VistaPrint FREE Shipping is a Scam and Rip-off

Trueler has recently received a complaint about VistaPrint Free shipping offer, which was not valid.

One of our readers got an email from VistaPrint with personalized free shipping offer:

VistaPrint Free Shipping e-mail

The following things make you to conclude that there is no shipping cost at all:

  • The subject of the message “FREE Shipping is here, Customer! Act now!
  • Personalized message with account number: “FREE Shipping just for you!”
  • A FREE SHIPPING Gift Card Just For You” banner with no stars, numbers, or other notes
  • The fineprint of the message specifies only expiration date of this offer – Nov 8, 2010. There is nothing mentioned about amount which you have to spend in order to get “free” shipping

The customer trusted this offer, spent time and created an order. But VistaPrint applied all the regular shipping charges at the end! A lot of time has been spent on creating text, uploading images, making modifications, because customer was sure in the free shipping offer provided by VistaPrint.

So, it was a decision to escalate the issue to the VistaPrint customer service, where the customer got an outrageous response:


Could you please let me know how I can use your “free shipping gift card” that I’ve received today by e-mail? I have clicked on the link, chosen some items, but at the checkout it looked like I still had to pay for the shipping.


Dear Customer:

Thanks for contacting Vistaprint, where it’s easy to make an impression for less.

To redeem your promotional pricing, please click on the link in the email promotion or type in the website address provided to activate the promotion in your account.

Once this is done, please follow these steps:

1. Create your document (s) or select documents that are already saved in your account

2. Proceed to the checkout process by clicking “Next”

3. Select your document options, verify items in your Shopping Cart,

4. Pricing will be listed on the “Shopping Cart” page

5. Complete the Check Out process

We hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.

Thank you for choosing Vistaprint.


Vistaprint Customer Service


That’s exactly what I do, but the system still charges me for the shipping.


Dear Customer:

Thanks for contacting Vistaprint, where it’s easy to make an impression for less.

Once the basic product offering is selected, discounts are valid only on lowest quantity of each product.

Additional charges will apply for shipping and processing, product upgrades and photo/logo uploads, unless otherwise specified. Discounts are not valid on previous purchases or in combination with any other offers. The free delivery applies to order values $50 and over.

Please note that there is additional information that can be found on the promotional offering.

We hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.

Thank you for choosing Vistaprint.


Vistaprint Customer Service

So, your so called “free shipping gift card” works only if I order for $50?

Dear Customer:

Thanks for contacting Vistaprint, where it’s easy to make an impression for less.

All the items in the Shopping Cart are Free, however, there will be a charge for the delivery.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this.

Thank you for choosing Vistaprint.


Vistaprint Customer Service

So, “Free shipping gift card” does NOT mean “Free shipping”?

Dear Customer:

Thanks for contacting Vistaprint, where it’s easy to make an impression for less.

We apologize, but at this time we do not have customer support available in your language, which is the reason we are responding in English.

Please respond to this email in English and we will be happy to assist you.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience.

My language is English.

And my question was, does “Free shipping gift card” from you really mean “Free shipping”?

No responces after that…

VistaPrint makes unfair advertisement campaigns with the help of direct e-mail and other ways. For example, Google AdWords system features the following AdSence on the search engine results page:

VistaPrint Free Shipping AdSense

That is “Free Shipping” promise with no excuses and no limitations. We have tried it out, and got regular shipping fees when completed an order.

So, the word “FREE” heard from VistaPrint means absolutely nothing. You will incur regular charges and fees after spending valuable time on the completion of your order. Beware of this unfair practice from VistaPrint!

17 thoughts on “VistaPrint FREE Shipping is a Scam and Rip-off”

  1. I wanted to order leaflets from vistaprint for a charity I am trustee of and noticed they charge VAT. Leaflets are a zero rated for VAT in the UK except in very specific circumstances. When I pressed this point on the phone and explained the fact that I had called HMRC to discuss this and had the relevant laws in front of me – they offered me an extra discount on my order – which I have not yet made….

  2. I have been a customer of Vistaprint for three years. I ordered 10 Wall Calendars they charged me $272.00.
    The following day they had a promotion they I found by accident, the wall calendars were $5.00 ea. I was ripped off for $220.00 – that can’t be ethical. I wonder what the true price of printing wall calendras really is?????
    Vistaprint have lost another customer

  3. I fell for this same rip-off… There is NO free shipping as advertised on TV. I will NOT use this company again due to their false advertising.

  4. sorry guys, but half the people who posted above are liars.

    first of all, free offers are always

    A) on the SMALLEST denominator


    B) the LOWEST quality

    so therefore, you cannot incur shipping charges so high (some people reported above high charges like 20 to 50 dollars), and you are simply telling lies.

    seconds of all, imagine, a business gives away products for free, and all you have to pay is shipping, and people still bitch and say they are being ripped off. ITS FREE! how can you be getting ripped off? because you have to pay for it to get sent across the world? you people are nuts!

    YES, sometimes, they have misleading “offers” as promotional campaigns, and YES sometimes their idea of “free” is not “free as in “free” beer”, but none-the-less, if all you order is that one product, from the country which the offer is made in, at the lowest quality, with no additions to your order, it will only cost you shipping and handling! and as for the free shipping and handling being only if you order X amount of dollars, yes, that is also misleading, but its not like its illegal.

    its called advertising and fine print is not legally imposed on emails, but rather, before check out, like the QUITE OBVIOUSLY DO! its to bring people into the online store, what do you expect from JUNK MAIL! DUH!

    and yeah guys, turns out, if you get an email from instead of .com (just for exmaple) the offer isnt in your area, and it doesnt apply to you. not their fault. its junk mail, sent out my their 3rd parties or on behalf of their company, same as every other company in existence.

    just my two cents. the company gives away stuff for cheap, and does all the work for you. and they even give away offers like stuff for free, if your lucky enough to figure it out. i would be happy and thank them.

