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H&R Block - Rapid Refund Emerald Card


scan/fraud - praying on customers

Complaint Rating:  94 % with 47 votes
94% 47
Contact information:
H&R Block
United States
2009 - H&R Block and it's bank are scamming it's customer who normally file for a rapid refund. Customers who have always gotten a rapid refund are now being denied and being told that each year, "Our criteria changes." Yet, their funds are obligated to the Emerald Card and the fees associated with the card ($35 annual fee).

For the past two years as a single mom who helps her sister through college, I have gotten a rapid refund through H&R block. I know the fees are high, but I also need the money and my sister needs books now ($800 worth) that are not covered through her grants. Why I need the money is neither here nor there. The problem is H&R Block says that you will receive a refund in 1-2 days. I was told I was approved for the 1-2 day refund, as I have been in the years prior. This year, however, I was denied and told I would receive my refund in 8-14 days. The reason for the denial is unclear, since my credit is better now than it was last year. I was also told that my Tax Refund had been accepted by the IRS, i.e., they found nothing wrong and are processing it for payment -- so again, why the denial?

When I called the bank several times, I was told that "our criteria has changed, " but they were not sure what was going on, telling me they had been getting calls "like this" all day. That people that had been getting the rapid refund for the past 5 years were being denied this year.

I will never use H&R Block again. My contract says I have until midnight tomorrow (Jan 21, 2009) to cancel, but I was told by the district manager that if I cancel, then I will receive a paper check, and it may take up to 3 months to get my refund.

My problem: 1) I was never told about the 8-14 day possibility of a refund. 2) I can do my own taxes, E-file and have my return back in 8-14 days without any fees. 3) This is a scam to get customers to use the Emerald Prepaid Card, owend by H&R Block so they can make money all year (it cost $20 to withdraw funds over the counter in one of their subsidiary banks).

I am filing a complaint with consumer affairs and I am advising others to do the same. H&R Block knows instantly if you are approved or not for a rapid refund (they own the bank). They should be upfront with customers and tell them right then and there if they do not qualify and that it will be 8-10 days before they get a refund. If they tell customers that, most will just leave and do the taxes themselves, and they lose customers.
Complaint comments Comments (25) Complaint country United States Complaint category Tax Services


