Report: #300974

Complaint Review: Green Dot Card Services, Columbus Bank And Trust

  • Submitted: Thu, January 17, 2008
  • Updated: Sun, November 18, 2012
  • Reported By: Detroit Michigan
  • Green Dot Card Services, Columbus Bank And Trust
    P.O. Box 1187
    Monrovia,, California

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I purchased a Green Dot Visa about two weeks prior to this incident. My friends were giving Green Dot some rave reviews so I opted to purchase one. Upon purchase you are charged and initial fee and you have to put a minimum deposit of $20 on the card. I placed my purchase paid the fee and gave my deposit.

I went home and tried to activate my card by phone and was unsuccessful. I then tried activation through the website this act failed as well. I called the 877-434-3578 customer service line to try and get some answers. It was quite difficult to get to a live person but it was possible. After 6 calls and maneuvering their system I finally got a live person.

By this time I was very angry and was connected with Juan who proceeded to tell me that the SSN I gave them was incorrect. I explained to them that it was correct and that I am now married and they may have to use my maiden name. He proceeded to tell me that name was not working neither. He informed me that I needed to fax them a copy of my Residential Phone Bill and My S.S. Card. and it will take 2 days for verification and another 7 business days to mail my card. For my inconvenience they also gave me and additional $5 on my card. Although frustrated I excepted this and fax the information to them. I received the card a few days later.

After having my card for about 2 weeks I noticed online they had an option to have Direct Deposit made directly to your card. I was quite excited about this option. The form that is on the Green Dot website has the Routing Number and Green Dot Reference Account Number on it as well as the name Columbus Bank and Trust Company. I printed the form signed it, faxed it to my company's payroll dept, and awaited confirmation.

Now here we are 1 week later and its payday and I am expected my deposit on my card. I received my deposit slip from my payroll dept stating that my deposit was made. So I checked my balance on the Green Dot website and noticed my deposit was not there. You can imagine how angry I was.

I called the Green Dot customer service line and again had to maneuver their system just to get a live person. I was finally connected to Julio and he told me that I needed to call my payroll dept and find out why my payroll dept rejected my deposit. This sounded like incorrect information but I did call my payroll dept.

My payroll person faxed me everything that they sent over to Green Dot.
So I called Green Dot back and spoke with Allen this time. He proceeded to tell me that my deposit was rejected because of an incorrect account number and that is all the information he could give me. I asked for a Supervisor and Steve the Supervisor knew no more information than Allen. So I contacted Columbus Bank and Trust customer service representative and she preceded to tell me that she could not help me because all they do is print the cards for Green Dot.

I explained if all you do is print the cards for Green Dot why does the direct deposit form have the name Columbus Bank and Trust on it. Of course she could not answer. She connected me with Crystal at Green Dot customer service and although nice she knew nothing neither. So here I am on Thursday 1/17/08 payday without my check and will not have a resolution until as early as Monday 1/21/2008. Needless to say I called Green Dot back and canceled my service. I strongly advise you to rethink your service with this company.

Detroit, Michigan
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/17/2008 12:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Green Dot problems extremely time consuming

AUTHOR: greendotisfrustrating - (United States of America)

Have you seriously taken the time to research the complaints about green dot? I looked for days to try to find a few good comments to have a little hope because I have had many problems with them. I couldn't find anything good until now and I'm wondering if you work for green dot.

I have seriously found that 98% of the feedback on green dot by consumers has been negative.

The majority of the complaints have not been regarding the fees but have been about many people losing hundreds of dollars from green dot due to reasons that they are not to blame for.

My personal story is that I purchased a green dot card in a store. It had a 10.00 load minimum for
activation and a 4.95 fee on top of that. I signed up for the permanent card because I was
interested in the direct deposit feature. Weeks later I called the customer service line because I still hadn't received it. They told me I wasn't eligible for the permanent card because they couldn't
verify my identity. I asked them what part of my identity they couldn't verify and several people said that they couldn't tell me.

