There’s a certain level of absurdest humor to the following story, and I’m posting it publicly in case anyone else is in the same boat. Also, I’m fairly certain I’m going to eventually need to use this post as evidence at some point that I really do want to pay Google the money I owe them.
I’ve documented my shutdown with Google Wallet here on the blog before. I had a great run with them, using their service to send my wife money to pay her bills. I’m not bitter, and I don’t dispute that the shutdown wasn’t warranted. The timeline of my use of the service is loosely:
August: Courtship phase; Google Wallet woos me.
September-October: Honeymoon; I found my love and it is Google Wallet
November: The first signs of trouble–Failure to complete (transactions).
Mid November: A trial separation. Google Wallet keeps $500 of my money as we sort out the details of our breakup
December-January: Give me my money back.
February: It gets nasty. I’m ready to go CFPB on them. All the threats seem to work, and my $500 is returned to me.
That should be the end of the story. Divorce is never easy, and Google Wallet had made this one painful, but ultimately agreeable.
Or so I thought…
Google Wallet Wants Pay-Back
I immediately thought there had to be a mistake. How could I owe Google Wallet money? We settled all our differences when they paid me.
I fired back a reply asking what in the world they were talking about. It took me a few days to unravel what really happened. Eventually I was told that three different transactions were refunded by three different Google Wallet Reps. Two of the three transactions had already been deposited into my wife’s checking account. Apparently in trying to clear my $500 credit I was refunded $500 x 3, pushing my account to -$1,000.
Fortunately I kept every card used with Google Wallet, and found the cards in question. I verified that they were, indeed, refunded erroneously.
As you can see in the above email, the Google Wallet collections team suggested I log into my Wallet account, add money to the account, and close out the balance. Sounds simple, and it would be–had my account not been shut down.
Logging into my account and trying to add money only results in a warning:
“Your Wallet account has been suspended. Please contact Support to Verify your account.”
Contacting Support I’m told I need to verify my account to before I can add money to it. Verification documents are uploaded, and a response is received:
At which point I would then reply to the original request from Google to clear my negative balance saying that I cannot do so. The reply? You guessed it: Log in and add money to my wallet account.
Around and around we go, doing the dance of $1,000 dollars:
Not an Isolated Incident
I’ve heard from other readers that this is happening to them as well. The support staff at Google Wallet are tripping over themselves to refund money, and causing closed accounts to go into the negative. I continue to stress that emailing one single support person with Google wallet is the best way to get a quick resolution to your shutdown and refund requests. Keeping all cards and documents is a MUST.
I’ll update with the final resolution, but if anyone at Google wants their $1,000 back, and is reading this; let’s talk! I’m willing to pay in Money Order, Amex Gift Card, or any other agreeable instrument you might want.
Oh, and I’d love if this little $1,000 issue is enough for us to get back together Google Wallet. If you’d only reopen my account I would fall in love with you all over again…
– Written by Sam Simon. All ideas are my own, but I encourage you to see my point of view and I promise I’ll try to do the same. Connect with me on Twitter @Milenomics.