SamHenry Duped By XBIDS.COM Scam – See Update below

Posted on December 16, 2010

There WAS and article that appeared to have been written by a CNN staffer about her experience with the auction website [see comments at end of post about this].  Sounded fun.  You were told you would be initially given 20 free bids to try it (as she had) and so clicked on a link in the article and was taken to a page to sign in or register.


When you register, they ask for credit card information in a manner that leads you to believe that it is for reference purposes only.  Wrong.  They automatically charge you for a premium package of bids costing $75.00.

I sent an e-mail to the company.  The first one read:

Yasmin G., Dec-10 17:03 (PST):


I greatly apologize for the inconvenience. Depending on how you were referred to our site you were most likely given only a single bid-pack to purchase. I know that if you had gone directly to you would have had the option of choosing a bid pack of your choice rather than the premium pack of $75 (125 bids and 20 free vouchers) that advertisers promote. Once you have selected a bid pack, it will then state the grand total in bold writing at the bottom of the page and have you select the Terms and Conditions box before you submit to any charges. Also, you do not have to purchase any bids in order to have an active account with us. Joining is free (no charge). However bids are needed to participate in our auction. If you would like we could change your bid pack to the standard price at $27 (45 bids with 20 free vouchers) and have you submit a partial-refund request for the remaining amount. Please let me know how you would like to proceed. I would advise you to try out prior to closing your account however if you would like a refund please reply to this email so that I may refer you to our refunds department.

Thanks for trying!

Yasmin G.

x Customer Support

I said I wanted my money back and here is the answer to that:

Your request (#17928) has been deemed solved.

If you feel your request has not been solved, simply respond to this email.

Yasmin G., Dec-11 10:19 (PST):


Our refund department would like to contact you by phone so that you may explain your situation and they can help you get this sorted out as soon as possible. Be assured that you are in good hands, and you will get a response in a timely manner.

Please reply back to this email with the following information:

First Name:
Last Name:
Account Username:
Account Email:
Amount of Refund Request:
Phone Number: (000) 000 0000

Once we receive the above email, they will be contacting you via phone and settling this refund request with you.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Thanks for trying!

Yasmin G. Customer Support

Of course I never heard from them.

I have since read on the internet reports that mirror my own experience.

And that CNN “article”?  Read this: has begun running stripped-down ads that look a lot like editorial links, raising some concern among some journalism ethics experts.The online news site, owned by AOL Time Warner, is featuring advertising text links that appear at the top of Technology, World and U.S. News pages, adjacent to news headlines. Examples of text include: “If you Love Coffee,” “Up to 80% off Ink!” or “Avoid Bad Retailers.”Though the tags link to marketing Web pages rather than news stories, they are not clearly labeled as having been sponsored, or paid for by advertisers–a concern for some journalism ethics watchdogs. 

Read more:


After 2 e-mails to XBids to let them know my telephone number so a refund agent would call, I finall got a call.  I explained that I had written to the New York State Attorney General’s Office and had contacted the relevant federal authorities.  Suddenly a refund was made minus a couple of dollars for bids I had made.

The moral of this story is clear:  It works to contact the offices of your state’s attorney general.