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Steven Streit Green Dot – BUYER BEWARE

Posted in A Day in the Life | No Comments »

Steven Streit Green Dot Corp CEO

Steven Streit Green Dot Corporation’s CEO is founder and chief executive of Monrovia-based Green Dot Corp., the nation’s largest provider of prepaid debit cards. Customers, mostly people without bank accounts, buy the cards at retail outlets, load them with cash or direct-deposit paychecks and use them like bank-issued plastic. They are branded under the Green Dot name and also branded for Wal-Mart Stores.[1]

My intention with this blog post is to use my search engine optimization (SEO) skills to shed light on a company that takes advantage of “credit-challenged adults” with a poor customer service policy, and a lack of transparency. As I have no assured way of reaching Steven W Streit or Green Dot Corporation to get satisfaction, I will seek instead to provide a “buyer beware” message for anyone wondering if using a Green Dot prepaid debit card is in their best interest.

At this moment I have no access to over $2,200.00 that is in my Green Dot account, and have no confidence that I will see it again, so I will seek at least that much in personal satisfaction by painstakingly researching and compiling information for others to use for their benefit. You can also check out my green dot prepaid debit card review

They say that hell hath no fury like a scorned woman, so don’t be surprised that I’m going in.


Steven Streit Green Dot Corp – Why Am I Bothering?

Why is Steven Streit, Green Dot Corp CEO, receiving my online ire? For one thing, I understand that people use the internet to make purchasing decisions. In fact 70% of Americans say that they look at product reviews before making a purchase. [2] Another thing is that Steven Streit is now the head of a billion dollar corporation. So even though he founded Green Dot Corp, he is still accountable to investors and shareholders. While researching this post, I learned that he actually survived an effort of being ousted from his own company in 2016 when activist Harvest Capital Strategies (their largest shareholder) mounted a director-election proxy campaign to remove Streit and install a new Board of Directors. [5]

“In our view,” the letter from Harvest Capital explained, “Mr. Streit must be immediately replaced due to his (i) persistently poor performance, (ii) misleading and inconsistent investor communications and (iii) inability to deliver on promises to shareholders. Under Mr. Streit’s leadership, Green Dot has failed to achieve its financial forecasts in three of the last four years, while its stakeholders have suffered double-digit percentage declines in four of the last five years. Accountability is paramount, and we believe shareholder value will remain depressed until Mr. Streit is replaced.”

Harvest then doubled down on its attack with another letter to Green Dot in March, saying, “We are deeply concerned by the Board’s apparent refusal, or inability, to hold Mr. Streit accountable for his significant shortcomings, as well as the Board’s failure to address the Company’s severe underperformance. It is therefore unsurprising”, the letter continued, “that stakeholders would have minimal confidence in Mr. Streit’s ability to begin delivering consistently on long-term promises.”


Steven Streit Green Dot – Oh, No He Didn’t!

While the investors and stakeholders have a right to be disappointed, Green Dot CUSTOMERS with their paycheck to paycheck existence being involved, have a right to know the deal before they invest their hard-earned money.

I should also mention that right before this takeover attempt occurred in 2016, there was an issue with thousands of Green Dot customers. Green Dot suffered a major embarrassment when reports swept across the media that Green Dot’s prepaid cards sold to Walmart customers weren’t working and users could not access their money.[5]

At the time, Steve Streit Green Dot CEO said all cards were “working normally” and that the only problem was that some customers were unable to check account balances. HOWEVER, Customers, including many holders of Walmart-branded debit cards issued by Green Dot, took to social media last week to complain that they were unable to pay bills, make purchases or withdraw cash from ATMs.[6] In other words Steven Streit Green Dot CEO was not telling the full truth.

In the end, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), an internationally regarded financial proxy firm, decided to protect Steve Streit. They announced, “Replacing three of the Board’s 10 directors – including Green Dot’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – with Harvest’s nominees introduces material and unnecessary risk that could derail Green Dot’s strategy for long-term value creation,” the statement continued. “It is the wrong move at the wrong time and puts the future at risk for stockholders.” [6]

To anyone researching Green Dot cards in 2018, I’m here to tell you that nothing has improved in regards to the treatment of the customers, so the folks at ISS can suck eggs as well.


Steven Streit Green Dot Corp – Karma is a Bitch

For another thing, Steve Streit, Green Dot Corp’s CEO, may not always survive a takeover attack. There are always newly minted financial analysts working in wee hours of the night (God bless them) when their Managing Directors want them to research a company for a possible valuation, merger or acquisition. This blog post can lay happily dormant until an ambitious financial analyst or associate looking for interesting background nuggets can come across it, and gain some brownie points with his or her boss. I would be happy to be a link in that chain to help that hardworking financial analyst perhaps get a promotion. I don’t even mind doing the research for footnotes. Researching sources may be a pain in my ass, but so is not having access to my money, so I imagine the days that this blog post is discovered with glee.

Furthermore, Steve W Streit may one day need another job. When that happens, there may be research done on the internet for examples of his integrity, or lack thereof, and my blog post can be a voice for the cash-strapped and credit-challenged adults who don’t have the means or know-how to be heard.

