Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card Programs > Manufactured Spending
Reload this Page >

Wal-Mart, Amex take on banks with Bluebird debit card

Wal-Mart, Amex take on banks with Bluebird debit card

Old Nov 13, 12, 1:25 am
  #2386  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 668
Originally Posted by TheBOSman View Post
Originally Posted by skiwindham View Post
Tweet by Travel by Points Blogger (pasted below) suggests OD game may end...

TravelByPoints ‏@TravelByPoints
Well-stocked OD pulled all Vanilla Reloads today after corporate notice. Mgr thinks it is nationwide. Hope not
Not to doubt it, but later added that they were pulled due to "IRS issues (biz owners paying employees with prepaids to avoid taxes)". What does OD care about what people do with the prepaids after they are purchased? Once they are sold it does not matter to OD what is done with them. If fraud is being perpetrated on OD, that is different. It sounds as though someone is being fed a line of bad info.
Whoever told you that just made that up. Businesses paying their employees with cash accomplishes the same thing. In fact, using prepaids would cost the employers more money because of the fees.
Ducati is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 7:55 am
  #2387  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Airline nobody. Sad!
Posts: 25,918
Originally Posted by Ducati View Post
Whoever told you that just made that up. Businesses paying their employees with cash accomplishes the same thing. In fact, using prepaids would cost the employers more money because of the fees.
I was relaying an update that the original tweeter had posted. Really, it is all old news now.
TheBOSman is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 8:02 am
  #2388  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Airline nobody. Sad!
Posts: 25,918
Originally Posted by lazyy View Post
just an observation on the vanilla cards. the cards from od are slightly different from the ones from cvs (appearance-wise). also, the ones from cvs has the amex logo on it.
One has a bar code and one doesn't. We've gone through this a couple times.
TheBOSman is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 8:03 am
  #2389  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: BOS, MHT
Programs: AA ltg, B6, DL, UA, AS, SPG/Marriott Plt, HH, Hyatt
Posts: 10,039
Another MM Rant!

I thought people might find this useful and/or amusing...

FROM:
MM

November 13, 2012

TO:
Stop And Shop
Corporate Office & Headquarters
1385 Hancock Street
Quincy MA 02169

To whom it may concern,

I am writing about an increasingly frustrating thing going on in my local store, the Stop & Shop in [my town].

I have been a regular customer there for years and I do most of the shopping for my family of four. I am in the store so much in fact, many of the staff joke that I should live there. I probably average $250 a week if not more in grocery spend. That’s on my biggest visit of any given week and not counting other smaller visits. (On the day I wrote this letter, I spent $134.49 on groceries and $1,000 on gift cards.)

I chose your store over Shaw’s and others because it’s friendly and convenient, and has what I need. Primarily I use one of my American Express cards to buy there because of added card protection and because of its own added rewards for shopping at a grocery store. The rewards Amex gives are between me and them, and have nothing to do with your store. But your store carries what I like to buy, I go there. Other stores take Amex of course and so I get rewards elsewhere too, but I’ve liked this store.

Because I have many other life expenses and bills that do not accept Amex, I also tend to buy the Visa gift cards your stores sell on a large rack in front. I tend to load them up to $500 max and pay the load fee (up to $5.95 per card mostly). I am inclined to buy 1‐3 of these each time I visit. I haven’t always bought them when I shop, but when I do, I like things to go smoothly and they used to. I have used these cards for many reasons including the ability to pay bills where Amex is not accepted such as insurance, dentist and for contractors. This practice has been acceptable with all parties including my Amex cards.

Lately however, things have not gone smoothly at S&S with these gift cards...

Until very recently I was able to pay for them along with my food purchases at the register. Add in the $500 Visas and their fees and pay for them and my groceries all at once, applying any grocery coupons where they may. Now I have been told to go to the service desk with the gift cards and purchase them there.