Days later I got a different answer and was told it was because
I gave my address but not my apartment number. I did give my apartment number they just failed to include it while I was going through the process of applying for the permanent card.

So, I wait for weeks for a card that is supposed to have been there days earlier (according to what they told me while I was applying for my permanent card). They knew in the first couple of days
after I applied that they needed more information confirmed so they could send the permanent card out, yet, they didn't even contact me once? They had my phone number.

If I had not have informed my employer the day I found out that the account information I currently
had wasn't any good, (green dot gave me the account number for the first card which stays the
same just like the card number does when you receive the permanent card that replaces your temp) I wouldn't have had the money for weeks. I just happened to have caught my employer in time so she said she would make an exception one time and have someone deliver a paper check to me. (My company only offers direct deposit and that's the only reason I have a green dot card because I don't have a bank account.)

Thinking about all of the inconvenience I had to go through in addition to having to pay for my check
to be cashed (on top of the activation fee and the 5.95 per month fee), I requested that at the least
my 4.95 fee for the first card be credited back to me since my only purpose for buying that temp
card was to get to upgrade to the permanent one for the direct deposit option. They refused.

To top that off I had a supervisor who told me I couldn't have been sent the direct deposit form
(for that first card I bought) through the email since I hadn't received the permanent card in the mail
due to "identity issues". Ha ha ha, I was looking at the direct deposit form on my screen with the
temp card number on it. What misinformation! He was also very rude and constantly talked over me.
He kept telling me how wrong I was, over and over again. I was looking at the screen!

I am not a mean person, but those people are either seriously misinformed, have the poorest training ever, enjoy being liars or are complete idiots (perhaps a combination of all)?

I didn't pay the 4.95 fee to be denied the permanent card that had the same account number
that everyone else gets for free. The delay in being able to give the correct information to my
employer (from a new card with a new account number) caused a lot of inconvenience.

I now know that you don't have to wait for your new card to come in for you to have access to your
new account number, they'll tell you what it is on the phone, but I wasn't informed that I could get
a new (permanent) card for free until days after I reported my initial problems of not only not receiving my first permanent card, but also not even being notified by green dot that I wouldn't be
receiving one due to "identity issues". That's not cool, I just kept waiting and waiting for it to come in the mail. I could have made other arrangements for direct deposit during this time that would have been more timely if I had of known this.

What if I never found out that I could receive a free permanent card in the mail a second time if I
happened to have not called back, again? I would then be paying for another temp card (in hopes of them sending me the coordinating new permanent card after putting in the request for it online using my new temp card's number) which I shouldn't have to do.

They did not provide me the information regarding the option to get a new permanent card for free (by applying online) until several days after I told them I didn't receive the first card.

In addition to this, because I was planning to have my 1st permanent card in time for my first paycheck to be deposited on it from this new company I'm working for, green dot put me at risk of money being stolen from my purse.

I take a bus to and from work so I can't lock my purse in a car while I'm at work. I have to keep my purse in storage areas that are not locked and have no option/place to add locks. I like to carry
a little extra cash on me in case I want to buy a few groceries/necessities at the wal-mart my 2nd bus home transfers from where there is a 30 minute wait for the next bus. I don't happen to live close by a wal-mart so, after arriving home I would need to wait for yet a third bus to go to a wal-mart in the opposite direction after walking up to my 3rd floor apartment to get some cash that I would have safely put away somewhere and then walking back down. It's just too much trouble!

Lucky, for me I have not had any money stolen yet but it would be way safer to have my funds on a card (obviously) than to have a lot of cash lying around in various places.

In addition to all of this it gets even better. After receiving my second green dot card with a new
account number, I was able to log into my online account 1 time before I started having problems with it.

I literally spent 4 hours on the phone with different reps in one week. None of them were helpful.
I told the first 3 reps I talked to (in this particular week) that it was probably a technical problem because of the type of error message that appeared on the screen yet they countlessly told me to keep trying to log in which locked me out of the system several times, causing me to have to wait 24hrs in between my 3 attempts to try to log in.

