Friday, November 26, 2010

BEWARE! NEVER BUY FROM BIG FISH GAMES!

BIG FISH GAMES,  A SCAM?


I got a nasty surprise this morning when I checked my bank account. I had a charge for $6.99 from Big Fish Games.


I was completely perplexed - neither my husband nor I had purchased anything from this company recently. In June I did purchase a hidden object game from them.


As it turns out, if you don't choose to "opt out" of their "Game Club" you will be automatically charged each month for all eternity! This is absolutely absurd, even though I believed that all I did was purchase one game and I thought that I did read everything on the screen.


I was horrified and they have already filched almost $40 out of my bank account!


I decided to look this up online, and it's no surprise that there are hundreds and hundreds of complaints about this company, with the Better Business Bureau alone having 117 various recorded complaints about them to date! Surely all of us who have had this nasty experience with this company can't all be that stupid that we would allow money to be taken out of our account on a whim for some dumb game club we didn't even know existed.


And get this, when you log onto your account with them to cancel everything, one of the drop down box reasons to cancel is "I didn't know I signed up for the Game Club" which obviously shows that the company is completely aware of what is going on and yet they continue this practice. This company uses sneaky tactics to make money off of honest customers who would normally willingly pay for games.


When you have a transaction with a company, trust is involved. You trust that they will provide you with the product they sell you, that it works as you expect it would, and you trust them with your billing information and the fact that they will charge your bank account only for what you authorized. This trust has been shattered, and it's obvious this company is only interested in making a quick buck, rather than forging long term honest relationships with their customers.


This is the Complaints Board link and all of the stories are the same as mine:


http://www.complaintsboard.com/bycompany/big-fish-games-a9661.html


My recommendation is that you should avoid this company at all costs.


UPDATE 12/09/10: After disputing these transactions with the company, they refunded me the last two months worth of charges.

45 comments:

Bill Williams said...

Thanks for the info.
I have just had a similar experience with the same company. Amazing how they can keep running this scam!

The Sassi Wench said...

@Bill Williams, I'm so sorry you had a similar experience. What they are doing should be illegal.

Tanya said...

I found your blog while researching this company. The same exact thing just happened to me. I bought a game from them for my daughter with NO mention of a monthly club that I would be billed for. I found out yesterday that they charged my credit card this last month for an additional $6.99. I called my credit card company to reverse the charge and to stop any further charges from them. I also just filed a complaint with the BBB. They are thieves!

The Sassi Wench said...

@Tanya, it's beyond belief to me that they are allowed to do this. I hope you can get some kind of refund.

Dave W said...

I came across this blog whilst researching why I had been charged $7.61 this month. As you folks have stated, they have essentially stolen my hard earned cash.

I purchased a game for my girlfriend from them, about two months ago. Now I am getting charged without signing any consent for billing, or asking them to remember my credit card info.

I will be filing charges in the New York courts against them. I suggest you all do the same.

NintendoKIng said...

this IS illegal though. essentially they are exploiting their consumers and misinforming them. LAW-SUIT! LAW-SUIT!

Downtroddenindc said...

I had the same experience. Just got a payment authorization email from Paypal and couldn't figure out what it was for. I disputed the charge with Paypal directly and went in and made sure to cancel the account.

I had bought a game back in November and don't recall ever seeing or consenting to agree to have my paypal account charged monthly going forward.

If Paypal doesn't refund the amount, I'll dispute/chargeback the amount directly with my bank since they put it through on my VISA.

I suggest the rest of you dispute the charge as well. Fighting disputes/ charge backs requires a ton of time and normally the banks want to try to keep their customers happy that they side with them.

So some hidden clause in a digital contract isn't going to allow them to win this. Plus it's down right predatory what they're doing.

Anonymous said...

I have the same situation and I would like to cancel it.

But, since, I moved and don't even remember under what name is this account so nevermind the password, I can't seem to be able to cancel it ?

Should I simply put a 'stop payment' every month and be charged by the bank for every month ? What do I do ?

Anonymous said...

This is a racket but they return your money if you ask for it. I found a contact number (866) 921-6960 for Big Fish Games on the Better Business Bureau site (http://www.bbb.org/western-washington/business-reviews/games-and-supplies/big-fish-games-in-seattle-wa-39000589). Big Fish was very cooperative when I called this number. If you are not satisfied, you can file a complaint on that BBB site. Surprisingly Big Fish has an A+ rating because they satisfy complainers.
They make their money from the poor folks who don't bother to complain about the fact that they were tricked into a monthly charge for something they never wanted.

