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Vistaprint sucks

I ordered business cards a few weeks ago from I used a unique email address like I always do. I opted out of allowing them to share my info. I also (like anywhere I give my address, phone number, credit card number) opted out of any sharing. For now I also allowed Vistaprint to email me special deals.

Well, between placing the order on March 29, 2007, and today. I’ve received 16 email offers for various things. That’s a ton, but not a problem. I signed up for them.

But just now I received a telemarketing call from Web Site Pros. Luckily the sales lady mentioned they got my info from Vistaprint. I asked her to put me on their do not call list. (Hey – they violated the DNC! I had no prior relationship with them.)

I then checked my account preferences at Vistaprint. The only option there is for email opt out. I called Customer Service, spoke with Martin. I explained my frustration that they sold my phone number, and said I had opted out. He said, no you only opted out of email sharing. There is no option on the web site to opt-out (or opt-in) of phone and address sharing. I have closed my account with Vistaprint. Martin said he closed the account, but I can still access it from the web site.

Here are the relevant sections of their privacy policy:

If you check the applicable box on registration or in updating your account, VistaPrint may also share personally identifiable information about you such as your name, telephone number, e-mail address, and/or mailing address with carefully selected third-party organizations such as retailers or direct marketers to enable those organizations to inform you about products or services that might be of interest to you. If you do not wish to have your information shared with these organizations, simply do not check the applicable box on the registration form or on the “Account Update” page on our website.

The only boxes on the Account Update” deal with email.

We will not share your personally identifiable information, such as your e-mail address or name, with unaffiliated organizations for them to use to inform you about their or other companies’ products and services unless you consent to this sharing on registration or in updating your account preferences. You may opt in by checking the appropriate box during registration or, following registration, by logging into “My Account,” selecting “Account Update,” and checking the applicable box.

I never opted in to allowing them to share my info, so they have violated their policy. Shady dealings, violations of their own privacy policy, and having a third party break the DNC. That’s enough. I encourage you to not use Vistaprint, I do not believe that they can be trusted.

Vistaprint sucks.


  1. […] But?: Vistaprint growth, Something to be carefull about […]

  2. Dan says:

    Bwaaahaha! We’re like karmic twins! I have about 2-3 emails a day from those buggers at Vistaprint! I admit, they sure had cheap business cards, but all in all I’m not sure it was worth it anymore…

  3. Ramsey Fahel says:

    Do Not Mail Opt-Out Law would be fair to everyone.

    The proposed recent “Do not mail” is an Opt-Out law. Only those not desiring advertising mail need opt-out. Anyone desiring advertising mail can do nothing – and continue to receive it. Why deny those wishing to avoid advertising mail the power to do so?

    I do not consider handling unwanted advertising placed against my will on my personal property to be a civic obligation!

    The US Supreme Court said in the Rowan case in 1970, ““In today’s [1970] complex society we are inescapably captive audiences for many purposes, but a sufficient measure of individual autonomy must survive to permit every householder to exercise control over unwanted mail. To make the householder the exclusive and final judge of what will cross his threshold undoubtedly has the effect of impeding the flow of ideas, information, and arguments that, ideally, he should receive and consider. Today’s merchandising methods, the plethora of mass mailings subsidized by low postal rates, and the growth of the sale of large mailing lists as an industry in itself have changed the mailman from a carrier of primarily private communications, as he was in a more leisurely day, and have made him an adjunct of the mass mailer who sends unsolicited and often unwanted mail into every home. It places no strain on the doctrine of judicial notice to observe that whether measured by pieces or pounds, Everyman’s mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive.”

    Furthermore, the Supreme Court said, “the mailer’s right to communicate is circumscribed only by an affirmative act of the addressee giving notice that he wishes no further mailings from that mailer.

    To hold less would tend to license a form of trespass and would make hardly more sense than to say that a radio or television viewer may not twist the dial to cut off an offensive or boring communication and thus bar its entering his home. Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit; we see no basis for according the printed word or pictures a different or more preferred status because they are sent by mail.”

