Metabank AAA prepaid Visa travel card / travel card was never reloaded, meta bank kept my money from me so I had no access to it at all during my travels
I had a very similar experience using the meta bank aaa prepaid visa travel card that I have read about on the complaints board regarding meta bank's customer service in regard to iadvance, only1 prepaid card, netspend, the freedom card by meta bank that is marketed to college students, jackson-hewitt now managed by meta bank. Target sells the meta bank card as well. I only bought the meta bank aaa prepaid visa travel card at the suggestion of a travel agent I was using at aaa. Had I not had a long relationship with aaa, I never would have purchased the meta bank travel card after all, who is meta bank or what is meta bank? I took one vacation, a tour using the card and then cashed it out. I waited over a month to get the cash out. To cash out the card at aaa, I was asked when, where and for what amount I had lasted used the card. I received a check in the mail at my home address.
I brought $5, 000.00 over in cash to the aaa office, just before leaving for another country for independent travel, and it was never reloaded onto my card before my trip. Although the aaa cashier had spoken in front of me to a meta bank representative about the exact card that he was trying to re-load, and the meta bank representative asked the aaa cashier to ask me when I was leaving the usa and where I would be going. I left the aaa branch office that day thinking that my meta bank visa travel card had been re-loaded with my $5, 000.00 in cash money. I had thought that I would mainly use the card for all of my expenses while traveling independently overseas. Upon arrival in paris, I found that the card that I had from meta bank had not been properly re-loaded. I emailed the exact number of that card from an internet cafe to my husband and asked him to contact the aaa branch manager in an effort to get the card re-loaded. For the first time, that branch manager was told that meta bank could not reload my card since there had been an outstanding balance, the exact amount of the last purchase I had told the aaa cashier at the time of my cash out back in january. I got a check by mail from meta bank, perhaps in february or march and by the end of may now early june, meta bank said that I had an overdraft balance for too long so they could not put my $5, 000.00 back on my meta bank travel card. Meta bank did not tell me this on the day I went to re-load the card. Had they told me this, I would have paid the overdraft balance off and kept the rest of the $5, 000.00 in cash with me so that I would have had use of my own money during my trip overseas. However, meta bank accepted all of the $5, 000.00 in cash money that I brought over to the aaa branch office, but they held on to it without putting it on my meta bank travel card.
This meant that I would live more like a homeless person during my vacation. This was not the vacation I had worked all my life to take in retirement.
I was told that the aaa branch manager had remedied the problem, but the card still would not work so I went to a french banker who told me that the formatting of the meta bank card is not compatible with the european market cards. The cards are useless. Once I got back into the newark airport, however, I found that the meta bank aaa travel card would not work at tgifriday either. The next business day, I went to speak with the aaa branch manager. She phoned meta bank. We learned that the companion card in the drawer at home had been reloaded and not my card, but they are companion cards and they should be re-loaded at the same time. That card had been signed by our daughter so it was not in my husband's possession; he only had the number I had emailed and he would have carefully read that number to the aaa branch manager. The branch manager asked that from the $5, 000.00 that the $20.25 overdraft balance could be paid so that the cards could be re-loaded. She was lead to believe that this had been accomplished.
Upon my return, meta bank would be asked why both cards were not reloaded. The aaa branch manager was promised a call by 5:30 pm that evening. It never came so my daughter phoned the number on the back of the card we had. That number is for what to do if the card is lost. Yes, you wouldn't have that number in front of you if you lost the card. It is a completely different number to phone to get the card properly re-loaded; I was never transfered to that number.
I was told that my husband or the aaa branch manager made a mistake about which card was to be reloaded and I knew that they both got reloaded as companion cards. Then I was told that perhaps one of the cards had been stolen, but I told her that we had never reported a stolen card.
I asked why I had never been notified of an overdraft balance since reloading the travel card seemed to hinge entirely upon the outstanding balance of $20.25, the exact amount that I had told them I had last spent. A meta bank representative told me that there is a federal law that prevents them from mailing out overdraft notices and that they would only make phone calls as a courtesy, but that I had never given them any contact information when I opened up the account. Now I knew that I had given them very detailed contact information when I first opened up my account, and I knew that meta bank had mailed me a cash out check at my home address. Furthermore, I had been a member of aaa for perhaps 37 years and they would have had all f my contact information if that really was the problem. However, when they were discussing my account the day that I went in to aaa to reload the card with my $5, 000.00 in cash money by phone, the meta bank representative had opened up my account, and discussed it with the aaa cashier in front of me, even asking me question about where I would be going and when I would be leaving, then why hadn't that meta bank representative brought it to our attention that my account, that is my aaa travel card through meta bank, could never be reloaded again? It just seems like this would have been the decent thing to do, but that person did not say anything. Meta bank took all of the money that I had set aside for that trip, and never said that I would not have access to my money during that trip.
Not having given meta bank my contact information seems to be what alibi meta bank wants to stick by, but I know that the aaa cashier asked for and got all my contact information when I first opened up the account and I know that meta bank mailed me a cash out check after our first trip using the card.
If anything then, meta bank would not have given aaa the proper forms or they are not keeping track of the information they have been given, but this made it so that meta bank took my cash money and held on to it for a period of four weeks.
Now had the tables been reversed and I had use of meta bank's $5, 000.00 in cash money for four weeks, how much do you think that meta bank would have charged me in fees and in interest on that amount, less $20.25, of course? How much would meta bank have made if the tables had been turned the other way around?
