thinking it really is a free trial.

The sad thing is that they feel the need to do this. If they were just honest about their procedure & didnt bury the information in their T& C then they wouldnt be receiving this backlash now.

They are much cheaper than any other footage website, and proof of the saying 'If something seems too good to be true it usually is'.

Like the person above I would urge anyone who deals with these kinds of online retailers to use a pre-paid credit card topped up with just enough money to cover the fee you believe you are going to pay and nothing more.
2500 days ago by Tyr49
My wife signed up yesterday using a very seldom used Premier credit card. After I googled the company, I was not happy with all of the multiple complaints I read about on numerous websites so she cancelled the same day.
Today we received a call from our bank saying that someone in south africa tried to use the card for an $800 airline ticket and the bank had blocked the transaction because
1: It was not a normal transaction that my wife would use that card for anything over $50
2: my wife is a 30 veteran employee at that same bank.
So the bank blocked all use of the card and will issue her a new card.
The question was raised by me as to how secure are videoblocks servers if the same day she uses her card, a fruadster also tries to use her card?

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