    We need a nationwide “Do Not Mail” law to create a one-stop, convenient place for homeowners to give senders the aforementioned affirmative notice that we do not want certain kinds of mail sent to our homes.

    Ramsey A Fahel

  4. Ramsey, I’d love to see an easy way to opt-out of junk mail. I have been using Form 1500 from the Post Office. Form 1500 allows you to declare a mailing to be pornographic, and then they can’t mail you anymore. It works pretty well, although it doesn’t work for politicians. And it only works if the sender puts a return address on the mailing.

  5. Well, I just klicked on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the last mail and there are no more mails (so far) 🙂

  6. bp says:

    Never had any such problems with Vistaprint. But it still sucks that they sold your phone number.

  7. John says:

    Vistaprint online design tool is really buggy, never works properly from the first time. It really sucks and they ignore feedback. Right now can’t get past initials stage, clicking on “NEXT” button does nothing. Can’t get my file saved nor can’t get the order through! Anyone knows a better service in this lazy country USA where every second Monday is a holiday?

  8. Ken says:

    DO NOT USE VISTAPRINT!!! Check your bank statements for starnge $14.95 purchases.

    Vista print (a Jamaican company) also sells your credit card information to a company in the US. They will begin charging you about 6 weeks after your VistaPrint purchase. ($14.95 per month)They will then tell you that you signed up for a 30 day trial through a pop up and never cancelled. You will have never provided your info directly to this company. The party that is charging you will not have ever contacted you in any way. They will claim that you must have recieved the email in your Bulk folder.

    As of now, the third party, US companies say they will send me a refund in full. I doubt it.

  9. tontot says:

    Be aware of VistaPrint. Many complaints at

  10. tontot says:

    Over the past few years, VistaPrint has received numerous complaints ( stating that after the first purchase, VistaPrint and related companies (Vistarewards, Passport to Fun, BusinessMax) have been charging monthly fees to customer’s credit cards for unsolicited and undelivered services.
    I prefer for $3.95 for 100 business cards. They offer free own design uploading and PDF proofing

  11. zpeel says:

    I have been using vistaprint for over three years now and have never had a problem with them. The are not based in Jamaica, they are based in Massachusetts. If you are being billed for vistarewards that means you signed up for the free ten dollar promo and did not read the fine print that said you would be charge 14.95 a month if you did not cancel within a certain time frame. I hate to say it but next time read the fine print before you bad month a company.

  12. Mike says:

    I have purchased 47 items from Vistaprint. Not one problem. I will continue to use them.

  13. Gina Lymburner says:

    I tested Vistaprint just to see if I would receive spam emails, phone calls or anything else undesirable.

    Well it happened: I tested this by ordering premium business cards. I used a unique email address and then waited. Within 24 hours of placing my order my email address – not the one I had put on the cards – but my email address on file with vistaprint was slammed with emails with pornographic descriptions in the name – most were from hotmail accounts.

    I have written to vistaprint – I am now waiting for a reply from them. I also have people from 16 different states testing 50 email addresses by ordering cards from vistaprint.

    My theory is that vistaprint has a disgruntled employee causing this situation to happen. We’ll see!!

  14. Hi Gina,

    Thanks for the test. I also hope you are using tagged postal addresses so you can track the junk mail you get from Vistaprint sharing your info with others. Yes, it might be a rogue employee, but based on the conversations I’ve had with Vistaprint staff, they don’t care. And the FTC doesn’t either. They have not responded to my complaints, which are full of specific details, and my assurance I would testify. But the issue isn’t sexy, so they don’t do anything. Mike

  15. Hey Michael I am right there with you,

    Actually it is about sex! See the type of emails I am receiving below. If it were not about sex the emails would say oh someting like:

    It is the email address names that are the issue as well as the shear numbers I am receiving – they are obviously trying to evoke a response. The mail to my home is a completely different issue.

    I intend to take this to the press. My test proves Vistaprint was the culprit. The following are just a sampling of the email addresses I have been receiving.

