Wal-Mart is sinking to a new low with plans to launch a "prepaid Visa card" scam on the working class customers who are the company's main source of revenue. Even before the launch of this new scam card meant to profit from a wide range of fees rather than actually selling merchandise to customers, the Office Of The Oregon Attorney General for Consumer Affairs is voicing concern.
Unlike a normal Visa card, this Wal-Mart card must be prepaid in advance, which means that usually only $25-75 will be paid into the card, but then a wide range of fees are meant to bleed down the card without the customer having any real consumer merchandise to show for all this expense in fees.
The card reportedly charges fees such as a $4.95 month service fee, a 75cent fee to check on the balance left in the account, a $2.00 fee to contact an operator, and several more fees which leave the consumer with little real cash to spend unlike a real credit card. As a rule, these cards also charge a one-time processing fee based on the amount paid into the card as well. This charge can be $5.95 for a $25 card, or a considerable amount, and then the rest of the fees slowly eat down the balance leaving the consumer with little funds to spend for any purchase. Additional fees such as an "activation fee" of or fees also exist on some of these scam cards meant to look like a normal credit card.
Just like the "payday loan" scams, these "prepaid Visa cards" are a new scam meant to charge the working poor high fees that persons of a higher income would not face with a real credit card which offers various services free of charge, including no annual fee, maybe even "cash back" or other rewards. No major business should be involved in such a consumer scam. But since the card is prepaid, there is a 100% "approval rate" for these phony cards that look like a real Visa credit card, but most certainly are not. Compared to simply buying goods for cash and at least getting your money's value, these cards are nothing more than a new scheme to profit from service fees and provide little real goods to the consumer, making them a high profit scam of the very worst type.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!