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

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

Old Nov 20, 12, 2:27 pm
  #2896  
 
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Originally Posted by caGALINDO View Post
I haven't had issues but yea we heard from others.. maybe they did something wrong to cause it to screw up we don't know. I'm sitting on 4 unloaded ones right now. I bought a bunch last day they went out from OD. From now I'm gonna buy at CVS and load immediately.
I'm assuming you paid $3.95 for each of these cards before walking out with them? Because I suspect that's the value CVS/OD/other merchants put on the cards, even unloaded (since they cost $3.95 whether you load them for $1 or $500).

Or do you just walk out of the store holding the cards up and saying to the clerks, "I'm just taking these for awhile. I'll be back." I suspect not.

In most states, that's shoplifting. Misdemeanor, yes, but shoplifting nonetheless. A defendant's best defense is that the card has no value since it was unloaded. Maybe a judge buys that; maybe not.

Worth it for a few more miles/points?

I originally wasn't going to post this. I've gotten out of the ethical debate about certain tactics around here, because we can disagree about ethics, including whether ethics even apply. But encouraging potentially illegal acts? I'll engage in that debate and suggest that folks stop and think for a minute before following caGALINDO's lead.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 2:31 pm
  #2897  
Formerly known as cagalindo
 
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loll yes I already activated them at the store before I walked out with them. "4 unloaded ones" I mean I havent unloaded them to BB or any other prepaid.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 2:37 pm
  #2898  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Just tried to load a VR to my BB account.
Got 'Card is deactivated (4002)'.

Anyone seen this before? Searching doesn't throw up much.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 2:39 pm
  #2899  
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Originally Posted by stalker View Post
Just tried to load a VR to my BB account.
Got 'Card is deactivated (4002)'.

Anyone seen this before? Searching doesn't throw up much.
hope you saved the receipt
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Old Nov 20, 12, 2:43 pm
  #2900  
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Originally Posted by lwildernorva View Post
I'm assuming you paid $3.95 for each of these cards before walking out with them? Because I suspect that's the value CVS/OD/other merchants put on the cards, even unloaded (since they cost $3.95 whether you load them for $1 or $500).

Or do you just walk out of the store holding the cards up and saying to the clerks, "I'm just taking these for awhile. I'll be back." I suspect not.

In most states, that's shoplifting. Misdemeanor, yes, but shoplifting nonetheless. A defendant's best defense is that the card has no value since it was unloaded. Maybe a judge buys that; maybe not.

Worth it for a few more miles/points?

I originally wasn't going to post this. I've gotten out of the ethical debate about certain tactics around here, because we can disagree about ethics, including whether ethics even apply. But encouraging potentially illegal acts? I'll engage in that debate and suggest that folks stop and think for a minute before following caGALINDO's lead.
I have walked up to the store clerk or manager and said... "Can I take these unloaded things to look them over?" And they have said yes. I have done it and then used them at the same store later (like maybe my CC was maxed so I needed time lol) or in other stores in the chain without issue. Store personnel have had no issue with this.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 2:52 pm
  #2901  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by caGALINDO View Post
hope you saved the receipt
Does this mean the store didn't activate my card?
Receipt is saved (thankfully )
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Old Nov 20, 12, 3:03 pm
  #2902  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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When the Game Isn't so Fun

The game is novel and profitable until something goes wrong, then you have to deal with Bluebird's and/or Vanilla's customer service, and it becomes an unprofitable time-sucker. Hope those of you who experience problems have better luck than I have had so far. After loading seven beans this month and paying CC bills, beans could no longer be loaded onto my Bluebird card (I had loaded one that day, but minutes later, the second wouldn't load and the error message 180 appeared; it wasn't the bean, as it loaded successfully onto my wife's Bluebird).

I had to wait half an hour or so to speak to a Bluebird CSR. Bluebird CSRs are beyond useless -- no knowledge base or training whatsoever. Their training consists of establishing and reestablishing the same facts over and over and over and over again. When being asked the same questions does not solve the problem and you finally ask to a CSR manager or someone who can fix the problem, you are disconnected.

The Vanilla CSRs are much better trained and customer-service oriented. A rep said they'd have to put their heads together with those at Bluebird and that I should try loading my Bluebird in 24 hours. He gave me a ticket number, and told me to call back if the problem isn't fixed within 72 hours. The problem hasn't been fixed within 72 hours, and I'll have to call a third time tomorrow. But at least protocols are in place, and they give you the impression the IT department is working on it or will be working on it soon. Maybe that's wishful thinking.

In the meantime, however, it's been three days, I have thousands of dollars of beans that need to incrementally be loaded, and I don't know for certain I'll be able to load them onto my card (awful glad my wife has a BB, too). The terrible customer service makes me question if this is worth it. It's bad enough that I may stop playing.

Last edited by I can see for miles; Nov 20, 12 at 3:29 pm
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Old Nov 20, 12, 7:25 pm
  #2903  
 
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What is the shelf-life of A VR card?

When you load funds on a VR card and buy it, is there a limit on how long you can leave those funds on the card before moving them elsewhere?