So as it was, meta bank had full use of all of my money, $5, 000.00 less, $20.25 for four weeks. I received a check from aaa at the end of four weeks. I got a silly and ridiculous letter from a samuel sassen from the meta payments office in omaha repeating most of the above ridiculous excuses while adding that since they had not heard again from me while I was over seas they could not be blamed or something to that effect. How was I either to phone them or to go to internet cafes with any regularity when I had no access to my own money? How was I to pay for these things? Blaming me for not spending money I did not have access to because meta bank was holding it in such a way that I could not get at it is one of the silliest reasons I have ever heard for blaming someone for not phoning, contacting them everyday.
When I did phone meta bank from my home, I was put on hold for extended periods of time. Meta bank representatives said that had I phoned from overseas and not had my husband try to fix this for me that there wouldn't have been a mistake as if they hadn't made the mistake. My husband didn't make this mistake; this mistake was made by meta bank. If it was a mistake, I think that it was an intentional act by meta bank.
In sassen's letter to me, he says that he cannot give me a credit advance, I have not asked for a credit advance. I asked for access to my own money. There is a major difference, and meta bank took my money and with held it from me when I needed it the most. The purpose of the travel card is so that the traveler will have access to their own funds while traveling.
I wondered why aaa would continue to promote this card. The employees of aaa also use a form of this card. Meta bank markets a large corporate card. It may appear to the aaa employees who are being asked to promote this aaa travel card to their clients that the two cards are one in the same, but I believe that there is one for aaa clients and another for the aaa employees.in fact, I believe that meta bank may even offer some kind of competition or incentive to try to get the aaa employees to try to promote this card on unsuspecting customers, and the aaa employees who promote the card may genuinely want to win the offered promotional perk so they gladly promote this piece of junk.
I spoke to someone who had put $400 on a meta bank visa travel card last october before a trip to europe. He had gone into his local aaa office just to get maps, but when the aaa employee found out that he was an alumni travel coordinator, that aaa employee really began to push the meta bank aaa prepaid visa travel card so he went ahead and put $400 on the card. The aaa employee wanted him to also promote the card to other alumni, but he could never get anyone to accept the card in europe anywhere. Meta bank representatives would tell this man that he had not used the card properly and that is why it didn't work. What? You hand over the debit card and if the clerk refuses it, the card is no good for your purposes. How many times do you need to try this before you realize that the meta bank travel card is worthless? Customer service at meta bank is not customer service as anyone has ever known it anywhere else. For meta bank, the customer is alway wrong. Meta bank pushes the blame onto the customer. If there is a problem, it is the customer's fault as far as meta bank is concerned.
Lying is not a problem for meta bank. They work in a fast paced, quickly changing environment and that translates for the rest of us into "lying without flinching"
Meta bank brags that they use over 550 different network branded prepaid cards. This means that anyone in america could be hit at any time by meta bank. They market their product most often through another agency or company so you may not even be aware that you are buying a meta bank card. Meta bank began and got their practice by serving the underbanked. They are most skilled at compliance and processing.
Since I was the only person who had written into complain about this to the attorney general's office in my state they couldn't do anything about it. More people need to write in to complain to the proper people asking for changes in the laws that govern the us banking system that has allowed meta bank to get away with this or for the current laws to be enforced.
Meta bank is predatory in their practices. You may think that you are not vulnerable. Meta bank is looking for your achilles tendon at this very moment so they can market their next product to you. They are studying how to address your tiny weak area of need. It will be the same product as always that they offer, but you will be led to believe that it is something new and ideally suited to meet your needs. None of us are safe from meta bank's practices.
I now see, just in reading today, that jackson-hewitt, netspend, only1 card, iadvance card, target card, omaha steaks card, macy's card, the freedom card marketed to college students, dominos pizza card... All use the meta bank card in one form or another. The list just begins there; there are more than 550 names on the list.
Please write to your state and us senators and representatives in the house of representatives asking for either a change in bank laws or that what is there be enforced properly. Also please write to:
Office of thrift supervision
Department of the treasury
Consumer affairs division
1700 g street, nw
Washington, dc 20552
I worked all my life, saved money and then had to live like a homeless person for 4 weeks in a foreign culture far from home while meta bank had free use of my money. Had the tables been reversed, meta bank would have charged huge daily fees and large amounts of interest for the four weeks I had use of their $5, 000.00, but upon my return I just got a pack of lies, bold lies from meta bank. Aaa did return my money to me, but why should anyone want a meta bank prepaid travel card. I had cash money in my hands, my cash money just before the trip that I took over to aaa to put on, to reload this meta bank travel card, but meta bank held on to my money instead.
Meta bank also lied to me by way of a response for why they had done this. All that I can do now is to warn other people not to do business with meta bank since they are scam artists, con artists and flim flam artists who just want your money. They have created publicity leading you on to think that they have created a wonderful product for you, but they have nothing to give you but heartaches or headaches.
All that I can do is to try to warn others that meta bank is not the kind of place with which you want to do business.
Meta bank does not hold up the kind of business practice for america that is admirable or noble. There is nothing that anyone can be proud of in an organization that builds itself up beginning by taking advantage of the most vulnerable people in our society and charging them the most unfair loan rates anywhere. Look closely at the iadvance publicity. This is despicable!
Meta bank needs to be stopped.
Short of that, I hope to warn people not to do business with such an offensive place as meta bank.
Be warned! Meta bank is not a good place to get any kind of a bank card if you ever expect to see your money when you need it.
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