HR Block / Refund on Emerald Card / won't give me my money

Bellmawr, NJ, United States Review updated:

My husband and I went to HR & Block on January 30th (the first day you could file). We completed our return that same day with Diana Howard-Gaines and received an email on January 31st saying that our return had been accepted by the IRS. The preparer (Diana Howard-Gaines) said she put the card in our envelope but when we got home it wasn't there. When we called the store they said the card would come in the mail. We then started to get emails that our refund was on its way, that a card was sent out, that a check was sent out. This was confusing and annoying. I called HR Block and asked them what happened. They told me I should have the card already. I told them I didn't. I called back the next day after I got another email saying my card would be mailed in 7-10 days. Followed by another email saying my money was on my card (Feb 9). So we went to the local store and told them we don't have a card, they said we do. They told us we needed to cancel the card but they couldn't do that for us. Instead they handed us a phone and dialed for us. They cancelled our card and told us one had already been mailed, on January 31st and that it should take 7-10 days to get there. I said it has already been that long. So we went home and waited, checked the mail, again and again. I got a series of conflicting emails from February 13th to the 14th that made me absolutely crazy. Again the emails would come within minutes of each other saying that "your card is on its way", "your card will be mailed shortly", "a check has been mailed". So, I called the 800# again. This time I was told that the issuing of cards had been delayed but that I could go into my local store and get an instant issue card. We did. While the man who was clearly new was trying to issue the card he told the woman who had prepared our taxes, Diana Howard-Gaines that he didn't know how to do it. She waved him on and continued her person call about boiling meat. Eventually he told her he didn't have access. She looked very annoyed put her personal call on hold and walked over to look at his screen. She then said, your logged on as you, thats why. Shen then logged him on as her. My husband said to her if he doesn't have access shouldn't you issue our card? She said he will take care of you and then went back to giving someone a recipe on the phone. When it was all done we were told it would work in 2 to 24 hours to access our money. It didn't. We went back into the store. They said they couldn't help us. We called the 800# on the card. It said our refund had been received from the IRS processed and ready but that the balance on our card was $0.00. I asked the the customer service person (800#) where are money was, she said it was on the card. When I pressed and said it wasn't she put me on hold for 40 minutes to come back on and do the whole who are you drill again. She then told us that when our card was issued, it was done incorrectly that when it was issued at the store it was not "put into the emerald persks side". When I said "this information does not help me, how will you fix this", the answer was "I, umm". Four people in a row the answer was "I'm going to escalate this to a higher level". Some people told me a check had been mailed but after more escalations it was decided that the check was for my state return and that the federal return should be on the card. Each time I asked to talk to a manger. Specifically I wanted to talk to some kind of regional or district manager for the branch that messed everything up in the first place. This never happened. At the end of my call on Saturday I was told the money would be ready and available for withdraw from my card some time in the next 2 to 48 hours. When I pressed for a more specific deadline the woman became very aggressive and said I can't tell you exactly it doesn't work like that. I then said I want you to tell me will it be Monday or Wednesday. Do weekends count? She said "Lady you will get it MONDAY!, but I can't say when on Monday. Monday at 11pm, it hadn't come so I called again. Again 90 minutes of the run around. At some point they parked me on hold so my husband called from another line and he got someone faster. This time he told them not to put us on hold again. Both calls resulted in the same nonsense. We were told the money was not on the card because a check was cut. They don't know why were told the money would be available on the card. We don't know why the local branch issued a card when a check was cut. They didn't know who asked for a check to be cut. They said someone would have more answers if I called back in the morning. I called back at 9am on 9/19, I waited on hold for twenty minutes - no more answers. Same exact thing and still I was not able to talk to a manager. The man I spoke with did consult with his "leader" who did not, would not talk to me. I told him I wanted to know exactly how and when I would get my money. He said you will get it by mail in 7-10 days. I said excuse me, another 7-10 days. Are you kidding me. He said well there was a holiday and you know they don't deliver mail on Sundays. I told him again, I just want to talk to a manger someone with some kind of authority to do something. I asked him who I could call or write to in order to express my dissatisfaction with the entire process. He didn't know, he put me on hold. He then came back after more than ten minutes and said he would open another case for me. Since he spoke the most English of everyone I had encountered I asked him why can't I speak with a manager? Why do I get different information from people at the 800#? Why couldn't the local branch help me? He said "I'm sorry your frustrated". Great, where both sorry but how does that help? He simply replied. The notes in your account are pretty vague. I'm going to open a new case and make more notes for you. Are you kidding me? I'm not sure how he thought this was going to help. I now had four "open cases" that they were "working on". I 'm not sure what that even means. I told him all I wanted the entire time was the name of a specific person with some kind of authority and their direct number so that I could get things resolved. He said I understand and then told me I would receive a survey by email so that I could review his service.

Do not go to HR Block
Do not get an Emerald Card
Do not let Diana Howard-Gaines prepare your taxes!

Feb 19, 2013
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  • Th
      Feb 20, 2013

    oh i hear you! when my son did his taxes h & r said the first set of banking numbers on last years returns were the "correct " numbers so he filed on line himself on Jan, 23. accepted Jan 31 refund approved for ddon feb 4...well it came and went. on the ^th we contacted h&rblock bank and they said that it was an temporary from last year BUT they are linked to his emerald card..sounded fishy to me so we called again..reexpaned again and found out otherwise..the bank rejected it..and now we're waitin on the irs check

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  • Jb
      Feb 20, 2013

    1 st. Why do people go to places like H&R Block...when you could get your taxes done for a fraction of the cost at a local CPA and get your refund in a couple weeks with e-file. If you do not understand how to fill out tax forms...leave it to some one who does this for a living...not a part-time data entry kid. 2nd...why would someone put a refund on a card. How about a savings account?

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