The use of the word, "scam", according to its dictionary definition, does not come in to play until the poet has sent money in exchange for a promise of valuable goods and they have not been sent what was promised. In real life, many people are able to identify a potential scam before they lose money and call it by the shorter form.
The real issue here appears to be the failure of assorted organizations to clearly state on their websites the whole truth - and I don't mean in the small print, either.
The promise to "A" to publish in exchange for "B"'s 'valuable property' (poem with or without payment in legal tender) and the acceptance by "B" forms a legal contract. Where "B" has been led to believe by "A" that "A" will send them compensation and "A" fails to do so, there is breach of contract.
The simple solution to this is to clearly state that there will be a fee to print your poem. This statement should be on the same page where you type in the poem to submit it. There should be no misleading language on any site that involves vanity publishing.
The rebuttal sounds defensively indignant. It is true that there is nothing illegal about being a VANITY PRESS, but there is definitely something wrong, at the very least ethically, when a VANITY PRESS fails to clearly disclose this to potential participants. There are laws about misleading advertising and making false statements.
One last thing, it is my personal opinion that all persons writing rebuttals should hit Spell-check before they hit Submit. It's ridiculous to see spelling errors coming from a person who purports to be associated with the publishing industry.
Canada Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Poetry Scams-Various Website & Organizations