US Bank Visabuxx

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2006 at 9:17pm CST by ba42c997

Company: US Bank Visabuxx

Category: Other

Since August of this year, I have been at war with U.S. Bank over $1200

in fraudulent, unauthorized charges made in Europe to my daughter's Visa

Buxx card (which has not left the United States this year). Here is my

first letter:

"Dear Mr. Grundhofer:

I write to describe your abysmal customer service before I contact

attorneys to initiate a class action lawsuit against U.S. Bank for

damages arising from your failure to honor your contact with your

Visabuxx holders.

My story is simple. On August 9, 2006, my daughter found her Visabuxx

account drained of money. She immediately notified U.S. Bank by calling

the customer service number on the back of the card. She was told at

that time that she would be sent a form to fill out to document the

fraudulent transactions that she identified. It was not difficult to

identify the transactions, as we live in Santa Monica, California, and

they all were processed with merchants in Europe.

The form for reporting the fraudulent transactions never arrived.

Indeed, we received several letters dated August 21, 2006 in a single

envelope from your company stating that we would be contacted if any

further information was needed. See Exhibit 1.

As an attorney who has represented banks, I remained concerned about

these charges and contacted your company on August 31, 2006 to inquire

about the status and whether I needed to take any further action. On

that date, I sent two emails and a letter, in addition to spending

several fruitless hours on the telephone with your customer service

representatives who could not answer (and still cannot answer) my

questions. My August 31 communications are attached to this letter as

Exhibit 2.

Following my August 31 communications, I received the emails attached

as Exhibit 3 to this letter. As you can see, in each instance, I replied

immediately to any communication from your company. The reverse was not

true. In addition, I was repeatedly assured that no further action was

necessary on our part to facilitate investigation of this matter.

On September 11, 2006, I received five letters from your company

concerning the fraudulent transactions. The letters were all dated

September 3, 2006. The single envelope containing all of the letters was

self-marked and dated September 1, 2006. Let me emphasize that these

letters did not arrive at my home until my regular postal delivery on

the afternoon of September 11. Exhibit 4 is a copy of those letters and

of the envelope containing them. In the letters, you imposed a deadline

of September 11, 2006 for us to respond to an August 18, 2006 letter

that we never received and that was mentioned for the first time in the

September 3, 2006, letter despite our many inquiries concerning this

matter.

I replied via facsimile the same day, September 11, 2006, and called

your customer service line as well. See Exhibit 5. Finally, on September

11, 2006, at 10:30 p.m., Sabrina, CSR # 2865, agreed to fax to me the

fraud forms within 24 hours. I received the forms the next morning,

September 12, 2006, completed them, and returned them to you via fax the

same day. See Exhibit 5. Indeed, the very fax number included on all of

the letters and on the fax cover sheet was not operational so I had to

call your customer service line again on the evening of September 12,

2006 and was given a second number. I immediately faxed the documents to

the new fax number provided, as well as to the fax number shown on your

fax cover sheet. Even then, I was requested after speaking to the

supervisor, Sam, CSR #2541, to resend the faxed forms to second number

(953-377-4438) addressed to Ormela Prashad. I complied with this request

as well. See Exhibit 5.

It is now September 13, 2006, and my account still has not been

credited for these fraudulent transactions despite countless hours on

the phone with numerous customer service representatives. This

transcends fraud; it is theft. Your company has breached its cardholder

agreement and Visa's no loss guarantee. It also has committed mail

fraud. I am able to document my side of the story, as you can see. Can

you document yours? I have not spoken to a single customer service

representative of your company who is able to produce the "August

18, 2006" letter referenced in your September 3, letter. If a letter

was sent on August 18, why on August 21, 2006, two days later, did you

say "if we need additional information from you in order to perform

our research, we may need to contact you"?

As I stated above, I am a lawyer with experience in dealing with these

matters. An ordinary consumer with a 9 to 5 job and no legal training

would be utterly at your mercy. By copy of this letter, I am notifying

the California Attorney General, the Federal Reserve Board, Visa USA,

and any consumer or media group that is interested concerning your

shoddy practices."

This was not the end of the story, however. The rest is contained in

this letter to the OCC and the California AG:

"This letter supplements the above-referenced complaint. As you may

recall, we submitted forms to the bank identifying five fraudulent

transactions on September 12, 2006. We received form letters from the

bank acknowledging receipt of all of our dispute forms in September. On

October 20, 2006, we received 4 (four) additional letters from the bank

concerning four of the five fraudulent charges. These letters were dated

October 13, 2006, but the envelopes transmitting those letters were

dated October 18, 2006. See Exhibit 1. We responded to those letters on

the date we received them, October 20, 2006. On November 1, 2006, I

spent 3 (three) continuous hours with customer service at the bank

concerning my daughter Hilary's account, which I could not and still

(two days later) cannot access online. I was informed by the bank at

that time that we received credit for the four fraudulent charges

relating to the four October 13 letters, but that one of the charges,

for $212.76, had not been permanently credited to our account. We have

received no additional correspondence from the bank other than the

September acknowledgement of our dispute form concerning this charge. We

disputed this charge substantially more than 45 days ago, the maximum

time allowed by the customer agreement.

As I informed your representative, Electra, on November 1, the customer

service practices of U.S. Bank regarding their prepaid cards amount to a

"no customer service" policy. Victims of fraudulent charges are

given a customer service phone number that connects the caller to a

customer service center in India which has no direct access to the

disputed charges unit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We the consumers are

unable to discuss these fraudulent charges or the actions taken thereon

with anyone in this country who has access to the paperwork concerning

the fraudulent charges. In short, the entire system is designed to

frustrate the customer into acceding to the fraudulent charges rather

than disputing them. In my case, this has been exacerbated by my

inability to access my daughter's account online for three days

without any explanation from the bank.

I understand that many employers now use these prepaid cards to pay the

wages of their employees. I suggest that the OCC examine the safeguards

implemented by the issuers with respect to unauthorized charges before

allowing widespread use of prepaid cards for employee wages."

Unbelievably, I still cannot access my daughter's account!!! Of course,

we are closing her account when it is empty.

Sue L. Himmelrich, Esq.

Law Offices of Sue L. Himmelrich

337 14th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90402

Telephone (310) 394-6350

Facsimile (310) 451-4417

Email COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_61753#


2 Comments

6b8867ef, 2008-12-10, 09:21PM CST

I also have had nothing but problems with Visa Buxx. I gave them $500 on Oct 9th, filled in app online, was promised the card in 5-12 days. When time passed I began calling, and kept being told to give it more time. After 4 phone calls and 6 emails to customer service, I went to our local US Bank and they faxed all the same info to them and asked that the card be mailed to the bank since they kept using excuses like"It must have gotten lost in the mail". I still have not received the card. I have written the ethics board at US Bank and only received the info that "they do not govern visa buxx." Over 60 days have gone by and I could cancel the card with my credit company, but I believe they need to be held accountable and need to either issue this card or keep making lame excuses until they run out. Do you have any suggestions as to where to go next? Thanks

50c0bfcb, 2009-07-11, 11:21PM CDT

Any Updates? Did you try visiting your branch?

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