Finally, the fourth rep told me it was a technical problem and that she would have the
tech dept call me to resolve the issue. They weren't available at that time of course so she told me that the soonest they would call me back would be Tuesday (because there was a holiday the following Monday and I had called this 4th rep on a weekend).

Okay, I mean, I'd already waited acombined 4 hours that week (on top of other problems in past weeks) to receive some sort of solution on my new problem, so, I was willing to wait a couple more days for my problem to be resolved and have them call me back for a change. I asked the rep if she could make a note for the tech dept to please call me in the morning between 6 and 8 eastern time before I left for work because I'm not allowed to have my phone on me while at work and I was working a double that Tuesday so I wouldn't be able to call them by the time I got

She said it was no problem and that she would notify them as to what time to call.

I even took a shower the night before so I would make sure I wouldn't miss their call while I was getting ready for work. They never called.

The next day I got a message from them. They called in the afternoon WHILE I WAS AT WORK.

Oh, and did I mention, I wasn't allowed to have their number so I didn't have the option of trying to
call them at my convenience? ....

My issue was finally resolved later and I was able to log in to my new account online after a week of


A WEEK to be able to log into my
account online.... ?


I have never had the problems I've had with green dot with any other company, I'm 30 years old and I've worked since I was 15.

So... what is the most current status of what I'm going through with green dot?

I gave my new account information (from my 2nd green dot card) to my employer quite some time

They told me they processed that information and I would be receiving a direct deposit on my

I received the copy of my earnings statements for my second pay period but my balance on the card is 0.

I felt optimistic reading about some who have used green dot for direct deposit and have had to wait everywhere from a few hours to a couple of days extra for their direct deposit to appear (not the first time but every time through green dot) so, I keep checking daily.

It's the third day and my balance is 0.

My employer told me that the information regarding my account was processed a long time ago
so I believe them.

I am much more willing to trust my employer than green dot who has told me countless lies.

Well see how this goes.

I'll post an update if/when I receive
my pay.

Furthermore, Chris from Alexandria
(United States of America),

you keep trying to correct others by trying to say that bad customer service is not the same thing as a scam. Are you even aware of what the definition of the word scam is? To scam someone is to stratagem them for gain; to swindle them by means of a trick.

They (green dot)  tried to convince me that the reason I didn't receive my first permanent card was because of wrong information I provided which isn't true. They also failed to tell me the first time I told them that I didn't receive the first permanent card when they knew I wasn't going to get it due to "identity issues" that I was eligible to get a second card sent to me for free.

Convenient mistake, isn't it?

Chris, things like that happen just too often with green dot for all of these mistakes to be coincidental. I've done too much research on related matters with green dot for that to be true.

My only question to you Chris is, have you continued to have success with this card even after they switched from Synovus to Green Dot Bank?

I am wondering if that had something to do some of my problems.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Just like all Banks

AUTHOR: retphxfire - (United States of America)

I had my identity stolen several years ago, I had thought the nightmare was over and there would be no more charges or thefts from my accounts.  Recently, someone was able to empty both my checking and savings accounts. Authorities believed the criminals were located in South Dakota, I live in Arizona. Because of the 'multiple jurisdictions' the police were unable to file charges in AZ and South Dakota police wanted Phoenix to handle it...Which means I was not going to keep putting money in accts that could be ripped off.  Someone suggested I try a prepaid debit card.  I purchased a greendot Visa and have had little problems in just over a year of use.  My only complaint would be the limit of $500/card. What you experienced doesn't sound any different then what you might have gone through with a bank. 
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#3 Consumer Comment

Ripoff/scam not the same as poor customer service

AUTHOR: Chris - (United States of America)

I have been a member of Greentdot for about six months now. I've actually had no problems whatsoever. Their instructions, disclaimers, fees, etc. are very clear. Excellent, easy to understand and navigate web site. But even if I were to have problems similar to the ones you had with them in the future, that is not evidence of a scam or ripoff. Seems like you provided them with inaccurate information and are trying to shift these mistakes to Greendot. It is a very serious accusation to state that a company is ripping a consumer off or is the perpetrator of a scam.

