Free Price Tracking App Gets You Money Back If Price Drops
There is a free price tracking app that could save consumers a significant amount of money on their online purchases. Capital One joined with Paribus two years ago to offer a free tool to monitor the online purchases made by consumers, and then help get them a refund should the price of any item be lowered.
How does Paribus work?
The Paribus app uses proprietary technology to scan your email for online purchases, monitor product prices and notify you if a lower price is available. Paribus from Capital One watches for price drops at certain online retailers that have price adjustment policies. Paribus can get you an automatic refund for the price difference since a number of stores have a policy of refunding a customer’s money if a better price is available elsewhere.
In the past, the responsibility was on the customer to find a lower price elsewhere. But Paribus will not only find the better price, it will also either negotiate the refund for you, or notify you of how to apply for the refund.
How can consumers benefit?
Capital One is offering Paribus free of charge, so there is very little downside to the service. While we all like saving money, most of us are too busy to laboriously study all the ads to determine if the price has dropped on an item. So it is highly beneficial to have a digital service that does this hard work for you.
Another perk that Paribus offers is a delivery monitoring feature. Most retailers offer a delivery guarantee feature. For example, if a package is guaranteed between 5 – 8 business days, and you have not received your product in over two weeks, Paribus automatically monitors the situation and will contact the retailer to request a full or partial refund of shipping or a store credit.
According to Capital One, Paribus has saved users over $30 million dollars on online purchases since its launch. It currently works with 30 of the largest online retailers, including Best Buy, Target and Walmart, as well as travel sites, such as Expedia, Priceline or Marriott, to make sure you are also notified if a hotel stay is cheaper after you have booked it.
Is it secure?
Security is a major concern for most people in this digital age. Consumers grant Paribus access to their inboxes, and the service scans “subject” and “sender” fields in emails for online orders. Only those emails related to one of Paribus’ retail partners will be reviewed by the service, so customers do not need to worry about the service scanning their personal emails. Additionally, both Capital One and Paribus have agreed not to sell user data to outside companies or organizations.
Finally, Capital One assures customers that Paribus uses multi-level security features, including firewalls, VPN and intrusion prevention systems and stringent access controls.
How does Paribus differ from Price Protection/Price Guarantee?
A number of credit cards offer card members Price Protection and retailers often offer Price Guarantee, but these work a bit differently than Paribus. For example, Price Protection does not automatically scour the web for a lower price. You will need to find the less expensive item yourself and then file a claim to have the difference refunded. Depending on the card, you have 30 to 120 days to file the claim, and some items or retailers may be excluded.
Price Guarantees are offered by the retailers themselves. For example, Priceline offers a “Best Price Guarantee.” If you find a lower price within 24 hours, they will refund you 100% of the difference. If you book an Express Deal®, they will refund 200% of the difference up to midnight the evening before you travel. However, unlike Paribus, none of these companies offer an automatic price guarantee. The onus is still on the customer to find the cheaper deal and apply for a refund.