This is not easy and most of the time it’s actually a big pain...
  1. The service desk is busy with people having other time‐consuming customer service issues.
  2. The clerk is alone or busy, and the phone rings or more than one thing is going on at once so it’s hard to be sure you are even getting someone’s full attention. The door in back opens and other staff come and go, and it’s stressful.
  3. Not all clerks understand the procedures that have to take place to authorize these card sales and if they are being trained, too much time has gone by for that to have happened. Also, those who otherwise do a great job feel flustered with this process and then they feel bad thinking I am upset with them (which I never am, but it’s getting upsetting overall and they see that and tend to agree with my angst over this).
  4. Your stores are not being consistent: I was told there had been some “fraud issue” somewhere—even in some other store—and because of that, people are asked to use the CS desk for purchases for anything over $200. Then again, some of my grocery‐only bills have been over that amount! I was told it was applied to every store and yet I know that’s not the case because other Stop & Shops still let me (and others like me) buy these cards at the register if shopping in other towns.
  5. The process to authorize and sell me these cards is cumbersome and lengthy. First the clerk has to call a certain internal number for credit card types and get an authorization—he or she has to remember to include the fact that the charge will exceed $500 or $1,000 or $1,500, etc because of the card load fees too. If that is not done, my card is locked up with not enough available credit left on it (One Amex I tend to use currently has a $2,000 Cr limit—I pay my cards every week in full but once the auth locks up the available amount, it’s stuck for days sometimes). Then the clerk has to see ID and swipe the cards and then they go through—that is, unless my
  6. card doesn’t block me because it sees a food purchase at your store followed by a big gift card purchase at your store, and now somehow thinks someone took my card (credit cards often do that and it’s annoying more than not, no matter what anyone says!) I have stood there waiting and watched my frozen food melt during all of this. Not necessary.
  7. I get looks and rolled eyes by others working there as if I am a problem… as if to discourage me from buying any of these! And yet you have the rack with them on it for sale and always have!

I would like to propose the following – and based on the fact that my own store and its management can probably easily verify me and vouch for me as a regular and upfront shopper who people seem to like and trust, this should be doable:

I give you whatever details on me and my cards and money you need ONCE, and you have me sign something or do something that allows me to get through this mess without further delay going forward. Ie, like business travelers who are frequent fliers and who pay for some pre‐screened security
clearance at the airport for the TSA. You can have me fill out any 9/11 security double‐secret fraud alert mother’s maiden name Patriot Act stuff you need and in turn, you can let me buy these things at the register again, like it should be. I have nothing to hide and no reason to do anything but what I have just told you, but I sure shouldn’t have to suffer when trying to buy these products you sell.

CVS and other stores (such as the nearby Shaws and other supermarkets, including possibly Market Basket) also carry similar Visa/MC gift card products for sale to credit card users like me. If you wish, I will take all my shopping business there.

I realize EVERYONE is way into the whole “for security reasons, sir” thing, but to me it’s become way too much. Unbearable in fact, and usually about someone else’s perceived notion of security and not my own. This doesn’t protect me as a customer, it hurts me. And in my opinion, so much has been put in place to actively STOP the honest shopper, it is probably the reason the economy is still faltering as a whole. I’m not sure how that affects your company and I know people who buy many gift cards are less common, but the point is, if you sell the items, please let people buy them! As I said, it has certainly made me seriously rethink where I should shop for everything I buy.

I hope Stop & Shop can rethink things too and at least talk to me (hopefully even live and without form letter policy‐ridden NO’s and NOs) about options that Can work (such as pre‐verifying a regular customer who has already shown proven loyalty or amount spent or something), instead of inconsistent
and unfair processes or blanket rulings that make keep changing and add in strain while also making little sense to the customer just because people are possibly too unwilling or lazy to address the needs of those who happen to be willing to spend a lot of money there.

Sincerely,

MM

PS: I am fully aware buying gift cards does not earn gas points. That’s not even an issue here.
Marathon Man is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 8:06 am
  #2390  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: BOS, MHT
Programs: AA ltg, B6, DL, UA, AS, SPG/Marriott Plt, HH, Hyatt
Posts: 10,039
Originally Posted by TheBOSman View Post
One has a bar code and one doesn't. We've gone through this a couple times.
actually I had seen some with barcodes but they were different in every store.
Marathon Man is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 8:09 am
  #2391  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Airline nobody. Sad!
Posts: 25,918
Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post
actually I had seen some with barcodes but they were different in every store.
I've yet to see one with bar codes anywhere other than OD. I'm still looking for a CVS that even carries them, I went to one that didn't even have a spot for them!
TheBOSman is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 8:12 am
  #2392  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Airline nobody. Sad!
Posts: 25,918
Originally Posted by deant View Post
Has anyone checked to see if OD will still let you purchase other $500 PP cards with a CC?
Go and find out .
TheBOSman is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 8:14 am
  #2393  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Airline nobody. Sad!
Posts: 25,918
You would do something like that

Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post
I thought people might find this useful and/or amusing...