    They took my company email address on file and associated it with the email address I put on the business card (the secret address that only vista print has been given) and started slamming my business email address daily with hundreds of this type of emails. Most of the time the emails have no content – for instance they arrive with only this in the body of the email:

    User Name: Solo Masturbation
    User Email:

    This is just a SMALL sample of the emails that continue to arrive using my “VISTAPRINT” test email address:

    ugly_cunt@gmail. com

    I am quite sure these will not go over well with the American public in the press.

    Vistaprint will come under some serious fire after the press post the type of emails I am receiving. This alone will put Vistaprint in the spot light. With the many Internet issues that cause concern in today’s Vistaprint will be forced to address the issue and very publicly due to their refusal to address the issues when previous customers continue to make complaints and they refuse to address them.

    Please keep me posted as to what you find out – I will continue to monitor your website. Thanks so much for even addressing it. I often get people saying “GET A LIFE” when I make complaints about issues of this type. I am extremely busy trying to run a web development company on my own and at 52 I don’t want to have these issues in my life. Other people NOT taking responsibility FORCE me to this position.

    Everyone that uses the Internet SHOULD be involved in making it better – that is the very nature of the INTERNET.

    Beware and remember “evil flourishes when good men do nothing”.

  16. Donna says:

    I have been dealing with Vista Print for approx 4 years. granted for sometime I was receiving alot of emails, but just to promote their products. I always deal with Vista Print in Windsor, Ont. In the beginning I did deal with Vista Print located in the USA, which was in some ways affiliated with Jamaica.
    I will continue to use Vista Print. In fact I order X-Mas cards from them each year.

  17. Ally says:

    i think you are all greedy because it that 10 cash back that got you in to the 14.95 charge now for those how accidentally go signed up remember you are using a man made machine and it is not perfect so those thing do happen in life and i have been a vistaprint customer for years I DONT HAVE ANY OF THESE PROBLEMS that you all are claiming so you all must be doing something wrong (its a reason that vistaprint can give you all FREE products is because they have faithfull customer that have no problem with them) Vistaprint is an International Company And if you all did your research you would all know it is not located in jamaica (That is only their Customer service dept. which is very good) and if you did your reseach you would have seen that they millions of customer that are satisfied and have not problem with vistaprint
    sorry for typos here correct

  18. Sam says:

    Unfortunately, I got quite good quality printing service from VistaPrint but I AM being scammed with membership fees for “shoppingessentials” and “vistaprintrewards”. I did not sign up for the $10 offer; I looked at it but then closed the pop up box and from what I have been reading, this is all it takes to get signed up. Multiple $14.95 charges later… and nothing to do with me being greedy for a $10 cash back rebate.

  19. Chris says:

    We’ve got a number of local companies here that recently got caught doing a similar thing and selling their lists. Really not worth the risk.

  20. Cathy says:

    I have to say, that the rewards problem happened to me via an-online store CHADWICKS… totally screwed up my bank account. But, I have never had a problem with Vistaprint. I personally have done a lot of business with them and they have always provided good service and quality printed material. KNOCK ON WOOD! Sorry about your experience.


  21. genedale says:

    I’m guessing the individuals above defending VistaPrint are probably employees. I’ve heard enough bad experiences from my friends and read enough of the angry emails at to know that this is not a site to do business with. But I wouldn’t do business with them anyhow for one very important reason. I’ve never done business with them and yet they continue to spam me incessantly. Ally, call me greedy? How can I be greedy about a product I’ve never asked for? I didn’t miss any fine print unsubscribe buttons as you infer, because I never subscribed. And don’t tell me to hit the opt-out button, because I’ve made that mistake before.

  22. Scott Thomas says:

    I happened to stumble across a Vista Print scam site today and then checked my CC statment to find out that I was also the victim of the $14.95 Business Max Scam. I don’t remember signing up for that when I placed my order and it wasn’t for Free Cards. It was a paid order. After some running around, I believe I have this cancelled and supposedly I will be refunded for the months that they did this. Between this B.S. and the constant emails, I will never use them again. I don’t care what they’re giving away or offering.

