ExpressVPN with

Had sudden reason to stay overnight at a hotel. Wasn’t particularly impressed with my 5G hotspot so thought I’d give ExpressVPN a go and connect to hotel guest network. Of the plans offered, doing a one month $12.95 seemed appropriate. Furthermore, since I also established an account with another sponsor,, I setup a virtual card to pay ExpressVPN. All transactions were smooth. This morning, I received an email from ExpressVPN instructing me to provide a phone number for them to call and confirm my account. I simply replied “why?” and was told “because it is our billing department’s policy.” Wondering if this is because of the virtual payment anonymity or standard practice for any method of payment?

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They should make that field mandatory when creating the account then.
Will the billing department stop billing you if you don’t?

Apparently so. The email gave me 48-hrs to comply or the account would be refunded and terminated.

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Is the virtual card a Visa by chance? If it was, how long ago did you make the card?

I only ask because this morning because of an email I got, I needed to reissue a bunch of my cards that were Visa because of a change on Privacy’s end (mainly that the cards will be accepted at more places because it will appear as a credit card I think, and I assume it came up as some sort of pre-paid card before)

Interesting adjunct to their “we don’t track you” advertising. So now it’s really “we don’t track you, but we need to have the data so we could if we needed to” ? Also, Mozilla VPN appears cheaper.


Thanks for the Mozilla VPN reference. Published price is less for sure. Will be interesting to experience the ExpressVPN next steps dealing with refund and termination.

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Depending on your VPN needs, Tailscale may be a less expensive option. I installed it on my Synology NAS (but not available for the router for some reason) and my phone and laptop. So all my traffic is tunneled to my house and exists there.


Received another warning email this morning letting me know I only had 24-hrs to provide phone number or my account would be terminated. I replied to say no phone was available. Please provide other options.

==reply from ExpressVPN==
“Thanks for your email. It seems we were unable to verify the info that you had signed up with. We can verify your account using a photo or scanned copy of the credit card you used to purchase the subscription. We only need to see your NAME and the LAST 4 numbers of the card, for privacy reasons you may blur the first 12 digits.”

Not sure how this will go since those virtual cards from do not have a NAME on them however I complied by adding my NAME to the screen captured virtual card.

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Somewhat related, ExpressVPN was recently bought by Kape Technologies - ExpressVPN bought for $1bn by Brit biz with an intriguing history in adware • The Register . Kape has a very storied history ( for a good article that details some of their behaviors) and I am very wary of them and by extension ExpressVPN.

I am wondering about the timing of them suddenly requiring personal info they never needed before in light of this change of ownership.


update Dec 9, 2021

ExpressVPN email:
“Could you please send us a screenshot/photo of the bank statement that shows the cardholder’s name, bank’s name, and the last 4 numbers of the card as proof that you own this card.”

Guess it is time to contact and ask how they would address this issue.

I don’t like that they have gobbled up many of the VPN solutions and most of the VPN testing and recommendation sites…


Reply to my latest follow up with ExpressVPN asking if they got paid was, “I have marked your account as verified. Regards, AJ ExpressVPN Billing Team”. shows status as “Settling…” compared to “Settled”. Think I will simply try the Mozilla VPN as @PHolder referenced.

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My first thought as well. Any time an org asks for my phone number for verification, my tin foil hat gets a little tighter. I always think back to what Twitter did with our numbers a few years back - Twitter Apologizes for Using Your Phone Number for Advertising

I’ve always though a phone number was needed solely as part of credit card verification.

Received routine bank email this morning, "You have an incoming ACH debit. Privacycom PwP ExpressVPN. And the status at now shows “settled”. Obviously ExpressVPN finally figured out how to get paid without any further need to verify credit card ownership.

How does that song go… “Money Talks”…

or the dance song that I guess I was remembering the line from my much younger clubbing days :wink:

Purchased a 1-month use of Mozilla VPN. And by the way, using with no issue. I’m finding the throughput interesting. Point being MozillaVPN so far has better throughput.

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I believe they’re reselling Mullvad VPN, which is based on WireGuard. Who knew building a VPN with speed as a purpose would work so well. :wink: Glad things are going well for you–thanks for sharing the feedback. And Merry Christmas if you celebrate :christmas_tree:


I just found that some places can force a payment through despite your settings.
I had a trial subscription and set the card to $5 a month, and when the price jumped to $15, they were able to force the payment after it got rejected.
Privacy reimbursed me, but I now have to get the account closed with the newspaper which require a phone call despite on-line signup. I also closed the card, so hopefully that will stop them if they are going to be stupid about not cancelling.