Four Rules of the Financial World and how META BANK fails them

Four Rules of the Financial World

  1. They need our money (OPM, Other People’s Money)
  2. They need an on-going and constant supply of money to be able to act as a bank.
  3. They need to hang on to your money for as long as possible.
  4. They don’t want you to remove your money.

QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK:

How do banks explain their financial needs to consumers?

When do these four rules become deceptive practices?

In the fine print,

          • when the bank sets up all of the rules for their benefit,
          • when the bank retains the right to change the rules governing the account without giving you notice,
          • when the bank lies to you,
          • when the bank prevents you from being able to access your own money especially if you recognize that they are lying to you.
          • When the bank operates using many different names so as to make the perpetuators invisible to scrutiny
          • When the bank aligns with a company you know to get them to promote their product: Meta Bank promotes their services as a money making proposition to other companies and advertises that they even have the collection agents already lined up for this partnership.
          • When the bank is not forthright in explaining the ways that they make money from the deal, present it as a consumer service, but must use misleading publicity to get the consumers to sign on in the first place
          • When the bank charges consumers to speak to a real person at the bank
          • When the bank pushes all the blame for a problem back off onto the consumer, and the consumer knows that what they are hearing are lies about what happened

These things add up to being predatory and immoral banking practices. And, This was my experience with META BANK.

META BANK advertises that they are the biggest provider of pre-paid bank cards in the USA, and perhaps in the world. When you buy a pre-paid bank card which is a form of a debit card, you are basically giving your money interest free to that bank for them to use.

I basically was punished for cashing out my account. Then I went to put money back on it, a lot of money in preparation for a trip overseas. I had $5,000 in cash that I handed over which was all of my money set aside for that trip. The prepaid card had worked well when we had used it in Africa and I had purchased the card from a company I had been doing business with for years; I was told that this was the safest way to travel.

The prepaid travel cards sponsored by META BANK using the VISA or MASTERCARD logos sold through AAA at that time appeared to be acceptable.

META BANK first has the partner company make gifts, perhaps Christmas bonuses, using the gift cards:

    • Some people will simply file the cards away and forget them; for META BANK this makes money.
    • Some of the employees will use the card and really come to like it. Later, they will be asked to promote the card to customers. Customers are sold pre-paid bank cards that have different numbers on them, but which otherwise appear to be lie the one that had been offered to the employee so that the employee who will be promoting it to the customer will be enthusiastic about promoting the META BANK PRE-PAID BANK CARD.
    • The employees will be very surprised that any customer is having a problem with the card. They know that they have followed protocol in placing the customer’s money on the pre-paid bank card.
    • Other travelers had the same problems with the card tat I did. In Europe, no one would accept the card. META BANK wouldn’t take his phone calls from overseas. Back in the USA, he was told that “He hadn’t used the card properly.”
    • META BANK’s PRE-PAID TRAVEL CARD has a feature by which two cards are issued. The customer signs their names on the back of the card. Both cards are to be re-loaded at the same time. This was originally designed as a gimmick to say that one of the card holders spent using the card and didn’t tell the other. In my case, the other card was in a drawer at home; they had different colors. META BANK said that they loaded the card that was at home since the partner company representative or my spouse made a mistake in trying to get it reloaded. Both of them only had the information I had given them.
    • META BANK said that they had no contact such as a mailing address for me:
    • This is against the law to open an account without getting this information.
    • Prior to cashing out, the partner company asked me when I had last used the card and for what amount. I gave them that exact amount, the date, and location where it had been used. Months later I received a check for my cash out from META BANK. [ So from January to March]
    • However,in late June of that same year, META BANK said they couldn’t reload my card since there had been an outstanding amount for far too long on my card. This was after they had taken my $5,000 and held onto it for one month. However, the partner company’s representative had phoned META BANK prior to reloading it, and they never mentioned any problem with an outstanding balance nor did they indicate that they couldn’t reload my card. They did ask where I would be traveling to and when I would be leaving.
    • META BANK had my address on the cash out check they had sent to me, but said that I hadn’t given them any kind of contact information, which would have then been illegal for them to even open up my account.
    • The partner company returned my money to me, but I had to live like a homeless person on a vacation I had saved for and For I had planned for many years. It was not the vacation I had anticipated. META BANK was simply using this as a guise to hold onto my money interest free. [Please note that had I been using their money for as long, META BANK would have charged huge fees and interest. So, META BANK knew what they were doing and they had studied this plan for how to scam customers. META BANK got their start by serving “the underbanked” or “the under-served in the banking community” because they would charge excessively high fees from this category of customer. This is then a civil-rights issue too.
    • I had tried using the information on the META BANK PREPAID CARD from a Parisian internet cafe, and found it impossible to contact META BANK in that way.
    • I emailed all of the information that was on the PREPAID BANK CARD to my spouse and asked my spouse to contact AAA to get this fixed. They believed that the situation had been corrected for me. I was leaving Paris and I would lose access to readily available internet cafes and I needed to watch carefully how I spent the money I had.
    • I spoke to a Parisian Banker, a friend of a French friend, who told me that the PRE-PAID BANK CARD couldn’t be read anywhere in the European Union Countries.
    • When I got back to the USA, my card wouldn’t work in a well known restaurant chain either.
    • META BANK criticized me  for never having phoned them back from France. I had no money to make that kind of a call. That fall, I met something who experienced the same trouble using the META BANK PREPAID CARD who did try to phone them, but META BANK never would pick up.
    • When I phoned META BANK, I was put on hold and then shifted from one person to another who had obviously been trained to push the blame off onto the customer since they were “grabbing for straws” and lying to me in an effort to push the blame off onto to me, the customer, for being the cause of the entire problem.
    • META BANK needs a completely naive person to push their card for them so that the sell seems to be genuine. META BANK even holds competitions among the employees for a very small gift to the community and another gift card for the winning employee who sells the most prepaid bank card. That employee has just sold cards with the customer numbers, cards that will work differently from the one they had been given. That employee may have just pushed the scam of META BANK off onto their own grandmother who never would have bought such a PRE-PAID BANK CARD except for the fact that their own grandchild has said that it worked great, and it had for them. The grandchild has no idea what they have really done; META BANK has designed the system to work like that.

***My efforts are to inform the general public so they  can be alert to how META BANK abuses their potential customer base.***

My first bit of advice would be “simply not do business with META BANK”: That will be easier said than done since META BANK operates using many different names and uses companies with which you may already do business to promote their prepaid cards.

META BANK paid lobbyists in DC to advocate the promotion of the use of PRE-PAID BANK CARDS. You no doubt have noticed lately that “Gift cards” have proliferated. The gift cards for restaurants and other national chains are now being sold in our regional grocery store which as also adopted a PRE-PAID BANK CARD of its own. The design of it is identical to what META BANK’s advertisements promote.

META BANK may operate using the name of other banks or have formed an alliance of some kind with them.

It is not about providing better and real customer service; it is about allusions. Even the term “Customer Loyalty” for META BANK means the ways they can “Hook in” potential customers by means of gimmicks designed to get you to buy more.

It is for the general public to become educated in these practices. While we understand that banks are in business to make money, we should have clear and fixed rules governing how those banks operate.

Honesty and integrity are needed, but META BANK is playing a game of strategy with potential consumers that involves deception and misleading information. The banking system as it is now isn’t designed to serve for the benefit of consumers. Without these kinds of scruples being firmly fixed within the banking practices, the current economic depression will never be resolved.