I'm not asking what's wise (clearly, it's best to move the money along without much delay), I'm looking for some indication of whether there's a stated limit? I'm aware that there are things that could happen to cause your money to vanish like a fart in the wind (Vanilla Reload Network could go bankrupt; Bluebird or other portals could go bankrupt; your account for some link in your plan could be frozen or closed; you could just lose your loaded VR card; your house could burn down; your dog could eat them; somebody could steal them, etc.). Assuming none of those things happens...is there any other practical limit to how long your funds are usable on a loaded card sitting on your shelf?
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Old Nov 20, 12, 7:28 pm
  #2904  
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Originally Posted by nwflyboy View Post
When you load funds on a VR card and buy it, is there a limit on how long you can leave those funds on the card before moving them elsewhere?

I'm not asking what's wise (clearly, it's best to move the money along without much delay), I'm looking for some indication of whether there's a stated limit? I'm aware that there are things that could happen to cause your money to vanish like a fart in the wind (Vanilla Reload Network could go bankrupt; Bluebird or other portals could go bankrupt; your account for some link in your plan could be frozen or closed; you could just lose your loaded VR card; your house could burn down; your dog could eat them; somebody could steal them, etc.). Assuming none of those things happens...is there any other practical limit to how long your funds are usable on a loaded card sitting on your shelf?
If my dog ate this plastic card i would gut the mutt for miles! Lol
(I could see the view from the wing post now)

I dunno if theres time frames on these things but id say its wise to burn em in a couple days max. I do mine right away
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Old Nov 20, 12, 7:32 pm
  #2905  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Fat "Assistant Manager" scolded me for trying to purchase VR at CVS. He cited some issue with Vanilla. (Though, my friend had already purchased some at the same store earlier) He then claimed it was some corporate policy, but would not elaborate.

Though, it worked find at another CVS. It his hit or miss. The only other problem is most of the other stores that VR are sold at are in really bad areas. I am almost afraid.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 7:39 pm
  #2906  
 
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Originally Posted by DL172 View Post
The only other problem is most of the other stores that VR are sold at are in really bad areas. I am almost afraid.
...but it is an unlimited supply. No worry about blog readers being there. Can you picture MMS at one of these stores?
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Old Nov 20, 12, 7:41 pm
  #2907  
 
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Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post
I have walked up to the store clerk or manager and said... "Can I take these unloaded things to look them over?" And they have said yes. I have done it and then used them at the same store later (like maybe my CC was maxed so I needed time lol) or in other stores in the chain without issue. Store personnel have had no issue with this.
And that's okay, because you have permission. Looking at these threads, there are people who have clearly taken 30-40 cards. I doubt if they're walking out with the cards and saying, "Hey, I need to look at 30-40 cards." More likely than not, those cards, worth $120-160 to the store, are walking out in the pockets of many of the posters who have talked about the number of cards they have.

Because, we know, you can only load $1000 per day from Vanilla to Bluebird. And $5000 per month. And that's ten cards. So who needs to walk out with 30-40 cards?

I'm not beating on this deal, but don't assume that you can walk out of the store without paying something for the cards--unless, as you did, somebody connected with the store gives you the thumbs up.

And, by the way, if corporate knew, they'd tell those clerks and store managers (generally a senior-most clerk who's considered trustworthy enough not to steal the store blind to earn the promotion), "don't do that."

The cards have a value but not when seen through the eyes of the average person. I understand that a person might not think they're stealing as they would be if they took a candy bar or a box of paper clips. Nevertheless, corporate (as opposed to individual store managers) decided to offer these cards because they figured they'd make some portion of $3.95 per card. After all, these office supply stores generally offer candy bars you can buy for $1.50, and you know they're earning some profit off that, even if it's only 10 cents per bar. They didn't make their little vig on those cards, but it took them awhile to figure out what was going on.

Abuse of this system by people creating artificial shortages is still one of the most likely causes of OD pulling these cards (just behind people who paid for these cards although they probably were not primarily interested in miles/points but in the laundering aspects these cards can offer). And I stand by my earlier prediction that OD may return these cards to the stores with adequate security that insures that cards just don't walk out of the stores without money being loaded into them. The corollary is that stores like CVS may pull them if they encounter the same issues OD did.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 7:50 pm
  #2908  
 
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Originally Posted by DL172 View Post
Fat "Assistant Manager"...
And that's when I stopped reading, knowing the remainder of the report would be of questionable impartiality. Ah well.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 8:02 pm
  #2909  
 
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Thanks for all the talk to promptly unload the VR's. I'm new to the world of reloads. I was sitting on a couple because I didn't want to be carrying around a BB with a high balance. Now it's fully loaded and the Vanillas are empty.

*** Edited to say never mind this question because I found it.*** Can someone tell me what your page looks like when you do a Pay Bill? When I log in I'm still not getting any spot on the page for "submit" or "continue". The sample on the Bluebird website shows a "Continue" square.

Also, there's been talk of a list of payees already present on the website. I cannot find a list of registered payees.

Thanks,
gg

Last edited by gardengirl; Nov 20, 12 at 8:21 pm
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Old Nov 20, 12, 8:37 pm
  #2910  
 
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Originally Posted by I can see for miles View Post
The terrible customer service makes me question if this is worth it. It's bad enough that I may stop playing.
You really should bow out, only a fool thinks all that effort is worth it.
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