MyPoints Uses Bogus Testimonials For Insiders Club

February 23, 2006 · 23 comments

I was intrigued to hear about a new MyPoints service called the Insider’s Club. Supposedly you pay some kind of membership fee ($1 for the first 30 days) and you’ll get rebated for all your shipping charges when you shop through the site. I thought that might be interesting (assuming, that is, that MyPoints is still around in 30 days). The MyPoints Insiders Club site said that this service was being offered in partnership with a site called CMG, which had been around for 5 years. So I did some digging.
CMG stands for Clarus Marketing Group, and they are the owners of, among other sites, FreeShipping.com. InternetInsidersClub is another of their sites, which they offer as a private label (personalized for your own website) to companies that need to build a tighter relationship with their customers. That’s MyPoints’ angle. (That, and it appears that MyPoints gets a $10 kickback from CMG for every new club member they bring in.)
Clarus does have a positive BBB report, and does appear to be a legitimate company.
Should MyPoints members join this program? The glowing testimonials are certainly convincing. There’s just one little problem: they’re bogus. They are NOT the opinions of real MyPoints members — in fact, they’re just carbon copies of “testimonials” on Clarus’s FreeShipping and (generic) InternetInsidersClub sites, TWO of which were EDITED to make them appear that they were written specifically about MyPoints’ Insider’s Club!
Check them out side by side and you’ll see. Here are the links to FreeShipping.com and InternetInsidersClub.com. I don’t have a direct link for the MyPoints’ Insider’s Club but if you click here and you’re logged into MyPoints, you should be able to click through. Notice that all three are the same… except that the last two on MyPoints’ Insider Club were modified to make it look like they’re talking SPECIFICALLY about the MyPoints Insider’s Club.
This is deceptive. They are fake quotes from people who are not even members of MyPoints. They may not even be real quotes at all, who knows. But the fact remains; this modifying of the last two testimonials was done purposefully and with the intention of misleading MyPoints’ members into believing that fellow members had positive experiences with this program.
I should add that the generic InternetInsidersClub.com site has a lovely animated banner on the top right that indicates that their 30 day trial membership is FREE…not the $1.00 that MyPoints charges.
For shame, MyPoints. This kind of lame marketing technique only goes to reinforce our dwindling opinion of the integrity of your program.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

LazyJ April 23, 2006 at 8:18 am

Thank; you for the update. i was debating of whether or not to join MyPoints’ insidersClub i’ve been a MyPoints member for several years and i like the idea of free shipping and best price guaranteed. it’s sort of the same benefits that a credit card company offers.
I decided not to join after i read this article.
Besides, QuickRewards.net they offer this service for free in their shopping section.
I can always count on CompareRewards to keep me informed.

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Pat L. August 8, 2006 at 8:47 am

I joined the Insiders Club and got burned. Very bad club to join. I was kind of disappointed with My Points because I have always had good luck with them and their merchants in the past. I think that the Insiders Club is very sneaky in the way they conduct business. For Shame!!!! They are definitely one of those businesses that are trying to take advantage of the honest consumers.

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shelly September 26, 2006 at 9:13 am

Your “testimonials” lie. I have had my shipping charges returned to me twice. I don’t care who they go through as long as they do what they say, which they did.
Also, I only paid $1 for the first year after my 30 day free trial. I joined the club at least six months ago and have not been charged since then.
People should speak from experience before writing in to your website. I have enjoyed receiving gift cards for my participation. If you don’t, don’t join and keep your uninformed thoughts to yourself!

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kimberly May 9, 2008 at 2:51 pm

somehow these people accessed my checking acct. and keep trying to take 1.00 out of it and i have to keep calling and disputing it-i have never heard of them and have no desire to ever do any sort of business with them-SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM!!!!!

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Patricia June 7, 2008 at 9:12 am

This there any connection between insiders-club and quickstar.com?

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Lynne July 25, 2008 at 7:12 am

Thanks for the article. I started becoming suspicious when I couldn’t
locate any information about how much the service (insiders club)
would actually cost after it stopped being free.

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DW December 29, 2008 at 10:30 am

Insiders Club and Free-Shipping.com are RIP-OFF Artists!

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Gwen Rollo January 12, 2009 at 10:16 am

Assuming that a member of the Insiders Club receives rebates up to $500 on shipping charges, up to $500 rebates on return shipping, and various other benefits such as cupons and discounts–I wonder how the club can stay in business when the membership costs $84 per year?

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Tracy March 10, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I just got a charge to my credit card from “CMG*FREESHIPPING .COM” (Insiders-Club) for >>>>>$83.88<<<<<. I called my credit card right away and reported this charge Fraud.
I bought my mom flowers for Valentines from Pro Flowers.com. After I purchased the flowers, there was a link to get the shipping for that transaction free. I clicked on the link and it took me to FreeShipping.com. They said first month membership is free. After I signed up and read the details, I found that it would be a rebate (not an instant free shipping) and it would take several weeks for you to get the rebate. Plus your membership must be active when the claims are paid. I thought by the time I get the rebate, that free month would have passed and I would have to pay the membership fee.
So I canceled the membership right away (on the same day, the same hour.) I chose option 2, so that my membership terminates immediately. I did not file for any rebate. I did not get any benefit from them. I thought it was over.
But no, today I checked my credit card activity and found the charge from them. I called the credit card to have the charge remove and changed my credit card number. Hopefully it’s over.