Steve W Streit – You may even google yourself one day, and find this article. That would be one of my favorite outcomes, as you will get to hear from me yourself.


Steven Streit Green Dot Corp – Your Zero Moment of Truth

Google researchers discovered that the internet has changed how we decide to buy, and the online decision making moment is referred to as the Zero Moment of Truth, or ZMOT. The ZMOT refers to the moment in the buying process when a consumer researches a product prior to purchase. [2] Steve Streit, this is YOUR Zero Moment of Truth.

You might be someone unable to start a regular bank account, for whatever reason, and you may be seeking a solution so you can have a safe place to store your money, and pay your bills. I know that when I was looking for a prepaid card (before the 2016 takeover attempt), I found positive reviews, and I made my decision. You may now be in the midst of doing research on Green Dot prepaid cards, to see if it is for you, so I hope that you take this blog post to heart. Am I a disgruntled, frustrated consumer? Most definitely, and I intend to give you some insight from my experience BEFORE you come to a decision to purchase and use a Green Dot card.

Steven Streit Green Dot Beginnings

According to an LA Times article, Streit, a former disc jockey and radio programming executive nearly exhausted his savings from his radio career getting Green Dot started. He thought teenagers would use his cards for online purchases. But when drugstore chain Rite Aid became the first big retailer to sell the cards, credit-challenged adults proved to be the main buyers.[1]

Green Dot customers pay on average $6.50 a month in total fees, Streit says. “That is fractional for what the average customer pays for checking at the bank, where one bounced check or overdraft costs you far more — $35 a lot of the time. I know many people use big banks and never pay a fee. But my average customer is a single mom with a couple of kids, trying to make ends meet. People like that are never going to have that $1,500 [minimum balance] just hanging out there at all times to avoid the monthly charge at the bank.[1]

My experience of the Green Dot prepaid debit card is that things were great – until they weren’t. And then it was REALLY bad. You might be willing to take your chances, but guess what? According to a recent report from CareerBuilder, 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. That means that if you use this card, and there is EVER a problem accessing your funds, there will be a swift collapse of your financial life that will cripple your ability to pay your bills.

Steven Streit – Green Dot CEO, Sleep Well Tonight…

In addition to the above statistic, Credit bureau Experian estimates that at least 30% of Americans have poor, bad, or no credit.[4] What that really means is that there are a lot of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, and to pay their bills, much less have the ability to buy a car or a house. What that means to companies like Green Dot Corporation, there is a lot of money to be made by targeting people who have few options to have a bank account to keep their money safe. In other words their “target market” is people who are unable to hold them accountable when the crap hits the fan.

There are a lot of Americans having financial issues – and Green Dot Corp is able to take advantage of that, and make billions of dollars off of their backs. A study by Master Card and Boston Consulting Group indicates that domestic prepaid card load value will reach $421 billion by 2017. [5] The least that I can do is push back with this blog post, and provide reasons why this market DESERVES better customer service, and transparency for when things go wrong. Because eventually they will.

If a pre-paid debit card company such as Green Dot actually cared about its customers – and not just the investors – an effort would be made to provide better customer service, as well as access to their personal funds. They could seek to provide better solutions for the customers who they understand and acknowledge have limited financial resources.

But they don’t. Steven W. Streit, I am calling you out, because you deserve it. Shame on you.

Steven Streit Green Dot Corp Footnotes

1. How I Made It: Steven W. Streit, founder and CEO of Green Dot Corp.
2. Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)
3. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck
4. How Many Americans Have Bad Credit?
5. Drama at Pasadena-based Green Dot, with Billions in the Balance
6. Green Dot apologizes for card outage as CEO survives a bid to oust him

green dot prepaid debit card review

Posted in A Day in the Life | No Comments »

green dot prepaid debit card review

Ready for a Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review?

Here’s my unabashed green dot prepaid debit card review. I have nothing left to lose, so here it is.

First, having a green dot prepaid debit card is not a bad thing, when things are going well. I’ve had my card for at least a year now, and it has been convenient to reload my card.

BUT, my card was recently hacked for unauthorized charges, including some for NYC taxis which require a physical card, so I don’t know how that happened when the card is still in my possession. So I had to put a hold on my card, and wait for a replacement. It’s been over 10 days, and the card still hasn’t arrived. Not to mention that all of my bills, including rent, are now past due.

I am grateful that the charges were reversed, and credited back to my account, BUT NOW I HAVE NO ACCESS TO THEM.

I’ve requested a new replacement card, and I expected to have to wait another 10 business days. However, this time the specialist mentioned that I can get it expedited for $15.00. How come that solution wasn’t offered the first time???

So I’m stuck for close to another week, while some of my services are being cut off in the meantime. Just great!

The Customer Service specialists are quite courteous, but they can offer no solutions that help.

green dot prepaid debit card review

My Green Dot Prepaid Debit Card Review

If you are looking for a green dot prepaid debit card review that will help you make a decision, please listen to mine. When things are good, you’ll have an online bank account for your cash. BUT if you have any kind of problem in which your money is locked up with them, you are screwed.

I’m a digital marketing specialist, and I prefer to use my SEO powers for good, but while I am stuck in this situation, the best way that I can hope to get some satisfaction is to tell others BUYER BEWARE!