Many consumers base their purchasing decisions solely, or at least mainly, on reviews and complaints (especially criminal complaints) and can ruin the company. I normally don't file "rebuttal reports" like the one I am writing, but I had to seeing the nature of your complaints and my very positive experience with Greendot. I realize you updated your experience with a positive report since you haven't had any complaints since you joined Greendot two years ago, but I'll bet most people doing research will only see your initial negative report. I hope my rebuttal report will help offset any damage that report has done.

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#4 Consumer Comment

No issues after 2 years now with the card

AUTHOR: alfredheart - (United States of America)

I've been successfully using the card for  2 years now with no issues. If you read the fine print (and you should since most Americans refuse to read) you will see there is a time delay when loading money from a MoneyPak onto a $0 balance card. I would just wait 1 full hour before attempting to use the card and embarrassing myself. Not sure what that person was trying to do at the Walmart (take $40 off the card to put it back on to the card only to get $2 extra to buy something with the card?). I never used my card at an ATM but if I did I would expect to get the obvious ATM fee deducted from the card.  So that is not a complaint on the card as it is a display of total lack of common sense by the card user who wrote that they were shocked to see 0.50 cents deducted.  Also the card automatically deducts $5.95 from your Green Card account every month if you use the card less than 30 times or have less than $1000 on the card and MoneyPak reloads cost $4.95 in addition to what money you are putting on the card. It is in the card instructions and user agreement and also noted on the Money Pak reload cards, the website and all the paperwork you are supposed to read that comes with the card. So not sure why there is confusion.
Early this year  I added my Green Card card to my Direct Deposit to put $350 onto the card from the total balance of my paycheck.  Getting the form from the website was convoluted because you have  request it and then they email a link to you within 24 hours which sends you back to the original Green Dot website request page for the deposit form and only then do you get an actual link to print out the form. Not sure why the link couldn't have been there from the get go because the run around was tedious and not at all timely since my email link took 23 hours to arrive.
The form uses the little known Synovus Bank to transfer the payroll funds to your card. This transfer process and the identity of Synovus is not  explained anywhere for you when you get the deposit form. But common sense says either call the 800 number or  use Google Search to find out what Synovus Bank is and to see if they are any nefarious activities or consumer complaints on that bank. I did and couldn't find anything bad. All the bank does is transfer the cash payroll deposit onto your card account to be used as credit/debit card.
That said, this process adds an entire extra day or two to the deposit getting on the card. So say I normally get my pay check directly deposited in my primary bank on the 15th of the month then my Green Card gets the deposit  a day or two later. It's happens like that every month so instead of me seeing the money on the day I get paid I only see it a day or two later like on the 16th/17th or the 2nd/3rd. I figured it is because the payroll is being handled by Synovus Bank before arriving to your Green Card.
Either way I figured it out from Google Searching for how the bank was handling my paycheck and calling the 800 number. Like I said, read the fine print, call the numbers, use some basic online detective skills and you should have no issue using this simple credit/debit card.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Green Dot

AUTHOR: LadyD - (United States of America)

I'm sorry that you have had a bad experience with your Green Dot card.  I just wanted to say that I have had a Green Dot Card for four years and have never had a complaint.  It has worked very well for me.  I hope what happened to you never happens again. I just wanted to let others know, it's not the case with everyone.  
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#6 Consumer Comment

"BANK POEM" is at this site. Simply type in 529757 and it's in the consumer comments section....

AUTHOR: Karl - (USA)

at Ripoff Report #529757 along with other poems and songs.

Thank You

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#7 Consumer Comment

Green Dot, Not Perfect but also not inherently Evil

AUTHOR: Muincat - (U.S.A.)