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Raul March 13, 2009 at 6:58 pm

This stuff is a scam. They managed to get into my account to get $88. Now i have to dispute this transaction. Dont do any business with them.

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Kat April 9, 2009 at 7:53 am

I have been a member of Insiders Club for 2 years now. I keep a spreadsheet to see if I recoup my money. Last year, I not only got the membership fee back, but also an additional $80 on shipping costs returned. So far after 3 months, I have recouped my fee and am on my way to making money on return for shipping costs. I have had no problem what so ever, and received checks from them monthly.

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R Hillian April 15, 2009 at 11:36 am

This company is a SCAM! STAY AWAY! Somehow they got my account information and charged me $83.88.

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Michael Grimes May 21, 2009 at 8:02 am

My wife bought a pair (! PAIR) of shorts and mistakenly agreed to this “CLUB” they then charged us $14.95 per month for the next 8 months until we figured it out. What a ripoff! We will never buy anything from Newport News or Spiegel again!!!

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Craig September 4, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Pro Flowers.com got my wife too with the hidden membership scam. We were charged $9.97 for two months before we figured out how to cancel the membership we didn’t know we had. I only hope the charges stop.

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Helen Keating December 10, 2009 at 9:03 am

I am still waiting for your answer on how to become unenrolled in this club. which I was supposed to get in 24 hours

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Bambang Tandjung March 4, 2010 at 1:26 am

I ordered from Pro-Flower.com on December 2009. I didn’t remember of joining the FreeShipping.com membership at the time. All I remember that there was an option of free shipping charges as if it was part of the Pro-Flower.com’s promotion/deal. Of course I was very happy to choose that option.
Today, March 4th, 2010, I just realized on my past credit card bills (starting January 2010) there are charges from CMG*Freeshipping.com for $11.97/month. I’m baffled for those charges and started to search for the what-so-called CMG*Freeshipping.com online. Then I found out it’s all started from the Pro-flower.com order.
My opinion, this is total crap. I seldom do online transaction. I have no intention to get benefit from online shipping rebates. All I knew that I’m sending flowers for my mother’s birthday and being offered a free shipping. I don’t want to join any membership that charges monthly. They (either Pro-Flower or Freeshipping or both) should have make it very clear of what we get into. I don’t remember at all of agreeing to pay monthly for such services. That means somehow they sneak in this forced consent saying I agreed to join and pay monthly.
Be careful! I saw inside freeshipping.com site that they affiliated with so many others online businesses. I don’t know though if the other sites explain clearly of this crappy offer.

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Maria Bowmer May 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Thank you so much for the article and all who posted here.
I am ordering something for Mothers Day and I got an offer to get
free shipping, plus all these other benefits. Yet, no where does
it say how much the insiders club would cost after the 30 day
trial. I searched and found this article and comments.
I would rather pay shipping than get it free and have to hassle
with my CC company for months .
There is no way I am signing up for INsiders club now.

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Amy Chen September 6, 2010 at 1:40 am

I signed up for freeshipping.com a month ago and I just got charged $83.88 on my credit card. I’m really angry at myself for not doing the research beforehand and just gave my credit card number away. Now I have to call the credit card company to dispute the transaction AND probably change my credit card number….

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Tom December 24, 2010 at 10:14 am

Shelly… Kat…

Hate to say it, but you’re company trolls, paid to follow review sites and counter negative reviews.

Hope everyone, everywhere who is reading reviews or comments of ANY kind ANY where – even in the New York Times, MSNBC – gets wise to the fact that there’s a whole army of posters with sophisticated software that alerts them to negative/factual comments so they can zoom in there in and refute them.

Doubt me? Just look up Megaphone in Wikipedia. It explains the software and the scam of scammers.

PS. Insiders-Club is definitely a scam. Sorry that some legit big name companies have fallen for this and advertise it.

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David February 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm

IC Free Shipping.com is totally bad news! My wife surfed their site and next thing we are charged $83 on credit card that she did not give them a number. After canceling, they would only credit $78 due to pro-ration. Sort of crappy considering it was not ordered to begin with. In my mind, any online retailer that would link you to free shipping.com, cares nothing about its’ shoppers. I will no longer do business with any company that has affiliations with Free shipping.com. If you have been one of their victim’s, you should respond in a way that will call attention to their fraudulent practices.

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chilli March 8, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Thanks to all of you before me. I ordered from proflowers also and was directed to the Insiders Club and like everyone else I thought, free shipping?, great! After reading everyones comments, I figured how to get through to an account they had set up for me without my knowledge. It was set to be billed on 3/16/11. I don’t what the charges were going to be. I beat them to the punch thanks to all of you. I got to a screen on freeshipping.com and it asked for several different digits on the card I used for proflowers. I entered them and my zipcode, and low and behold there was an account in my name. There was an option to cancel membership and it done…. Hopefully…..

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Kathleen Denise Corn June 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm

I am coming to a close on a free trial that has given me time to scout around the purchasing on this site. However, I do not want my association with your services to continue. My quest was one truly of a free guest. I like your service a good deal,however,
I would not order enough, often enough to my warent my continued, monthly participation.

Thank you for introducting me to you services. Please cancel my trial time.

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