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From the perspective of consumers, the whole purpose of prepaid debit cards – their reason for living, if you will – is to give consumers immediate access to their money. Those cards are an especially important financial lifeline for people who don’t have traditional bank accounts. In pitching its reloadable prepaid cards, NetSpend Corporation promised consumers “immediate access” to their funds with “no holds, no waiting.” But according to an FTC complaint, the defendants’ business practices rendered that claim and other representations deceptive.

“Immediate access”? Not so fast, alleges the FTC. NetSpend’s ads were replete with claims like “No Waiting!” and “Use your card immediately.” But the FTC says many consumers experienced delays in accessing their funds both in the initial activation process and later. For example, despite the company’s “use it today” claim, consumers have to go through an identity verification process required by law before the prepaid debit card can be activated – a process with requirements many people have difficulty satisfying.

The upshot? People who loaded funds onto NetSpend cards often had to wait – and wait and wait – to access their own hard-earned money. The FTC says those delays resulted in severe financial hardship to consumers, including evictions, repossessed cars, and late fees on bills.

The complaint also alleges that many customers who closed their accounts and asked for refunds had to wait several weeks to get their money back. In other cases, NetSpend imposed fees that depleted the funds from cards after consumers were unable to activate them.

The complaint takes on other instances in which NetSpend’s business practices were at odds with its marketing claims. For example, the lawsuit challenges as misleading NetSpend’s representation that consumers are “guaranteed approval” for a card. The FTC also alleges that NetSpend said it would grant provisional credit when consumers dispute charges on their cards, but often failed to live up to that promise.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Atlanta. If you work in the financial services sector or have clients interested in alternative payment methods, this is a case to watch.


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Eartha brown
November 10, 2016
Need to know were I can file suit at against net spend please call
May 10, 2017

In reply to by Eartha brown

February 19, 2019

In reply to by WILLIAM M PEARSON

They Closed my account after I reported My Card they didn't close waS used I had an account 10 years I was the Victim I live with Disabilities they closed my Card causing hardship...they should be investigated. Horrible Company
August 09, 2020

In reply to by KJ

They don't tell u clear about the disputes I can't talk on phone bc I am deaf as they closed my account even they say my refund will be available on the date and then they froze my account and never got my money back I didn't do any wrong
Kim pettit
August 13, 2020

In reply to by WILLIAM M PEARSON

This company has frauded me several times cause me financial hardships they're deceptive liars you put cash in pay palwccount debit card was told will get a check in 8 weeks minus regular bank fees deducted what defuctions
April 13, 2021

In reply to by Kim pettit

this has been such a NIGHTMARE... I had a joint netspend account with my fiance. We each had our own cards.. things were fine, both of our direct deposits were going into this account and we had no issues for quite some time. We had thousands of dollars in this account. After about 6 to 8 months, we got a deposit of 1200. We were able to withdraw only $200 and right after the account was locked and every transaction declined. While account was locked, they made sure and were able to deduct their monthly fee but we couldn't touch our money. I was the primary account holder. They asked for all of my documents to verify my identity which I sent immediately. They were all accepted. My fiance had misplaced one of his and they gave us such a hard time even though the account was originally mine and I added him after. The account was frozen and there was nothing I could do. There was almost $1000 sitting in my account that I could NOT touch. I contacted customer service and was told different stories every time. First I was under the impression that they had sent me a paper check in the remaining balance to my address and I needed to give it up to 21days to be processed and for me to receive it. About 1 month passed and I never received my check so I called again. This time I was told the check was never sent out!!!! I was furious. So now this agent told me that they could send the funds back to the depositor so furiously I asked them to go ahead and do so. I was told the funds were sent back Nov 11 and to give at least 30days for the transaction to be completed. Another month and a half goes by, no sign of my refund. I called the original depositor, they "couldn't find or did not receive the electronic transfer of my balance". I once again called netspend and they could only say the balance was sent Nov 11th they did not and could not provide me with any confirmation number or transaction ID. SO WHAT NOW?!?! MY $1000 IS JUST FLOATING IN ELECTRONIC LIMBO AND NOOOO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT IS????? I HAVE BEEN BEYOND PATIENT BUT THIS IS UNCALLED FOR RIDICULOUS AND UNACCEPTABLE! I NEED THE BALANCE OF MY CLOSED ACCOUNT!!!!!!!
gary morrell sr
January 07, 2019

In reply to by john deauxx

this is a joke net ten needs to be shut down cant even talk to some that has you money i will help any body that will try to shut these people down HELP!!!!!!
September 24, 2019

In reply to by Eartha brown

I also would like information on how to file a claim against net spend.
FTC Staff
September 25, 2019

In reply to by Nicole

The FTC doesn't handle individual cases, but you can report problems you have with a business to the FTC. Go to to report a problem. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can also contact your state attorney general; use this list of state attorneys general to find yours.

