Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ziinga : Not Recommended and here's why

Scenario: You buy a product at a Best Buy and the clerk tells you "give us your email and you may win xxxx, we're giving away one a month" - sounds good so you give away your email or phone or whatever.

Months go by and eventually you get an email or text message saying "you've won our prize for this month...click here" and it actually refers to Best Buy.

Then you get redirected to Ziinga which offers "7 day free registration".

Ziinga's offer is very deceptive - here's why.

To use Ziinga, you have to buy "bid credits" - which sounds like a great day - $1 a bid but for $50, they'll give you 40 free. Awesome, right? No. When you purchase the credits, you are also signing into their terms of service which says (but only on the receipt AFTER you purchase).

"Please be informed that the 7 days free Platinum membership included with this offer gives you exclusive Bid-for-Free auctions, an additional 10% on all bid package purchases, Daily Bid Agent, FREE shipping on all products, 7 free bid added to your account daily and another 8 free bid on each calendar day you log on to Ziinga.com. The subscription cost is $ 89.99 per month. You can choose to cancel your subscription at any time by contacting our Customer Service by email at info@ziinga.com. Platinum membership is binding for the first 3 months. "

The cancellation on a Platinum membership is $49.99. So regardless, when you have to cancel, you will be charged $49.99. 

How can they afford to give away an iPad for $29? 100 subscribers means over $4900 just in cancellation fees. Easy money.

Can you win something with Zinga? Absolutely but it requires a lot of effort. An auction will be open for "10 days" so you wait for the very last day to bid, if it's still in your price range. EXCEPT that at the end of the countdown, someone else can bid and that gives the auction a few more minutes, that time goes down, then someone else bids higher. While you only pay for what you win, you can easily go through your bid credits in no time at all (because every time you BID, you give up a credit). So it's easy to burn through all of your bid credits and still not win anything.

Definitely, NOT recommended unless you have a good eye for auctions and don't mind waiting around for a possible discount.