Prepaid debit cards have become popular with the public in the last 5 years as banks have pushed them heavily as a form of payment. This is because since the great recession, banks have lost their ability to make easy money on things like exorbitant credit card fees and the likes. But we will look at the customer support these cards provide.
Another area that they used to make easy money – the checking account has been severely restricted, taking away more the crazy overdraft and account charge that were prevalent. Since credit cards and checking accounts used to be great sources of income and fees for banks, they must now look for new sources of making money. The prepaid card market offers them that opportunity.
Prepaid cards are issued by banks under the Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express networks.There are two types of these debit cards that are offered. There is the non-reloadable and the reloadable. The non reloadable debit card can be loaded with money one time and once you deplete the funds, you cannot add more money to it. The card becomes worthless.
With the reloadable, as the name itself suggests, you are able to add more money to it once the initial amount you put on it becomes depleted. You can pretty much can continue to reload it until the expiration date that is indicated on the card. That makes it a good alternative to carrying cash.
When it comes to prepaid card customer service issues, it totally depends on the card you have. Mostly, these cards are known to have the worst customer service, as compared to say regular credit cards. There are several reasons for that. First, regular credit cards are more regulated, so the banks cannot get away with cheating customers or ignoring legitimate issues or they risk a class action lawsuit, which have been known to mostly go in favor of the customers. As a result of this potential threat, the banks are more likely to pay more attention to their charge customers.
That is not the case when it comes to prepaids. These are mostly being targeted at the unbanked, senior citizens and low income customers. The customer service support on these prepaids tends to be very low and hard to get hold of. To get a live customer service agent to help you can be a nightmare. Therefore before you buy one of these, make sure that you’ve done your homework to be certain that the support you need when you have questions will be there for you. Otherwise, it’s going to be a nightmare when you have questions that need immediate answer or help. For example these are some of the question you may have that require an urgent response from a live person:
- How to check your balance
- How to find ATMs
- How to use the card to get cash back
- Whether you can use it to get cash back
- Fees and Charges you may incur abroad
- Whether there are any monthly service fees and charges
- Whether there are any dormancy fees if you don’t use it for a period of time.
These are all important to know customer support issues to know.