L Kistler said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I just discovered the charges while balancing my books and called the (866) 921-6960 number, speaking with "James", who verbally said the charges would be refunded to my PayPal account and I received email to that effect.

Anonymous said...

WOW I was RIGHT in the process of buying a useless game from Big Fish Games through something called TrialPay that allows me to buy a software I need for free if I buy something from one of its advertisers which one is Big Fish Games. I could get a game for $2.99 new user promotion. Little did I know as I was going through this process I smelled something fishy, no pun intended... So I decided to do a quick google and it paid off. Countless reviews of this shady website.

But honestly though, the majority of you should have read the fine print and terms and services link. The info is all there that they will charge you monthly.

I personally would have went through with it if it weren't for the google search. Thanks y'all.

Any questions or responses hit me up at buynsell22 at --hotmail-- dot com.

Oxford victim said...

Yes, I was duped as well. They owe me hundreds of pounds. What can we do to get together to get our money back?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I was about to buy some useless game from Big Fish so I could get 1400 "fuel" via Trial Pay.

Im glad I didnt use my mom's credit card after all- she woulda killed me!

Feanne said...

This happened to me too!!! I only signed up to buy one game, I had no idea I'd be automatically included in that game club with an automatic $6.99 charge monthly!!! I've complained to them and also asked my bank to cancel the transaction. What a lame thing for the company to do.

Κώστας said...

I lost 50 Euros because of that fraud. I was in a very bad psychological state last June 2012, and all I waned was to play a stupid little game on my mobile phone to take my mind away. 8 months later I discovered what had happened. I'm very disapponted, not only for the money I lost, this is nothing, I could have spent any time 50 Euros on a bad game, or anything really. But I feel that in a way they took advantage of me while I was in a very vulnerable moment. It's times like this that I feel hatred for people.

Mike R from Monterey CA said...

I JUST DISCOVERED BIG FISH GAMES HAS BEEN STEALING $6.99 EVERY MONTH FROM ME WITHOUT ME KNOWING FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS! SCAM!! SCAM!! SCAM!! Shame on me for not checking my paypal account more closely. I never check my paypal account! Big Fish games is a major illegal scam. Thiefs!!

Mike R said...

I JUST DISCOVERED BIG FISH GAMES HAS BEEN STEALING $6.99 EVERY MONTH FROM ME WITHOUT ME KNOWING FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS! SCAM!! SCAM!! SCAM!! Shame on me for not checking my paypal account more closely. I never check my paypal account! Big Fish games is a major illegal scam. Thiefs!!

Alexis Johnston said...

Just went though everything today as well. For me I have been charged since 2010. A total of $106 for 2 games that where $14.00. I received &69.90 back in refunds today but they say it's impossible to go back to 2011 or 2010. I was lucky that I had received a new credit card back in 2011 so only lost $23 in the process. As I am still absolutly upset by this I tried and tried to get the $23 but no luck. So I am posting comments around the internet to tell people to stay away from Big Fish. It's a complete SCAM. I just can't believe a company would be so distrustful. It's sickening.

Marius Malta said...

Hi just discovered big Fish Games were helping themselves to €7 per month from my Visa Account. I wish I'd checked them out before using their service. Would you all believe that bbb.org gave them an A+ accreditation???????? What scares me is that if you perform a google search for "Big Fish Games billing" you can see the sheer scale of their scam. Unbelievable they should be thrown in prison.

Anonymous said...

I too have been charged $7.14 per month for the past two years and never noticed until yesterday. I emailed Big Fish Games to complain and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer. I talk to my credit card company who can't do anything about it except to tell me to cancel my subscription! WHAT A RIPOFF!

Anonymous said...

All of you are idiots and obviously can't read. There is very obviously a checkbox in the shopping cart that can be UNCHECKED in order to opt out of the game club. It is NOT a scam and just proves that all of you don't know how to read everything on the screen.

Yubei77 said...

A few minutes ago, the Bigfish want to steal 319,49 USD from me, but the PayPal stopped the transaction. Damn thieves.

Anonymous said...

The Anonymous above who called all those people idiots is being a little harsh. Big Fish presents itself as a normal games sales company, and that is deceptive marketing because their real business is running an online members club. The games are just the 'lure' they use, pardon the pun. I wouldn't be surprised if the above commentator works for the company though, because he seems to think the same way they probably do: "it's the customers fault for expecting all companies to do business a certain way. companies can do whatever they want really, as long as they cover their butts with a contractual clause". That may be legal but its still unethical.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that my issue with BF isn't their monthly payments, which I noticed right off the bat; it's that they force you to download an incredibly large app before you can start downloading the stupid game, which more than doubled the amount of time it took to start playing. The savings on the game itself weren't that amazing that I was happy to spend two days installing a game that should have taken two hours max - thanks to the fact that I have an internet connection and bandwidth limitations, like 99 percent of the European population. Why do so many American companies assume we all have top of the line broadband, like they presumably do? They don't and that makes this service particularly poor in my eyes.
Anyway thanks for the warning post Sassi!

