PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Joseph Cowden is a 65-year-old U.S Air Force veteran who has his Social Security checks direct deposited onto a debit card called Netspend. Cowden says he likes Netspend because, unlike some banks, Netspend has perks like free overdraft protection.
"Every now and then, being on a fixed income, you can run low on cash, and they have been good about it," Cowden told 3 On Your Side.
But Cowden says he's having a big problem with Netspend because they're holding almost $1,200 hostage. It's money he needs to access but can't. Here's the problem. Cowden and his dog Lucy recently left his apartment and took a quick trip to Food City, where he tried to make a purchase. But while in line, he noticed he had misplaced his Netspend card. So, he contacted Netspend and reported his card was lost.
"So, I called up, and we started going through 64 questions. I've never been grilled like this before by them ever," he said. Cowden says he answered numerous security questions correctly. But the final security question he says, he just couldn't answer. "And then they asked me my favorite pet's name. I've only had two pets. Lucy and Merlin."
But Lucy or Merlin apparently were not the correct answers. As a result, Netspend has locked Cowden out of his account for the past two months, leaving him in a bind.
"How aggravating has this been?" 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper asked. "Well, I've used some pretty colorful language with them," he replied.
So, 3 On Your Side got involved, and I asked Netspend to look into the issue. Once they figured out that Cowden is the legitimate account holder, they overnighted him another Netspend card, meaning he can now access his $1,100. Cowden says he's been trying for two months, but it took 3 On Your Side to get it done.
"Gary Harper, you're great, man!" Cowden said. "I have bills to pay, and now I can."
Netspend was great to work with, and I appreciate their speedy resolution. Netspend sent 3 On Your Side the statement below:
"Our customer service team has been in contact with our cardholder about this inquiry and reached a resolution. Protecting the integrity of our customers' accounts and providing them with access to their funds is our top priority. Whenever a customer reports that a card is lost or stolen, they may be required to provide proof of identity through standard forms of documentation or verify personal information to receive a new card or regain access to their account. We encourage all of our customers to report any suspicious activity or difficulty accessing their funds to our customer service department. We will do everything we can to assist them in accessing their funds as quickly as possible."