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Facebook Grossly Overcharging on Business Ads

Original post made by Renee, another community, on Oct 3, 2010

Facebook is grossly overcharging small businesses on business advertising ads. I submitted an ad to Facebook specifying a total ad budget of $50. Three days later I discovered Facebook was charging me $50 a day, not $50 in total! They also sent me an e-mail unilaterally increasing my total ad budget to $250 without my permission. I asked them to reverse all charges from my credit card. They adamantly refused. They continued to bill me for one day after I cancelled my ad account with them. I wrote to my credit card company and they reversed the charges from my credit card. Facebook, in violation of their contract with the credit card company, then immediately kicked me off of Facebook for refusing to pay the overcharges my credit card company had also judged to be an overcharge. Small businesses need to be forewarned about Facebook's behavior.

Comments (14)

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Posted by Farcebook Dramaqueen
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Oct 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm

if you don't give them money then they don't have power.

Facebook will become as marginal as MySpace within the next generation.

2016 they are done.

Look at eBay as an early example: they once thrived and now a bunch of professional sellers selling the same item often more than it item can be found on other e-sellers.

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Posted by the zuck
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Haven't you seen the movie? The facebookies have no scruples. They will do anything for money, then try to crush you if you don't like it.

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Posted by City Emp
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Wow, that sounds shady.
I've never felt the need to start a page. I feel we're putting way too much personal info out into cyberspace.

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Posted by Sheilah Renaud
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I started a website through Vista Print and saw that I could advertise on Facebook, which I did. The ad said $9.99/month and one month trial period. Well, not so! They charged me $9.99/day DURING the trial period. I cancelled twice over the phone during the trial period and PayPal got my money back agreeing with me on my case. Facebook then threatened to kick me off my regular Facebook page (not ad) if I went through my financial institution again. I had a difficult time finding how to delete the ad and when I was able to, of course they refused to reimburse me. There no way to contact them directly. BEWARE OF FACEBOOK ADS... uncool!

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Posted by Renee
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I know several over 40 people and U.S. citizens who applied to Facebook but did not even get an interview, even though they were very well qualifed. Independent media are know stating the real unemployment rate in the U.S. is still 16%, yet Facebook is telling Congress, we need more immigrants because we can not find anyone to hire. Facebook hates hiring U.S. citizens I presume because they can not treat them like H1-B visa slaves.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 14, 2013 at 1:50 am

Weird revival of a 3 year old thread. Under "Crimes & Incidents"? Looks like the recent beef is with Vistaprint N.V. (Dutch Corporation), who charge a $9.99/month fee to set up and maintain a Facebook ad campaign for you. Vistaprint apparently neglects to mention that you become liable for the Facebook per-click or per-impression charges, which rack up the additional $10/day. I looked at the Vistapoint website and it is pretty opaque about this. Customers of Vistaprint give mixed reviews about their products and services.

Judging from the number of advertisements on Facebook, the actual Facebook rates must be worth the price. Rough idea of cost is 50 cents per 1000 displays of your ad, or $1 for every click on your ad. Rates are variable because ad space is broken up among countless target Facebook user profiles (age, gender, language, location, interests) and each is sold to the highest bidder. You just supply an ad that clicks through to your business or personal website, tell Facebook you want to spend $12/day, bid a maximum of 98 cents per click, or 37 cents per 1000 impressions, and judiciously select your target audience based on what you are trying to sell or promote. Make adjustments at any time, hit "pause" or "restart" to switch it off or back on.

At least that's my general understanding of the process. I've never done it, and the landscape grows more complicated every day. It's impossible to keep up with how all our local businesses actually operate and evolve, but very easy to complain about them.

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Posted by Renee
a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2013 at 9:46 pm


Given you have never run a Facebook ad, I do not know what qualifies you to comment on their effectiveness and if the process is ethically administered. In any event, a search of the web using the dogpile search engine reveals that companies advertising on Facebook have brought 3 lawsuits in the last six years, including being billed for clicks that never happened.

Perhaps you work for Facebook? In any event, please do some research before apologizing for unethical businesses.

I have switched to Google plus as my social media provider. I refuse to support unethical businesses.

Oh, and by the way, I called Facebook ten times about my situation but it is impossible to get through to a live person. Try it yourself and see. A letter to the CEO was also totally ignored.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 15, 2013 at 9:19 am

I just looked at Facebook again and you are correct. There are no more advertisers. Everyone has agreed with you and the company is going bankrupt. I apologize for my shoddy research.

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Posted by Renee
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2013 at 11:31 am


Actually, you are indeed, very misinfomed. See the article along with quotes below:

"Here Are The Sealed Court Papers On 'Invalid Clicks' Facebook Doesn't Want You To See"

Read more: Web Link

“The plaintiffs have argued that up to 20 percent of those clicks are invalid, and that advertisers should get refunds for them. Assuming that Facebook recognizes roughly $1 billion per quarter in revenue, such a refund could amount to between $80 and $160 million per quarter.”

And yes, this could be Facebook's first step toward bankruptcy if more advertiser come forward to complain. I will post this on Twitter today.

So, are you one of the company's lawyers or just a misinformed Facebook employee?

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Looks like PAUSD gets more lawsuits than Facebook.

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Posted by Renee
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm


I doubt PAUSD has had more lawsuits than Facebook. In addition to the advertisors lawsuit, in the last six years Facebook has had over a dozen lawsuits involving invasion of privacy, using user content in ads without getting user authorization, charging minors for gaming related items without getting their parents permission and now the investors have filed a class action suit.

In any event, Facebook needs to be compared to other social media websites, not to a school district which is not even a business.

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Posted by Scmuckerberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm

How do you think FB makes money? They charge the advertisers, not the posters. If they charged a subscription rate to posters, they would not be so popular, although I think that is what they should do. We would not have so many insanely wealthy unscrupulous sub-criminals in Siliconniving Valley

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Posted by Jenn
a resident of another community
on Dec 10, 2013 at 11:26 am

I just checked charges for Promoted Posts on my Business Page against what Facebook said it charged me & they are ALL 200% - 300% More and it is Impossible to reach anyone there. Sign me up for the Class Action Lawsuit.

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Posted by facebook is no friend
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Web Link
The ultra privileged Zuck dislikes oldsters - check out link above from the San Francisco Chronicle about ageism in Silicon Valley

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