Paribus Review 2020: Is Paribus Safe and Legit or Is It a Scam?Cash Back Sites and Apps
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- Basics: Paribus monitors your email inbox to see if you are due refunds for price drops or shipping delays on your online purchases, and tracks deadlines and policies for returns.
- Pros: Paribus runs in the background, acts on your behalf, and lets you know if you need to take action.
- Cons: Paribus requires access to your email inbox, and only works for online purchases with certain retailers.
If you shop online frequently, you probably know what it’s like to see something you just bought go on sale soon after. Sometimes you just have to accept the unfortunate timing, but you’d be surprised how many retailers are willing to make up the difference.
Paribus saves you money by helping you get cash back when there’s a price drop after your purchase. It also checks to make sure your orders arrive on time, and helps you get refunds on shipping fees when they’re late. Finally, it automatically tracks return policies and lets you know when you’re approaching a deadline for sending something back.
One potential drawback with Paribus is that you have to give it access to your email inbox. The company promises this isn’t as invasive as it sounds and that your privacy is never compromised, but you’ll have to consider whether the risk, however small, is worth it to you.
That said, Paribus is legit and is backed by a major finance company. Our Paribus review will cover the service’s features, how it might save you money, and the potential downsides.
Check it out: Here are some of our best tips on saving money
How Paribus Works
Paribus is owned by Capital One, which offers it as a free service whether you are already a Capital One customer or not.
Paribus Checks Your Inbox
When you sign up with Paribus, you agree to let it look through your email inbox for order confirmations and other messages related to online purchases.
If Paribus finds a match with one of the retailers it monitors, it looks at price, shipping arrangements, and refund policies.
Paribus Takes Action
Paribus swings into action if:
- the retailer drops the price of something you bought,
- shipping you paid for runs late, or
- there’s a deadline for returns.
If an opportunity for savings pops up, Paribus will email the retailer on your behalf requesting compensation according to the retailer’s policies.
Not every retailer allows this, though. In some cases Paribus will instead advise you how to handle the request yourself.
Don't Trash Your Savings
Does Paribus Charge for Its Services?
Paribus is offered by Capital One as an entirely free service.
No Fees or Commissions
Unlike many similar services, Paribus doesn’t take a commission on your savings — if you get $10 back on a purchase, the full $10 will be deposited into your account.
There’s Always a Catch . . .
Instead, Paribus makes money through marketing, including targeted advertising through the app. Assuming marketing content doesn’t bother you, you won’t lose anything by using the service.
How to Get Paribus
You can sign up through the Paribus website on your desktop, laptop, or phone. All you have to do is sign into your email and grant Paribus access.
There’s Also an App for That . . .
You can also download a mobile app for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, but the app isn’t required.
There’s no Android app, and the website isn’t compatible with Internet Explorer.
Just Three Email Providers Supported
Another important limitation is that Paribus currently only works with three email providers:
- Yahoo Mail
According to the company, these are the only email providers that allow them to monitor your inbox without storing your login credentials, an important security feature.
The Email Workaround
If you use another email provider, you’ll need to create a separate account with one of the three compatible providers to get money back through Paribus.
This Paribus Email Workaround Enhances Privacy, Too
If you don’t use Outlook, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail for online shopping, or if you don’t like the idea of letting Paribus rummage through all your emails looking for purchases, you can create a separate email account just for Paribus.
You can either use the new account for your online shopping, or just have your shopping-related emails forwarded to that account.
How Paribus Saves You Money
Paribus searches your email inbox for three money-saving opportunities.
After signing up with Paribus, you can shop online as usual. Paribus automatically checks your inbox for order confirmations, delivery notices, and other purchase-related messages.
If Paribus detects a price change of $3 or more on something you’ve ordered from one of its monitored stores, it will let you know.
Paribus emails the store or notifies you
Paribus will send the retailer a refund request on your behalf if the store policy allows it. Otherwise, it will tell you how to claim your refund yourself.
Naturally, refund availability can vary from one site to another. Amazon, for example, no longer offers price adjustments, so Paribus won’t get you this kind of refund from Amazon.
Refunds are usually credited back to the original payment method.
A surprising number of online stores offer compensation for late deliveries, but many people don’t even know these policies exist.
