Paypower Visa / Paypower prepaid debit card - major problem!

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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Blackhawk Network
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Postby Blackhawk Network » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:12 pm

Hi randir14,

We apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced. As a public relations representative for Blackhawk Network (PayPower) it is to our knowledge that the issue has been resolved.

If you are still in need of assistance, please send specifics of your full name, the numbers on the card and your customer service ticket number to pr[at] so that we can assist you.

Thank you! Blackhawk Network/PayPower PR

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Postby randir14 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:36 pm

Got a check in the mail today for the full $340 dollars and was able to cash it, so this issue has been resolved. I hope this thread can be a warning to anyone looking to get a prepaid debit card.

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Postby Cucumber » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:28 pm

Hmmm..... why could a check be issued to you if your identity was unconfirmed but a card couldn't be? :confused:

At least Blackhawk came on here and replied tho. That's making more effort than a lot of other CCs will for complaints.
Stop talking crap about him!

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Postby debitcard guru » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:10 am

Some states don't allow you to send in identification like you SS# or Drivers License. I think Indiana is one of them. That is why Blackhawk Network couldn't verify your identity. However, there are other ways to prove your identity. They would of sent you a letter requesting a utility or internet bill.

There are other prepaid debit cards that have better rates. $20 for activation seems high.

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Postby RenHoek » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:42 pm

I found this thread with a google search for Paypower.
I just found out that the card I bought started charging a $6 monthly fee starting in the first month since I purchased it!
I thought cards did not charge until after 12 months, but I was wrong. I found out that law applies to gift cards only, not these prepaid cards.
I'm a pretty saavy consumer, and I can't believe I missed this ripoff. Sorry, Paypower. You got $12 bucks from me, but now it's my mission to inform everyone of your bullsh*t practices.

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Postby mothrpoet » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:38 pm

I, too, purchased a Paypower card at Vons, to use strictly for online purchases. I couldn't activate it online, a message said the card number was invalid, so I did it by phone. When I went online to establish a username/password, it wouldn't allow me to do so. I called again. The agent said I already had a card, I couldn't register more than 1. I had not purchased another card---turns out, when I activated the card, they used the info to send me a personalized card, which I did not request.

Since I couldn't register the card, I couldn't use if for online purchases. I was told to wait for the delivery of the new card, and I could transfer my funds to the new card. I said I didn't want to wait that long, and the agent told me to register my card in the name and social security number of a friend, and THEN use it! She was telling me to commit identity theft!
When I got the new card, I tried to transfer the funds(from the existing card that had all the funds, but couldn't be used) and was told I had to fax them all of my sales receipts from the purchase and reloading of the card. I was given a case number, faxed the info. I waited 2 days. I finally called again, and they said they didn't receive my fax (I have a transmittal confirmation).

I have spent 3 weeks, talked to countless agents, supervisors, sent an email to both Paypower and Blackhawk,given my SS# multiple times, and have been disconnected over a dozen times while waiting for them to check on my account or to be transferred to a supervisor. My phone continually dies because I am put on hold so much.

So, they have $215 of my money. I asked one agent if I could get a refund, and the girl responded, with candor, "You'll never get it." And even though I can't use my money, they have already charged me a $5.95 service fee---even though I have not received the service I paid for!

From reading forums such as this, it seems I am not the only one to have problems with these goons. I have a friend who purchased a Paypower card and they sent him a personalized card without his permission as well.

I am planning to write to the State Attny General of Calif, Consumer Affairs, and the Attny. General of Iowa (I believe that is where they are headquartered). Any other suggestions?

UPDATE: This evening, either as a result of my posting, or because my email made it to the right person, I received a phone call from Darrin Beyer, who runs Blackhawk. He was very apologetic and sympathetic, immediately transferred the funds for me, said the company is still fairly new and they are still working out the glitches. He said he would like to speak with me at a later date to discuss my experiences with his company. I am happy and satisfied now! I guess perseverance CAN pay off, and there are still some decent execs in the business world. Darrin made my day end much better than it began!

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Postby ronald2658 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:21 pm

I to have a problem with paypower, loaded money on it on monday and used it with no problem, then on thursday i needed to use it so i went to check my balance and was transfered to customer service and they said there was a hold on my account, but could not tell me why, but that some other department would call in the next 24 hrs, well 24 hrs past no call, so i called them again, lady i talked to said said it takes 24-48 hrs. i told her to let me talk to a supervisor, was on hold for 15 min. supervisor got on and said the risk department put a hold on my card and would call in the next 24-48 hrs, we will see. This company is terrible and will never use again, they get your money and wont let you use it.