FROM:
MM

November 13, 2012

TO:
Stop And Shop
Corporate Office & Headquarters
1385 Hancock Street
Quincy MA 02169

To whom it may concern,

I am writing about an increasingly frustrating thing going on in my local store, the Stop & Shop in [my town].

I have been a regular customer there for years and I do most of the shopping for my family of four. I am in the store so much in fact, many of the staff joke that I should live there. I probably average $250 a week if not more in grocery spend. That’s on my biggest visit of any given week and not counting other smaller visits. (On the day I wrote this letter, I spent $134.49 on groceries and $1,000 on gift cards.)

I chose your store over Shaw’s and others because it’s friendly and convenient, and has what I need. Primarily I use one of my American Express cards to buy there because of added card protection and because of its own added rewards for shopping at a grocery store. The rewards Amex gives are between me and them, and have nothing to do with your store. But your store carries what I like to buy, I go there. Other stores take Amex of course and so I get rewards elsewhere too, but I’ve liked this store.

Because I have many other life expenses and bills that do not accept Amex, I also tend to buy the Visa gift cards your stores sell on a large rack in front. I tend to load them up to $500 max and pay the load fee (up to $5.95 per card mostly). I am inclined to buy 1‐3 of these each time I visit. I haven’t always bought them when I shop, but when I do, I like things to go smoothly and they used to. I have used these cards for many reasons including the ability to pay bills where Amex is not accepted such as insurance, dentist and for contractors. This practice has been acceptable with all parties including my Amex cards.

Lately however, things have not gone smoothly at S&S with these gift cards...

Until very recently I was able to pay for them along with my food purchases at the register. Add in the $500 Visas and their fees and pay for them and my groceries all at once, applying any grocery coupons where they may. Now I have been told to go to the service desk with the gift cards and purchase them there.

This is not easy and most of the time it’s actually a big pain...
  1. The service desk is busy with people having other time‐consuming customer service issues.
  2. The clerk is alone or busy, and the phone rings or more than one thing is going on at once so it’s hard to be sure you are even getting someone’s full attention. The door in back opens and other staff come and go, and it’s stressful.
  3. Not all clerks understand the procedures that have to take place to authorize these card sales and if they are being trained, too much time has gone by for that to have happened. Also, those who otherwise do a great job feel flustered with this process and then they feel bad thinking I am upset with them (which I never am, but it’s getting upsetting overall and they see that and tend to agree with my angst over this).
  4. Your stores are not being consistent: I was told there had been some “fraud issue” somewhere—even in some other store—and because of that, people are asked to use the CS desk for purchases for anything over $200. Then again, some of my grocery‐only bills have been over that amount! I was told it was applied to every store and yet I know that’s not the case because other Stop & Shops still let me (and others like me) buy these cards at the register if shopping in other towns.
  5. The process to authorize and sell me these cards is cumbersome and lengthy. First the clerk has to call a certain internal number for credit card types and get an authorization—he or she has to remember to include the fact that the charge will exceed $500 or $1,000 or $1,500, etc because of the card load fees too. If that is not done, my card is locked up with not enough available credit left on it (One Amex I tend to use currently has a $2,000 Cr limit—I pay my cards every week in full but once the auth locks up the available amount, it’s stuck for days sometimes). Then the clerk has to see ID and swipe the cards and then they go through—that is, unless my
  6. card doesn’t block me because it sees a food purchase at your store followed by a big gift card purchase at your store, and now somehow thinks someone took my card (credit cards often do that and it’s annoying more than not, no matter what anyone says!) I have stood there waiting and watched my frozen food melt during all of this. Not necessary.
  7. I get looks and rolled eyes by others working there as if I am a problem… as if to discourage me from buying any of these! And yet you have the rack with them on it for sale and always have!

