H&R Block

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Worst Customer Service Ever
Posted by on
BARRE, VERMONT -- I spoke with the company on the phone to make an appointment. The only appointments that had available were Sunday, when I try not to transact any business, and a week from Monday in the middle of the afternoon. My wife and I both needed to be there, so we rescheduled our time, and waited the week and a half that was required. I get it, it's tax season. The day of the appointment, I had to leave a meeting with my boss, his boss, and the VP of our organization to be there on time. My wife and I met there, we were 10 minutes early. We try to be early, to be respectful of the people we're meeting with.

Our appointment was for 3:00. At 3:15, after we'd been waiting 25 minutes, I asked the ladies working the desk what the expected delay was. It *is* tax season, and I get it. A short delay is fine, but we already had to wait a week and a half for this appointment, and we had other appointments for work that we had to keep too. They told me that there wasn't an expected delay, and seemed surprised that Kevin, the guy who had been preparing our taxes for the past 3 years was taking so long with his 2:00 o'clock appointment.

At 3:40, Kevin finally comes out and calls us. He passed off being 40 minutes late with an insincere sounding "Nice to meet you, sorry for the delay". He didn't recognize us at all. OK, he might recognize us once he looks at our past returns. I tell him, "You know, this is kind of a pet peeve of mine. My wife and I are both professionals, and we try to respect other people's time, and we expect the same from the people we do business with." He responds with "Would you like to speak with my boss?" I ask, "Do you think that's really necessary?" Apparently he feels it is. He goes and gets her. We spend another 5 minutes or so, of the 20 we have left in the hour waiting for "Penny" the owner to appear. She comes out eventually, and instead of being professional and explaining the situation calmly and rationally, she asks; "Do you want your taxes filed here today? Because, Kevin isn't going to work with you." I say "All I said to him was that my wife and I are both professionals and we expect the same from the people we do business with." She begins to bark at me about how they're doing the best they can, and Kevin works 12 hours a day, and put in over 100 hours last week. I say, "so did I." Because it's true, that's my day-to-day routine sometimes. This only makes her more furious, and she asks again if we want our return done there, because it's really not that important to her. At this point I say, "No, I think we're done here." and "Thanks for wasting an hour of our day". The capper comes when this woman who has been yelling and barking at us (we're the customer in this scenario, which apparently she had forgotten) says "Well, *YOU* need to learn to treat people with respect".

Apparently, treating people with respect means being 40 minutes late for your appointment, and then barking at people and telling *them* how rude *they* are. In any event, if you need your taxes done in Barre, Vermont, please remember that the H&R block location there is understaffed, and overworked, and in the interests of not having them work 12 hour days, please be respectful of their time, and take your taxes someplace else. Your business just isn't that important to them.

     
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Ytropious on 02/07/2011:
He did apologize, he said "sorry for the delay", what more do you want him to say? His appointment obviously ran over, which I highly doubt was any fault of his own. You can blame his other customers for taking so long with him. As it is, you didn't have to belittle him for that. As a "professional" I'm sure you understand that things come up, and clients aren't always as prepared as you. Making him feel bad about that is NOT the way to start off your appointment. It does sort of make you look a little rude.

So he didn't recognize you, he prepares taxes for a lot of folks I suppose. It takes me a long time to remember people spontaneously. The thing is, I hate to say it, but I would never schedule an appointment when there's a chance it's not going to be on time and the rest of my day is going to be off.
momsey on 02/07/2011:
Yes, it's frustrating when appointment times are not strictly adhered to. But it surely wasn't Kevin's fault. Implying that he's not professional is not a way to get off to a good start, and I can see why he decided not to work with you.
Anonymous on 02/07/2011:
When someone starts out by insulting the employees, I don't know how you can expect to be served. It sounds like Kevin acted in a professional manner by referring the insulting customer to the owner.

They sound like they were swamped and didn't need your business or insults. Your best bet may be to buy TurboTax.
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H&R Block's Emerald Card is a ripoff!!!
Posted by on
If you go to H&R Block to do your taxes, know this:

1) Most people will get turned down for a Refund Anticipation Loan(RAL), but that's just fine for H&R Block, because the refund will automatically default into a regular 8-15 day refund. Be careful, because the H&R tax representative might not tell you this. In my case, the tax rep called me the following day to say that the bank had declined my request for a RAL. (The reason was because I owed the IRS a late fee from the 2009 year.)