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Major problmes with paypower - buyer beware

Postby blackhawk complaint » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:27 pm

MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH PAYPOWER CARD. I have an ONLY1 card that I have used for the past year without any problems (except for Quicken download with doesn't work). I was recently contacted by BLACKHAWK NETWORK to transition over to a new PAYPOWER, which I was told was the same card, same company (METABANK/BLACKHAWK), but had a lower reload fee (acutally the monthly fee is HIGHER) and was replacing ONLY1. They said it was no different, only internally, but a "smoother process" and I was instructed to go online to order a card in my name which would be mailed to me, which I did. It took almost a month to get the card but I finally got it and activated the card as instructed.

IT HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE EVER SINCE!! Every time I go to use the PAYPOWER, even though I have a credit balance, my purchases have been declined even though I have available credit. This has happened TWICE in the past week causing me much embarassment, loss of use of my funds, loss of sale price opportunity, several round trips to Loehmann's, and hours of phone calls and research trying to resolve the issue. The first incident, , I had available credit on my card ($58.40) which was confirmed via email alerts as well as confirming with an agent over the telephone when I called in to obtain routing numbers for my tax refund direct deposit. There were also problems with my log-in at the website which the agent said were internal, which he resolved and reset for me. Later that same day, when I went to make the purchase for which I had intentionally loaded my PAYPOWER, the transaction was declined, even though I had more than enough verified funds on the card to cover the purchase. When I called the number on the card at the point of sale to resolve the issue, I waited on hold for over 40 minutes, holding up the cash register line and draining my cell phone battery. When I finally got a live representative on the line, I asked to speak with a supervisor and was put on hold again for another eternity. Eventually, my call was "elevated" to someone who barely understood English, who could do nothing more than read me a scripted apology, but could not take any other action ("didn;t have tools") to resolve the matter or clear the hold. I was told that my card was "on hold" status" and that there was no one I could speak to and that "the corporate office was closed and someone from corporate would call me first thing tomorrow morning."

Of course, no one contacted me the next morning so I spent hours calling the number on the card only to get placed on hold for 40 minute stretches and then be disconnected, or finally get a supervisor who could do nothing more but refer me back to the website for a number to call (which is the same number on the card which I had been speaking) or advising me to "write a letter". When pressing further, I was told by the representative at number on the PAYPOWER card (888-633-9432) that they are actually "GIFT CARD MALL.COM" and that they cannot resolve any problems. I tried contacting Chad Becker at BLACKHAWK on his direct dial which I had on file for my previous ONLY1/Quicken download problem, left several messages for him which were never returned, and when pressing O in the voicemail options as instructed, my call was mysteriously routed to SAFEWAY, of all places, which is somehow mysteriously affiliated with BLACKHAWK/METABANK. While again on hold over there (apparently the entire SAFEWAY/BLACKHAWK/PAYPOWER staff all go to lunch simultaneously and there is absoultely NO ONE in the entire organization(s) available to take a telephone call during lunch hour Central other line rang and was BLACKHAWK fraud division randomly calling me FOR MY OWN SECURITY because I had several CREDITS from Staples on my card!!! Well, apparently, I had returned office supplies to Staples ((my new laser printer doesn't use the same ink, etc. and a few other token items) and was given the choice of Staples gift card, cash or a credit/debit card refund, and I opted for a credit/debit card refund which was credited to my PAYPOWER card only because I thought it would be more convenient. Mind you, the refund was nominal amount (about 50 bucks), but for some reason triggered a full blown PAYPOWER FRAUD INVESTIGATION ALERT.

Apparently, John Grey, Fraud Risk for BLACKHAWK, reviews all accounts and my account was sitting in the pile on his desk to review and was temporarily suspended because of the returns I had CREDITED to my card from Staples, "FOR MY OWN SECURITY". Now mind you, these were CREDITS not DEBITS to my account and they were NOMINAL...transactions less than $100...C'mon. John aplogised, miraculously lifted the hold within seconds, assured me this wouldn't happen again and I was good to go. OR so I thought.....I asked for his phone number or way to contact him again if I had any further problems, but was told there was no way to contact him or anyone else except to call the 888-633-9432 call center number....

