Unemployed Americans seeking to access their state benefits have had a difficult time with the EPPICard debit card system within the past. The ATM card-style distribution system was intended to make it easy for the unemployed to access their benefits money. Unfortunately, numerous media reports have indicated the program failed to go off without a hitch. Case in point: one Fayetteville Observer reader using EPPICard found that hidden fees were waiting within the wings.
Resource for this article: EPPICard – Less phishing, more administrative fees by Personal Money Store
EPPICard separates the unemployed from their money, thanks to fees
We already know that unscrupulous 3rd parties have, in the recent past, exploited holes in the EPPICard debit card system to create a phishing scam to dupe uninformed consumers into revealing sensitive personal data for the purposes of identity theft. EPPICard officials have claimed phishing is a thing of the past, but not all welfare recipients agree. It’s all good unless you mistype your EPPICard PIN or have to go for quick payday advances multiple times. One Fayetteville Observer reader reported that making more than two EPPICard cash payday withdrawals per month from his bank of choice (Wachovia) produced an “excess use” fee of $ 1.50. Entering an incorrect PIN generates an “ATM denial” fee of 50 cents. EPPICard makes such potential fees apparent up front, but that certainly doesn’t make them right.
Charging the unemployed for state benefits
Quick payday advances can come without fees, said Larry Parker of the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina to the Observer. What he failed to mention is why consumers should be subjected to fees in the first place. How is it that state governments failed to negotiate the consumer exploitation elements out of their contracts with big banks?
And EPPICard phone calls will cost you, too
Consumers with question can’t escape fees if they call EPPICard via telephone, either. That’s the kind of service welfare consumers in 19 states are presently receiving, to horrible reviews. As Personal Money Store has suggested before, possibly a return to paper checks and direct deposit is indeed the way to go.
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