Since I didn't want to pay all this money ($169.64) for the regular 8-15 day refund, I told the tax rep to cancel my refund. That's when he horrified me by saying that it already had gone through. You see, when a RAL gets declined, it just means you don't have to pay the 6.95 RAL fee. Everything else stays the same, which means I've now paid $169.64 and STILL have to wait 8-15 days to get my refund. (When I was in the office the day before, he'd told me that I would have 5 days to cancel the RAL transaction, which was why I didn't sweat it. But when I tried to cancel, he told me that the 5-day rule only applies to the RAL itself, not the regular 8-10 day refund.) In other words, I was taken. Scammed.

2) When it turned into a regular refund, I was now stuck paying all this money for something that I could have done for FREE through state tax prep assistance or efiling! So my advice is to just go to turbotax.com, which is easy, faster, and best of all, cheaper (about $30) than H&R Blockhead. (Remember, unless you are getting a RAL, you won't get your taxes any sooner by going to H&R Block. The IRS doesn't care who prepared your taxes or how much you paid to have them done!)

3) Rather than direct deposit, the H&R Block tax rep offered me an Emerald Card, which was just another way for them to bleed me to death. This card was a freaking headache! Of course I asked for direct deposit, but he (the H&R tax rep) said this was how they disburse the refunds. What he didn't tell me was that H&R will charge you about $1.95 for each time you use it at an ATM, plus you will still have to pay the bank's ATM fee (and it doesn't matter if you use your own bank's ATM because you aren't using that bank's card.) Chase charged me three dollars, so I paid a total of $4.95 to withdraw the refund from the Emerald Card via ATM.

4) The contract states: "You will receive only one H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard and the Card will be in the name of the Primary taxpayer designated above." My name was clearly typed above this statement, yet the Emerald Cards all have "H&R Client" typed on them. They are all pre-stamped this way. My bank wouldn't touch it. Since I couldn't take the refund out of the card through the teller window, I had to go to the ATM, and pay the fees (see #3).

5) So, here's the sad rundown:

Original refund amount: $624

H&R Block fees: $133
Bank fees: $36.64
IRS late fee: $151.36
ATM fees: $3 (Chase) $1.95 (H&R Block)
Total deductions: $325.95

What I took home: $298.05

Yes, I was foolish for agreeing to pay so much for a RAL in the first place, but I was in a situation where getting that money in 1-2 days would have prevented a lot of other problems for me. But it only made me sink deeper into debt. I just want others to learn from this horrible experience. Thanks for reading!

     
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raven2010 on 04/02/2010:
This is actually good advise, IMHO. I don't care for the ways so many tax preparation agencies attempt to separate folks from a percentage of their refund.

We should all do it the old fashioned way: file and WAIT> No fees that way.
Anonymous on 04/02/2010:
And, unless you get it personalized, the card does not have your name on it. So, if you lost it and someone found it... they could take it to any bank and get the money off of it. Maybe not all of it because only the card holder knows the pin (or should know the pin unless they wrote it on the card somewhere) when they call the number on the back to find out how much money is on there.
Yes, those cards are bad news.
Anonymous on 04/02/2010:
H&R Block WILL give you direct deposit. I have used them for years and never had a problem. I had a problem with the IRS a few years ago and HRB stepped in and solved the problem. Since I have been using them, my refund has always been through direct deposit.
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Tax Preparer made a mistake on my 2010 Tax Returns
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CALIFORNIA -- Tax preparer at the Fremont office on Mowry ave made a mistake on my 2010 federal and state tax returns she filed me as married and filing joint and I am single. She had put Robert Jones on my tax returns. I received some forms and a letter from the IRS on December 19th 2011 stating (why are you getting this notice?) and you must return the response form by January 18th 2012. This notice stated that I owed the IRS 801.00 for not reporting this extra income on my taxes for the year 2010. I then had to fill out the response form which read check only one of three options. than go to step B check the applicable payment options. So I picked option 3 I like to request a payment plan to pay the tax I owed and fill out the installment agreement request and enter the amount you can pay each month and mail it back before January 19th 2012. I made an appt with the person who did my taxes in 2010, I then informed her that she made a mistake on my 2010 tax returns and told her I now owe the IRS 801.OO. I than gave her all the letters that I've been receiving from the IRS she liked them over than she said to me all we have to do is file a amendment which I did and after she was done she said to me now you owe to federal is 1,467.00 and to state 130.00 I told her I owe them nothing your the one who made the mistake I should not have to owe the IRS any money. Going back to the amendment she had typed in that the taxpayer made a mistake and filed married and joint and wants to change to single. I told her that is a lie I made an appt with you today to let you know about the mistake she made than she deleted that and typed in that the tax preparer made a mistake filed married and filing joint. than she looked at me and said is that better in a very mean tone. She did not want to type that she had made the mistake. And than for her to (TYPE) lie and blame me for her mistake is unacceptable. I need to know how H & R BLOCK is going to resolve this matter of paying the IRS. Please get back to me asap.
     
