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

115

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”:

image

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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