Kathryn Haas
January 03, 2021

In reply to by Eartha brown

Google Lawsuit Netspend. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Is heading up the lawsuit. There are numbers to call on the first page to obtain more information and to file your dispute with the FTC.
Dale kerr
November 10, 2016
I wasnt able to get my money either,this company has caused me so many hardships for just having put money on the card and only not be allowed to get my money back.This company made my day to see the FTC sued this worthless company.I would like to tell the FTC I put over $500.00 bucks on the card and lost my apt.Lost most if not all of the 500 bucks except for maybe 20 dollars,and I had no clue how to file a claim against this worthless company.Please Help FTC to get my money back....Thanks for a Good Job well done...
Curtis Bloodworth
May 08, 2017

In reply to by Dale kerr

I have bought several cards and was never able to access the funds for months and months and by the time I did, the company had depleted almost all of the funds from bogus company fees. I hate this company. They also have the PayPal cards that you don't realize is owned by netspend but it is and they hold the funds immediately
February 28, 2020

In reply to by Curtis Bloodworth

I lost 7 accounts data security breech No access all tied up with NetSpend prepaid cards since 2018,over 800,000 still have not been one dollar from a civil suit no one ever told me the shareholders was hidden all notices from judge owing All this money from OMB, OCC FTC confirmation numbers award numbed Florida and Louisiana how do I get my money back taken from me.
Keirre Purches
November 10, 2016
I had more then one run-in with the card company net spend
Manjunath Ramaswamy
November 11, 2016
we did not get our credit card till now why.
Ronald withrow
February 05, 2018

In reply to by Manjunath Ramaswamy

Just got me 4 200 bucks yip im n both times on rippin me off they kept me on phone talkin 2 few differant supposed b manger playing phones tricks steppin in 2 differant rooms yeah but they need 2 b brought into a court of law
Ana martinez
February 07, 2019

In reply to by Manjunath Ramaswamy

I get a check but I have not changed and already Bensio
Sandra Everson
November 11, 2016
Then they would place the card in your name and place a unidentified pass code onto the account then when you couldn't identify they would tell you to call back when you figure it out, or open another account. Knowing well that once they had your electronic approval they used your signature and the customer just go on as eye did and netspend gets the profits, customer gets nothing
Aika Wms
November 14, 2016
I need to be involved in this Lawsuit. Netspend has been ripping me for 5years now.
Mary Arcara
December 16, 2016
I been a netspend card holder with direct desposit got 5 yrs. do I qualify.
Skylar Ward
December 30, 2016
I too want to know how to get my money back. I bought two cards that totaled $800 and wasn't able to use it.
January 03, 2017

In reply to by Skylar Ward

The FTC just filed the lawsuit, Skylar.  The case hasn't gone to trial yet.  But if you visit regularly or subscribe to the blogs, you'll find out about any updates.

January 13, 2017
They sent a card to my 11-year old. She signed up to fill out a survey. They sent a card to her, presumably so that she could receive the 50 cent payout she earned for doing the survey. The card had an $8.95 monthly fee! No thanks!
Janette Fletch…
February 21, 2017
i,'am first, an American Citizen, and American consumer, Everyday, an American citizen get ripped off. it does not. Cease.It was America the great, that rushed si many over for better and what's fair. Yet with migration, and the unpredictable scams that cane with some. American businesses, and un-saavy business owner's continue in capitalizing on it's on. Its taxing when you are trying too keep up on a day to day basis working for pay check to pay check on a job.....and get scamed. the new trend is....dont get incarcerated and have any amount of cash on you it is transferred on a debit card and you are taxed your hard earned cash , money taxed $3.00 in being released given a debit card in exchange for the cash that was on your books and later charged $3.00 to regain your cash it simpky makes me regurgitate. We never seem too cease in letting the gold dust that mist one's eye's soon ching ching ibto bars of gold....when will make America great again? Janette Fketcher Dorsey By way of the Caoitol of Texas Currenty residing in Dallas, Texas
April 10, 2017
Someone stole my card and used my funds I filed a police report then filed a dispute. I sent my dispute letter in and told me I would be eligible for a provisional credit. When I call yesterday to check the status, I was told to call back the next day. I called the next day which is today and they told me that they won't have an update until May 4th. So basically I've been giving a run around with this company and also I just won't have any funds to use until then. Netspend is just full of BS. I'M SO TIRED OF THEM .
Agnes Padreque
April 13, 2017
Fo I really have a cards? Why I dont get any?
April 14, 2017
Even after they settled a $53 million suit with the FTC, to this day NetSpend is still deceptive and I just spent two weeks fighting with them over the new PayPal Prepaid Debit Card, which unfortunately PayPal contracts for with NetSpend. If I had seen the C- rating on BBB and the FTC info first, I would have NEVER even signed up. This has been a total nightmare to get a simple prepaid card for while my mother travels as I did not want her bringing cash with her. Many things stated on the FTC and BBB websites are nearly identical to the what is happening with me, the identification process, cards being canceled, cards not being sent, different reps giving different answers, and no accommodations or remunerations from NetSpend, such as expedited shipping of cards due to THEIR delays or comping me the monthly fee on the prepaid account for a few months. Yikes!
Louise Miles
April 27, 2017
I have used this card in the past. and it sucks with all of its hidden charges. I want in on this lawsuit
George Pfeffer
April 30, 2017
Is there anything that can be done about them only posting Gov't benefits to some peoples cards on a friday and making other people wait until Monday when in fact we all pay a monthly fee.Also when you call customer service it is nothing but lies I called on April 28th to inquire about my deposit because I seen other people were getting theirs and was told that no SSA would post until Monday and when I asked why some people's were posting.I was told the same old rehearsed line SSA won't post until Monday ignoring completely what I asked about other people's SSA deposits posting.They post SSI deposits every month 4 to 5 days early like clock work why is SSI recipients treated better then SSA recipients we both pay a fee.
May 01, 2017
I'm officially done with netspend they have robbed me multiple times. Stole halfofmy tax money then had a nerve to tell me that I need to send my personal info after I sent all of these things they told me that my info wasn't correct andkept my 2989 dollars. Then my best friend put 70 on another card for my son an they blocked the card asking for 3 pack numbers after Icalled and explained that there weren't any other pack numbers they said I'd get a call from someone never did.
May 03, 2017
Tracy Scroggins
May 04, 2017
I have computer data print outs,with 4 years of fraudulent netspend transactions ..Stealing my money and loading netspend prepaid cards..Transferring monies from my checking accounts.i have proof in black and white
May 25, 2017
How do I. Because a class member of this lawsuit
batch posting!!!
May 26, 2017
how is it right they receive ssd benefits and split them up?? that practice alone is shadey!!!!!
Tiffani C. Martin
May 30, 2017
I'm just waiting for the lawsuit to get started so that I can join. The way they took advantage me & others is just down right shameful
Lisa guidry
June 01, 2017
It is not a good card at all
Sharlotte E Ta…
June 15, 2017
I bought a prepaid netspend card loaded it with 40.00 and when I tried activating it was told that I had NUMEROUS cards and one had I overdrawn balance of 200.00 how in the he'll that is true I don't know because it's a PREPAID CARD. anyway I couldn't use that card and they closed my accounts without explaining to me why? I would love to sue tbem.
Stephanie Dennison
April 14, 2018

