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  1. #1
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    Default Paypower Visa / Paypower prepaid debit card major problem!

    I went to the Vons grocery store last Saturday and bought a Visa Paypower prepaid debit card. The cost was around 5 bucks for the card, with a minimum of $20 to activate it. I registered on their website and the account seemed to be working, since I was able to order a DVD from Newegg.com.

    The next day I went back to Vons and put $340 in cash on a "ReloadIt" card, which comes with a code that you're supposed to add to your Paypower account in order to get the money. When I tried it gave me a message saying something like "you have exceeded the funds you are allowed". I called the company and a customer service person told me I needed to fax a copy of my driver's license and two forms proving I live at this address. So I did.

    On Wednesday I received an email from a risk analyst at Blackhawk Network (the company that puts out the Paypower Visa cards) saying my social security number wasn't verifying, and requested I fax a copy of my SS card. I did that as well. I didn't hear anything for two days, so on Friday I called Paypower Visa again. When I explained the situation to the customer service, she put me on hold to talk to her supervisor. When she came back she verified they had received everything and it would take 1-2 days to verify my info.

    So I'm wondering, what should I do? Right now I'm stuck with an inactive account and $340 dollars that I cant use (it also specifically says I cant return it to the location I purchased it). If my Paypower Visa card account still isn't activated on Monday should I call and try to get a refund? I don't think it's a scam since I did research and discovered Blackhawk Network is owned by Safeway Inc.
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  2. #2
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    I had something similar happen when I opened my debit card account and after I verified my identity my money was released, wasn't that much money that would piss me off if it was 340 bucks.
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  3. #3
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    It's Monday and more than 1-2 days since your post, any update on this?

    I do find it unusual that you are being so heaviliy scrutinized, but when an illegal immigrant is given a prepaid card it seems the banks look the other way.
    Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

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  4. Green Member
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    I just called again.

    The guy who answered first claimed "I don't see our records indicating that you've sent your information so you will need to refax it".

    I told him I'm not going to refax anything since I called on Friday and was told they had received it.

    Then he said "ok our records show we received your information on the 3rd and we are still working to confirm your identity, you will receive a phone call or email when your account has been activated."

    Last Thursday I responded to the risk analyst's email, telling her I faxed over the SS card and asking if she needed anything else. Still haven't received a response. This is getting really aggravating.
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  5. #5
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    Ok I finally got a response from them:

    Yes, thank you for submitting the copy of your social security card. Unfortunately, we were not able to verify against our database. We were unable to pass you through Identity Verification, however you can continue to use your card as a gift card and you are able to reload an additional $200.00 after initial purchase.
    Cant verify my identity? After sending them my driver's license, two forms proving I live at this address, and a copy of my SS card? What a load of crap.
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  6. #6
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    Last update for now...

    Called and demanded a refund of the $340 from my Paypower Visa. They said it's a $5 to send the check and that it will arrive in 21-30 days (which is ridiculous because their website says refund checks are mailed out in 1-2 days). They also gave me a ticket number so I could call and track my issue, and they said someone will call me sometime between now and Thursday to verify everything.

    I checked the Better Business Bureau website for Blackhawk Network and discovered they have an A+ rating and are an "accredited business", but their Paypower prepaid debit card division only has a C- rating. Personally I'd give it an F, at least until I have that refund in my hands.
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  7. #7
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    A+ doesn't mean anything from BBB: AT&T has an A+ rating even though consumer reports (which *does* mean something) rated them worst in customer service. Don't beleieve me? See here:
    http://www.bbb.org/atlanta/business-...tlanta-ga-7935
    and here:
    http://news.google.com/news/more?pz=...3JlUOYVEZ5hq_M

    BTW, the BBB is *not* a government agency, it is founded and run by businesses.

    Honestly, when I first read this post, it sounded exactly like you were getting conned into giving away your identify, I'd check your credit reports in a few months if I were you. I've signed up for lots of free online banks over the years and not *once* did they ask me to send them a copy of my license or anything.

    Also, seriously, why pay for a pre-paid debit card? Open up an Electric Orange account at INGDirect, it gives you a debit card and it's 100% free.

    Hope you get your money back, but seriously, I'd keep a close eye on your credit reports for a few months.
    Last edited by Generallisimo; Dec 8, 10 at 1:56 am.
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    Yeah I will definitely be checking my credit reports after this incident. Thanks for the tip about the Electric Orange account, I'll check it out.
    Someone from the company called me this morning to verify my address and phone number before they send the refund check, so I guess all I can do now is wait.
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  9. #9
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    You need to turn this over to your state's attorney general's office. They should have a consumer fraud division.

    This does NOT sound like fraud and Blackhawk may be innocent. But the fact is that they cannot charge you fees, even what you paid for the initial card, if they cannot provide the service contracted for. Their policy does not matter. They entered into a contract with you. You did your part. They are failing to do theirs. Keeping your money is illegal.

    It's not enough money to hire a lawyer. But attorneys-general love to go after stuff like this because it makes them look good and they can sic a junior lawyer on it.
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  10. #10
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    If you are looking for an alternative to the Paypower Visa you may be interested in our sponsored ranking of secured credit cards to rebuild credit. Good luck!

    -CreditCardGuru
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