I have read a few reports here about how bad Green Dot is. I have been using Green Dot for almost a year and a half now and not had any problems with the card itself. Their customer service staff leaves a lot to be desired and you're usually just better off learning to navigate their website than talk to a live person.

I got stuck using Green Dot because my jerk of an ex-husband ran off on me and left me all the debt. I had to file bankruptcy, so no bank will touch me for now. With the world running on plastic I HAD to have some way of paying bills. Green Dot works for me. Do I wish I didn't have to use it and could have a REAL bank account? Sure, but at least this card allows me to function in the modern financial world. I have had direct deposit set up on it several times and it always works. My biggest problem is trying to explain to employers and my bill collectors what Green Dot is. Usually the direct deposit delay is on the end of the employer and their bank and not Green Dot. A temp service I worked for had it set up IMMEDIATELY and I didn't have any wait time. More "traditional" payroll departments have gotten slogged down in the "what the heck is this thing?" problem and slowed the entire process. The only other problem I can think of that I've had is that some smaller stores and gas stations are unable to accept it. Their machine gives them message "Contact your financial institution" or simply decline it even if you've got plenty of money. I think this is because not all merchant account providers (i.e. the smaller ones) have updated their systems.

So to me, the bottom line is this: If you expect to need to use customer service a lot and aren't too hot on playing detective with the system or you can get a debit card through a regular bank without any problem, this card is not for you. If, on the other hand, you have no other banking choice and/or you're patient enough to figure out how to "work the system" (mainly the website but also their automated phone system), you should be fine with this card.
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#8 Consumer Comment

reply to Chelcbean

AUTHOR: K - (U.S.A.)

I'm not a rep of Green Dot, just another consumer. I will say though that I guess I have been very fortunate in using my GD MC considering the complaints I have seen on the net.

Anyway, first of all, about adding the money and the insufficient funds. For one thing, if you sign in to manage your account on the internet, they do tell you there that it MAY take up to 15 minutes for a recent transaction to be processed. I think I have had to wait that long only once for a reload to appear. Secondly, unless the ATM is one that's part of their network (and you can search online for locations of these) they will charge you an ATM fee. That's probably what dropped the balance to $19 after you took out the first $20. Also, although I know they only let you take out multiples of $20, I never heard of having to only do $20 at a time.

Lastly, it's pretty common banking practice that it will take a few days for money being credited back to your account to clear. That's not a specific scam by this company.
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#9 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Chelcbean - (U.S.A.)

I borrowed my friends Green Dot Card to order our Halloween stuff off the internet.At first I gave her money to put on the card for me since I have never used one before. I put $105 on there. I ordered our products and everthing was fine. There was $22 left one the card. I needed to order a few more things so I had her put another 24 on there. She misunderstood me and put $22 on it. I thought no problem, Ill just go the Wal Mart and add the extra $2. To load the money onto the stupid thing it costs$4.97. Fine, I have no problem with that. I didnt know there was a $20 minimum. Ok, so take $40 off the card through the ATM and just put it all back on the card. I tried 4 times to get the money out of the ATM. It kept saying insuficent funds. I know the money is on there. So I drive to the ATM by my bank. I punch everything into the ATM and finally it spit out a $20. Through the ATM you can only take out 20 at a time. So I did it again to get the other $20 off of it and it said insuffucent funds again. Irate, I drove home and checked the balance. There was only $19 on the card. Apparentley they deduct $.50 every time you are denied at an ATM! Whatever, so I go back to Wal Mart and put the money onto the card. the money loaded everything was fine. I ordered my stuff that Sunday night. I get an email the next day which was monday the21 saying that they were out of stock on my order and a full refund had been giving back to my card. Today is Wednesday the 29 and I still dont have my money. Its $2 to talk to a customer service person. ( If when you call the # on the card and hit # like 7 times it will bypass that) They told me MY money was on hold! Its $44! I am NOT happy with this piece of garbage card! Its a HORRIBLE waste of time and money. I emailed they company and asked what was going on and I got no response! That was last week. BEWARE!!!!!!!
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