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A  24th of Jan, 2009 by    0 Votes
It really is bad business for HR block to keep this information from their paying customers. You are right about them knowing instantly if one is approved or not and they know people can efile with no charges so they withhold the denial to keep business. Times are so freaking hard these days its good to know that a company like HR block is profiting from the understandeable need of people wanting their refund fast (sarcastic tone). Listen to anyone that reads this please efile this year if HR Block is doing this who knows who else is. A rapid refund may be a thing of the past. HR Block u got my 400 bucks this year but ur name is smeared because of your dishonesty. Wow!!! America the beautiful
N  29th of Jan, 2009 by    0 Votes
I wish I had read or even heard about these complaints before I went to file my taxes this year. Like everyone else, I've been going to HR Block and getting the rapid refund for years. I've never once been denied. I filed my taxes about a week ago and received about 1/3 of my payment that same day, . the rest was supposed to come in 1-2 days, and it still has not. Evidently I'm in the same boat as everyone else because I now learn that I have to wait 8-14 "business" days. This is ridiculous. They certainly charged me over $400 for a loan that I didn't fully receive. On the bright side of things, at least I know better next year.
A  30th of Jan, 2009 by    0 Votes
I wish I would have known this too. I've gone through HR Block for three years now. I got a loan against my taxes before Christmas and was approved yet they wouldn't approve me for the same say taxes back. What's up with that?! I'm good enough to loan to once but not twice? If I don't get my money back in the 1 to 2 days I paid for they WILL refund me the 43$ I paid for the 1 to 2 day thing.
N  30th of Jan, 2009 by    0 Votes
i was also very disappointed with H&R Block i payed a total of 375 dollars for them to prepare my taxes. i was told i would receive my payment in 1 to 2 days. after calling around i am starting to realize this is just a big scam. This was my first year with H&R Block and it will definitely will be my last...
A  1st of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
I also am in the same boat, I wish I had read some of these as well. I was told I would not qualify for the 1-2 hours which they said "they did not understand because after all it was our money." Well ofcourse like everyone else we live week to week and have three kids. There was things we needed to get the kids we had put off so we went and actually spent what money we did have on the kids. Now we have also been denied for the 1-2 days and were told 8-14 business days. We were definately left in a lurch because like idiots I trusted H&R Block...now don't know how I will feed my kids or have gas to go back and forth to work for the week. I called the bank to ask their criteria and was told it was like a normal loan their screening criteria was 1. Credit Worthiness 2. Accuracy and completion of the tax application 3. Debit vs. Income. This took me by surprise as well since the very first thing under the card sign at H&R Block states No Credit Check. I asked the bank then if there was a credit check and she advises me "Yes of course, it is like any other loan." Therefore not only did we get hoodooded by them but we also have an inquiry against our credit due to this. None of this information is disclosed when you select the Emerald Card. I don't know about the rest of you but I will be doing everything I can to contact news agencies and newspapers about this to let everyone know not to do this. I could have filed my very simple taxes myself and not paid anything and got my refund back in the same amount of time with ALL MY MONEY and not paid them a dime. This is a huge scam I think in these difficult times should be front and center to the public.
N  1st of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
Its called a CPA..go find one.
A  2nd of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
i agree bc i am going through the same bs there must be something we can do about this
N  3rd of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
I hope this is not true because I know of crackheads who filed whose credit should be shot but have received from h&R block in 1-2 days. I too wish I would have read report before filing on Saturday. I just hope and pray that my money is on that card if not today then tomorrow.
A  4th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
I was denied simple pay and told i would get my refund in 8 to 14 days. Well I filed on Jan 16 and I still have no refund deposited into my checking account. The IRS says it deposited my money on Jan 30th but I haven't seen a penny of it yet. Just like everybody else I need that money. Does anyone have any suggestions?? IRS says they did their job, H&R are no help they say call HSBC and you have to hold until you can't hold any longer or you get cut off and never speak to anyone. I amwondering how long it will take to ever get my refund. I will never try for simple pay again.
N  4th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
Are the only people having these delays on their refunds the ones that chose simply pay and were denied??
A  4th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
I have filed my taxes with H&R for 10 years and have always gotten my 1-2 day refund, one year they even had an ATM in the store you could leave with your cash. When I first filed I was newly divorced with no money and had two small children and no credit and I was given my refund, this year after having better credit than I ever had and just buying a new house I was denied this year as well. I will file myself next year and will never give another dime to H&R block. I hope their busieness is so good they can afford to loose all this busieness.
N  6th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
Wow i just filed with them about half an hour ago... I was told i would get my return from taxes paid in 1-2 days and my stimulus pay in 8-14 days... (Put on my Emerald card). Wow i hope it woks out better for me...
A  6th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
i filed last friday.. they said i was denied for that day instant refund.. so like normal i took the one to two days.. and i looked the guy in his eyes and i was like so it will be here tommarrow or monday at the latest and he was like yes.. monday came.. nothing.. tuesday.. nothing.. i called them.. i gave the guy my ss# and he said that i was accepted by the irs but my loan was denied and i half to wait 8 - 14 days now.. its now friday.. i dont know if u count weekends or just business days.. but i just want my dang money.. i went to go login to the emerald card account today.. and it says in bright red letters that people expecting money today there is a delay and we wont get it till 7 0 clock eastern time.. i was like omg.. and today in all reality is my 8th day of waiting.. i hate you handr block never again will i fall into your trap again..
A  7th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
same problem here...where is my #@@# money irs says it was deposited yesterday to my emerald card but its not there
"all they can say is keep checking i thing there is a delay bla bla bla"
the agent lied to us and said we were approved for 1-2 days but after waiting three days i called and they said we were not approved
and had to wait 8-10 days
is it true the agent already knew we were denied? i should go b#tch slap him
does anyone know about this delay? does it take time to get on the card after irs deposits it?
what can i do?
N  9th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
I have gotten my taxes prepared there every year. To make long stories short this is the first year I have ever had to pay for their services. They have waived the last 4 years due to their mistakes the proir years. Yeah "fool me once" ... I already knew that the Rapid Refund was a "no go" since my friends went to well "the other guy" ( the equivalent to HR Block) so I called them to see if anyone informed them before I went to get mine done. To no surprise the women had know clue what I was talking about. So instead of saying I have no clue what you are talking about she took my name and number down. Well I was shocked to get a call 10 mins. later. I was told it had something to do with the stimulus checks we got in the summer. And they are delaying the process 2 weeks. So I accepted that as somewhat of an answer. Knowing there was most likely more to it. BUT since they are right across the street and I went anyway. The women who did my taxes was GREAT very helpful and seemed to know what she was talking about. Everything went great this year for once but at the end of the visit when you have a choice for rapid refunds or waiting a few extra days they were still offering it as an option with the extra fee. HA!... And I know most people are mad, but do not waste your time writting or contacting their HQ or an all season office. They will not help you, write back, answer messages or faxes. Even if they messed us and the IRS contacted you that you are owed 2k more. (Sorry) Needless to say I decided to go with the 8-15 days from the door. So I guess I will see how well that works out for me. O yes the bank they use do not have funds to cover the checks on all days. Some lucky peopleho got there checks but are being told to come back in a few days. BIGGER HA! As for the "GET a CPA" person above. I worked for the BEST of the BEST. and you get charged the BEST of the BEST. $175.00 every 15 mins. - Oops the carried your folder to be filed. round 1 min to 15. that right $175.00.
N  9th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
My refund also says it was deposited friday to my emerald card and still nothing so as of right now im on hold with h & r block because this money is very important I was told 1-2 days for sure, then the 31st for sure now the 10th for sure. I checked the IRS website tonight which said my money was there friday! Where is my money? I payed nearly $300 for nothing. Also found out when checking the IRS website that h & r block made a mistake and I'm getting less money! Still on hold!
A  11th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
I still wait as well. I would have never filed in this fashion had I known I would not recieve my money in a timely fashion
A  11th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
I say lets all get together and file a class action suit.
D  13th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes
I think everyone should quit crying about this. You all signed papers agreeing to the terms of the Emerald Card. I too had my taxes done @ H&R Block this year. They explained my options, told me how long is would be before the money would be deposited and I'm waiting. The reason for people being denied this year even though they have been approved every other year is the economy. They aren't lying to you & they have every right to approve or disapprove anyone they want.