Well, the next day I had one more Staples return (a couple file boxes-wrong size)....credited to my problem.....went to use the card last night....Available Balance $35.40, Purchase transaction for $29.22 DECLINED!!!! Tried calling the number on the card, same deal as before. Long holds, limited English, nothing anyone can do. Apology. "No tools". Was told someone would call me first thing this morning. Of course, no call. They told me to call "corporate" on Saturday between 8 and 2 Central Time. Of course, I call and am placed on long holds, (27 minutes, disconnect, another 27 minutes) finally speak to several "supervisors" who tell me my card is blocked for at least 1 -2 business days; they "don't have the tools" to unblock; "corporate is closed" on weekends and holidays (Monday is a holiday); they could do nothing else but give me a "ticket number" and read me a scripted apology. Again, I am told there is no telephone number for "corporate", all incidents are "routed" to corporate "risk management team" with a "ticket number", ."risk management" doesn't have a telephone. Of course, no one ever has a last name or ID number; when pressed, I am told by Lisa, the "lead Supervisor" that she is the only Lisa in the entire company, and that the "company" (this time) is SERVICE CENTER SOLUTIONS, a third party provider for BLACKHAWK.

I want to take advantage of sale prices this holiday weekend (President Day) and am now told it will be at least 1-2 days AFTER TUESDAY of next week, long after the sales are over, before I will hear back from anyone to unblock my account. THIS IS THE SECOND TIME THIS WEEK THIS HAS HAPPENED. I WANT MY MONEY NOW.

UNBELIEVABLE.....I just rececived a call from Arlene in "Risk Management" demanding that I drop everything, pull out all my receipts for my Staples returns, including receipts for my original purchases from Staples (not with Paypower), and fax them to her. She was extremely argmentative, trying to pick a fight, very combative, grilling me, firing off questions and cutting me off mid-sentence while I was trying to answer her. When I requested to speak with her supervisor, there was a long debate over "manager" versus "supervisor" who was not available anyway. When I asked to speak to my previous contact at Rick Management, John Grey, I was told he was only an "analyst who reports to a Manager". After almost an hour, and only after I got assurances from her that she "may" be able to "review the fax" and "possibly" release the block if gather all the documents and that she "had the authority to release the block", if I got the fax to her right now, I reluctlantly agreed to drop everything I was doing (writing this post) to send her the documents.......when suddenly, without doing anything, miraculously, the block was lifted. She apologized perfusely, telling me "this was all done for my own security", there should be no problem with my card, the available balance is $35.40, any other debit card would have done the same thing, etc. But when I tried to get answers from her to figure out what had happened, she continued to argue, telling me that "she apologized", "didn't have the tools", (frequent PAYPOWER buzz-lines), this was outside her job area and that I would have to call 888-633-9432 for any other questions and she was ending the call.

I HAVE HAD NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS WITH PAYPOWER/BLACKHAWK AND AFTER THIS LAST TRANSACTION I WILL FIND A NEW DEBIT CARD COMPANY TO USE. Bottomline, buyer beware: 1) they held my available funds for no reason two times in one weekt; 2) have caused me to miss sale opportunities I was planning on (thereby costing me money) 3) caused me great embarrassment and credibility at my favorite retail store 4) cost me time and gas ($$$) making 2 wasted trips to Loehmann's 5) caused me a great deal of time and aggravation dealing with their "Risk Management" people as if I were some kind of criminal ("For my Own Security") 6) wasted hours and hours trying to get through to anyone at 888-633-9432 to resolve the problems. 6) Online "log-in" is almost always down, referring me to call Customer Service. I was going to use PAYOWER to direct deposit my tax return this year, but not any more.


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paypower prepaid debit card?

Postby youngsicc » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:34 pm

I recently purchased a paypower visa prepaid debit card, i only needed it once for a purchase i wanted to make online. Now my question is do i have to cancel the card? or can i just not reload it anymore? i have only 4 dollars left in it and i was trying to avoid the monthly maintenance fee,or if somebody could explain exactly how their monthly maintenance fee works? plus what will happen if i don't have enough funds in the card to pay off the maintenance fee?

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Postby DoingHomework » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:23 am

You people need to write short, factual letters to you states' attorneys-general and copy the legal counsel of Blackhawk. You should be able to find the name of the legal counsel either on their web site or by searching corporate records in Iowa if that is where they operate.

To me this sounds like a real and a serious problem. They seem to be just ripping you off while they give you the runaround. There is no excuse. Call today, cancel, get a real card from a real bank and tehn work on getting your money back.

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