    By the way, when I called the Vista Print, they advised me that when I call Business Max, I had to press “0” 3 times quickly in order to talk w/someone. What kind of crap is that????

    Finally, when I got done talking with the person who supposedly was going to take this off my card, she said, “thanks for calling Vista Prints.” I thought this was an affiliate company, not Vista Prints. AGGHHHH…

  23. JACKIE says:

    I recently checked my debit card acct online and also found a 14.95 charge in which I did not sign up for. I contacted them and also my bank. Vistaprint stated that they would cancel the membership (what membership?) and refund my acct. I will wait and see but in the meantime i will visit my bank and fill out dispute papers for safety.

  24. The Queen says:

    I have used vistaprint repeatedly. I have noticed, though, that when I stop ordering, they became highly aggressive with phone calls asking me to plane an order. What? That’s why I ordered online – I don’t want to be called at home!

  25. Tracy Goldhove says:

    I’ve checked my mailbox – 45 vista mailers in the last 60 days, that’s 0.75 mail/day avarage. Isn’t that crazy?! considering I have never really bouth from them, I can’t understand what they are trying to achive with me…
    I’ve tried few online printers and mostly using -redacted- which sends me 0 promotions and never call me 🙂

  26. Scott Thomas says:

    I wanted to do an update. I did get my account credited for the $14.95 x’s 4 months. They also have stopped sending me emails. (YESSSS) I did find an on-line company and I loved their options and product. Not as inexpensive as Vista prints but the design options blow them away. Plus, I haven’t received one email begging me to order since then.

  27. genedale says:

    Mike, I wonder if the FTC isn’t in bed with the spammers to the same extent that the FDA is with the drug makers. Keep business running and the hell with the American people.

    I average about 300 pieces of spam a day, with at least a dozen of them from VistaPrint, congratulating me and telling me to claim my free 250 business cards. I don’t own a business and so have never had a need for those cards, OR ANYTHING ELSE from VistaPrint. How I got on their email list, I have no idea. Of course, at least 290 out of those 300 pieces of spam I get a day are for products I don’t need and have never indicated an interest in.

    The irony of the Internet is it’s members anonymity. Which means that while I would love to believe Data Mining Blog when he says unsubscribing will do the trick, can I assume he’s not another spammer (no offense) just wanting me to confirm my email address. Or for that matter, can I even assume that he is really Data Mining Blog and not someone pretending to be him. lol

  28. Print Pro says:

    I have been printing business cards for 25 years with various printers. I ordered Vistaprint business cards, not the free ones, but the paid for ones. These business cards are a joke. The ink is transparent, and letters are comprised of little dots. Looks like a 10 year old printed the cards on a 20 yr old inkjet printer that is low on ink.

    VISTAPRINT.COM is just plain ole sucks!!!! Do not order business cards from them. You will be too embarrassed to hand them out.

  29. Donna says:

    I have written a comment before but I just can’t get over the amount of problems that some people are having with Vista Print. As I have mentioned, I ordered X-Mas cards, business cards and also change of address note paper and have not had one single problem with them. I order the X-Mas cards from them each and every year?? I don’t even get their junk mail that they seem to send out to others?? I guess I must be one of the Lucky ones, who knows.

  30. It is bizarre. Vistaprint is still selling my postal mailing address. Thank goodness for the USPS Form 1500.

  31. Print Pro says:

    I need to go find out what USPS form 1500 is

  32. Form 1500 is a form that the USPS came up with which allows you (the recipient of mail) to declare that you think a specific mailer is sending out pornographic mail. You simply fill out the form, include the piece of junk mail, and mail it to the USPS. 30-45 days later that mailer is prohibited from mailing you anything else. The USPS is *not* allowed to say what is pornographic, it is entirely defined by you. Of course, the loser can still share your address with other companies, but if you get any more mail from them, and you file a complaint with the USPS, they get fined significantly.

    See for the form, or my personal blog for more info, .