Quit crying over this, you'll get your money & life will go on. I would think most people would have more important things to worry about than getting approved for a loan because they can't patiently wait a couple weeks for money to come via mail or direct deposit.

Guess I was wrong.
D  13th of Feb, 2009 by    0 Votes

You are correct they DO have a right to approve or deny anyone, but to be sneaky about it is another thing, my wife and i know we have aweful credit and would NEVER have had H&R block do our taxes if we knew about this credit check, we ONLY went to H&R Block for their Rapid Refund, we needed to pay our rent and our electric bill and were short this month, i am a teacher and get paid ONCE a month, and could have done this at home for free and it would of taken the same amount of time, now i am stuck paying $235 basically for a card to put my money on, This is an illigal action called " a bait and switch" they advertise "do your taxes with us and recieve your money in 1 or 2 days NO Credit check Needed!" so of course with the Economy being crappy as you said so above people need their money as soon as possible and put their trust into H&R Block to uphold their Advertisment promise.
There is nothing you can say that will make them right on this, and i bet you most likely work for them, that or your a rish person that does not care about us lower middle class people who struggle to make EVERY dollar stretch as far as we can.

I WILL NEVER USE H&R BLOCK AGAIN! and i am going to the attorny General for the State of Illinios and hope they follow The State of New York and Sue H&R Block.


Illinios Tax Payer

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