For example, Amazon refunds shipping fees after late deliveries, but only if you ask them to. Even if you’re aware of the policy, you may not think to ask for a refund without a reminder from Paribus.
Each online store has its own return policy, and it’s easy to lose track of deadlines. Paribus monitors a number of popular retailers and allows you to view all possible returns at once.
What Stores Does Paribus Monitor?
Paribus currently tracks a total of 28 stores in a variety of categories. This is a pretty good selection, but if your favorite stores aren’t on the list, Paribus has nothing to offer you.
The Current List
This list may change from time to time, and stores may change their policies, too.
No Need to Link Accounts
You don’t need to link your Paribus account to each site or do anything else to receive notifications. After connecting Paribus to your email account, it will automatically track your inbox to make the process as seamless as possible.
Paribus automates refunds from most monitored stores, but there are a couple of notable exceptions.
Paribus works with Amazon, but the process is more complicated than with other stores.
You’ll need to give Paribus your Amazon login credentials in order to view Amazon purchases in the Paribus dashboard. Prime Now purchases are currently excluded altogether.
Late Deliveries Only
While Amazon offers compensation for late deliveries, you’re responsible for filing the claim. Paribus will let you know when there’s an opportunity for compensation — even if you haven’t provided your login credentials — but you’ll have to go through the process yourself.
Fortunately, the late delivery notification will include step-by-step instructions for getting money back.
Amazon Delivery Delays Due to Coronavirus
As of this writing, Amazon deliveries of non-essential items may be significantly delayed, even if you have Amazon Prime. You shouldn’t count on refunds for delayed shipping during this or any other national emergency.
Most sites offer online price adjustments, but Target will only give you money back if you file a claim over the phone. As with Amazon, Paribus will notify you when you have grounds for a claim, but you’ll have to complete the process on your own.
Target offers price adjustments within two weeks of a purchase, so you’ll have some time to get your information together. Before calling, be sure to have your order number on hand along with the item’s new price.
What About My Privacy?
Paribus Doesn’t Sell Your Information
While Paribus doesn’t sell any personal information, it may share information with third-party service providers. Read the Paribus Privacy Statement for information on how to limit this kind of sharing.
Similarly, Paribus needs access to your inbox to check for receipts and order confirmations, but it doesn’t open any other messages.
Furthermore, it accesses your account without storing your email and password, and all email data is stored in an encrypted format.
Security Is Strong, but Nothing Is 100%
With that being said, it’s worth mentioning that Capital One experienced a major data breach during the summer of 2019.
While there’s no reason to think Capital One is particularly likely to have the same issues in 2020 or later, the company doesn’t have a spotless record when it comes to data security.
Revoking Paribus Email Access
If you ever change your mind about letting Paribus into your inbox, you can revoke its access in just a few steps.
Revoking Paribus Access to Gmail
Gmail users should navigate to their Google Accounts and click on “Security” on the left-hand side. Under “Third-party apps with account access,” click “Manage third-party access.” From there, simply select Paribus and click “Remove Access.”
Revoking Paribus Access to Yahoo Mail
Yahoo Mail offers a similar option in the “Recent Activity” tab. Clicking on this section allows you to view a full list of apps with access to your Yahoo account. Just click “Remove” next to Paribus and anything else you want to delete from Yahoo.
Revoking Paribus Access to Outlook
Outlook enables users to manage app permissions through their Microsoft accounts. Navigate to “Privacy,” then “Other privacy settings,” and finally “Apps and services that can access your data.” This screen gives you the option to remove permissions for any app or service that’s connected to your Microsoft account.
So Is Paribus Legit?
Paribus is a legit service. It is offered through Capital One, a well-established financial company, and doesn’t take any fees or commissions from users.
What Users Say About Paribus
You don’t have to download an app to use Paribus, but there is an optional app offered for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Otherwise, you just go to the Paribus site and login to your email.
The app is currently rated at just 3.9 stars on the App Store. While most users report positive experiences, a significant percentage of reviewers complain the app doesn’t do enough for them or that customer service has been unresponsive.
That said, every review has a developer response, so it seems the team cares about the customer experience.
Paribus Is Silent on Social Media
Another good way to see what kind of experience users have with an app or service is to check social media accounts. Paribus seems to be MIA here.