  5. I received a ‘Free Mug’ promotion through Footytips Australia. Of course i had to pay for postage of $10 and so far i haven’t received anything?

    I received emails saying my product has been shipped on such n such date. I did notice that the address for Vista Prints is the Netherlands, so maybe that’s why it’s taking so long?

    Order placed on: 25th Aug
    Shipped: 31st Aug
    Today’s Date: 14th August

    I don’t think it’s a scam but if i don’t receive the mug by the end of this week, i will be reporting it.

  6. I ordered address labels from vistaprint, paid, and received an order confirmation, but, no order. When I called vistaprint, I was told there was no order placed, even though I had an order number and my master card bill stating they had been paid. Lesson learned, do not order from this company!

  7. I ordered several “free” things from vistaprint and the shipping fee was 48 USD!!!! No Kidding!!!! I got rid of the “free” item promo and the shipping was substantially cheaper. Eventually, I got rid of some of the things in my cart, reducing the shipping to 21 USD (Still crazy)

  8. I have been trying to cancel my website for over 6 months. I have repeatedly called every time my credit card is charged and they say they will cancel until the next month there it is again. I am going to have to cancel my credit card to stop this rip off.

  9. I ordered business cards at a great price and a web site through them. I have no beef about the cards but when I could not get my web site to set up, I called customer service and got some joker at a call center in Jamaica!! As for the shipping,I have two questions in mind; first of all why would Vistaprint play such stupid and pointless games with their customers in such a competative world and why would anyone think that a company can charge so little and ship for free?? To me the shipping charge is offsetting the cost of the product,but still a good deal regardless. I do seem to recall a minimum order for the so called “free shipping”. Bottom line….a company has to make their margins to stay in business. With their volume, it should be small.

  10. Was never scammed or enticed to – thought I’d try them for some bits & pieces for a client til I got to the shipping part and almost crapped myself…

    Sorry Vista – nice try, but you can shove your shipping fees up your a%%…I’m going elsewhere.

    Don’t get ripped off by these jokers.

  11. This is the only new Company I have dealt with online for a considerable time and placed my order only days ago. A few hours ago I received a call from my Credit Card Company asking if I had purchased something this morning from a Company in the UK with my Credit Card. I suspect I know where the criminal got my credit card number.

  12. I received an email today that stated 10 free products + free shipping. I was so excited and added my ten products to the cart. At checkout it said I owed over $25 for shipping. I called and spoke to a rude rep. who told me they had no such promotion. He made me so mad I hung up on him and called back to talk to another rep. She told me I had to buy over $30 worth of products. I forwarded her the email and she still said I was not correct. No where in the email did it say I had to order over $30 worth. False advertising! I order things from them all the time so I thought this was a customer appreciation email. After the way I was treated I will not order or recommend anyone to order from them!

  13. Sorry to post on here after a while, but I ran into the same thing. The ‘Free mug’ offer sounded good. Thought it would be fun to slap a picture on a mug and get it sent out.
    But ‘slow’ shipping (21 days) = $12.10. I expected to pay a couple of dollars for it, but not $12.10. I know it doesn’t sound much, but coming from a free offer, thought it was a bit much and misleading.
    I selected a different country (Samoa) at random and it said it was $10 shipping.


    Nothing is Free and so I expected some scam, but all the way through the process it clearly stated that you would “be able to review your order before payment”, so I thought I would just cancell any order.
    I SAVED SCREENSHOTS of every step!

    I elected to pay by Paypal and as soon as I loggon onto Paypal the next screen showed a confirmation of order!!!

    No chance to review or cancel.

    Complained to Paypal who were useless, their “investigation” didn’t even include the screenshote, sent to Paypal as a Ms Word attachment.

    Paypal claimed their software couldn’t read the attachment!!!

    What company doesn’t use Microsoft Word??

    Paypal are LIARS and as Vistaprint is heavily promoted by Ebay you will probably find out that all three companies are owned by the same people.

    Anyway, the Screenshots are now with Trading Standards and as Vistaprint are not in the UK, the details of my complaint will be passed to The Office of Fair Trading.

    If you use Vistaprint after reading this then you get what you deserve is all that I can say.

    Vistaprint = SCAMMERS

  15. I have regularly used Vistaprint and find the quality and prices to be excellent. However, I am increasingly finding their promotions difficult to obtain. i.e. today I received an email promising 500 free business cards. However, try as I might I cannot get their website to offer any more than 250 ‘free’ cards. Last week, I ordered 3 of their calendars for $9.99. The leaflet (obtained in a store) did not mention postage at almost $5 (though I had assumed there would be some postage) but neither did it mention sales tax (VAT) which brought the total order value to nearer 20 than 10 pounds! Mis-leading marketing and impossible online promotions will only harm Vistaprints usually good reputation for value for money products. It would be far better to offer sensible, straight forward prices at the promotion stage.

  16. Hi Jennifer,

    It would be good if you can share reply which you will get from Vista Print (if you will get any)


  17. I have received a similar email and have too created an order – likely not worth the $50 which is why I have not received my FREE shipping. I emailed them – If you would like the reply that I get, let me know.

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