This report is for all of those people out there wondering if they should become one of netspends lucky new victims. Let me start off by saying that I myself am a business owner who has great respect for the customer part of business.
Before my recent incident with netspend I was actually a pretty big fan of these little prepaid debit cards. Today 4/19/2013 is when I completely changed my opinion of this company I have trusted for the last 5 years or more.
So heres my story.
My US bank card was recently lost and Im currently waiting on the new one in the mail. I run a business and had to make an important purchase online so I think about it and say oh yah I can get one of those trusty netspend cards. Ive had 2 of them over the years and used the cards all the time for online purchases without any problems.
So I go to the Advance America check cashing to purchase one. But before I do Im a pretty cautious person and think things through before doing them, so I call the customer service of netspend and ask the to look up my social for me and make sure my account is in good standing since I had 2 cards with them in the past and couldnt remember why I stopped using them. Anyway they look me up by my social and tell me your fine, you wont have any problems with the card.
Than before actually purchasing the card at advance america I ask them if I will be good using the card for online purchases right when I got home without any problem. The girl say yah that wont be a problem. So I pull out $700 to load onto the card, than something tells me being the skeptic I am. You better just load $100 for now and make sure it works online.
So I get home and go online right away to activate the card. I activate the card or so I think and it says balance $100 so I say great I can use it online now its activated. I go to a very well know reputable website to make a $15 purchase and the card gets rejected.
Now I start to get kinda worried but figure well I must have not activated it all the way or something. So now I log into my account and find out that the card is not verified and I need to send an ID, Social Security Card, and Utility bill to get the card verified. Without verification the card can only be used for in store purchases and no atm withdrawal or online use was possible.
So now I think what is going on why in the world would a prepaid debit card company make you send in all these forms of verification when your loading your own money onto the card. Its not a loan, a check, a credit card its a prepaid debit card. Basically the same thing as cash only you can purchase online.
The thing is theres no reason to verify this information for a prepaid account of this type. But this isnt were it ends though. I call in and talk to a customer service rep. The rep then asked me to verify some questions for her 3 questions and promises that if I can verify them for her she would not ask for any further verification or documents and my account would be verified and ready to use online and for atm withdrawals.
So I say great and answer each one of the three questions correctly. She says great you've answered the questions correctly and your can now be used for in store purchases but that is it. It is a limited account and cant be used for internet or atm withdrawals.
This is when I start to get very very aggrevated with the outsourced rep who just lied straight to me. I already had a limited access account able to make in store purchases before I made the call. It said this right in my user account so I knew that before I made the call. She told me she would completely unlock the account and made it clear to me that she meant completely online and atm and ignored that totally after I answered all the questions right.
I than ask to talk to her supervisor and after waiting a half an hour finally talk to another lady. This supervisor asks me about 20 so called verification questions or more (LISTED AT THE END). Remember I was transferred to her. I tell her Ive been verified over and over and over again and that my account is still inactive and she tells me the girl had deactivated my account completely and it was no longer valid for in store transactions, online, or atm withdrawals.
This is when I just about go crazy. I say what your telling me after all that time and all those verification questions she actually deactivated my account instead of further verifying it. Now Im told my account is completely useless and that the only way to use it period is to send in the ID, Socail, and Utiility bill. I say well heres the problem with that.
I currently full time in an rv and dont pay a utility bill period. And my social security card and ID are you serious? After looking up your company on Ripoff Report and BBB.org, I see that you have atleast over 4,000 accumulated complaints. I would not want to send my info to a company like this especially with all the identity theft going on now days. Than I really start looking into your so called legitimate company and see that between january and may of each year is when your complaints sky rocket. I actually got to see a graph of your complaints and in feb your compaints went from 19 to 186 per month.
Than I start digging a little deeper and reading these complaints and find out NetSpend has been making tax refunds of people who need them the most completely disappear into thin air. This is just a number Im throwing out there and probably not even close to the real number of refunds this company has probably kept. Buts lets do some math 4,000 people x 2,000 refund average = $8,000,000. Remember if 4,000 people are complaining and only 1 in 30 people will complain on a website than Netspend could be holding up to $8,000,000 or more of hard earned american cash.
If you dont believe this post just do your own research and you'll see I got away lucky with my $100 loss, but there are many thousands out there that arent so lucky. Thanks everyone for reading this post. And hello Netspend let me introduce myself. That $100 you took from me was not in your best interest. I am an internet marketer and know exactly the keywords to use to get the truth about your dealings to the top of google. This means that each time someone looks up your so called Netspend Card they will instead find a flood of various complaints listing you Netspend and your outsourced customer service as the culprits.
Whats interesting to is that some people know how to really get thing moving fast when it comes to class action lawsuits. It only takes an email to each and everyone of those 4,000 or more online complainers to get the ball moving. With other competitors out there with less than 1/10th the complaints and the same card you may want to treat your customers just a little better.
Im sure Ill get your same cookie cutter rebuttal that are at the end of each and every complaint Ive seen so far so maybe this time you can explain why the current spike in complaints. Why January through May, It wouldnt happen to have anything to do with NetSpend holding tax returns would it. See if you know about keywords and how to get the word out there you'll know that many people type in the keywords NetSpend holding tax returns to find out if you really do or not and after my very unfortunate experience with your company ill be sure to let them know exactly whats going on when wait for it here it comes "NetSpend Holds Onto Your Tax Returns" .
List of verifiaction questions asked by each rep on the phone over ten times in the course of one phone call different reps.
First Four of Social
Mothers Maiden Name
Date of Birth
what street did I grow up on
What was the last deposit amount into my account
what is my debit card number
what is my pin number
what is my cvc number
what was my previous address
what city did I live on a street named b st
what person do I not know than named three names or none of the above
what was the date of the last netspend account you opened
This is the list of questioning each and every rep went through before they would even speak to me. This is downright insanity. I currently have bank accounts with 3 of the major banks in the US and not one has ever came close to the amount of verification each one of these reps asked me over and over and over again. Finally I gave up and decided my $100 is just not worth all the hassle and with this companies current reputation maybe my identity too.
Anyone out there thinking about using Netspend. I used them for over 5 years. There company has been plagued with greed and now you may want to be careful before you just release your hard earned tax refund over to a company with over 4,000 complaints. My deposited money is gone with no way of getting it back. You win Netspend Take my money Keep it, You must need it more than I do. Im sorry things had to get to the point of stealing for your company to stay in business but best wishes anyway. Keep up your good work "Netspend - Scamming People out of tax refunds.