Self-regulating hasn’t worked. META BANK also scammed other banks by selling bogus CD’s. META BANK said that they don’t do background checks and made excessive loans to someone who needed to be protected from their form of collection agency which acts much more like those thugs we used to see in old movies who were hired by “bookies.” Yes, this is reminiscent of mafia tactics that we have also seen in these same kinds of movies. The new twist is that META BANK has sought out and studied ways to expand this kind banking practice, first, so that it appears to be legitimate, both by how it is marketed through a company known by the customer, and through their publicity which appears to address specific needs of the middle class, such as parents of college students who want to help them learn to live on their own responsibly by using a PRE-PAID BANK CARD, but META BANK has only used this as a gimmick to keep money from that student for their own use. This would then be a form of predatory practice. The student complained that META BANK put a block on their card since they found some possibly terroristic activity happening on their card. They had only shopped at well known stores and at the same stores where they always had shopped. The hold that META BANK put on the student’s PREPAID BANK CARD meant that the student had no money to pay his rent, and that he had to borrow money to pay his rent. This is a real “set-up” being foisted on a family who wished to protect their son. Always, META BANK ends up creating a situation where they created and enforced questionable rules that allowed META BANK to hold onto the customer’s money and to keep the bank customer from having access to their own money. This is immoral if not yet illegal. Lying to customers is also immoral.

If that student’s family and the student had fully understood what META BANK’s full intent had been, they would have sought another solution for their perceived problematic situation.

META BANK is constantly studying and looking for the potential achilles heels where we, the general public, are vulnerable and creates advertisements indicating that they have a special card for your needs. Further scrutiny shows that the same product really is being offered, but using a slightly different promotional gimmick directed at a targeted potential customer. The extent that META BANK has taken this has become predatory.

Please don’t forget that META BANK operates using many different names. This is to stop every state’s Attorney General from being able to find them. META BANK is a national bank, and yet the use of many different names is designed to keep any regulatory governmental agency from being able to trace them.

  • The best thing that you can do is “DON’T BUY ANY FORM OF DEBIT OR PRE-PAID BANK CARD.”
  • Bank locally in a bank where they are both owned locally and where you can walk in to talk with your banker in person.
  • It is banking practices like those of META BANK that have put or whole economic system down into a depression.
  • The hope for the future must come from you the consumer.
        • Be alert.
        • Save money
        • Pay with cash
        • Shop from locally owned enterprises and bank at locally owned banks. We have learned that bigger isn’t better.

Christmas Gift-Giving:

Please don’t buy gift cards. If you can’t come up with a gift idea, please give cash or a check

The gift cards are managed by META BANK. The gimmick is to hold onto your money for as long as they can. Additional fees may apply and expiration dates may be on the gift cards allowing the bank to take the gift back.

This isn’t a gift. It becomes a nightmare for the receiver.

AMERICA NEEDS:

        • honesty
        • clear and accurate information
        • ways to save money
        • Does this mean that we need better bank regulations? Perhaps.
        • What if the banks had to compete for providing us with an honest banking experience so that having accurate and clear information, we can decide to interact with these banks or not.

In this way, customers would genuinely  seek out the best practices.

However, we live in the media age where  needs are promoted and fostered so that they seem real; real needs that aren’t real at all. For example, we are encouraged to ask our doctors about a new medicine by TV commercials. Then the doctor will most likely ask the pharmaceutical sales person about the product. The product may be as good as a generic, non-advertised product. Since so many patients have asked about the advertised product, the doctor is encouraged to ask the sales representative of the pharmaceutical company for more information about the product. As the patient, are you actually getting better medical care or simply the results of zealous pharmaceutical sales representatives enabled by TV Advertisements.

Personal Rule: don’t ask the doctor about brand name medicines, especially if you have seen an advertisement for it on TV. You are only raising your own medical expenses.

Back to the topic of this article, appearing to buy with plastic doesn’t make you look any cooler or savvy: Simply don’t use PRE-PAID BANK CARDS or PRE-PAID GIFT CARDS. By doing so, you are only contributing to the economic depression/recession.

It is time to take responsibility.

      1. Take control of your money.
      2. Demand that you have full control of your own money.

Never tie in a “direct deposit” system with a debit system. By doing this you are making yourself an economic slave. Why do this to yourself or to your family?

Become active and pro-active. Protect yourself. Get real answers. If you are scammed, report it to as many people as you can to get the desired changes put into place. Warn others by sharing your experiences.

 

Oh, by the way, after having done business with the partner company for many, many years, since they had been fooled and tricked by META BANK, even though they tried to make good on the problem, I decided that I could no longer trust them. I have stopped doing business with them.

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