I am very DISSATISFIED with the American Express Prepaid Card! I just started using this card a few weeks ago and I have had a problem with it EVERY SINGLE week since. I initially ordered it to take care of small purchases and to pay my gym membership dues online. I've had a horrible experience with the Greendot prepaid card in the past and although the Walmart Money Card was okay, it charges a $3 monthly fee. I liked the notion of using the card with the AMEX logo, as I "thought" it would be more reliable and there was no monthly fee.
I first tried to load my card using the "Vanilla" reload card and spent about 45 minutes in the retailer trying to get the money to load. The store clerk and I had to get on the phone with the "Vanilla" customer service, as well as AMEX and after almost an hour, I still didn't get the money loaded. They recommended that I try using the "MoneyPak" reload card instead. After finding another retailer that sold "MoneyPak", I was finally able to get the money on my card. However I was less than thrilled about spending $4.95 on the "MoneyPak" each time I needed to reload, so I decided to link my AMEX to my bank account, so that I could transfer the money directly from my account. There is no fee to reload that way however, it does take 5 business days.
Last week I initiated a reload from my bank account to my AMEX Prepaid Card to pay for my monthly gym dues, which I have set up to charge my AMEX card automatically. AMEX took the money from my bank account 2 days later and I waited the 5 business days for the money to show up. On the 6th day (today) the money is still NOT in my account! I called customer service and basically they told me that there is a a technical issue and I just have to wait it out. He estimated another 3-5 business but according to him, he could not give me an exact date.
Excuse my French but... WTF? Wait it out??? I have to wait to have my money loaded on the card while they fix some technical glitch?! That's like an employer saying they can't give you your paycheck for the week. Sorry, but that's not cool! And in the meantime, I am being charged declined card fees EACH TIME my gym tries to take out my dues and the card declines. This is absolutely ridiculous! This brings back memories of my horrible experience with Greendot. I could have just left my money in my bank account if I would have known this was going to happen.
Also, the customer service here is a JOKE! The one number designated for this card is to a call center in overseas and let's just say the representatives are less than competent. They read of this script and provide no REAL support at all. This 1-866 number is the only way to contact customer service and AMEX doesn't even have an email support form or address for this card, which shows how much they could care less about the service they provide for this card. I tell you what, when my money finally does hit... I'm pulling it off and that will be the last time I use this card!
Bottom line, this card is just like all the others prepaid cards... COMPLETELY UNRELIABLE! American Express wants you to believe that this card is better because it's from "American Express" and that they are revolutionizing the prepaid card industry, but it's NOT! They have put no real effort put into making this card effecient, they put no real effort into offering solid customer support and they didn't even put much effort in to the online website designated for this card (i.e. it's not easily navigated, you can't download or print transaction history, etc.). This little "technical glitch" is the ABSOLUTE WORST thing that can happen because your money is just "out there" in cyberspace and you can't access it until they get their sh-t together. That should not be happening when it comes to people's money.
AMEX threw this prepaid card together like a bologna sandwich and slapped their logo on it! Stay away from this card... and all prepaid cards for that matter. Again, incidents like this could really put you in a bad way if you've loaded money that you really need access to. You never know one minute to the next if something will happen with your funds and personally, I can't operate like that. From now on, I'll just stick with my debit card from my bank!
P.S. And as for you AMEX, my money better be on my card within the next 5 days... or there is going to be a serious problem! I am NOT the type of consumer you want to mess with.
EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back!
HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:
Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.
According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.
If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.
Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent!
DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN
Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.
And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.
Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.
If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form.
CHARGES TO YOUR CREDIT CARD
If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.
Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.
And good luck Let us know how you do!
ED Magedson Founder
Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com
PO Box 310, Tempe, Arizona 85280