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trmn8r on 04/15/2012:
You are responsible when the preparer makes a mistake, otherwise I don't think any preparers would be in business. They would have to have insurance that covered the losses, and then the insurance company would go out of business.

You owe the taxes, since you had the income. What you risk losing is any penalties.
raven2010 on 04/15/2012:
The tax preparer CAN be held liable for any penalty and interest you owe due to their mistake. You would be responsible for any tax due.

That said, you have to prove the preparers mistake was reckless or knowingly made the error. Most of this stuff comes down to simple human error.

Even if you give a tax preparer a POA to sign for you, always, always, always review the return carefully before it is submitted.
trmn8r on 04/15/2012:
I do my own taxes, so I don't know how it works. I would assume that as raven said the taxpayer would review it, and be able to catch an error like "married/joint return" when it should be "single".
Nohandle on 04/15/2012:
TRM is correct. I sign a form each year with my CPA verifying I have reviewed my returns and they are accurate. I am also given a form from the CPA with the now standard disclosure that the returns are based on the information provided them. The firm I use is very competent and quite frankly I think they all require this now.

What I think here is total incompetence. Do they have no one to verify the numbers punched in? Or the filing status? I personally could complete almost anyone's tax returns but since I don’t do my own, why would I attempt to do someone elses? We receive a number of complaints about H&R Block. Some will state they are cheap. No they are not. And I would not trust them to represent me if my return was audited.

Thanks for the reminder.
madconsumer on 04/15/2012:
this does not surprise me. I knew a guy who worked for H&R Block, and he would make up deductions for clients. he also stated they would find every reason to NOT defend their clients in front of the irs.

hopefully you are able to get this corrected.

very helpful review.
oldisgood on 04/15/2012:
I used a tax preparer one year and was audited and had to pay more. Now I use Turbo Tax and have absolutely no problems and I have not received any letters from the IRS. Turbo Tax is great. I have dividends, interest and have sold stock and mutual funds. It walks you right through. This year I Have Merrill Lynch as my broker and by just choosing the Merrill Lynch option all my financial info was put into TT and in the right places. I had nothing to do except check it over, which, of course I did. I did not trust that it was accurate, but it was. And the best part is that TT only costs less than $60 which is a lot cheaper than HR Block for Jackson-Hewitt.
trmn8r on 04/15/2012:
That's funny, oldisgood. My mom's accountant royally messed up one year, and she asked herself "why am I paying an incompetent boob?" I helped mom through an IRS meeting to dipute *their* version of corrections needed, and ultimately took over my mom's taxes. The accountant had made some really stupid mistakes. It depends how complicated your individual situation is, as to whether you need a really good accountant to find creative ways to avoid taxes.
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Handling of Income Tax PreparationPerson
Posted by on
IOWA FALLS, IOWA -- On February 8, 2010 at 9:00 A.M. we had an appointment with H&R Block office in Iowa Falls, Iowa. On Saturday we took our income tax papers that we had prepared to their office and left them with the receptionist stating that we had heard a big blizzard was approaching our area and at our ages 90 and 80 years of old we would not tackle the highway conditions on Monday should a blizzard occur. That did happen. We had an appointment with Cynthia McDonald, Chief #14159662583643, who has previously handled our account the past four years. Now, I have been an avid customer of H&R Block for over twenty years, starting in Bentonville, AR. but never have I received the handling of my income tax this year in this fashion. We assumed she would use our time slot to compute our tax, everything was in exact order as she had received in prior years. On Feb. 16th I suffered a massive heart attack and was hospitalized for eight days. My wife, Mary, called over to H&R Block in Iowa Falls, Iowa to see if the tax papers had been completed, they HAD NOT. Finally, on Feb. 24, 2010, Cynthia called our home at 4:30 P.M. to inform us that the taxes were completed, our fee was $275.00 and they were to be filed electronically so that we could receive our refund in short fashion. We went to the office on February 25,2010 at 11:30 a. m., my wife, Mary, brought the prepared tax report to the car so that I could the instrument, returned the papers to the person in charged named, Linda, where my wife signed them, she stated the charge, $275.00 and they would be filed electrically and we would have our refund by the 10th March. My wife, Mary, checked with the Ackley State Bank, here in Ackley, Iowa twice during this month of March and no refund. Finally, on March 25th, 2010 at 3:30 P.M. Mary called H&R Block to see if they had filed the tax report, after about ten minutes delay they had checked and the return was still "hanging" on some hook and had not been sent in electrically. The question was asked how could this happen and they reported hesitantly, "Well, it was our mistake not to look". Well, great here I am 90 years old, had a massive heart attack with only 20% functioning, wanting to get my personal matters taken care of and in order and a MISTAKE like this happens in one of your "so-called" functioning offices. We demand to have our money given back to us and to report this so called "slip up" in your office in Iowa Falls, Iowa. As I stated before, I have been a customer with H&R Block for over twenty years, almost thirty years now and never have I had this kind of treatment and happenstance. Linton Rudolph Lehrer and wife Mary Elizabeth Lehrer, 1214 3rd Avenue, Ackley, Iowa 50601 Telephone Number 641-8547-2056.
     
