GameStop Pays Its Employees In Hidden Fee "Cash Cards"

Remember our post on student loan debit cards? The cards are pitched as a great convenience, or less expensive to distribute than paper checks, or more secure, when in reality they’re germy with hidden fees that slowly nickel and dime your balance. Turns out, GameStop uses a similar system to pay its employees.

An anonymous GameStop employee writes,

It’s a Comdata card (with fees) or direct deposit, but they really encourage you to use the Comdata cards. [See rebuttal to this in the comment below.]

They load your paycheck onto it, every two weeks (pretty standard), and you’re supposed to have one free transaction after each payroll deposit.

  • The only way to check your balance is to call the 1-800 number and jump through 4-5 prompts.
  • ATMs that are supposed to accept the card often reject it (they are Maestro cards), and they -always- charge you a fee for being an out of network user. Comdata tells you to recover your fee from the bank, the bank tells you they don’t know what a Comdata card is, and won’t refund the fee. I even had one bank question me as to wether or not Maestro was a real card company. I got one ATM fee refunded from Comdata, and hit a brick wall from there on out.
  • They recommend that you use it for your everyday purchases, with a fee occuring each time. Their own literature conflicts on wether or not this is a one dollar fee or a much lesser, 25 cent fee.
  • Many companies will not do cash-back with one (one of Comdata’s recomended methods for getting your money) because, despite being (technically) a Mastercard, and supposedly ‘working just like one’ (lie), it doesn’t actually say Mastercard anywhere on the card.
  • Many locations that accept Mastercard will not accept the Comdata card (despite what it says on Comdata’s website).
  • The only other way to get money off of your card is to do a funds transfer, often occuring fees at the bank level.
  • It also leaves you with absolutely no record of how much, or how often you are paid (until you get your W2, but that is rather limited) except for Comdata’s website, which I found was often either not updated or incorrect. It also took me half a week of playing telephone tag with them to even get signed up for the website benefits.

Gamestop is one employer who uses this service with little/no reason to. They are the world’s largest specialty videogames retailer, and they do not have the “logistics” issues that other industries (Trucking, in particular) have that even possibly warrants the use of this horrible little card.

They claim it is because many of their employees are younger, and do not have bank accounts. That’s the only reasoning I’ve heard from them, after months of (somewhat muted, I needed my job, however stingy the hours were and however minimum wage it may have been) complaining and questioning.

I would love to see some evidence that any other company of Gamestop’s size/market share uses this system…

This obviously isn’t directly a consumer issue, although if you work there and read the Consumerist, you can see why we’d suggest you opt for direct deposit and save yourself a ton of hidden fees, or pull out all the cash using your single free withdrawal. In a more general sense, however, we think it demonstrates GameStop’s hostile attitude toward its own workforce. Forget that nonsensical “our employees don’t have bank accounts” excuse; the only valid reason we can think of for a company to use Comdata is to save money on payroll fees, by passing the cost on to its own employees under the ruse of a cash card being more “convenient.” It’s yet another reason why we don’t like to shop at GameStop anymore.

“Gamestop employees please help: Changing from Comdata deposit to bank account deposit” [NeoGAF]
“How do I withdraw money from my Comdata Card?” [LiveJournal]
(Photo: OrangeShooter)

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