This Money-Saving App Bugs Retailers and Gets You Refunds
By Lexi Pandell for Wired
WE’RE ALL LAZY online shoppers, and not just with those one-click Buy buttons. We want what we want, now, even when it will probably go on sale next week. You could apply for a refund, but who has time for that? The bots at Paribuswant to help.
If you’re willing to hand over access to your email and credit card info—a big if—they’ll bug retailers on your behalf. The app is part of an emerging class of do-it-for-me services that turn life’s little inconveniences into extra savings. There’s Trim, which cancels paid subscriptions you no longer use, and Slice, which is similar to Paribus but also stores your receipts and tracks shipping. Other apps route spare change into your investment accounts (Acorns), optimize budgets (Mint, Level Money, Digit), suggest stores with the best rebates (Ebates), and use your data to recommend programs with better interest rates (Credit Karma). It’s all automatic and exquisitely capitalistic. For its services, Paribus takes 25 percent of the reimbursement. The founders say the trade-off is worth it—one report found that Amazon changes its prices more than 2.5 million times a day. (Amazon maintains that any price-drop refund it allows is an exception to official policy.) “We’re getting people thousands of dollars back each month on toilet paper alone,” Paribus cofounder Karim Atiyeh says. So by not signing up, you’re flushing money down the toilet.
First appeared at Wired