$300 Disappears From Pre-Paid Walmart Debit Card, Store Has No Idea Why

A California was stuck without car insurance and unable to pay her bills after $300 she’d put on her pre-paid Walmart debit card had vanished into the ether. Making matters worse, the retail giant has no idea how the money disappeared.

The woman tells CBS Sacramento that she’d loaded the cash onto her card at a local Walmart, but when she went to pay her car insurance bill online the card was rejected for lack of funds. She checked into her account balance and the money had never been applied, though she had the receipt form the store showing that she’d forked over $300 to put on the plastic.

She returned to the store where no one was able to help restore the lost funds to her card. Further calls to Walmart were also unsuccessful.

“There’s a lot of fraud in these kinds of transactions,” the President of the Sacramento Better Business Bureau tells CBS about stores’ reluctance to believe stories like the customer’s. “The business is always going to be kind of skeptical.”

It wasn’t until Walmart found out that the TV station had gotten involved in the shopper’s story that she was able to get her funds back. By this point, her insurance company was demanding that she pay the rest of her 2011 premiums in advance. Once again, with a little help from CBS, the insurer backed off.

As for how the customer’s money disappeared from her account Walmart says it doesn’t know, but only that a they are looking into it. For her troubles, the company tossed in a $25 gift certificate.

Call Kurtis: The Danger of Prepaid Cards [CBS Sacramento]