Anonymous said...

Guys, I'm sorry but you really need to read instructions more carefully. And since they are cooperative and do return the money promptly, it should show you that it is not a scam.

Alexis said...

The definition of scam is: a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people. Now since BigFish says in multiple places about how they will charge 6.99 monthly after the first month and have a box you can uncheck along with multiple statements saying you can cancel at anytime they are NOT a scam. That is like buying the vanilla Oreos but wanted regular then saying Oreo scammed you because you couldn't be bothered to pay attention to the packaging.

It seems rather rude to slander a company for something that was your fault you didn't read and who, even though it was your fault, still refunded you your money.

Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with my credit company since you can't get a human at Big Fish to answer the phone.... and shame on me, they've ripped me off for over 12 months now and I probably wouldn't have caught on if I hadn't paid off my credit card and found a brand new charge all by itself.
The biggest JOKE is that the BBB gives them an A+ rating,,, guess we know where some of the money they stole from us is going.

Anonymous said...

Same here. I have bought the same game 3 times now that I purchased only once. They should be put out of business.

Anonymous said...

You are exactly right about Big Fish Games being a rip-off. Here in Australia we have a saying "Come in spinner" It means Ha tricked you! Sure they ripped me off for three lots of $7 but in return I have told as many people of the devious Ar****pes" of what they are up to. Hopefully with the help of decent trusting people like yourself and others we will cost them millions in lost sales and finally flush them down the toilet. I believed they are based in the US; surely the federal police can do something to bring them to justice. $7 might only seem like a small amount, but if BF games can con 1 million people out of $7 once each month that is a tidy sum of $7 million and over a single year about $80 Million dollars. All from people that can least afford it. If you robbed the Federal Reserve of that much money and got caught you would definitely do jail time.

Maybe someone should inform the US news media and the fraud squad.

Anonymous said...

What you can do is conveniently have stolen or loose your credit card. Your Bank will then quite happily provide another. I use a debit card to buy online games or purchases. As soon as I complete purchase I transfer (apart from the agreed amount of purchase I have just made) most of the funds into my main account. Leaving just a couple of dollars in the account so not possible for anyone to scam it. Next time I decide to purchase something I just transfer enough funds to cover Item.

Also if you are using PayPal and that is where BigFish games are taking the money from, like a sort of "Direct Debit" Let PayPal know by phone. The staff at PP are great and will put a block on payments to the likes of the "Snake Oils Salesmen" at BFG.

Daniel Hattis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel Hattis said...

Hello Folks,

My class action law firm is investigating complaints about Big Fish Games for unauthorized credit card charges. As many of you have posted, Big Fish Games hooks consumers with an offer of a single cheap game on its website. Big Fish then automatically enrolls the customers – without their permission – into the Big Fish “Game Club”, billing them $6.99 per month until the customer notices the charges and cancels the “service.”

If you are a California resident who has been a victim of unauthorized credit card charges by Big Fish Games, we would like to learn of your experience.

Dan Hattis
Hattis Law
dan@hattislaw.com
http://www.hattislaw.com/cases/big-fish-games-class-action-unauthorized-credit-card-charges/

Anonymous said...

Same tribe who runs Bigfishgames has ripped off the world via their Wall St. scams.

Boycott anything to do w/the tribe, including Joolywood!

Anonymous said...

NOT A SCAM!!!
You allowed the monthly charge by not un-checking the box, during checkout. Log in to your account and you will see a game credit for each and every charge... USE THEM. Also, it is as easy as falling off a rock to cancel BF... some people just shouldn't be on the internet!

Anonymous said...

I thought we were the only ones. These guys are low life scammers. Don't purchase anything from them unless you don't care about any of your money. They have taken $225 from me. I bought a game from them in 2012, and they have charged us $7 a month for 2 years! We just now noticed these charges and are planning on trying to get our money back.

Anonymous said...

Just got down with them as well. I purchased a game which I was never able to download, nor was I ever able to install their bigfishgame app. Since I couldn't use the app on my computer, they agreed to refund me my purchase…yet they still enrolled me without my authorisation into their game club…with the full knowledge that their app was not compatible with my computer…I just noticed the charge to my bank account and asked for a refund. Let's see what happens. Clearly a very dishonest transaction…

jen said...

