Report: #248976

Complaint Review: Greendot Corporation

  • Submitted: Wed, May 16, 2007
  • Updated: Sun, March 29, 2009
  • Reported By: Birmingham Alabama
  • Greendot Corporation

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

My name is Ashley and I recently became a greendot cardholder. I have used my Mom's card several times, and I thought that this card would be great option for me as well. I bought and activated my greendot card on May 7th. I also paid $29.95 for the upgrade to the Premier Account.

On May 9th I sent a direct deposit in the amount of $2000 to the card from paypal so that I would have enough money on the card to pay bills and so forth. I had sent money to my Mother's greendot card from paypal before with no problem, so I wasn't anticipating any problems with this transaction.

On Monday, May 14th, I logged into my Greendot account and saw that my account balance reflected that the $2000 deposit had been received. However, several links on the site were not working for me and when I tried to use my card to pay a small amount (about $15) at a local store, my card was declined.

At this point I was a little confused because I had just checked my account balance and I knew that I had over $2000 available balance. At this point I called Greendot customer service and I was informed that a temporary block had been placed on my account until the direct deposit from paypal could be "confirmed". This idea did not make sense to me, because it seems to me that the fact that the $2000 was received and sitting in my account should be confirmation enough that it was sent.

However, the representative informed me that the hold was only temporary and would be lifted by the end of the day, so I decided that it was not a big deal and I would simply wait until the next day until the company received whatever "confirmation" they were looking for. The next day, May 15th, I logged into my account only to find that nothing had changed and the block was still on my account.

At this point I called back into customer service because I really needed my money, and I asked them when the block would be removed. I was told that they were still waiting on "confirmation". I then called paypal to check to make sure nothing was wrong with the deposit, and they assured me that the deposit had been sent by them and received by my card with no problem. They also said that they had not received any inquiries from greendot corp., or Columbus bank and Trust alerting them as to any issues or inconstencies with the direct deposit. The account manager that I spoke to at Paypal informed me that he had never in 7 years of working for the company heard of a situation where a deposit was successfully sent and received with no issues, yet arbitrarily placed on hold by the receiver until a "confirmation" was also received.

I called back to customer service several times and each time I told the same thing, "waiting for confirmation" when I asked for further details as to exatly what kind of confirmation was needed I was not given an answer. I gave them paypal's telephone number since it was very easy for me to call and confirm, and I figured it would be just as easy for the people at Greendot to do the same.

At the end of the day after no updates and no sign that I would ever get my money, I asked customer service to simply return my money to the sender and to refund me the money that I had paid for the card and the premier upgrade. I was then informed that I could get neither my money returned to the sender or a refund until the "confirmation" was received. Needless to say, I was very upset at this idea because I felt that my money was being unlawfully held and I had done nothing to deserve such treatment.

The next day, May 17th also came and went and my money was still being held and I was still told that greendot was "waiting on confirmation". When I asked for a timeline as to how much longer Greendot intended to hold my money, I was told that I could not be given a timeline and that my money would be released after confirmation was was received. I then asked for a estimated time, One week? Two weeks? Twenty years? and the representative only said that he couldn't say.

Today is May 18th and my money is still being held. I decided to write this letter seeking help from someone else, because I do not feel like I should have to wait have twenty years or even twenty minutes more for my money to be released. Let me stress again that I did nothing wrong or the least bit fraudulent, and my deposit was targeted only because it was what what the representative called a "large sum". However, I don't see it as being particularly large, it's only $2000 not $2,000,0000, and well within the premier card limit of $2500.

I am writing this letter because I am at my wits end dealing with customer service. No one there has made the slightest attempt to help me, they only repeat the phrase "waiting on confirmation" like a broken record. If someone were to actually take an interset in my case, this issue could have been resolved three days ago in five minutes with a simple phone call to Paypal. However, no one will help me, and I can only conclude it is because they do not care since it is not their money that is being held.

I am in desperate need of help in getting my money! I don't want to have to call an attorney over $2000, but I feel at this point that I have few other options. All I want is to either have my account unblocked, or the funds sent back to the sender. At this point I really don't care which one is done, but one thing is certain, I want a refund, and getting a Greendot card is something that I would not recommend to anyone except for my worst enemy.


Birmingham, Alabama
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/16/2007 10:20 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 Suggestion

Green dot vs PayPal

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

Have you called PayPal to see what the hold up is on their end? Sometimes PayPal will transfer money with a "pay by date," meaning the date the money will actually be "good".. In other words, PayPal holds the money from the bank until a date of their choosing.

