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Posted 07/04/2021 in Couponing

Fetch Rewards: Ethical Concerns


Fetch Rewards: Ethical Concerns

Is Fetch Rewards real? Safe? Are there hacks to trick the Fetch Rewards savings app into giving you more money, like returning the items or other tips from bloggers?  The short answer is: Fetch Rewards is real, and they close accounts suspected of fraud.  Not sure if your situation is innocent or not?  Keep reading to learn how you can lose all your Fetch Rewards savings.


Is Fetch Rewards Real? Legit?

Yes, the Fetch Rewards app is real and legit.  The company has raised over $328 million in funding, processed nearly a billion dollars in receipts, and paid its app users over $120 million since 2017.

Fetch Rewards has both its fans and its detractors, just like most other companies.  Paying attention to the people who love the app can help new users find good deals and better understand how to use Fetch.

While it might seem an odd suggestion, reading the negative comments on the Fetch Rewards Facebook account and Better Business Bureau can help new users understand what to expect when they begin saving with Fetch.  For example, several people posted their confusion about a 3-day processing wait before they receive their gift cards during the redemption process.  Especially for users familiar with other savings apps, 3 days seems a long wait.  However, the community's more experienced users reply, saying the same thing happens to them, it's normal, and just wait 3 days and it will be granted.  On the BBB page, a person said his account was deactivated for suspicious activity, and one of the possible reasons could be he used a friend's device to check his own account.  From his post, we learn how serious the one-account-only and one-device-only policies are.

Another smart thing to do is the read the official Fetch Rewards Terms of Service.  Why?  Obviously, understanding the rules will help a new user enjoy the program without accidentally offending the site and having their account closed or blocked.  Not as obvious, perhaps, is Fetch's focus on its Terms of Service.  It is one of the very few documents and pages on the official site.  And in a job description for director of fraud analysis, Fetch very clearly asks for applicants with a focus on terms-of-service fraud in a tech company.  The company very clearly expects users to abide by the Terms of Service.


Is the Fetch Rewards App Safe?  

People ask if Fetch Rewards is safe with two different questions in mind.  

     1. Will I really get paid for the points I earn?  

Yes, there seem to be many people commenting online who mention they were paid via gift card.  However, there are also examples of people upset about their payments, one saying she was given the wrong gift card twice, and other people claiming their accounts were closed when they attempted to redeem their points.  The best advice is to cash out when the balance hits the amount you need for the reward you want.  Do not let the balance accumulate if you are worried the system might fail.  For example, redeem 10,000 points for a $10 gift card, and do it 5 times; don't wait for 50,000 points to ask for a $50 gift card, especially if the points-to-cash conversion rate is the same.


     2. Will Fetch Rewards share your personal shopping information with others?  

Yes.  That is the point, actually.  

Fetch Rewards and all other savings apps make some part of their money through data collection.  

Some apps may include your contact information when they share your data—it’s important to read the small print.  Most, like Fetch Rewards, will simply remove your contact information and amalgamate your info with other shoppers with similar profiles (same age, gender, location, income level, purchasing histories… there are many ways to slice consumer data to make it interesting to companies in search of information).  To be fair, even shopping with a credit card means your purchases might be part of a data collection.  Cash purchases without any loyalty programs or rewards may add a layer of privacy to your purchases—but even then, some stores film customers for data collection and research purposes both in the shopping aisles and at the register.  

 

Is Using the Fetch Rewards App Free?

Yes, Fetch Rewards is free.  

The only time users might feel like they are "paying" for something is when they examine the conversion rates from points to rewards.  Some are 1,000 points=$1.  Others, like the Visa cash card, convert at the more expensive rate of 1,200 points=$1.  However, varying conversion rates are not the same as "paying" outright, so, yes, Fetch Rewards is a free app.


There are Many Hacks and Scams Floating Around Fetch Rewards

A quick internet search shows a long list of people who want to share a "glitch" code for extra, free Fetch Rewards points, others who have videos on downloading an app similar to Fetch that allegedly gives "unlimited" points, and people who are looking to share ways to trick the system.

However, an even faster internet search shows Fetch has closed people's accounts for participating in these activities.  Even reading the Fetch Rewards job posting for director of fraud analysis, there's a clear inference that Fetch understands there are always people trying to trick any system, finding a glitch or hack to abuse or circumvent the rules.  And Fetch likewise understands there are some truly innocent people whose actions may trigger a fraud alert.  Fetch wants to balance these concerns--keeping customer service high while squashing account manipulation.  


Can Fetch Rewards Close an Account? And Take the “Earnings”?

Yes, Fetch Rewards can and has closed users’ accounts and taken away the earnings.   And Fetch has the legal right to do so.   In September 2019, Fetch partnered with Kount, a digital fraud prevention company, to better pinpoint potential fraud in user accounts.  They have also grown the number of fraud analysts in keeping with the growing number of app users.  These steps bolster Fetch's ability to spot potential fake code use and multiple-account use, which in turn means they will shut down more accounts.  There are posts of app users who say they are innocent and want their earnings restored.  There is even a post by a person who was just opening an account for the first time and was accused by Fetch of having multiple accounts--to which he asked for more information, since he is concerned this means someone is impersonating him and using his email account.  However, customers have little legal recourse in these matters.  


Do You Need to Preselect Fetch Rewards Offers?

No, Fetch Rewards app rebates do not need to be preselected before making a purchase.  It is helpful to review the offers before scanning the receipt, in order to make certain all the expected offers appear on the redemption screen.  If they do not, back out, find the other offers, and click to increase the number of expected redemptions, and it should appear on the list of redemptions.  


Can Fetch Rewards Track Product Returns?

Since Fetch Rewards partners primarily with merchandise brands, not store brands, there could be a misperception that Fetch will not have a way to track returned products.  However, Fetch has a close working relationship with several retailers, as shown by the ability to link to a user's Amazon account, press releases mentioning Fetch's partnerships with different chains (June 2021, Albertson's), and Fetch's pre-internet history of using retailers' checkout spaces for scanning Fetch purchases.  Also, the Fetch system works with specific skus which might be found at a limited array of retailers (the Good Humor Vanilla Viennetta is only carried by one store within 25 miles of this author's usual shopping spots), further improving the stores and Fetch's abilities to spot potential fraud and pinpoint the account holders.


Summary

The Fetch Rewards savings app is real and can save most users money.  Read posts in community forums to set expectations before starting with the app; read the official Fetch Rewards Terms of Service to fully know what is and is not allowed.  Always keep your balance low by cashing out around the $10 mark, in case your account is banned for real or perceived fraud.



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