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Anonymous on 03/28/2010:
You probably do not want that much personal info to be posted here (home address and telephone no).
warddw1526 on 03/29/2010:
Unfournately, mistakes happen in business every day, just as in life. However, getting your fee back (or at least part of the fee because they did complete the work), is more than reasonable in my eyes.
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To whom it may or may not concern
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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- On February 20, 2009 my fiancé, Lucas, and I entered your location at O’Connor Road and Nacogdoches Road in San Antonio, Texas to see what your establishment could find for us for my 2008 tax return. We had not used your services before and were eager to determine the outcome. The gentleman at the front desk asked me a short series of questions including my name, status, etc. to which all of my answers were “No.” At the end of the questioning, much to our surprise, a second man chimed in and asked “Do you have a girl-fiend?” Aside from the fact that he was speaking out of turn I found this highly inappropriate and very rude. Apparently, this man thought that he was being hilarious, but I strongly disagree. Even if I HAD a girlfriend when he asked this it would have no relevance to my taxes and that disrespectful line should not be crossed in an allegedly professional environment. This irritated my fiancé, but we chose not to verbalize our position. I suspect this man thought that he could behave this way with me because I look much younger than I am and perhaps he did not see my fiancé and his son sitting in the waiting chairs. Regardless of how old he thinks I may be I am a 23-year-old woman and still a potential customer.
The man at the front desk called a woman perhaps by the name of “Lupita” or something similar to assist us with my taxes. She did not introduce herself to us as I told her our names, but she entered some information and we began. As she typed at her computer entering my information she did not ask us about any deductions we wanted to claim or items we wanted to list. My fiancé asked her why she hadn’t asked us about school items or business mileage and the woman replied that none of those things could be counted and so it did no matter if she entered them in the boxes and on the screen provided for those items. She said the numbers “won’t go anywhere” and ignored our requests. She assured us that she was certain nothing could be counted because they receive new and extensive training every year. This I would have believed if it had not been for the fat that she did not know how to properly fill in the information and had to summon another employee. When this second woman arrived to the desk she also did not introduce herself and they both chatted about me and my information and ignored us sitting in front of them. The second woman left the area and finally we began discussing my schooling for 2008. Something that was particularly odd was this woman asked me if I was in elementary or middle school. I told her that I was in college and an Undergraduate. She went to repeat the word but instead said “undergrown” and began chucking loudly which was more than baffling to me. Again I suspect that your staff felt that they had no need to be respectful to me because of my much-younger-looking appearance. Now this irritated ME, but I did not see how it had become MY responsibility to see that these employees maintain a professional attitude or work ethic.
In closing, the customer service was appalling and needless to say we did not employ your services. Hopefully, you will agree and find that this email should not have had to be written. I will be expecting to hear from you soon to further discuss the events.
     
