How to recognize a scam VPN provider?

Have you read about a VPN provider and wonder whether or not their services are real? Have you read comments accusing a provider of being a scam? Or are you suspicious as all positive reviews are filled with affiliate links making them loose credibility? Here are some ways to recognize a scam VPN provider!

Before continuing let me assure you that most VPN providers are real. There are not as many scams as you might believe and not as many as you read about. The most frequent place to read scam accusations are in the comment fields following VPN reviews. While the writer of the review might earn his living from the commission he gets from the VPN companies, the people writing the comments following the review doesn’t care about that. For that reason they share their experience with no intention of making things sound nice. And that is why we can learn a lot from such comments. But, one should also be careful reading such comments!

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A VPN provider doesn’t become a scam because of unhappy customers

It is important to understand that a VPN provider does not become a scam simply because they have had an unhappy customer. We can frequently read in comments following VPN reviews that a VPN provider is a scam because they did not give the customer a full refund for their money. Not following their refund policy might qualify a provider for the scam name, but it doesn’t have to be so.

We should be aware of the fact that most VPN providers make a living from customers. Bad reviews flooding the Internet will not help their business going, and that is why they actually want to help their customers out. They do however need money to stay alive, and thus they create so called refund policies. Often these policies are valid for 1-30 days, and they are only valid if you have used less than a certain amount of bandwidth and conencted to their servers a certain amount of times.

If you have used a VPN service for 10 days, watched 5 movies on Netflix (and though used 15 GB on bandwidth) and connected several times you are no longer entitled to a refund, even though you want one. The company not giving you your money back is not a scam, they are simply following their guidelines.

A VPN provider becomes a scam when they do not offer what they promised

The question is therefore what makes a VPN provider a scam. The way I see it a VPN provider turns into a scam when they do not provide what they promise. An example could be as follows:

You sign up for SuperScamVPN. They have a 3 day full refund policy and servers in 10 nations worlwide. They promise you access to US Netflix and great download speeds. Once you sign up you download their VPN client and connec to their US server. Once connected you try to watch Netflix, but it doesn’t work. You contact their customer service, but do not get any answer at all. After one day you are fed up with this and ask for a full refund. Instead of refunding they send you an auto-mail trying to explain you how to fix your problem. This does not help you out. You stil want your refund. Instead of an answer and your money back you do not hear more from the VPN provider.

The story above could also have ended up with you emailing back and forth with the VPN provider for 4 days, and as you ask for a final refund on day number four (like you also did on day number 1) they say that you are not entitled to one anymore because their policy is only available for three days.

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How can I recongize a spam VPN provider?

These is no easy way to recognize them beforehand. You could and should search the Internet beforehand. You could visit Reddit or Quora to read about the experiences of other users. Or you could try it yourself and write about your own experience later! And why not write a comment to this article sharing your experience with the VPN provider you tried?

I would love to hear your experience so write a comment to this article to share your experiences with a VPN provider you have tried!

This article was written by Thomas Stein, the creator and author of the IP Address Guide. At his site you can read much more about IP addresses, VPN providers, tech news and Internet security.

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