If you’ve heard of Paribus, you might have realized this app needs some pretty personal information from you in order to use it – your email login credentials! If this has you questioning if Paribus is a scam, let’s review the app in a little more detail to find out how it works.
So what’s the deal with Paribus?
If you shop online frequently, you’ve probably realized how much online retail prices can fluctuate. But did you know many companies have policies in place that will reimburse you for the price difference if a price drops after you purchase something?
This is the entire idea behind Paribus – they seek to get you refunded for any online purchases you made in which the price drops after you bought it.
For example, if you buy a pair of headphones for $100 Target.com, and a few days later the drops to $85 – you can get your $15 back.
The problem is, you have to actually contact them and ask. But most people aren’t going to bother keeping track of the price of everything after they purchase it because it requires extra time and effort.
Paribus automatically scans your receipts and contacts the company on your behalf – so you can get your money back without doing any work or even thinking about it.
But how does it work? Does Paribus cost money?
First of all, there’s a lot of articles about Paribus stating they charge a 25% service fee for your refunds, but as of now (2018) – [thrive_highlight highlight=’#eeee22′ text=’dark’]Paribus no longer charges a fee to use their service[/thrive_highlight]. You don’t need to enter any credit card info and you can keep 100% of your refunds. Since they have been acquired by Capital One, they don’t need to take out the small service fee.
When you sign up for Paribus you need to provide them with your email and password so they have permission to access your inbox receipts from online purchases. (It seems kinda shady and turns many people off from using this app)
If you’re an Amazon member, you can also provide them with your login details to your account there as well so they can keep track of your deliveries. Amazon no longer has their price drop refund policy in effect, however they have a delivery policy and if your orders don’t arrive on time, they can reimburse you for shipping charges. If you’re a prime member, you can get your subscription extended.
Paribus uses some type of scraper software to scan your emails and pull out your shopping receipts from online orders. They check the price you paid against the most recent price, and if you paid more than the current advertised price, they will send out an email on your behalf to request a refund.
These emails are actually coming from “you” – not Paribus. If you look at your sent history, you will see emails going out to these companies that Paribus actually sent for you.
Before you sign up with Paribus, keep these things in mind:
- Paribus only works with select retailers – Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Costco are some very well known companies but there are many more (currently around 30)
- They only work with online purchases
- Typically you can only get refunded for price adjustments within 7-14 days from the purchase date. This is set in place by the individual company’s policy. Your price protection can extend up to 90 days if you use a select credit card.
- Amazon doesn’t offer price adjustments anymore – but they will compensate for orders that weren’t shipped on time. For prime members, they can extend your prime membership or in some cases offer a gift card for late shipments.
Paribus security concerns – is Paribus safe to use?
Many people are immediately turned off from Paribus after hearing they need such intimate details – and quite understandably. Would you allow such personal information to be potentially compromised just to save a few bucks?
Here’s an official statement from their customer service:
[pullquote align=”normal”]We identify your purchases through the shipping confirmation e-mails in your inbox. We use a tokenized service to help scrape those purchases for you. We employ 256 bit SSL (bank level encryption) to ensure that you and your information stay safe! [/pullquote]
But despite what their customer service says, there’s still going to be a certain level of risk that goes along with allowing a third party to access your email and your Amazon account. While Paribus might promise to keep your info safe – any company, even with the most sophisticated technology, is vulnerable to security breaches
One way to get around this is to use a different email exclusively for online purchases, and only allow Paribus access into that one. At least that way they won’t have your personal emails.
Will you actually save money with Paribus?
The amount of money you save is totally dependent on your online shopping habits. Since it only works with online purchases, if you don’t shop online you’re not going to save any money with it.
If you do a lot of online shopping, especially if you make expensive purchases, you might see a lot of price savings add up. But you would have to spend a lot of money in the first place before you see these potential big savings.
Personally, out of 31 recent online purchases, I’ve saved no money with this app…
Maybe I’m just really lucky and always buy at the lowest prices?
So is Paribus a scam? Is it worth using?
While I wouldn’t consider Paribus a scam at all, if you don’t feel comfortable giving a company such personal information, you might want to skip this one. The idea behind it is really cool, but remember they’re not actually doing anything you can’t do yourself. They are just doing it automatically to make it easier on you.
That being said, if you do a lot of serious online shopping with any retailers Paribus connects with, it may be worth using it you’re not squeamish about giving up your login details.
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