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Buddy01 on 06/01/2009:
You are certainly patient. If I was in your situation, I would have walked out much sooner. There are too many choices out there to put up with that. When it came to your college, they should at least have talked about the Hope and Lifetime credit.
BokiBean on 06/01/2009:
Lighten up.
PepperElf on 06/01/2009:
personally... when the guy asked if you had a girlfriend...

you should have said "Your wife"
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Emerald Advance Card - Advance? Right!
Posted by on
DULUTH, MINNESOTA -- I applied on January 24, 2009 for my refund from my federal return by using H&R Block's TaxCut software on their website. My return was accepted the same day and I set it up to deposit my refund on to my Emerald Advance Master Card through H&R Block. I typed in the routing number and account number and it should have taken 15 days at the most to get the refund back.

The IRS said they deposited the amount on February 6th, 2009. I called H&R Block Emerald Advance Card Member Services several times and I was told twenty different stories, minding you, you have to pay $2.00 each time you TALK to customer service! The charges were wracking up without any reasonable answer given to me. One representative got an attitude with me when I asked for help, stating, "How do you know your refund was supposed to be deposited by now?" Did I mention I waited until the LAST day the refund should have been applied before calling?

I had their customer service, which sounded like it had been out sourced to India, tell me that a.) you never filed your return, b.) oh you did file your return but we're doing 'maintenance' on all of our cards so your return will be deposited in another five days or so, c.)you have to call H&R Block's main phone number (to which those customer service agents said the people I was speaking with were supposed to handle it), d.) you have to call the H&R Block TAxCut software people, e.) you have to call HSBC Bank which handles all refunds (turns out they only handle refunds where you got an ADVANCE from H&R Block which wasn't what I had done and um, I had already told the representative at Emerald Card this information, g.) call this person, call that person.

I spent FOUR hours after a full day of work calling and paying $2.00 each new call trying to get answers and find out where my refund was.

Needless to say, my refund is now going to be mailed to me because they were missing the last two digits of the account number for the deposit. Um, yeah the rest of the account number was right and they have my returned money but they just won't deposit it to my account, I have to wait another 10 business days to get a check in the mail from H&R Block. They won't even return the funds that are SITTING THERE to the IRS.

I'd suggest going to TurboTax which I had done a few years ago and never had problems with, H&R Block's stupid customer service stinks.
     
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madconsumer on 02/12/2009:
I had my refund go straight into my bank account, it was free. I had my refund in 10 days.
equinox69 on 02/14/2009:
Yeah the Emerald Card customer service SUCKS!! I don't recommend having an emerald card unless you know how it all works. As far as what you mentioned, there's no excuse for them giving the incorrect excuses they did but the fact is the problem that actually occurred was YOUR FAULT because you didn't put your own correct account number in. THAT's what caused their delay getting your money to you...why would you think otherwise. Just be careful if you ever do any kind of direct deposit form for yourself or triple check if someone else is doing it for you. A single wrong keystroke can cost!
sophia on 02/17/2012:
I have same problem in 2012. My irs refund was sent to emerald card
Brad on 02/14/2014:
It says year round line of credit. I had $490 that I borrowed. I paid back $617 before the due date when I did my income tax. I looked on my card now and my line of credit is $0.00 now. I was told when I got the advance that when I paid my loan off that I would be able to still have that line of credit. I don't. It was a one time loan. Unless maybe if I didn't take it to a zero balance it might have gave me a credit amount that I could borrow, but I doubt it. Should I waste my time calling and asking why I don't have a line of credit after I just paid it off?
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No Way To Describe All The Problems I Had In One Title
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48858, MICHIGAN -- This is long… but holy crap the problems
Crossed bank lines, defective cards, regional managers. If you want the dirt here it is.

I had gone to HR Block for the past 7 years. I normally would get my check, no rush… not a big fan of the advance or anything… I didn’t mind waiting the couple weeks.

Well in 2007, they enlisted a new policy that if you are to get a check, it is a 20 dollar fee and it may take up to two weeks to print… that’s for the advance system with the loan, not the normal standard wait!

But they told me all about this incredible Emerald card in which they would just go ahead and give me that day and I could start spending.