I worked for them for a few weeks when they first opened and when my paycheck came, it was marked "Hold until" and a date in the future. I could not access the money until that date. This might be what green dot is doing. Don't always blame the receiver, it's usually PayPal's rules.

Good luck.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Hope you got this resolved by now

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

Hope you got the problem resolved by now.

Green Dot is not a honest company, plain and simple. As you have already found out.

here is customer service number for anyone needing it.


If you have a problem with Green Dot, just keep calling them every single day till the problem is resolved

If you have the same problem as the original person did in this situation and Green Dot will not resolve it within a reasonable time period then I suggest calling the local police and filing a complaint on Green Dot to get some action going that way. If Green Dot does not do a refund to you or anyone else within a reasonable time period then it could be considered Theft and can be handled by the police.
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#3 Consumer Comment

similar problem

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

I am having a simalar problem with greendot holding my money.Its not for no reason but its at no fault of mine.

I ordered something over the phone wich I cancled the following day.Three days later there was a credit to my account for the amount of the item.The merchant made a refund with out ever taking the money in the first place,wich in turn put a hold on my account.

I called the # on the card to straighten this out and they tell me they cant do anything I need to call the murchant and straighten it out with them.So I call the murchant and they tell me it was some kids first day and he didnt check to see if the $ was taken befor he refunded the $.OK I understand people make mistakes.They call their bank or whatever and tell me there sorry and bla,bla,bla and"its gonna take 5-10 buisness day to reverse the credit to the account.Three weeks later the credit is still there and my account is still froze,I call both the card co.(wich give me the same line"sorry for the inconvience sir")and the merchant calls thier bank and get no straight answers if anything is being done.So now its gonna be another 5-10 buisness days if at all to get my $

Now I know its not all greendots fault but they should be able to help some how.There not willing to do anything to resolve this.So if Icant get this merchant to take their $ back over $1000 of my $ is stuck on some card
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#4 Consumer Comment

Green Dot is as bad as PayPal

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

I hope you finally had your $2,000 released. Precisely the same thing happened to me 2 weeks ago with $450 of my money. In my case, it was a credit from a merchant for a return. I had previously placed an order with a card that expired, so they just put it on my green dot card. When I called, they told me that I was not allowed to load my card any other way than purchasing a $4.95 reload pack and that it said that in the "terms & conditions". That's funny, because they promote people to get direct deposit onto their card like crazy. Well any way, I had to fax in a copy of my order as proof of my initial purchase. I called for 4 hours and every time I called, a foreign person that could barely understand what I was saying would say, "please call back in an hour" (really professional). Finally, I spoke with someone that understood me, he put me on hold for 4 min to look at my fax, and released my cash. Total crap, but not half the crap that PayPal has done to me.
To answer the previous question about why I use greendot:
I get commission deposits from online advertising. I also pay to advertise online. Often, I am billed several hundred dollars at a time, several times a day. When I used to pay from my debit card, they would always lock my card every few days and call me to ask me if my card was stolen. Although most require the security, I like knowing that anything will be charged to my greendot card and they don't care. Also, since green dot is a bank, I don't leave a lot of money on the card. Just enough to pay the bills that have to be paid by credit/debit cards and that's it.
Also, they don't allow overdrafts. In other words, my card is only funded by direct deposits so the only fees are the $4.95 monthly fees. I think banks charge more than $60 for a year of overdraft protection. So the fees are certainly worth it.
Other than that, I guess everyone has their own reasons. I can't imagine why anyone would be surprised by unscrupulous business practices by ANY financial institution. The question asked earlier "why do use a green dot card?" should be "why would anyone EVER put their money into a bank? They take in $1million of your money and invest it in other things, hoping that everyone does not need their money at once. I think that is a wonderful business model! I will be launching my new electronics business early next year that operates just like a bank. I will charge customers for their orders, and hold on to their merchandise until a customer really wants it. Hopefully, not all of my customers will want their orders at once. And some, will probably forget about their order and just "let it sit" there.
I know, people are going to say "that's just the way the economy works." Sure, that's why the country is in the financial mess it is in right now! And don't tell me you need banks. You could buy a house in 10 years instead of 20 or a car in 5 instead of 10 if you did not pay a BANK twice as much for twice as long. Why does everyone find it necessary to finance a business that operates on the same principles of my ridiculous electronics company? My point is just stay from all of them as much as possible. Put only what you need to in PayPal, Green Dot, or the bank, and hold on to the rest.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Haven't seen too much of Steve....