  33. Ross Burke says:

    VistaPrint also feeds consumer information (including credit card numbers) to Vertrue. Vertrue is apparently a successor corporation to MWI (MemberWorks Inc.), both of which have been attracting complaints from consumers who find unauthorized debits on their credit/debit cards. Vertrue specializes in membership-based consumer services.

    VistaPrint is known to have fed card numbers to BusinessMax (888-840-6296), which is a cover corporation for Vertrue; and People-Finders has similarly fed card number to ProtectPlus (888-658-6859), also apparently a cover for Vertrue. Calls to both BusinessMax and ProtectPlus show that these two entities are in fact one and the same. Further searches on the Internet show that these covers are associated with Vertrue.

  34. Ross Burke says:

    Personally, I’ve suffered from $14.95 debits coming from both BusinessMax and Protect Plus, but perhaps not to the same degree as others. The first time I encountered Vertrue’s “cramming”, I changed my debit card, expecting the phony debits to stop. They did not.

    It turns out that banks such as Wachovia can issue debit cards in two different ways. With my first request for a new debit card, Wachovia changed only the last four digits of my old card. Vertrue apparently knows this and has programmed its system to search for and use the new number. This works if the card is a “replacement” card as described above.

    It is necessary to go to greater lengths and request a new card with a totally different number. This is what I finally did earlier today. This seems likely to work. However, all of this means that consumers must go to considerable lengths and experience considerable inconvenience to stop the unauthorized debits.

    FWIW, the CSR’s for both BMax and PPlus allowed me to cancel my “memberships” without difficulty. They also agreed to reverse the debits. We’ll see how well this works.

    Also FWIW, Vertrue or one of its staff has written a patently self-serving entry on Wikipedia. Those who have experienced Vertrue’s business practices might want to submit their own edits to the entry.

  35. Wow, thanks for sharing Ross. One piece of advice good for *any* purchase online: Do not use a debit card. Use a credit card. The legal protections you have are greater with credit card purchases.

  36. Print Pro says:

    I have not yet experienced any fraudulent billing issues with Vista Print.
    My issue is strictly that their printing quality is completely unacceptable. They have not responded to my request for money back.
    Their print quality on custom jobs is a low resolution junky color printer that leaves little colored dots very visible.

    By the way, these are NOT their free business cards. I paid for the service and paid even more for “express” shipping.

    Over the next week as I grow more impatient waiting for a response from Vista Print, I will start posting EVERYWHERE how bad this company is and post examples of how shabby their work really is. I will post actual pictures.

  37. Ross Burke says:

    The “express delivery” options that VistaPrint offers are a joke. I picked the slowest possible delivery option for an order, expecting things to taske 2-4 weeks to arrive. The order still came within a matter of a coule of days.

    Express delivery is, for VistaPrint, just another way of squeezing more cash out of an order than is warranted by the service actually provided.

    Personally, the printing I found on the business cards I ordered seemed acceptable in quality, but the paper stock on which the cards were printed seemed pretty flimsy considering that I paid to have the cards printed on heavier stock. I suspect that this is another of their scams.

  38. Ross Burke says:

    Just to give credit where it’s due:

    The brain behind the credit/debit card scams, and the current CEO of Vertrue, is Gary Johnson. In the 1980’s, Johnson was a Harvard engineering student who started creating membership services. Somewhere along the way, he obviously found it more lucrative to scam consumers rather than to earn his living honestly.

    Thanks, Harvard. First Bill Gates, and now this.

  39. free willy says:

    I love vista print Ive been doing business with them for 3 years and never had any problems with them.But i do member haveing $14.99 billed every month to my card for the past 3 years so i dont member singing up for a plan if im getting scamed i’ll be very sad that they would tdo that to an old man will friends if you can help me let me know
    Thanks marven

  40. Kelley says:

    I just recently opened my online shop at and was looking into Vista Print and other companies to help boost sales. Now I’m reluctant to use Vista Print. What are some good companies to use as an alternative? Any recommendations? Thanks!

  41. jeff says:

    I hate Somehow they got my email address (I never ordered from them before) and they continually send me spam. I have requested that they cease on several occasions. It stopped once for about a week, then started right back up again, I think deliberately. I will NEVER buy anything from the rotten joint that employs dubious business practices.

