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Netspend / blocked from access to money on debit card

1 United States Review updated:

Have been an unhappy Netspend customer since February of 2007. There have been multiple times when purchases have been declined even with sufficient funds loaded onto my card. I am writing to you in complete disgust over an ongoing situation where my account has been frozen, on hold for over four days.

I purchased (in cash) a carpet at Stone Mountain Carpet Mill Outlet in North Huntington, PA a week ago to be picked up the following Friday. We received a hand-written sales order with the company logo and invoice number as a receipt. Then my fiancé and I decided to purchase laminate floors instead and install them ourselves because it would be less costly. On July 12, 2007 we returned the carpet to the Outlet. The carpet store offered to pay us in check or refund the amount of $227.90 to my Netspend visa DEBIT card. Obviously, I chose the debit return, which seems to be a criminal offense if you ask any one of the many, many Netspend representatives to which I’ve spoken in the past four days.

The following day I tried to make a $5.30 purchase at Yankee Candle Co. at the mall, but to my embarrassment, the transaction was declined. I called Netspend headquarters and was stunned to hear that because of my “FRAUDULENT TRANSACTION” my account has been placed on hold. Not just the $227.90, but the $357 that was previously loaded onto my card as well. The foreign Netspend representative explained in broken English that all I have to do is fax proof of validity that there was a purchase made, even if it was in cash, that my account would be taken off of hold and I could pay some bills, buy gas and groceries, etc.

This was Saturday evening, and the closest Ace Cash Express was closed until Monday morning, so I had to wait til Monday after I got off of work to attempt to use the money that I worked hard to earn. Monday afternoon, I gathered my receipts and drove the 40 minutes to Ace Cash Express where the Ace associate remained on the phone with a Netspend representative, to whom we faxed all receipts a copy of my card, the reference number, and a callback number, who was to call back immediately to let me know when my account was cleared. The Ace associate assured me that it was okay to go home and that the associate from Netspend would call me back soon.

I never got a call back and my account was still on hold the next day. After work, I called Netspend again to see what the problem was. Another representative that did not speak or understand English well explained to me that Netspend only received the Sales order from my original purchase of the carpet, and not the return transaction receipt. I called the Ace associate and had her refax all the information, so I would not have to make another hour and 20 minute roundtrip to do the same thing I did the day earlier.

This time, Netspend received all receipts, but was arguing that the original receipt was not valid because it was hand-written and not typed. They instructed me that the merchant was to call them and validate the the receipt. So I packed up and drove another half hour each way to the carpet store and called Netspend. This is where I waited on hold for over an hour from one representative to the next who did not know what to do or could not help me. The OWNER of the carpet outlet (who is actually losing money on this whole deal by paying YOU to provide payment transactions) was kind enough to assist in the refund. He patiently spoke to a foreign Netspend representative who told him that he would have to reverse the refund in order for this to work out. The owner of the carpet store stated that he did not know how to perform a reverse and asked to a) be walked through the process step-by-step or b)speak to someone who could assist. The Netspend representative said that they didn’t know how to do this and that there was nothing else to do.

The Netspend representative then said that the only way for me to get my account off of hold was to fax the original receipt from FEBRUARY when I purchased my Netspend Debit Card!!! He said that Netspend needs to validate that I am actually Kelly Peirce and that I was the original purchaser of the debit card.

So I thanked the carpet store owner for his time and because I was so fed up and did not have my receipt from February, I drove the hour and ten minutes from that point back to Ace Cash Express. The very kind Ace associate said that she was sorry but there was nothing she could do. She could not prove to Netspend that I am Kelly Peirce and that I purchased the card. So on the long drive home, I called Netspend again and spoke to a line of people who said they could not help, and all of their managers who said they could not help—every one of them treated me as if I was a criminal. The last manager I spoke to, Alyssa, was anything but helpful. She told me at first that Netspend could not accept my original receipt as valid because it did not say the method of payment.

I explained to her that if she actually looked at the original sales receipt, which was faxed to Netspend twice, she would see that written an inch thick, circled, in the middle of the receipt is ‘PAID Cash.’ Next she said that Netspend would offer me a “one-time clearance” of this and we get squared away. Then I was put on hold for a really long time. Alyssa switched the phone back to me to say that if my receipt was typed it would be valid, but because the merchant uses written sales orders, my original receipt was not valid—even though I had the owner of the store on the phone earlier to validate it.

Then Alyssa threatened to close my account because of my fraudulent activity. I told her I would not get off the phone until this matter is handled, so we called the manager of the carpet store on a 3-way call. Alyssa did not listen to what either of us were saying, and (falsely) told the manager that I said that he “refused to help me” and accused him of refusing to give me a printed receipt. She accused him of fraudulent activity over and over instead of helping to clear the problem.

So the evening of July 17, 2007—five days later, I am still blocked from accessing my money. I cannot put gas in my car, buy groceries, or pay bills. I am on a 3-day vacation from work and have spent the first day on the phone and driving back and forth to clear this matter. I have no money and am stuck sitting at home during my free time. I have automatic bill payments being declined and most likely late payment fees charged to me. If my employer pays me through direct deposit I will not receive my earned income.
So today, Tuesday i drove to the carpet store where the manager kindly called their bank to reverse the refund transaction--which was done in 10 minutes. Netspend is still refusing to unfreeze my account going on the sixth day without any money.