In reply to by Sharlotte E Ta…

I just had the same thing happen. I had elite account for 5 yrs now annd they even closed it. Said I owed ..its prepaid! sorry steph u can no longer have acct but cant explain where 100.64 came from?
June 16, 2017
I made a mistake buying 1 of these cards and now Im out money with no way to access it.. FRAUD!!!!!!
Shela Yates
July 13, 2017
Beware of PayPal prepaid MasterCard! This is the second occurrence for this problem, and the fourth day no one from the company has reached out to me. I called them regarding not being able to transfer my funds from my PayPal account to my PayPal prepaid MasterCard account. They blew me off. And I haven't been able to call them again because since I can't get my money my phone service is disconnected. I've sent them emails, this is the fourth day and its like I'm being ignored. Their customer service is beyond horrible, and it's dreadful to contact them! BEWARE, BEWARE BE AWARE!!!! I am filing complaints against their shoddy practices and warning whomever will take heed.
Christy Banton
July 16, 2017
Its just like Ms Everson said and I had numerous cards and my daughter also had one and they would place the card in your name and place a unidentified pass code onto the account then when you couldn't identify they would tell you to call back when you figure it out, or open another account and you didn't know these codes so your just lost your money. I probably lost about 400.00 and my daughter 200.00. such scams
Ronny Walker
September 02, 2017
When my mom died and rent was due they tied up my money for three weeks and I could not pay my rent and got charged of 200 and this was one thing out of many 00
Tina Brown
September 19, 2017
I was issued a refund of over $500 for a returned purchase and netspend said it was fraudulent and closed my account when it wasn't. I even contacted BBB and filed a claim
rick m
September 20, 2017
i just paid for one. i did not activate it when i found out about this institution on the net. the store i bought it from, refused to refund it after 20 minutes passed from purchase time.he said he'd call about it.there is no-one to talk to. only to activate it. ONLY then can you talk to some-one; after you give invaluable info first. too late for ANY refund then. so he flat out lied about talking to some one. he was the manager too; so he must be in on it. the cashier was laughing the whole time while i paid for it. their corporate rep blew me off too! thanks for the head up on paypal. i was considering them too!
Sherron Thompson
September 20, 2017
I was with netspend I believe back in 2010 up to about 2016. I had direct deposit of two checks from the government in which was 1st & 3rd. They blocked my card saying that I owed money dating back to 2010. How is that possible when I have direct deposit. They will not allow me get another card from them or brink. And the mistake was on their behalf. Anytime there was an overdraft they would take their money out but why come I wasn't notified of the problem. I didn't find out until 2016 but I was still using the card. Why come they didn't catch the problem than for amount of 86.00 dollars. There's a serious problem with this company. I am blocked.
Michael Schausten
September 29, 2017
The Netspend card is a joke they send you cards without requesting them then you put money on the card and cannot access the money after you have put it on they promote you buying from specific websites I will no longer use the cards

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