Is Paribus a Scam? Is It Really Works?
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Paribus Summary Review
Product Name: Paribus
Founder: Karim Atiyeh, Eric Glyman
Parent Organization: Capital One
Summary: Paribus is a price tracking using user's email provided to scan for receipts and request for refund if there is any price drop difference after the purchase.
Paribus has been written up in dozens of publications, including Investopedia, TechCrunch, and USA Today.
But just because everyone is talking about it doesn't mean it works, or that it isn't a scam. Let's make sure that Paribus is everything it's supposed to be.
What Is Paribus and How Does It Works?
Paribus is a website and an app (iOS only) that is designed to save you money if/when you shop online.
It monitors your email and “reads” your receipts for your online purchases. It also monitors online stores and merchants for current pricing of items.
If it discovers a price reduction or discount code online for an item that you have recently purchased, it will reach out to the store on your behalf and request that they apply the discount to your purchase.
Obviously, this doesn't work all the time. Many online stores have policies that will refund customers if the price of an item is reduced shortly after it's been purchased.
But, as you can imagine, if you were to call or email all of these stores yourself, you wouldn't always get a refund; there would be a reason or exception in your instance. In other words, you wouldn't get a refund every single time, but it doesn't hurt to try.
The solution offered by Paribus is that most people simply don't have the time or attention to monitor all the stores for all of their purchases and verify pricing every day in case there is a change.
By monitoring prices for you, and contacting retailers on your behalf, Paribus won't always be able to get you a refund. But it always saves you time and energy, working in the background, looking for money you may be entitled to.
Paribus is not a scam. Some people don't see very many rewards or refunds when using it, but that may simply be due to their online shopping habits.
Other people see that Paribus has found them $20 here, $30 there, and feel like the app is doing its job and finding rewards for them.
Paribus works like this:
- It monitors your email inbox for receipts and shipping information from specific online retailers
- When it sees that you have made a purchase from one of their retailers, it notes the price you paid for that item
- For some retailers, if it notes that delivery is late, it will reach out on your behalf and request compensation for delayed delivery
- For the next 30 days, it monitors the price of the items you have purchased online to see if the price is reduced
- If the price gets reduced, it emails the retailer to request a price match on your behalf
- The retailer may issue you a refund for the price match
- The refund is credited to the original payment method you used for the initial purchase
Paribus is completely free to use since 2017 when it was acquired by Capital One.
Paribus will not work for items bought offline, items linked to a different email address, or items that aren't purchased at one of their participating stores.
You can't manually enter items into Paribus, or link multiple Paribus accounts. So it's really only good for certain retailers, but then, what do you have to lose?
Who Is Paribus For?
Paribus is for those people who frequently shop online, and who frequently shop for items that are likely to go on sale and have price reductions, like clothes, shoes, and seasonal items.
Paribus affiliated retailers include Amazon, Target, Nordstrom, Walmart, Costco, Neiman Marcus, Office Depot, REO, and more.
For a person who frequently shops online from the affiliated retailers, Paribus just makes sense.
Paribus tools and training
Paribus doesn't require any specific tools or training, since their customer is presumably already fairly proficient at shopping online, and the app works in the background.
Paribus offers support online and in the app, and can also be reached through social media.
They have a B rating at the Better Business Bureau, which shows a record of good-faith attempts to resolve customer complaints.
Pros and Cos
The good thing about Paribus is that you would probably do your own price monitoring and requesting refunds if you had time.
But, instead of making your own lists and checking them twice, this service does it for you, quickly, easily, and at no cost.
Due to their involvement with Capital One and some testing/pilot program work being done by Paribus, it is likely that they will add credit card services in the future.
For those people who have credit cards with benefits like buyer protections, price matching, extra points, etc., it might be nice to have an app make sure you are being credited appropriately when you shop online.
Of course, the bad thing about Paribus is the obvious, and the thing most people are most concerned about, which is that it monitors your email.
Many people feel that this is a severe invasion of privacy and do not want to grant an app that permission.
When an app requests permission to read and write your email, many people are concerned.
The easiest solution, for those who have such concerns, is to create a new, designated email address that you always use for online shopping, and give Paribus access to only that email account.
That way your personal or work email conversations can remain as protected as they ever were, while Paribus still has the information it needs to work properly.
My Final Thought on Paribus
Paribus is a no-brainer for those who shop online at the affiliated stores. They claim to find thousands of dollars in refunds for their customers every month, and I can believe it.
For a free app and a free service, even if it only finds you 1-2 refunds a year, it's still putting money in your pocket you may not otherwise have, or even know about.
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