Independence man struggles with Wal-Mart MoneyCard for access to his own money

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A lifeline was cut short after an Independence man is unable to retrieve the funds from his debit card, and he's not alone.

Shoppers nationwide are having trouble with their Green Dot Wal-Mart MoneyCards.

From the scratch marks on this Wal-Mart MoneyCard, you can tell it's used often. It’s a reloadable prepaid card, but recently it stopped working and not because it was damaged.

“I was at a loss. I didn’t know where my funds were,” he said.

Daniel Swinney tried to withdraw money on May 16, but the balance came up negative, which he said is incorrect. He said there was at least $900 on that card. When he called Customer Service, they also admitted that the balance was wrong.

Swinney is also unable to make purchases or get cash from the ATM. MoneyCard users everywhere have posted problems as well.

“Will I get my money back? Will I be able to pay my bills? Will I be able to keep the utilities on and make my house payment?” Swinney asked.

There are more than 800 frustrated customers like Swinney who joined a Facebook group called Walmart MoneyCard Exodus. There people vent their problems, update each other with answers they receive, and try to find solutions. Lawyers are also providing assistance with lawsuits.

Green Dot handles the transactions and processing for the Wal-Mart MoneyCards and is aware of the problem. Below is a statement Green  Dot sent FOX 4:

Several technical issues have come up over the last week that have impacted the ability of some cardholders to use their cards. These issues ranged from errors associated with balance inquiries to activations and declined transactions. Right now we are also actively monitoring social media channels to identify additional impacted cardholders so we that we can reach out to them directly.

The latest issue was related to the activation of some new and replacement cards, where cards were showing as “activated” in our system, but clearly they were not. If you received a new or replacement card in the mail over the past week and tried to activate it, it may not have worked. Some cards did and some cards didn't.

We have now fixed the problem – and all cards, except a small number, can be activated right now. The remainder will be fixed as soon as possible.

You can now activate your card and start using it immediately by going online or using our automated telephone system per the instructions on the card. Once activated, the card will work normally.

For our customers who have been impacted and whose cards were unavailable to them, we are putting extra money on your card as our way of trying to apologize and make things better. We hope to be able to get this done by the weekend.

If there's a different kind of problem, please call customer service and we will handle your unique situation one on one.

There aren't enough words to say how sorry we are and how badly we feel. We are taking steps to make sure this never happens again.

We are truly so very sorry and want to thank you for being a loyal Green Dot customer.

--Green Dot

“Hopefully prayers are answered and something works out soon,” Swinney said.

Green Dot said they contacted Swinney after hearing about his problems. Swinney said after this mess is sorted out, he’ll most likely close down his MoneyCard account.

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