Facebook Ads Review and Coupon Scam

money down the drain with facebook

Update: I finally had a response that wasn't canned text, Facebook Payment operations admitted that there is a "glitch" sometimes when you click the link in the e-mail. Even after this admission they are still unwilling to do anything at all. Facebook is keeping the money it stole, as a result they lost a customer that spends a good amount on other ad networks and I have managed to talk several of my clients out of using Facebook ads.

"The coupons are set up to automatically activate, however every once and awhile it doesn't. For these situations, there's a coupon code in that promotion email and embedded in the URL link you're taken to when you click on the link in the email. Any of the above will assist me. Unfortunately, without the email, link, or coupon code, I'm unable to take any further steps. Most email accounts save deleted emails for a period of time; if you can locate any of this information I'd be happy to activate the coupon manually and refund the charges.

Payment Operations

Q: Are Facebook ads worth it for a small business?

A: Short answer - No.

Facebook seems like it would be a reputable company considering it's size, but the size itself may be the biggest disadvantage.

Facebook Ad Coupons are a bait and switch scam.

Be very careful when you get an e-mail from Facebook about "$50 free Advertising".
What this e-mail meant to say is, "You might get $50 free advertising if you figure out how to use it". It's a bait and switch scam essentially, if you click on the link it takes you to the ads manager but fails to inform you that there is a dog and pony show you need to follow in order to activate your coupon. You actually have to hang on to the coupon code in the e-mail and set it up as a funding source under billing. But they don't tell you this... Why? because they would rather just take your money silly. There is no prompt or pop-up letting you know that this step is necessary.

You pay forever - It is also worth noting that there is no time limit on the ads by default, so after they steal the $50 you thought you were getting free they keep charging you into the future forever unless you remember to turn it off.

Facebook Customer Non-Service So we thought no big deal, we'll just contact Facebook Ads customer service and they will fix it up. Forget that, after 5 submissions (4 to the appropriate team and 1 to another team trying to get help) all we get is form e-mails telling us to respond with out coupon code. Then we reply explaining we do not have one but that is where the conversation ends. Incredibly they ignore the fact that we clearly stated in our submissions that we DO NOT HAVE the coupon code.

Facebook Ads vs Google Ads

Absolutely no comparison whatsoever. Google ads are cheaper, more honest, more effective, easier to target demographics based on search terms and best of all Google doesn't appear to stoop to Facebook's level of using bait and switch scams with so called "coupons".


I received a coupon for $35.

When I clicked "Place Order" the budget was set to $35 "lifetime" budget which equaled the amount of the coupon. A lifetime budget "SET" at $35 does not equal $37.21. I was charged $2.21. Facebook abused the funding source for the advertising services that were provided.

I've been emailing Facebook and I get these stupid emails that go on and on about how I'm confused. They tell me the "lifetime" budget of $35 expired. EXPIRED? What does LIFETIME mean?

I was only overcharged for $2.21 but that's scary. Is Facebook doing this to other people? If it's only a couple of bucks and maybe no one feels like it's worth it to fight for a few dollars, how much money is Facebook getting from this scam? How many thousands of people are they doing this to?

Tamara Hess

I still have the coupon in my inbox. I validated it before the promo and it showed up as a payment option until my promo ended, then it was gone and I was charged $55 and they will not do anything at all about it!

I agree.... they seem to charge per clicks or displays add or whatever they want and never according with what at least I want the to charge me from. Their emails are always coming from phantom email address , their locations are as secret as the way the do business. I dont trust facebook and they way they charge is fraudulent and I doubt it is legal either.

steve's picture

I was okay with setting up a funding source, the problem was that they skipped the $50 coupon and just started charging us. I could have even lived with that but the complete indifference by Facebook's customer service is what motivated me to post this.

I completely with agree! I could have lived with being charged for the services I used, but when I tried to contact them to get a clearer understanding on why they completely skipped over my coupon and went straight for my funding source I got absolutely nowhere. I sent 3 emails and only received I vaugue email telling me to take it up with my bank. What is the point of the coupon if they had no intentions of honoring it!

I don't think it is a scam! I just signed up, linked my PayPal account, got a $50 coupon from facebookcouponcode (Not the one that Fb supposedly sends) and voila! Worked like a charm. I spent the $50 got some "likes" and overall, I'm pleased.

I do think you have a point tho, you best make sure you set your ad spend to only 50 and make sure you turn it off once the amount is used up.

Thanks for the info!

My experience so far is that it's all a con anyway. Facebook charge me for 2x the amount of clicks I actually get going to my site. I use Google Analytics to track visitors and that is telling me that half the clicks I pay for don't arrive. Of those that do, 100% of them bounce. For the same ad elsewhere the bounce race is <20%.

Looking at the web server logs, I can see why everything bounces. After the request for the main page, to load the page in full several other requests for images etc are made. The Facebook clicks don't request many of the other files (as if the reader gave up waiting for the page to load). If this is the case, they are giving up after less than 2 seconds (average time to load our site is < half a second).

I think that it's click fraud personally.

I'm glad I found this because I almost activated the coupon. When I saw that I had to put in payment information to activate the coupon, I got suspicious.

Facebook ads are a scam, the company creates robotic profiles and like pages that being advertised. I'm a victim myself and found out the hard way. I advertised with Facebook to only Asian target and my page's like is jumping like crazy. However, less than a 10th of the likes are people, and the people liked is not even Asian community they come from some European country which I'm sure had no interested of what being advertised. I can't believe established company such as Facebook would pull something so dirty as such! Horrible!

I set up a facebook page for my daughter's school (they had one before but as a person, not a business). They had a coupon for free advertising, Facebook activated it and they started using it. 2 weeks later FB somehow linked their page to me, declared me the administrator and then decided that the coupon was invalid and is now charging me for their advertising. After 3 more weeks of "investigation" I am told that the coupon is non transferable to other administrators (even though they transferred it to me).

Do NOT fall for Facebook ad coupons! I once had the same issue as the writer of the article, I mean, the "there was a glitch yadda yadda yadda," and they never refunded me. So after that, I decided that whenever I use one of their ads, I would document the whole process of redemption by keeping the emails, taking screen captures. So I did that for my last ad campaign; the ad results page showed that the ad was paid through a Facebook ad coupon. Guess what? These MOFO still charged my credit card. And when I submitted all the evidence proving that I shouldn't be billed, they kept giving me different variations of the same nonsensical answer: "there were unpaid charges on your account; you added the coupon after the campaign ran; read our terms and agreements, etc." I bet the purpose of all this nonsense is to tire out the users so that they'll let the whole thing go.
That was the last straw for me, so I deleted my ad account. I don't mind paying money to get service but be forthright in your business dealings.
An unethical company will train its employees to be unethical as well so don't be surprised if they refuse to refund you!