Sunday, May 17, 2009

The incredible self-destructing Visa card!

"The incredible self-destructing Visa card!" (Sung to the tune of "The incredible edible egg!")

In Virginia, a customer buyed a $100 Vanilla Visa card at a CVS drugstore. Immediately, she tried using it to buy items online.

However, the card was declined. The customer then found tiny, tiny print on the card declaring, "Funds may not be available for 24 hours after purchase."

So she waited a day and tried using the card again. The card was again declined! So she called the customer service number on the card and was told to go back to CVS and argue with them about it.

The manager of CVS told her that by trying to use the card within 24 hours of buying it, the card agreement had been invalidated - so the card was no good.

So this customer was out $100.

Does anything on the card actually say it will be invalidated if you try using it within 24 hours? Nope! Visa ripped off this customer and countless others without even warning them.

And that's got to be hundreds - maybe thousands - of Americans. If the same thing happened to 100,000 people, Visa pocketed $10,000,000.

Cards like the Vanilla Visa are popular because it's easier to buy stuff online using some type of credit or debit card. And because even if you try to buy something in person, some sellers put up a fuss if you try paying in cash. I've heard there's firms now that won't even accept cash. These firms use the reasoning that while currency claims to be "legal tender for all debts", it doesn't mean you can actually buy anything with it.

It also sounds like Visa was trying to shift blame onto CVS. Why else would the Visa folks tell the customer to march back to CVS to complain, when this scam is primarily Visa's fault?

If there isn't either a class action suit or a crackdown by a state or federal Attorney General, I'll just utterly poop.


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