I said OK I’ll try it.

This is where my nightmare began.

I called the hotline the next day because the money still hadn’t deposited….
And the next day…
And the next day… By now I’m thinking I don’t much like their idea of “instant”
On the 4th day I call my representative at HR Block, she was going to call me back when she had answers. Two days pass and I call again, she had not gotten a return call yet. So I took time off of work and came into their office. What followed was 3 hours in the back room on hold with my representative waiting to talk to someone who could get the money deposited.

We eventually got through, they manually put the money on the card and that was that.

Or so I thought.

I went immediately to the ATM to swipe it. Nothing. Called back and they said to try another one. I drove go another nad tried again. Nothing.

The card they had given me was not magnetized. I assume it was never activated which is why the money had to be added manually.

So began the process of getting a working card and transferring the money.
What followed was two months of phone tag and frustration.
HR said to call the bank, the bank said to call HR.
The bank said they moved the money, HR said it did not come through.
I went in the office twice (for hours each time) and eventually ranked the attention of the district manager with all of my calls. Who then enlisted the help of the Regional manager.

As it turns out the new card had a routing number issued to it that was not affiliated with HR bank, and my money was sent somewhere completely random, I had to wait for them to retrieve the money it before I got it.
Despite how many times I repeated “I don’t care where you sent that money to. I want my money, you track down yours.”
But eventually I got it.

After 3 months of constant phone calls I got my tax return!

With my threats of the Better Business Bureau and getting a lawyer they also agreed to compensate the cost to file and all company charges that went with it.

I had also demanded the interest they accrued while the money was in the bank. Because for the time I waited that could have accrued in my bank.

You see that is the reason for the cards. They have a 300 withdrawal limit. For the money that waits for the next day, they collect interest. It is not a large amount but with all the customers they make a lot!
Needless to say they would not give me the interest. So they still got a profit out of me.

Aside from HR block, last tax season must have been doomed. When I finally got my card I immediately withdrew the max for that day. I then went to have a few cocktails at Applebees with friends to celebrate my victory.
While there, my wallet, with the card in it, was stolen from my purse!
I found my wallet in the parking lot with the HR Block card and my Zales card missing (I left the most of my cash at home and had 40 in my pocket)

I checked the account activity on the card the next day and found that starting right at midnight it had been taken to Grand Rapids, Jackson and over to Detroit over night. (From my home in central Michigan that is well over 8 hours of drive going in that circle) They had hit every liquor store in their path using the card to buy booze, cigarettes, magazines and condoms!

But I do give HR block credit for a very quick response in getting me that money back (another month btw)
     
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Anonymous on 01/15/2009:
Why are you even fooling with those people with all of the online "DIY" tax services like, TurboTax?! I wish that I would pay some schmuck with a pocket calculator to do my taxes! Good luck...
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Emerald Card Rip Off
Posted by on
RENO, NEVADA -- Do not do your taxes with HR BLOCK. I have had my taxes done for over 15 yrs and the last 3 yrs I have nothing but problems. That emerald card they can put the tax return on is fast as heel and they seem to take money off even faster. I tried to wire money off my card to someone and now I have $1500.00 in limbo. Western union decided I could not wire the money and all the funds are pending 21 days later. I'm still waiting I have spent over $26.00 trying to get this settled.

None of there customer service reps know anything I have been hung up on they have lied to me etc.... Beware of HR Block liars, cheaters, and they don't give a damn.

I'm still waiting for my money. I will never return to HR Block, I suggest the public does not either.. Maybe if we boycott them they will care about there customers.
     
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Principissa on 02/19/2008:
These tax loans are nothing but a scam. You pay more in interest than your original refund was worth. You're better off going to a CPA or if you cannot afford a CPA your local employment office may do them for free.
GothicSmurf on 02/19/2008:
Beat me to it Principissa. OP- would you pay your bank $29.95 (or more) when you want to make a WITHDRAWAL?