First if you paid 6.99 a month you received credits for buying your next games, secondly I canceled and they stopped immediately, but I still had the credits from belonging that got me new games. If you look at your order form when buying a game you need to make sure the "join club"box is not checked because if it is you have agreed to join for 6.99 per month. Always read the order before you buy anything

Aimee B said...

They literally took $335 from me and I never even knew I signed up for this and I've been paying them for the past four years for nothing at all!!!!

Robin said...

Hey, Guys don't forget to go into your bigfish account and delete your credit card information. I cancelled 2 years ago and relized that bigfish was still collecting $6.99 a month out of my account. I went to my bank and issued a fraud alert and big fish reimbused me 21.00 and then kept taking it out. I am compilling data to send to the State and Federal Attorney General to ask them to launch an investigation. I am sick and tired of this shoddy and preditorial business practices of big fish games and others like them. It is time for some accountability with these companies.

Anonymous said...

Tried to cancel my account with these guys. Followed their instructions, but no cancel box anywhere on my account. Did delete my payment info though [paid with Paypal], then went into my paypal account - make sure it's in classic view - and clicked on Bigfish payment to open it. Attached to it was an pre-approved agreement for regular payments[!!]. Clicked cancelled, and a message came up from paypal that regular payments had now been cancelled. :)

Kyle Kirkpatrick said...

Uh... you do know that at checkout, it clearly says "BIG FISH GAMES GAME CLUB TRIAL!! 30 Days Free! You will be charged AUTOMATICALLY if you don't CANCEL!" You also have the option to not even do this, you just have to pay a little more. So frankly it's your fault that you didn't read what it said, just saying...

I have purchased quite a few games from them and I've had NO problem with them whatsoever. I don't have the Game Club Membership and they have never charged me for it! My grandma has over 450 of their games and she's had no problems either (however she does have Game Club.)

Next time, read the fine print before you b***h about something on your blog...

Anonymous said...

Place of residence - Ontario
I WAS A MEMBER FOR APPROX. 1 YR.
AT THAT TIME I WAS USING A PREPAID VISA VANILLA WITH NO ISSUES.(AND I KNEW ABOUT THE MEMBERSHIP FEES)
MY MEMBERSHIP AND GAME PRCHASES WERE PAID FOR BY THIS CARD.
2 WEEKS AGO I TRIED TO MAKE A "SAVINGS WITH COUPON PURCHASE"
AND FOUND THAT I WAS PAYING FULL PRICE FOR THE GAME - MY MEMBERSHIP HAD EXPIRED B/C MY PREPAID RAN OUT.
LONG STORY SHORT AFTER SOME INVESTIGATION I DISCOVERED I COULD PAY FOR MY GAMES THROUGH PREPAID CARDS BUT NOT MEMBERSHIP. (THIS WAS NEW)
THEY DO NOT ALLOW PREPAIDS FOR MEMBERSHIPS (AS MENTIONED IN ABOVE COMMENTS) THIS IS WHERE THEY MAKE THEIR MONEY AND PREPAIDS RUN OUT QUICKER THAN YOUR CREDIT CARDS. :-/
lol
WHAT A MANIPULATIVE COMPANY. I WILL BUY THE OCCASIONAL GAME BUT THEY ARE NOT GETTING ANY "UNLIMITED" CREDIT CARD FROM ME!!!
Frustrated and p-off!

Kyle Kirkpatrick said...

@Anonymous

It makes sense! Just like you said, Pre-paid cards are limited so they are not good for re-occuring payments. And yes with Game Club Membership you get 30% off games automatically plus Member Perks like a Monthly Punch Card, Daily Deal games which are only $2.99, Exclusive Games and BETAS, and a FREE game every month! My grandma has great use out of it as she has purchased a total of 450 games from them, so far... I don't have membership because I'm not as into Casual Gaming as my grandmother, but I have purchased a sum of titles from them (about 20) and I haven't had a problem with them (hence they won't steal your Credit Card information if that's what you are worried about. It is totally safe to give them that information to pay for your games.)

Grace said...

Did anyone get a refund from their monthly membership payments?

Anonymous said...

Total scammers. $7.14 CAD each month for last few months. You can only leave a voice message and they only ask for your email - not for your phone number to resolve the issue directly. No email was ever sent to me from them after leaving BFG a message. I just had Visa change my card # and blocked Big Fish Games from accessing my credit card account ever again. Kissed the 40-50 bucks they stole goodbye, but got them blocked from taking out anymore money.

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