First and foremost, this is not an "I didn't understand I had to pay to bid!" complaint. I am experienced in penny auction sites and am fully versed on how they work and what to expect with them. This complaint regards Beezid's practices of using a bait-and-switch tactic to lure in new customers with their TV ads and website.
That said, I was intrigued with Beezid's "Guaranteed Win" system. They claim that if you purchase a bid pack and do not win an auction, then these bids are returned to you so you can bid again and this process repeats until you win an auction. What isn't made entirely apparent up front (although they do state this in the terms and conditions so I cannot hold it against them) is that the bids are returned to you as "Win Bids" which can only be placed on "Guaranteed Win" auctions.
So after reading the terms and conditions of the offer, I decided to look at the way they have auctions setup and their current "Guaranteed Win" auction line-up. [continued below]....
..... It's a straight forward system - auctions are listed based on time remaining with the least amount at the top, and longer duration at the bottom. If an auctions time is greater than 24 hours, it's listed as "Stand By" and enters the queue in the order it's listed. The "Guaranteed Win" auction list uses an identical setup - or so they want you to believe.
I noticed at the back of the "Guaranteed Auction" list that there are five items of higher value than the rest (A diamond pendant, an LG home theater system, A Samsung HD camcorder, A Fossil watch and a Kindle Fire.) These five items are on "Stand By" and the page follows the same setup as all of the other auction pages. (e.g. You expect that when the current live "Guaranteed Win" auctions finish, these items will work their way into the queue and more items will be added in as "Stand By" behind them.)
This gives the potential customer a reasonable expectation that these items will go live within the day, again, because their normal auction list follows this formula. The fact of the matter is these items do not enter the live auction queue. I have set reminders for the auctions so I'm alerted one hour before they start and that was more than two weeks ago. To this day, no notice has been sent. I keep checking the site daily and seeing the number of auctions dwindle down to just one page with 5-6 active "Guaranteed Win" auctions, and these these 5 items remain on "Stand By". A few hours later, the auction list is replenished - 5 or 6 pages worth actually, and those same 5 "good" items return to the very back of the list, still on "Stand By."
THE BOTTOM LINE
Considering no other auction on their site sits on "Stand By" for more than a day or so before entering the queue, you are expected to believe you have a shot at winning these "good" items if you wait. Beezid however keeps these items on "Stand By" indefinitely and they never actually enter the system as a live auction (as a "Guaranteed Win" - you see them enter as "normal" auctions quite frequently, so it's not a limited stock issue.) This is baiting you into purchasing a bid pack with the expectation of having a solid chance of winning one of these items, but as you never get that chance, you are forced to use your "Win Bids" to purchase inferior, off-brand items barely (if even) worth the cost of your bid pack, PLUS shipping costs.
In a final ditch-effort to allow them to redeem themselves in my eyes, I e-mailed their customer support and directly asked if these items will ever enter the queue as live "Guaranteed Win" auctions. They told me to "set a reminder" so I'm e-mailed when a "Stand By" auction goes live, and blatantly dodged the question of IF these items will EVER go live.
These items are clearly designed to bait you into the system with no intention of ever offering them to you and is a text-book example of "FALSE ADVERTISING". It's extremely sneaky and Beezid refuses to comment on these particular auctions when directly asked about them. They are fully aware of what they are doing and this is intentionally misleading.
I am going to demand a refund of my initial bid pack purchase because of this issue. I don't expect them to cooperate, so I'm preparing to take the matter further. They either need to refund the initial bid pack, or send these items as "Guaranteed Win" into the queue, else they need to remove them entirely from the list.
The "Guaranteed Win" items you actually have access to are cheap, inferior quality items. Do NOT purchase a bid pack with the expectation that you will have a chance of winning one of the "good" items they show as coming up soon. They NEVER come, I know it, you will soon know it, and Beezid sure as Shirley knows it and are probably laughing about it. Head over to their site and look at the "Guaranteed Win" auction list if you want proof. They are ALWAYS at the back of the list and on "Stand By."