We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account

I was wrong.  I thought that using the NetSpend card for normal everyday purchases would be safe (see “NetSpend challenges the throne”).  However, I tried to log into my account Tuesday evening and found “We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account”:


Uh oh.  I knew from readers that this meant my account had been closed.  I thought back to things I’ve done with the card in the past week.  It was all miscellaneous small purchases.  I bought pet food.  I paid for movie tickets. I bought a few groceries.  What could they have objected to?  I didn’t take money out via an ATM.  I didn’t pay any bills.  I didn’t make any large purchases.  I didn’t buy money orders or gift cards. 

Was it my blog post?  In that post, I recommended that people use the card as it is intended to be used.  Did they read the post and see something they didn’t like?

I called the number on the screen and had an entertaining conversation.  It went like this:

NetSpend: Mr Miler your account is already closed. You are no longer eligible for NetSpend services.

Me: Why?

NetSpend: Due to a bank request.  The only reason we close an account is due to a bank request.

Me: Why did a bank request that my account be closed?

NetSpend:  We don’t have that information.  We are not the ones that closed the account. We have a department that is constantly monitoring accounts. We work hand in hand with with banks in monitoring accounts.

Me: What bank are you talking about?  I didn’t do anything with my NetSpend card that had anything to do with any of my banks.

NetSpend: It was a previous bank, not NetSpend. They requested that the account be closed due to suspicious activity.  We’re not even supposed to tell you that, but you asked.

Me: What activity was suspicious?

NetSpend: We do not have that information.

During this conversation, I racked my brain trying to think of what bank could have even known I had a NetSpend card.  Finally, the fog lifted in my brain.  I remembered that NetSpend cards are issued by a bank called Metabank…

Me: Is the bank you’re talking about, Metabank?

NetSpend: [long pause] Yes

I tried mightily to get more information, but to no avail.  I spoke to a supervisor who gave me the same non-answers.  I asked who else I could speak with that could give me more information.  “No one.”  Could I speak with the risk management team?  “No.  You can call back during business hours and ask for a supervisor and ask the supervisor to speak with the risk management team.”  Great.  Can I speak with the marketing department?  “We don’t have one.”  Can I speak with the sales department?  “We don’t have one… I mean we do have a marketing and sales department, but we don’t have a number for customers to call.”  And on and on it went.

While I couldn’t get any information about why I was shut down, I did get some information about what happens next.  I was told that I would be sent a check in 20 business days.  When I asked about a fee, the supervisor confirmed that there would be a $5.95 fee.  I asked that it be waived, but he said that all he could do is make a note in my account to ask.  I also asked about the $20 referrals.  He said that once they’re paid they would go into my account and then I can request a check again.  I’ll believe that when I see it.

Reader experiences

Hopefully others will have better luck than I had.  If not, maybe this will work out as a nice, one time only, cash-out of Vanilla Reload cards.  We could do worse.

Next steps

I’ll run out soon to get a Mio card if I can find one.  Unfortunately, you can’t order them online without first buying one in-store.  Also, of course, I’ll watch eagerly for the new OneVanilla card, coming soon.

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. […] While that doesn’t sound too bad, some users’ accounts have been on hold for a few weeks even when the MVD representatives told them it would only be a few days or one week. If this situation becomes similar to the Netspend prepaid card shutdowns, you’ll be in for a bit of a fight. You’ll get your money back, of course, but it might not be as quick as you hoped for (read about how Frequent Miler’s Netspend account was shut down). […]


  1. Just as a data-point…wanted to chime in if anyone else ever reads this blog.

    Got my NS card about a month ago. Loaded it up with $2,000 using Vanilla since I had a few large purchases to make and they didn’t take Amex.

    Tried to avoid putting any charges < $150 on it since there was a $1 fee for any purchase. Made a purchase at a restaurant, a hotel, car repair merchant. But no small purchases.

    Spent down to about $1750 before I got the same warning on the website and when I called the CSR (clearly outsourced) was informed my account was shutdown. Didn't feel like arguing or complaining since I knew it would get me nowhere. Will pay the processing fee and get my balance back but it's annoying as I was about to pay my estimated taxes of around $7,000 on the card. Glad it was cancelled before I loaded it with $7,000.

    Have a second NS card with a slightly different name that I never activated…am half tempted to try it to pay my $7,000 in taxes and then let it get shut down.

    I think what these companies really want is for you to setup direct deposit with them and make lots of small purchases. There must be some processing fees they get charged with (so they need to recoup some with that $1 fee per transaction) OR perhaps they lose money on the actual card itself but use the direct deposits of people to maintain a somewhat large cash balance that they can use to invest before people do actually spend to eek out some sort of profit.

    Has anybody actually set up direct deposit? If so, were you shutdown as well?

    Also, has anybody opted to pay for their FeeAdvantage Plan? If so, were you shutdown as well?

    • @ Nate- if you are successful in activating a second card please share- I’m not sure it will work since you need a social or EIN to activate but if it does that sure would be some useful info.

  2. Question:

    Netspend has a bill pay function. Theoretically, that means you can buy vanilla reload cards at office depot at 5x points. Then load those onto netspend. Then use the bill pay function on netspend to pay the credit card bill.

    Is this viable? Any risks associated? Just a late night thought….I don’t really have the guts to try it…It just seems too easy.

  3. @ Nate – I just set up my NS for Direct Deposit recently. Had my employer do a small dd (less than 500) and funds loaded within 24 hours. However on payday (Friday) my DD (over 1500) still hasn’t hit my NS account (Sunday). Guessing it takes a full business day, but we’ll see.

  4. At least from what I’m reading, everyones money was returned to them in a check. It has been 10 months and I still am trying to find the $17,256 that was taken from my several different accounts associated with Metabank (which they had no problem issuing to me at the time).

  5. 2/28/13 NP card declined @ walmart. called cs was told card cancelled by the bank and refund would be issued in 20 days. done some research and found your site and call cs back, this time i was told card cancelled for some suspicious activity or some transfers. question will i really get my balanced refunded to me?

  6. I got the same crap about “suspicious activity” after loading the account then made one payment. When I asked them about what exactly is “suspicious activity”, I get the same “We don’t have any additional information.” It took them more than a month and several phone calls to finally get all my money back. Initially they were going to charge me for sending me a check after they closed my account (and not able to give me an answer). After the 20 days, I called again and they told me that there’ll be no fee since there was an error. Another 2 weeks went by before I finally for a check from these crooks!

  7. These idiot con artists did the same thing to me. All because they tried to scam me and my gf out of our referral. I simply called to clarify that I WILL get them to honor their offer that they marketed (add 40 get 20 on your card and your buddies card). They played games, lied, all said different things, then finally gave us the money and closed our accounts! It’s ridiculous. They honestly don’t give a crap about customers and only do the minimum when you raise hell. The BBB is a bunch of crooks too as they gave them a A rating! Who the hell gives this crooked disorganized crime syndicate an A rating? They are worse than a joke they are a lying criminal organization. I am pretty sure there is something conspiratorial behind why they close accounts without users permission. I mean honestly HOW DO YOU CLOSE A PREEEEEE PAID ACCOUNT? It’s NOT credit! It’s not a REAL BANK! IT IS YOUR MONEY!!!!! MY MONEYYYY YOU CANT TAKE IT FROM ME AND TELL ME HOW TO SPEND IT YOU MF. whewww I am so pissed at them. Please tell me victims of netscam are willing to unite against them and cause a media stink who is down?

  8. Had the same notice on the website, but they said it’s just a hold on the account till I get my permanent card. It happened because I added $500 on the temporary card which flags the account. Do not add funds till your permanent card comes or that will flag your account.

  9. I am new to the Netspend craze. I am simply planning on stacking up referrals on it and only using it once every 90 days to avoid any maintenance fees. I don’t see anywhere in the terms and conditions that your account will be canceled for this? But should I worry?

  10. I too experienced the \suspicious activity\ bullshit but I am fully prepared to take this company to the front lines and expose them for the thieves they are. The next step for all of us is to contact the better business Beureau (sp) and File formal Complaints because until formal complaints are made all this is a a blog from justified angry customers whose money was stolen but too lazy to do something. Im taking.action, hope yall will too

  11. Earlier today saw three unauthorized charges on my card. I called, had the card cancelled and a replacement sent.

    Then I got a text with “We’re sorry, there is a problem with your account,” and the same on the website, which led me to here.

    I hope they didn’t cancel my account because someone placed fraudulent charges on the card from India.

    Not getting my money for 20 days wouldn’t be good with Christmas coming up.

    I’ll update once I get a hold of them. Their lines are currently all busy.

  12. Good news!

    Everything is good, and they are sending me a new card. They just needed to talk to me about the charges. So relieved!

  13. I believe that my account was closed because I owe money to paypal credit. paypal credit is handled by Bancorp bank, which is the same bank that handles netspend prepaid.

  14. How many referrals did you have that each got you the $20 referral credit? How much in total of $20 referral credit did you have?

  15. Account was closed and I keep getting different time frames on will my money will be in my mailbox first it was 3-5 days then 10 and now 20 can someone give me an actual time frame please

  16. THIS CARD IS HORRIBLE……I purchased a netspend debit visa yesterday from local Fred’s I wanted to pay a bill online without using my own debit or credit card. This had to be my worse mistake which made me feel horrible all day. First I called to activate and the gentlemen which not one I spoke with which I spoke with three spoke any English which made it ten times difficult to understand. He asked for my date of birth, address, social security, and name. I IMMEDIATELY said NO! I don’t give this information out like that which is why their is so much Identity Theft anyways he said well if you don’t give information then I will have to set you as limitless which I couldn’t do anything BUT go inside the store….and I told him You guys are scam artists, rip offs…..I need to pay an important bill and you tell me unless I provide my most prised, personal information then I can’t do what I want with the money I loaded onto the card…..NO! SO, he set st limitless I called back and and I was going to bite the bullet and trust the people then the gentlemen I spoke to this time tell me NO YOU CANT CHANGE YOIR MIND IN OTHER WORDS…its set at limitless and I can’t change…I said sir I have an important bill to pay I need this money….Well we can’t change it so I asked to speak to a supervisor floor manager what ever on hold a long period of time got hung up on…..call back spoke with a lady she said the same thing the second person said these people are coached and train on what they need to tell people….finally spoke to someone that was suppose to handle my problem and THEY DIDNT……LISTEN DO NOT GET THIS CARD….. FREDS, VISA, WALMART whoever carry this name NETSPEND card needs to pull away from them I will contact every chain that sells this card….and if you’ve been got by NETSPEND contact everyone you can so it doesn’t happen to anyone else…..Netspend left a bad taste I’m my mouth and this taste I want out…….HORRIBLE BUSINESS and I don’t see why VISA or someone else isn’t looking into their practice….

  17. received e mail from net spend saying their maybe a problem with my account don’t use card till you call us my card was blocked I had to send in documents . Sent documents block removed used card one time then tried to logon to my account couldn’t ,next I get another e mail saying once again my account blocked..When I called again I was told they closed my account holding my funds till they get intouch with irs to see whst they wanted to do about my funds now new email saying your card was reported stolen how could that be I have my card.I think this is a big scam on net spends part how do I get my money

  18. I received an email about my account being closed, and I hadn’t even activated my replacement card yet.I decided to call net spend to see shy,and they told me it was closed by direct management due to suspicious activity,I was like WTF? How is that possible? They said they couldn’t give me any additional info,but a check would be mailed to me in 20 days..I can no longer use net spend.

  19. I just bought one today, Visa and it wanted all my info. Then said afterwards it needed validation so call for customer support. They asked for my name, date of birth, gov id, social security, etc. Then told me they wanted me to send a picture of each to their email. I’m sure that’s not how cards work… I mean, I have never been told to add send pictures of my information via email. I want my money back asap, I’m not sending my information like that.

  20. I entered all my information and did even have time to make a purchase before I got the message that there was a problem with my account, I can’t log in, deposit, or make a purchase. I’ve had the card for less than 24 hours. Ridiculous

  21. I tried logging into my online netspend account, password wouldn’t work. I called them and they said I needed to speak with Risk Dept. There was a block on my account, they told me to send my I.D. and Social as verification, to remove the block, so I did. Then they emailed me saying the account had been closed and that they could not proceed or reopen a closed account. I emailed them again saying why was the account closed if there was money on it. Then I was sent an email telling me to verify my address in order that they could send a check, so I did. They sent me another email telling my account had been closed and they could not proceed or reopen a closed account. I’m currently waiting for them to reply this is frustrating to say the least.

  22. Same thing has happened to me. After being a Netspend user for 3 years I decided to transfer funds out. I did one round of transfers and both my accounts were locked. I’m currently out of the country and their toll-free numbers don’t work on Skype. I’ve also been unable to get a response from their Email accounts. I had over $6,000 with Netspend / Brinks and I’m worried because I no longer live at the address that I signed up for them at. I’m hoping they don’t send a check to some random person at my former residence.

    Avoid these scammers !!!

  23. Since they’re all the same I strongly recommend against using the paypal prepaid version of netspend. I transferred 260 dollars out of my bank account onto circle then from circle onto my paypal prepaid card then paypal locked my prepaid account because my funds were issued as a refund now they refuse to unlock my account or my funds until they get proof from circle that it wasn’t a refund at all and even then they’re releasing my money back to circle, who doesn’t support prepaid cards (which is why it was issued as a refund instead of transfer) and I no longer have a normal bank account so even when/if the money is released to them I won’t have a way of getting it back to me and the only way to unlock my paypal prepaid account is to have them reverse the transaction. So I either have $260 in a locked account or have my account unlocked but my money in an account I can’t cash out or even really use. So I guess I’m just all around screwed I don’t know what to do anymore. I needed this money days ago and even if everything goes faster than the 20 days paypal told me it would take it will be too late and I still won’t have access to my money. I would strongly recommend no one ever use paypal or netspend (where their prepaid cards come from) I hear their business card is better but honestly doubt it. I’ve also got a friend who’s bank account keeps being overdrafted because paypal keeps trying to send the same check through over and over again even after calling them repeatedly he’s having the same problem today, 3 months after the check was cancelled. So I’d say it’s all a scam. Honestly the first 3 or 4 years of having netspend I loved it and recommended them to everyone, but over the past year or 2 I’d advise against it.

  24. Been with AceElite(Netspend(MetaBank) for 5 yrs now. did the OD thing then blocked from it. my direct deposits hit everymonth i like the few days early. Lately i have been using vanilla reload cards on it to reload. i Reloaded made a payment then about an hr later couldnt make a payment. then get a txt saying call 188 i was closed. WTF!
    they said suspicious activity. and i will get my 80.89 refund in 20 days. has anyone have a timeline of how long it actually takes to get the check ?

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