Report: #1489000

Complaint Review: Direct Express - Omaha NE

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  • Reported By: Hopeinal — Tuscumbia AL United States
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  • Direct Express P.O. Box 540190 Omaha, NE United States

Direct Express Comerica Bank This is the debit card shown on the SSA website for direct deposot of SS retirement and/or disability benefits. My card info was hacked for $860.88 & they refuse to issue the provisional credit within 10 days as provided by law Omaha NE

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I saw the first fraudulent charge on 11/29/19 to a local merchant I had not visited in months & therefore knew it was fraudulent. My debit card has never been out of my possession. I called Direct Express immediately & after spending 2 hours on hold that first call, reported the charge & told the CSR to cancel my card. He said he couldn't because the charge was pending. Please note that he clearly said the CARD couldn't be cancelled, not the charge. He said that they would be watching it for suspicious activity.

On the same day that my $863 SS benefit was deposited to the card, 12/03/19, I saw a fraudulent charge of $860.88 within an hour of it being made at a Kroger store in Auburn, AL, 4.5 hours south of me. I have never made that large a purchase with the card & haven't been to Auburn in 5 years. I immediately began trying to contact Direct Express to report this charge & spent over 2 hours on hold for the fraud department---

The menu choice that specified I was contacting them to report a lost, stolen card or unauthorized transaction. When I finally reached an agent, I reported the details as I knew them about the charge, cancelled the card, ordered a new one & paid $13.50 to have the new one sent by UPS 2 day shipping. He told me to call & activate the new card when I got it.

The card arrived late Thursday afternoon of 12/05/19 & I set in calling Direct Express. Almost 3 hours later I managed to get connected to an agent & activated the card. At that time he told me he would put me on hold for "Level Two." I had never heard of Level Two & asked what it was. he said I had to talk to that dept to get the fraudulent charges credited back to my new debit card.

As it was within $1.50 of being my entire month's income I needed to live on, naturally I stayed on hold. This time for another hour & 18 minutes. The man in Level Two told me that I might not get my money back at all because I reported it two days after it happened. I said no, I reported it right away & he said I didn't report it to the right dept.

Here is what I have learned & been told by one of their CSRs: No matter which dept a caller chooses from the menu, after a while you are switched back to the main line. The agents, trained I'm sure NOT to do so, fail to identify which dept they're in. So when you have selected the correct dept from the menu & are finally connected, you assume it's the dept you chose & thought you were on hold for. WRONG.

Now when I call & stay on hold for hours & eventually reach someone, I ask them what dept I have reached. They're obviously very uncomfortable with this question. Several have literally hung up on me rather than provide that information.

The ones that have answered seem extremely uneasy & admit I've reached the plain vanilla customer service line instead of the Fraud dept, Level 2, dept to discuss an existing case or whatever they call it at any given moment. So how on earth is a customer supposed to know WHO they have reported anything to?

It's all a big flimflam deliberately IMO engineered to do the same thing as the crazy hold times & endless loop of runarounds & bizarre hoops we're forced to jump through...wear us down so that we'll give up & let them keep our money.

Besides those ploys, here is another example of the twisted practices of this outfit: I was told on 12/05/19 that a questionnaire had been mailed to me & that I had to fill it out & return it within 10 days or I would not get my money back. As of yesterday, 12/12/19, I had not rec'd that questionnaire & since I have USPS Informed Delivery, have proof that I haven't gotten it.

The same agent that told me the questionnaire was being mailed also told me to fax the relevant details to them & that would be enough for the investigative team to get started. I did that right away on 12/06/19 & verified it was rec'd.

On 12/11/19  I was told by another agent that I would have to do this again because I didn't hand sign the fax. I was definitely NOT told to do this. But I provided the info yet again, hand signed the document, scanned & faxed it to them. Now what? They'll say I printed it in the wrong color ink?

Also important to note is that the day after I activated the new card, on 12/06/19, I was locked out of my account when I got up that morning & despite numerous calls was locked out until Monday evening, 12/09/19. I was told by a CSR that it would be reported to the IT dept & I should hear from them within 5 business days to get back into my account.

This was holding me up filing a police report because the police dept told me to print out the transaction & bring it with me. I couldn't get into my account to do that until late Monday evening & then discovered that there is no way to print anything from their website, not the transaction history anyway.

Clicking the button that says Print takes you to a blank page. You can't right click to copy. You can't do a screen shot. I tried from my Mac laptop & desktop PC. No luck. The police officer at the station where I filed my report even tried. We pulled up my account & got the same results.

This bunch does EVERYTHING they can do, throws up every roadblock & obstacle they possibly can, to impede a customer getting the provisional credit put back on their debit card. They have a D rating with the BBB online & are not even accredited. Senator Warren investigated them less than a year ago & among other unsavory things, learned they had a data breach & never reported it to the cardholders or even the SSA.

They admitted that the criminals who stole our info were within their own company. I am steadily reporting them to every agency I can find, including Senator Warren, my own senators, representatives, my state AG, the federal AG, OIG, NCPA, etc and am about to start contacting the media.

There are hundreds & hundreds of complaints just on the BBB from people who have experienced eerily identical issues with Direct Express as I have & never gotten the money back that was taken fraudulently and supposed, by law, to be returned to them in 10 days. As a retired nurse of 40 years, it makes me sick to think of all the seniors & disabled people, including our disabled vets, everyone that relies on those SS benefits & have been and are being ripped off by this horrible company. The stress & misery & worry Direct Express brings down on its customers heads is beyond disgraceful. It makes me sick---and angry.  

I have my mobile phone call logs to corroborate all of the calls I've made & the unbelievable hours I've spent on those calls with Direct Express. I think it's up to 47 calls now, since 11/29/19 when I found the first fraudulent charge. Bear in mind that many times, after you've been on hold maybe half an hour, you get a recording that they're busy & to try your call later & then BOOM, youre disconnected & have to start all over.

Also many times you're instantly disconnected as soon as you reach an agent, the second they answer. And some as I've mentioned hang up on you if you start asking questions they aren't supposed to answer, like what department they're in for example. There is no way to email. You cannot request a call back. In fact they claim they are unable to call a customer. Period. It's just a nightmare all the way around. 

I just want my money back & will then have my benefit direct deposited into my bank checking account. WHY the SSA is recommending this awful company is beyond my comprehension. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/13/2019 05:22 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/direct-express/omaha-ne-comerica-bank-debit-1489000. 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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