Vanilla Scare


For some odd reason, Vanilla reload cards have become quite popular (see “One card to rule them all” for a potential reason).  However, recently I’ve received two very similar reports about trouble with these cards.

Two readers have independently reported an issue when trying to use these cards after buying them at Office Depot.  When trying to use the cards, they received a message saying that the card was deactivated. In both cases the cards had been deactivated for suspected fraud.  Each reader called the Vanilla Reload Network number, but were told to contact Office Depot for help.  One reader called 1-800-GODEPOT, and the other went back to the Office Depot store.  In the first case, the reader spent a couple of days with calls back and forth between the Office Depot retail store, the Office Depot corporate loss prevention department, and Vanilla Reload Network before the cards were finally reactivated.  In the second case, the manager of the local Office Depot spent about an hour on the phone on the customer’s behalf and finally got the problem sorted out.  The reader who spent days on the phone, reported the following:

When the issue was finally resolved and I spoke with Office Depot’s Loss Prevention Department, I was informed that OD is aware of the problem for its legitimate customers and is trying to work with Incomm to resolve this problem in some reasonable way (that is, it’s important to prevent fraud, but not at the expense of causing legitimate customers to be so dissatisfied that they vow never to shop at OD again).

Personally, I’ve bought and used many reload cards without any problems, but maybe I’ve been lucky.  The good news from these reports seems to be that even though it is a big hassle, you will get your money eventually.  It’s also good news to hear that Office Depot is trying to fix this issue.

Has this or anything similar happened to you?  Comment below.

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