I would like to propose the following – and based on the fact that my own store and its management can probably easily verify me and vouch for me as a regular and upfront shopper who people seem to like and trust, this should be doable:

I give you whatever details on me and my cards and money you need ONCE, and you have me sign something or do something that allows me to get through this mess without further delay going forward. Ie, like business travelers who are frequent fliers and who pay for some pre‐screened security
clearance at the airport for the TSA. You can have me fill out any 9/11 security double‐secret fraud alert mother’s maiden name Patriot Act stuff you need and in turn, you can let me buy these things at the register again, like it should be. I have nothing to hide and no reason to do anything but what I have just told you, but I sure shouldn’t have to suffer when trying to buy these products you sell.

CVS and other stores (such as the nearby Shaws and other supermarkets, including possibly Market Basket) also carry similar Visa/MC gift card products for sale to credit card users like me. If you wish, I will take all my shopping business there.

I realize EVERYONE is way into the whole “for security reasons, sir” thing, but to me it’s become way too much. Unbearable in fact, and usually about someone else’s perceived notion of security and not my own. This doesn’t protect me as a customer, it hurts me. And in my opinion, so much has been put in place to actively STOP the honest shopper, it is probably the reason the economy is still faltering as a whole. I’m not sure how that affects your company and I know people who buy many gift cards are less common, but the point is, if you sell the items, please let people buy them! As I said, it has certainly made me seriously rethink where I should shop for everything I buy.

I hope Stop & Shop can rethink things too and at least talk to me (hopefully even live and without form letter policy‐ridden NO’s and NOs) about options that Can work (such as pre‐verifying a regular customer who has already shown proven loyalty or amount spent or something), instead of inconsistent
and unfair processes or blanket rulings that make keep changing and add in strain while also making little sense to the customer just because people are possibly too unwilling or lazy to address the needs of those who happen to be willing to spend a lot of money there.

Sincerely,

MM

PS: I am fully aware buying gift cards does not earn gas points. That’s not even an issue here.
TheBOSman is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 8:33 am
  #2394  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: BOS, MHT
Programs: AA ltg, B6, DL, UA, AS, SPG/Marriott Plt, HH, Hyatt
Posts: 10,039
Originally Posted by TheBOSman View Post
You would do something like that
it happens to me man I tell ya! lol

Originally Posted by TheBOSman View Post
I've yet to see one with bar codes anywhere other than OD. I'm still looking for a CVS that even carries them, I went to one that didn't even have a spot for them!
Well a friend of mine in another state told me he had hid some VNs in an OD and they even found those and took em out!
Marathon Man is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 9:07 am
  #2395  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Airline nobody. Sad!
Posts: 25,918
Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post

Well a friend of mine in another state told me he had hid some VNs in an OD and they even found those and took em out!
Some poor OD guy had to go shelf by shelf and rack by rack looking for them then . No wonder I left retail .
TheBOSman is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 9:20 am
  #2396  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Anaheim Hills, CA
Programs: UA 1K, 1.3mm
Posts: 918
Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post
Well a friend of mine in another state told me he had hid some VNs in an OD and they even found those and took em out!
These people need to go away
SGJazz is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 9:23 am
  #2397  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,758
Originally Posted by TheBOSman View Post
I've yet to see one with bar codes anywhere other than OD.
You want a picture? Let me see if my wife is available.
QL_714 is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 9:24 am
  #2398  
Formerly known as cagalindo
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: MCO TPA
Programs: Citi AA/HH/TYP Amex SPG/HH & Chase SP/PC
Posts: 1,334
I hid some at one local store... hope they are there and they ring them up tehehehe.
caGALINDO is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 9:25 am
  #2399  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,758
Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post
I thought people might find this useful and/or amusing...
...or, never mind I give up.
QL_714 is offline  
Old Nov 13, 12, 9:26 am
  #2400  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Airline nobody. Sad!
Posts: 25,918
Originally Posted by QL_714 View Post
You want a picture? Let me see if my wife is available.
It's actually more of a reflection on me, I don't get out much .
TheBOSman is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: