Three weeks ago I needed to get cash out of my Bluebird account so I went to Wal-Mart, waited in line and was told to use the Money-Pass ATM.
So I tried to use it, and it would not work at the Money-Pass ATM. You're supposed to be able to withdraw cash, up to $300 per transaction but I couldn't even get 20 bucks out of the ATM. It kept declining the transaction with no explanation. I called Bluebird and was on hold and debated with reps for 2 hours. I did the transactions live with the operators several times, declined each time with no explanation.
They told me to go to another Wal-Mart so I did and used the Money-Pass there. Same results. So it wasn't me or the machine. Amex REFUSED to admit it was their problem and sent me off to an operator in India who could not explain why the ATM would not work, and suggested I try an third store. I was tired.
The next day I went to a regular bank's ATM and was allowed to take $100 out, that's it. A hundred measly dollars, and I got raped with a $2 fee from the bank and a $3 fee from Bluebird for using an out-of-network ATM.
Bluebird REFUSED to refund their charge or fee even though they acknowledged that my attempts at two separate money pass ATMs were a legitimate reason to use an out of network ATM. So I felt CHEATED and had to pay a five dollar premium to get only $100 out of my stinking account! Never mind that most merchants refuse to accept Amex because they charge too much for merchant fees, so I could only buy food and gas at certain places that accept Amex.
Meantime today I tried to use their check deposit Mobil app to deposit a check. I spent over an hour trying numerous times to use the mobile app to deposit checks to my Bluebird account, and it always declines the same.
I got an email from Certegy that told me all sorts of phony baloney stuff, and told me if I was declined I could order a personal report and obtain personal VIP status with their company. I'm like WTF? I'm doing business with Amex/Bluebird not these jokers.
I contacted Certegy and ended up with a supervisor who told me that they only handled commercial checks like paychecks and business checks, since the check I tried to deposit was personal he could not answer my questions and referred me to Amex/Bluebird. So I called Amex/Bluebird.
Got on the phone with an operator there, she put me on hold for 15 minutes and then some dude answered. He's in India. He started asking me all sorts of personal information, never identifying himself as working for Certegy. When I told him I already gave this information earlier to the operator he finally told me he was with Certegy so I was trick-f*****d into giving some personal info. When he asked for my SSN and bank and checking account number at my bank I cut him off and learned he was with Certegy. We got into it but good. Then he told me he couldn't tell me anything until after I gave him verifiable personal ID info, including DOB, SSN, personal checking info including routing and checking account number, and then he would check and see why the personal check WRITTEN TO ME was declined for deposit through Bluebird's mobile app.
When I told him I would not give him my vitals, he was rude (as I was too -- treat me like an animal you get the same in return) and we ended our chat with mutual FU's.
I called Amex/Bluebird and this time they accused me of not doing it right. So I made the rep sit online while I went through this step-by-step and she could see it happen in real time. Nope. I didn't do anything wrong. The App was working and still got declined. She couldn't answer and referred me back to Certegy which I respectfully declined since I don't do business with them, and Amex/Bluebird has the obligation to investigate what's going on.
While on line, I tried different phones to do this over again and much to our mutual chagrin, they could not process the check as it was declined each and EVERY TIME with the same B.S.
When you do contacting Certegy, its the same impossible-to-navigate automated phone menu. Its the same script. They don't deviate. Its dehumanizing and frankly a big fat run-around. Their "supervisors" are really just little drones working for the company that don't change one iota. Same script, different person, who is like 5000 miles away.
The bottom line is, the mobile app on the Bluebird card is useless because everything has to go through Certegy before the funds make it to Bluebird.
After further inquiry, Certegy practically declines all personal checks and most small business checks, so they don't have to take a loss on a bad check. This renders the Check Deposit feature on the Bluebird Card useless. I asked Amex/Bluebird to just tell me outright that I cannot use that feature and not to count on it. Of course they wouldn't say it, but you could tell they knew it. The pregnant pause on the phone told the whole story.
They advertise this as an alternative to traditional checking but PLEASE proceed with caution! Its not an alternative. Its frustrating and maddening and you will be unhappy. Trust me.
I'm going to cash this check at the bank directly.
The point being, if Amex wants to bill their card as an alternative to the traditional checking or savings account, Amex and Wal-Mart's Bluebird card will remain virtually useless as anything more than a reloadable debit card, and will continue to be useless except as a reloadable debit card until they fire Certegy and set up their own processing department. Quite frankly American Express owns its own National Bank, it is quite proficient and expert at processing mobile app deposits. I am shocked that they let Wal-Mart bamboozle them into using this rinky-dink, offshore goon-squad friggin outsourced to India company called Certegy.
I will add another anecdote. I used to rent vehicles through Enterprise Car Rentals using Bluebird as it was always welcome. Well they stopped welcoming Bluebird at the franchises I rent at because they would refund the deposit to Bluebird and Bluebird would hold the refund (presumably because of Certegy) for 90 days and rental customers became angry. Why? Because Amex was instructed to tell customers that it was Enterprise's fault that the funds were not released, though Enterprise immediately releases deposit holds upon return of your rental.
So now I have to use a debit card directly linked to my personal checking in order to rent a car at Enterprise, and apparently other rental agencies have the same issues and have declined to accept Bluebird at their locations too.
This is the problem when you allow retailers to get into financial markets without oversight.
I might also add, in my discussions with operators at Amex/Buebird, that they have admitted that the business is outsourced to their phone center to Canada. So all the operators I spoke to were Canadians at Amex/Bluebird. Sickens me. We have so much unemployment in this country and these jerks send vital employment overseas and across borders.
So its a double insult to all Americans that they are giving their hard-earned money, and their business, to a company that refuses to hire REAL AMERICANS to service AMERICANS in AMERICA! How un-American is American Express? Well there you have it. It means Amex is sending our dollars elsewhere instead of spending money in the United States and making work for Americans.
Conclusion, if you like elevated triglycerides and being frustrated, have high blood pressure or other ailments, Bluebird will kill you.
I am so angry I need a drink .. and I quit drinking over 20 years ago!