  42. PrintPro says: will continue to rip people off, and ignore all complaints as long as they can. They have no morals or ethics. They just don’t care.

    The quality of their work is a joke. It is just BAD.
    They sucker people in by their free and cheap deals. Their business model is that since it’s so cheap, un happy customers won’t pursue it. Not worth their time. So Vistaprint just continues to steal people’s money $10-$20 at a time. Under the radar.

    i wish I would have seen this blog before I ordered form those scammers.

  43. genedale says:

    Like Jeff, I’ve NEVER done business with VistaPrint NOR have I indicated an interest in any of their products. And like Jeff, I hate them for somehow getting my email address and spamming the hell out of me. By the way Jeff, thanks for finally answering the question on my mind as to whether they would honor the “Remove me” request on the bottom of their messages. I was debating whether to try it and risk more spam. I kinda had a feeling it wasn’t going to work because of the East Helena, Montana address that it shares with so much of the over 300 pieces of spam I get a day. They all have the same address, but many different URLs. Maybe throw-away URLs for the same purpose as throw-away cellphones?

    I have this overwhelming desire at times to go to VistaPrint’s office in Lexington, MA. But if I go there and vent my rage and get arrested, it won’t have any effect on all those other companies that I also hate for their spam tactics. After all, not all of those 300 pieces of spam a day are coming from VistaPrint.

  44. angelo says:

    yes, vistaprint does suck. The quality is getting worse. Try having business cards, post cards, or anything that needs to be printed with the bleed on all 4 sides, and notice, the cuts are NOT straight. I stopped using these morons.

  45. genedale says:

    I got the below email today relating to Vista Prints and thought I’d pass it on. I cut and paste the first link and receive a “Link Unavailable” message, so this may be a scam. I haven’t tried the two unsubscribe URLs because I figure they are there to verify my email address. Since I’ve never done business with Vista Prints, this may be just an effort to verify my email to spam me some more.

    Subject: Attn: All shopping Essential buyers – Alert

    Have you been the victim of unauthorized credit card charges by Shopping Essentials?

    Numerous consumers have reported that they were unknowingly charged monthly fees by Shopping Essentials, without even knowing it. The charge for Shopping Essentials will often appear on your credit card statement as SHOPPINGESSEN.

    * Vista Print

    If this has happened to you, you may be entitled to compensation.

    Find out more!

    Cease Future receipt:
    or write to the following postal address: The Legal Leads Network, Inc., 14545 J. Military Trail #137 Delray Beach , FL 33484

    You may also contact us (or submit removal requests) to our customer service department at:
    96 Linwood Plaza – Suite 132 – Fort Lee, NJ 07024

    To unsubscribe from future e-mailings, please enter the following address in your browser:

  46. MKing says:

    Vistaprint used to be one of the only online printing firms five years ago. Them and PSPrint, and a couple others. I can see why people used them and I have as well back then. ($800 for 500 brochures and $40 for a box of business cards. Thanks guys.)

    What annoys me about them are how badly they cut corners on their products. Look at two examples (and Lord knows there are many more). Biz Cards and postcards: generally the most popular products in printing. Their biz cards are only 80# card. Everywhere else they use either 12 pt. or 14 pt. card stock. Usually 14 pt. gloss in most places. The cards are a lot cheaper and flimsier than other places. And as for their postcards, they have either 4.25 x 5.5 or 5.5 x 8.5. 4 x 6 is the standard used over 90% of all postcard orders. Which of course Vistaprint in their great wisdom don’t carry.

    At this point, there are a ton of other companies offering a similar and better service that they really should just go the way of the dinosaur. A quick search on the web should show some others.

    More and more printers are moving online. And hopefully when they bury Vistaprint, I’ll be there with a shovel.

  47. Vikram says:

    I got charged $14.95 twice since last month! This is similar
    to experiences of other people. Is there anyway to
    cancel this “membership”? Or do I have to cancel my credit
    card and get a new one? Any success with reclaiming the money?