Ok, so I've had fun experimenting with the O2 Prepaid Card offering provided by O2/Natwest.
I noticed that Orange/Barclays were launching a new Prepaid Card with PayPass - excellent I thought - this must equal the strives and developments made by O2 - it must surpass them.
Unfortunately I was wrong.
Buried in the terms and conditions for the Orange Cash Card (provided by Barclays - powered by Prepaid Solutions - a JV between Edenred and MasterCard Worldwide) - you will notice an array of interesting items - including a 20p charge to change your PIN
(which, incidentally, is a service provided for free on the O2 Prepaid Service). In the literature provided with the Card they make a painful reminder to change your PIN - yet omit to remind the cardholder they will be charged for the privilege.
The main reason I obtained an Orange Cash card was to test the service, play around with the Contactless feature (yes OK I don't get out much). So I opened the Card - obtained the PIN over the phone, activated the Card, registered for an online account.
I loaded an initial amount on the Card - intending to test it at a coffee shop tomorrow. Imagine my surprise as my Current Account was Debited instantaneously but my Orange Prepaid Account balance remained at zero.
It must be a slight error I assumed. So I gave it twenty minutes and logged back in to the Online Account Services. Nope, Account Balance still zero.
I phone the automated Customer Service (which incidentally asks for your full PAN and PIN number - tres secure!). Nope, Account Balance still zero.
I read through the paperwork and obtained the real customer service number (a 0906 premium rate number) - and bit the bullet and called for 3 minutes - to find that it "apparently" takes Barclays/Orange 48 hours to apply the funds to the account. This is
very interesting - perhaps they should contact O2 to find out how they magically apply the funds straight away. In my mind, there can only be one reason for a 48 hour delay, and it is probably the same reason a Cheque takes 3 days to clear...
In my mind this is totally unacceptable - well enjoy the initial load Orange/Barclays - because once it's run out I certainly will not be repeating the experience!