Paribus has a Facebook page, where users have rated it 3.2 out of 5. There are many current user comments, both positive and negative, but no responses from Paribus, and no posts from the company since 2017.
The Paribus Twitter account hasn’t tweeted or had any mentions since 2018.
Paribus has a LinkedIn account but no posts or other info, and no employees are available to connect with.
Paribus Customer Support
Paribus offers pretty informative support resources for a free service, although there isn’t any live one-on-one help.
Pretty Good FAQs
The support landing page contains answers to the most common questions including how to sign up, how to get paid, how to reset your password, how to link accounts, and how to delete your account.
Email Customer Support
You can contact the support team directly if your question isn’t answered on the website. The “contact support” button automatically starts an email to Paribus staff.
There are no listed hours or turnaround times for email support inquiries, and it’s hard to tell if users are getting helpful responses; many complaints mention a lack of response.
Save More With Wikibuy
Paribus and Wikibuy are both owned by Capital One, and Paribus users will frequently see ads for the Wikibuy browser extension. While you can get the same value out of Paribus with or without Wikibuy, it’s another good way to save money while shopping online.
Wikibuy Looks for Coupon Codes
Like Honey and similar extensions, Wikibuy automatically searches for and applies active coupon codes while you shop online. Once a code works for one user, it’s automatically applied whenever someone else shops at the same store or for the same item.
Wikibuy Price Matches
Additionally, Wikibuy offers real-time price matching to help you find the best deals. If another store is offering the same product for a lower price, you’ll get a notification before you complete the purchase. With more than 1 million active users, Wikibuy is constantly updated with the latest coupons and prices.
Earn Loyalty Rewards With Wikibuy
One of Wikibuy’s more unique features is the ability to earn loyalty rewards through Wikibuy rather than getting them separately from each store.
Simply link your debit or credit card to the app or browser extension to start earning centralized rewards.
These loyalty perks can be redeemed on Wikibuy for gift cards to a variety of brands.
Paribus Pros and Cons
- No fees. You’ll pay no fees or commissions when Paribus gets you a refund.
- Automatic. Paribus runs in the background and notifies you when savings are available.
- Big name. Paribus is owned by Capital One, a major financial company.
- Add value with Wikibuy. You don’t have to use them together, but Paribus makes it easy to add Wikibuy for more savings on online purchases.
- Privacy concerns. You have to grant Paribus access to your email inbox, and possibly your Amazon login.
- Limited retailers. Paribus monitors a decent selection of major stores, but some of your favorites may be left out.
- User experience is mixed. Paribus has its fans, but a significant percentage of commenters have complaints, and it’s hard to tell if customer service is helpful or not.
Is Paribus Worth It?
It’s impossible to say how much, if any, you’ll save with Paribus, because it all depends on your online shopping habits. The more you order from the stores Paribus monitors, the more chances you’ll have to save.
As for how hard you have to work to see those savings, that’s also hard to predict. When all goes well, you just shop as you normally do and Paribus saves you money. When there’s a problem, though, user comments and reviews suggest solutions may be hard to come by.
Who Saves the Most
You’re most likely to benefit from the service if you:
- Shop online frequently
- Favor the stores Paribus monitors
- Pay for shipping
- Often return or exchange online purchases
Paribus won’t get you money back on every purchase, but it may help help you save on price adjustments, late delivery refunds, and returns.
No Downside to Signing Up
Paribus runs in the background and automatically notifies you of savings opportunities, so if you’re willing to grant access to your inbox (and perhaps your Amazon login credentials), there isn’t really a downside to signing up.
Paribus monitors your email inbox to see if you are due refunds for price drops or shipping delays on your online purchases, and tracks deadlines and policies for returns.
Paribus Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Paribus?
Paribus is a free service from Capital One that monitors your email inbox to see if you are due refunds for price drops or shipping delays on your online purchases, and tracks deadlines and policies for returns.
- Do I need to download an app?
There is an optional mobile Paribus app for iOS, but you can just log in through the browser on any device.
- Do I have to be a Capital One customer to use Paribus?
No. Paribus is a free service anyone can use.
- Does Paribus read all my emails?
No. Paribus only looks for emails related to online purchases from the stores it monitors.
- Does Paribus work with every store?
No. Currently Paribus monitors 28 popular online stores, and not every service is available for every store.