New Visa gift cards are empty, customers say nothing can be done
HOUSTON – Gift cards are still the popular holiday gift. Now that people are trying to use them, some say their cards are worthless and the company that issues them won’t help. We often hear about gift card fraud, scams and thefts, but it’s not clear what’s going on with Vanilla Visa Gift Cards. One thing is clear, many people say they can’t use the cards they’ve been given.
Customers receive gift cards that don’t work
Leslie Herring is a Katy mother of twins and a teacher who is always helping and doing for others. So when her mom gave her a $100 Vanilla Visa gift card for Christmas, this mom wanted new shoes!
“I was super excited. I went to pay online, but the number came in and it said ‘there is a problem with this card,'” Herring explains.
When she tried to check the balance on the Vanilla Visa website, it asked her to call a toll-free number.
“I waited for three hours, and then they opened it and put a case number on it,” Herring says. “But they can’t refund me and my card is still unusable.”
Herring said the customer service representative told him there had been other reports of the same issue. And even though no one with Vanilla has returned our messages, a lot of people are complaining online.
Many Complaints About Vanilla Visa Gift Cards Not Working
Sean A complained that he “bought Visa gift cards for Christmas, $500 each. None worked.
On Christmas Day, Donna wrote, “Horrible to buy the Visa card and not be able to reach anyone. The card does not work.
Leslie’s mother bought her Vanilla Visa card at Walmart, but the retailer told her it couldn’t help because it wasn’t their product. And it’s unclear if her gift card already contained money or if the money was somehow stolen before she received it.
“When I opened it, the seal was still sealed. There were no creases or creases in the packaging. Everything was still closed and sealed,” says Herring.
Although Vanilla Visa has not shared this information with Herring, its website asks Texas customers with unresolved issues to file complaints with the Texas Department of Banking.
Prepaid credit cards are considered money services businesses in Texas and regulated by this agency.
Herring is now filing that complaint along with another with the Better Business Bureau. She’s been waiting for the Vanilla Visa to respond since Boxing Day.
What can I do if I receive a wrong gift card?
There are a few places you can go for help if you bought a broken gift card.
If you have a complaint about a Vanilla Visa card, first contact the Consumer Assistance Division of InComm Financial Services, Inc. at 1-800-571-1376. If your complaint regarding the Company’s money transfer or foreign exchange activity remains unresolved, please direct your complaint to the Texas Department of Banking:
Texas Department of Banking
2601 Lamar Boulevard North, Suite 300
Austin, TX 78705-4294
Phone number: 1-877-276-5554 (toll-free)
Email address: [email protected]
Website address: www.dob.texas.gov
Better Business Bureau
When you contact the Better Business Bureau, they not only follow your problem, but they try to help you solve it.
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