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

I know he has his hands full with his own report at the moment but here is something to get you started:

In Maryland, Suntrust Bank (formerly Crestar) reportedly verifies new accounts using Telecheck instead of ChexSystems.

Provident Bank of Maryland reportedly will not reject an applicant based on ChexSystems data. This is a new tip so let us know if this works.

You could be eligible for an account at the Navy Federal Credit Union if you or a family member (a spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child, or grandchild) works for, is in, or has retired from the Navy, Marine Corps, or the U.S. Coast Guard. See our Credit Union tips for more information. They have branch locations throughout the state.
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#6 Consumer Comment


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

what are the names of the banks if a persons name is in Chex Systems?
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Thomas makes a good point, that I left out

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

PayPal is NOT a bank, and your funds in a PayPal account ARE NOT FDIC INSURED.

PayPal is NOT regulated by federal banking regulations.

Never keep more money in your Paypal account than you can afford to lose.

I still think a local bank or credit union is the best choice.

Even if you are in ChexSystems, there are many banks out there that you can get an account with. I have names, if needed.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

More info for Ashley on PayPal

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


PayPal is a Mastercard. No merchant knows it is a PayPal account. It is simply a mastercard. That is where you made your mistake. You didn't get the debit card that went with your account. It doesn't cost anything extra.

"Anyhoo, after finding a new oversees supplier who didn't accept paypal"....
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#9 Consumer Comment

Why I used a Greendot

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

You ask a very good question as to why anyone would get a Greendot card, and while now in hindsight it seems like a horrible idea, at the time I really didn't see any reason why not to get the card.

I had no idea that these theives were going to try to steal my money.

Me specifically, I got this card because I am a small business owner and I have been selling on EBAY for quite a while and I have built a pretty big paypal account. I had just been letting my money sit in my paypal account and using the funds to buy things online for my business, but I had already decided to reinvest most of the money back into the business, and I din't want the temptation of having the Paypal card, because I knew I would spend the money on other things. (Guess I need to work on my self discipline.)

Anyhoo, after finding a new oversees supplier who didn't accept paypal I needed to withdraw about $2000 from my acount to pay for inventory. I applied for the paypal debit card at that point, but it takes two weeks to arrive and I needed the funds sooner than that. I didn't want to co-mingle my business funds with my personal bank account, so I thought that the Greendot card, would make a good "business use only card" and also it something that I could buy, load up, and start using immediately without having to wait.

I never expected for an established finacial institution to be so unscrupulous and unethical in their business practices. These theives have taken my money and are lying about needing a "confirmation" since in the words of the representative the deposit was "too large". I guess that they must think that anyone who would use a Greendot card must not have any money!

In the words of Beyonce' "You must not know bout me........" I'm am about to alert every single website, media outlet, business bureau, what and anyone else I can think of as to how Greendot likes to steal people's money.

Greendot's self proclaimed business model is based on serving "America's underserved cummunity" which I guess is why they treat their customers so shittily. They think that they are dealing with people who have nowhere else to go, and therefore have no choice but to deal with their theivery and shady business practices.

Thank God, I have other sources of money, and I am not depending on this money to live, but I know that several people who have this card probably do use it to pay their bills and so forth, and I can't imagine what I would do if I were in that predicament.

Once again, I must say to anyone who thinking about getting this card.... DON'T.


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#10 Consumer Comment

Green Dot via PayPal..... sounds very roundabout

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

OK, so Steve tells us something I did not know:
"You mentioned that you have a Paypal account, so why wouldn't you just use that? After all they pay interest on your balance and pay a 2% dividend on every purchase you make."

But some folk on RoR make PayPal sound like it acts as a law unto inself. I always think that where there is smoke there is probably a fire. But using PayPal alone as Steve suggests does make more sense than using PayPal as an intermediary conduit to Green Dot.

I consider the suggestion of using a Local Bank Account as being the best option, but that one not include the debit card gig. I use a credit union visa which refunds 1% of purchases to my CU acount, and the CU is subject to bank regs etc. The CU gig does not appear as good $-wise as the PayPal gig but I feel 'safer' with it.
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

Ashley, please explain why anyone would even use Green Dot cards

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


I still cannot figure out why anyone would use these cards. Please explain the benefit and/or purpose here in using Green Dot.

You mentioned that you have a Paypal account, so why wouldn't you just use that? After all they pay interest on your balance and pay a 2% dividend on every purchase you make.

Or, just use a local bank where your funds are FDIC insured. You can get free checking and a free debit card with that $2000.00 you have.

Is there some reason you cannot put money in a conventional bank? If so, it may be cheaper to address that problem.
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