I want to add funds instantly to my PayPal Prepaid Debit card. I’m on day 3 of attempting this and have pretty much given up the idea of being able to add “Easily and Instantly” from my PayPal Account. In part 2 I describe my unsuccessful attempt to put money on it through my PayPal account. This is part 3 where I try another method to add funds.
On the paypal-prepaid.com website it has instructions on how to add money instantly. See the three methods below.
I have ruled out direct deposit and the middle option about “instantly transfer money from your PayPal account. (see part 2) So I try the third option of “Loading Cash or Checks”. I find the nearest reload center and it lists the place where I bought the original card. It also lists the supermarket in the same plaza plus, about 10 convenience stores nearby.
I go to the CVS Pharmacy where I bought the prepaid debit card and the cashier says they can refill them. I tell her I want $200 put on it and I hand over the cash (you must use cash I’m told). The cashier rings up the sale + $4.95 fee (the website said $3.95 fee). So $204.95 later the register spits out the receipt with the message “ERR RELOAD”. She doesn’t know why and refunds my money.
I try the supermarket next door. They have to check to see if they can refill them. The service counter person leaves and comes back 2 minutes later and tells me that they don’t refill them.
I go home and call Prepaid support again. They tell me they don’t know why CVS got an error but to try one of the convenience stores. They also tell me not to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak card to refill it. I also tell the rep that the website says $3.95 but the store charges $4.96. She says no, it’s $3.95. I couldn’t convince her. I go to the convenience store armed with this fresh information.
The first convenience store cashier knows exactly what to do. She goes to a rack and picks up a reload card, scans it, asks how much and it will be a $3.95 fee. It gets an error and her attempts are futile. It does not work. She’s committed to making it work and searches for other NetSpend refill cards. None work. She tries a “Vanilla” NetSpend refill card, but it does not work. She apologizes and says they are a small store, but the bigger one down the road should have the right refill card. My teen gets a free ice crush drink for our troubles.
I go to the bigger convenience store. The cashier doesn’t know how to refill it and calls her manager over. He says he does it all the time and promptly goes to the card kiosk looking for the correct refill card. There are none of what he’s looking for and tells me not to worry – he has his own stash of them somewhere.
He picks up a “PayPal Cash” refill card and says this is what I need. I am somewhat dubious, but hand over the $200 in cash and he gives me the card and the receipt telling me to log on to the internet and enter the money card pin numbers.
The PayPal-prepaid site does not recognize the “PayPal Cash” card. I call PayPal support this time to ask what I’m supposed to do. The PayPal rep tells me to add it to my PayPal account which will give me a positive cash balance in my account. Cautiously I ask if I can then transfer it to the PayPay prepaid debit bank card in my account and she says yes; but, it will take 3-5 days! I start asking why my cash expenditure resulting in cash in my account takes 3-5 days to clear and she says I need to speak with the debit card specialist.
The debit card specialist confirms the 3-5 day wait. Since I need the card filled by the end of business tomorrow, I say thanks and call the convenience store to get a refund, hoping I won’t have any trouble getting it back…
The convenience store manager has left for the day and he is the only one who can do the refund, The cashier kindly offered to call him at home and call me back. She calls back and tells me not to worry. I can get a full refund in the morning when the manager returns. What can I do? I tell her ” I’ll see you in the morning.”
I call the prepaid card support line again and after the 2 minute automated menu, I speak to another support rep. She says to buy the card that has the NetSpend logo on it. I ask if I can transfer the money instantly once I buy it – she says yes. If I have trouble, to call them and they will make certain that it works.
Day 4: I go back to the convenience store to return the PayPal Cash card. It’s still in pristine condition. The manager says he has to make a call to his manager. After 5 minutes he says that they can’t just refund the money because it is a live card worth cash. He has to call Coinstar, the kiosk operator. I wait another 20-25 minutes and interrupt him from sending an email to Coinstar or home office or wherever. He tells me that it will take another 30-45 minutes to get a resolution since he must wait for a response to his email. I tell him I can go do some errands, but I can’t leave the $200 cash value card and receipts. He hands them to me and takes my phone number so he can call when he’s got clearance to refund my money.
About 10 minutes later, I’m halfway across town and he calls. I return to the store and he refunds all my cash and tells me in a hushed voice that they could have actually just voided the transaction, but no one should know otherwise there may be abuse. [At this point I’d like to yell it out of the tallest building around.]
I thank him and leave to go to the other convenience store that has the exact reload pack specified on PayPal-Prepaid debit card website (see image). This looks like the same card she tried yesterday, but I was assured by the prepaid support person that it would work. It has the NetSpend logo, and it appears identical to the website’s instructions and product image. This must be it I think…
Find out what happened in Part 4 >>