Thursday, November 22, 2007 (prepaid debit card)

This company really sucks. That strong opinion is based on my 6+ months of experience trying to do business with these folks. WiredPlastic offers a prepaid Visa debit card (issued by BankFirst in South Dakota). They really have no clue how to treat their customers and prey on people who have little or no credit history.

I started out with an excellent prepaid debit card (STASH) which Virgin Mobile provided as a service to its customers. They offered a Bill-Pay-type feature that I really liked and the customer service was excellent. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and for whatever reason Virgin Mobile abruptly stopped providing the STASH card to their customers.

That was when I discovered WiredPlastic. From the get-go, it was a nightmare for me when one of their online third-party affiliates captured ALL of my personal information that was submitted on the application form and I started receiving 50 spam e-mails every few hours to my Gmail account. My persistent phone calls and even complaint letters didn't result in one response from WiredPlastic or BankFirst or anyone connected with these companies. I was greatly inconvenienced by having to start a new Gmail account because of the spams that they wouldn't put a stop to.

The reason I signed up with WiredPlastic was to take advantage of the benefits that STASH had offered, which included a Bill-Pay-type feature so I could pay a collection agency for an old debt without using my real bank account (something you definitely want to keep secret from ANY collection agency).

Recently, I scheduled payment to the collection agency in advance using the WiredPlastic Click-N-Pay feature (just 95 cents per check issued). Soon after, my dental insurance carrier notified me that if I didn't pay my dental premium right away, they were canceling my insurance. The only place I had money at the time was on my WiredPlastic card, but only if I were to cancel the Click-N-Pay previously scheduled for the collection agency.

I tried everything I could on the WiredPlastic web site, but there was no option whatsoever to cancel a scheduled Click-N-Pay on their web site. After numerous calls to the WiredPlastic customer support (which I later learned I was charged 95 cents for, per call), I was informed the only way to cancel a prescheduled Click-N-Pay was to delete the collection agency altogether. I immediately did that and the next day confirmed I had enough of a balance on my WiredPlastic debit card to pay my dental insurance premium.

Unfortunately, for technical reasons no one has yet explained why the balance showing on the WiredPlastic web page was negative, as was the balance given to me using the free automated telephone number. For weeks, the only way to find out my true balance was to pay 95 cents per call and ask a live person what it was. Needless to say, I was really pissed off that I had to pay for something that was their fault, and although they did not reverse all of the 95-cent charges, some were eventually reversed. I even had to pay 95 cents when speaking with supervisors to request that previous charges be removed, and that just isn't right!

Countless calls and e-mails to WiredPlastic customer service reps, managers, and even two calls to BankFirst in South Dakota resulted in NO resolution to the ongoing problem with my negative balance showing when I utilized the web site features. Numerous times, I threatened to file complaints against them with the
Federal Trade Commission and Ralph Nader at Public Citizen, but still received no resolution to the problems.

Then out of the blue, I received a call from BankFirst and presumed that someone was finally listening. Guess what? They weren't responding to my numerous complaints; they wanted a copy of my California Driver License and Social Security Card under The Patriot Act to prove that my full legal name is Crusader. I was told that until I provided said documentation, my WiredPlastic account was "being placed on hold" and couldn't be used.

I was told by BankFirst that they call people at random, but I am convinced that they were harassing me because of my threats to take action against them. Since my balance was at zero dollars and zero cents, I told them just to cancel the card, and informed them I was going to write an article about them so others can be educated to stay far away from The BankFirst employee could care less when I told her that.

Hopefully others will also care less about doing business with these jerks!