I emailed customer service last night and they said that that's just the way credit cards work. THIS ISN'T A CREDIT CARD. It's a debit card that they claim 'is just like cash'.

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Comments

  • Ju
      13th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Hello.

    i have had an account since 2006, and have some transactions unauthorized that were never paid back to me...the card was stolen...so I had to pay $9.00 for another one...
    and it is still unresolved.

    Now, in the last year I have had no issues, but a new company I order clothes thru their catalog, has yet to credit mt card $122.00 from June 11th.

    Between them and Netspend, somebody's lying...so, I am still waiting.

    I have direct deposit from my employer, but am in the process of not renewing th direct deposit due to a company merger.

    Netspend will lose another long time customer. I AM SICK OF THEIR GAMES...

    JH

  • Ed
      9th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I've been a pretty happy customer with Netspend for - I dunno, 7 years? But yes, a few times they have puzzled me with their "rules". One time I tried to get a hotel room but had an issue with the room rate (the sign outside said $89/night while I was asked to pay $139/night) so I said nevermind - I was gonna go someplace else. However the hotelier had already charged me the $139. It took several days to work itself out, while I spent the rest of my vacation, doing nothing, not eating out, only able to afford the lousy gas station snacks, and forgoing our rafting trip. Another time I had to sit around because of a snafu in renting a car - that took about 3-4 months to work itself out. Both these times I called the Netspend but when they couldn't help me I just let it go and after a (long) while I got my money returned to me.

    But it's still WAY better than the way the big banks used to treat me (Compass, Nations, Bank of America).

  • Ka
      10th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    The IRS sent my deposit direct to, Net spend it was then put on hold, and then I had me answer 5 questions and I failed because the agent did not speak english so I answered the question wrong.I also had to fax over a copy of my 1040 from the IRS so that i could receive my money. Netspend needs to hire some english speaking employees.

  • Xo
      27th of Jun, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I hate to tell you that your "complaint" sounds like Netspend in my opinion, did the absolute right thing.

    Receipts in today's world are better off being handled by a computer, because with being written the chance for forgery is much, much higher.

    Now, that's not to say that handwritten receipts aren't given any longer.

    But just saying you paid cash? Really? How much cash? how much change was returned?

    These may not be questions you consider when looking at that receipt but it is most defintelly questions that anyone who has worked in Retail would be interested to know.

    The merchant should never have offered you a debit refund, i'm sorry, it's true. It's usually a commonly held retail law at any store that money is refunded in the way the money was paid. The only time i've seen a "debit" return offered is if it was paid for in either debit or check. Straight up cash? should be returned as straight up cash.

    So in Netspend's opinion, you paid with cash, and then wanted money that never came out of the netspend account to go into the netspend account. It does look fradaulant and unfortunately, it may be a long battle to get it unfrozen and move back to the world of normal.

    Also, outside of your word and the merchant's word that this "transaction" took place, there's really no proof, no serial number, no computer system to backlog it, and no electronic journal.

    Unfortunately, it sounds like you learned a lesson at a high cost, and it's one many people have learned at one time or another.

  • Ed
      31st of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    I totally agree that Netspend is a scam, Recently they allowed someone from nigeria to empty my account & then when i called & notified them of the illegal transaction, they attempted to give me the same run around make me feel like a criminal until i had a lawyer threaten to sue them for my money & then some! I'm waiting to get my new card thru the mail so i can pull all the money out of the account & go to a real bank! I suggest others who use this shady company to do the same!!!

  • Bo
      28th of Aug, 2017
    0 Votes

    I got a Netspend card last year 2016 and it has been nothing but fraud on behalf Netspend no one else. First off I have two law degrees, therefore, I know law and know what Netspend is or what they are up too. When I got the card it was for my email account, Protonmail based in Switzerland, so I authorized it and since I only have one email account it just makes sense that they would not block it again since I explained that this charge was a reoccurring monthly fee however they blocked it again. So, being out of the country working for the international criminal court or ICC one is actually prevented from dialing outside the country so on speaker phone through my lawfirm all I got was idiots there, putting me on hold then transferring me around, and when I finally did get this guy he said he needed to verify my identity... OK. But then he started asking me if I had ever lived here or there and I said no no no etc, then he asked me if I knew this person this person etc I said no no, and finally I said listen pal, I never give those details out and it sounds like your asking me who I know from facebook, and security questions are supposed to be questions and answers prior to one setting up an account, not after the fact, So this [censor] then replied I'd have to call back in 24 hours because my verification failed. I said wait, the five dollars on my email account was used before then you blocked it again only so you could dupe me into intelligence gather questions, which I know is unlawful. My advice is not to use them ever and yes I am filing a lawsuit against Netspend for fraud as well as some other unlawful violations. No one should entertain this because, as I said to Netspend, how do I know this conversation is secure? Furthermore, I never disclosed names of distant family members or 20 year old addresses etc to them before and find it's a security risk even saying more. Therefore, when I cost them 20K in court I think they might pull their heads out of their a... DO NOT USE THEM, if you do and they mess about seek legal action and/or sue! Keep receipts for travel, time on the phone, time wasted gas etc and sue. simple as! FRAUD on NETSPEND STAY CLEAR

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