Here's the truth on them http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=33128
Anonymous on 02/19/2008:
I don't believe the poster was referring to a loan. The emerald card is a prepaid Mastercard. When you get taxes done at H&R Block, instead of waiting for a check, you can get your refund this way.
GothicSmurf on 02/19/2008:
It is a loan, but stated something else. Its an anticipation loan.
Anonymous on 02/19/2008:
It's my understanding and I could be wrong but the emerald card is a debit card product to allow direct deposit for those without a checking/savings account in order to avoid expensive check cashing fees.
GothicSmurf on 02/19/2008:
We're both partly right. It is a prepaid card, but anticipation loans can be put on there as well.
Suusan B. on 02/19/2008:
Everyone is right - - the Emerald Card is a pre-paid debit card that is designed for anticipation loans as well as a way to avoid check cashing fees for those without checking accounts. However, it is impossible to tell by this review what exactly happened as all they say is that Western Union won't accept it for a wire transfer and that H&R Block are liars and cheaters.
rockmom on 02/27/2008:
OMG YESSSSSS!!!! I have spen numerous hours on the telephone trying to resolve an authorization issue myself. I made a purchase at bestbuy, and due to crappy customer service in the store there, cancelled the purchase an hour later. After harassing the customer svc people at bestbuy and finding out the credited it back, I then turned my attention to the people at HR block. They then directed that I needed to gather this laundry list of items that Best Buy had to fax to them ON COMPANY LETTERHEAD, they stressed that part several times, and then within a couple of days it would be credited back. I get the bestbuy people to do this, after another hour on the phone with them and a CASE being created. I call HR block this morning and I get some clone that sounds like a computer, I actually thought she was for a second, and she then informs me I won't see my credit until March 10th!!!! That is exactly a MONTH from the day I made the purchase. A MONTH!!!! It takes 30 seconds to remove the money from the acct, but a month to put it back!!!!! And we are only talking about dropping an auth, not even making a credit. I have been a loyal customer for 16 years, but after this experience I amy have to reconsider, or at least refuse the damned card. NEVER AGAIN, I will take my check thanks....
rockmom on 02/29/2008:
And the Hand R drama continues. These people really don't know what the hell they are doing at all. I am STILL fighting to get my lousy 149.28 returned to me, and have been on the phone all day trying to do it. I have escalated it up to the Better Business Bureau.. I am done.
tigergrl1 on 05/08/2008:
If you are getting direct deposit on your Emerald Card you will have to wait for a paper check for your stimulus payment, even though you are supposed to get them quicker with direct deposit.
This just shows you how much of a rip-off this card is. I talked to a lawyer and we are informing the IRS and filing a lawsuit against
H & R Block/Emerald Card.
jinack101st on 01/22/2009:
OK, let me clear up some things here.

First, if you want to receive money fast from your refund while NOT paying loan fees, have the IRS Direct Deposit it in your account in 8 - 15 days. OR wait for the check to be mailed to you in approx. a month.

If you want your money faster than that you MUST take a LOAN to get it. If you take out a loan, ANY loan then there will be finance and interest charged. I will agree that the % of interest charged on these loans are high, but remember many of those applying for the "Rapid Refund" loans CANNOT GET LOANS anywhere! The bank (HSBC) that approves these loans takes a loss every year on loans that were not covered by the refund received from the IRS. WHY? Because of the number of people who LIE to the tax preparer OR who forgot information like child support owed, back taxes, missing w2... etc.

As for calling employees of H&R Block liers and cheaters, that is like saying ALL Irish are drunks or that ALL blacks are N*****s or that all priests are child molesters!!!! There may be a few who are bad, but the large majority are well trained, concerned people trying to HELP others. It is truly sad when all are condemed for the bad behavior of a few.

As for the last post from tigergrl1, I doubt that her lawsuit (IF real) will go very far as: 1. The IRS set the rules on the stimulus check being separate. 2. H&R Block clearly notes that in the contract YOU SIGN when it comes to the LOAN you are requesting and applying for.

So in closing IF you want your money FAST, you will have to pay a price for it. If you want it ALL back, then wait the 8-15 days for the Direct Deposit or for the mailed check.

Quit blaming others for your decisions!

Thank you.
Anonymous on 01/22/2009:
Excellent rebuttal. I frequently walk by a tax-preparers office where these loans are offered. The terms and conditions of the loans is summarized in 1" high letters on his window sign offering the service. While these short term loans are not cost-efficient, there is no way the interest on them can be more than the amount of the principle amount (the refund). Well said!
melissaf on 02/03/2009:
I have been going to HRBlock for the past 5 years and have been getting the RAL loan every year. I have had the emerald card since the first year it came out and use it all year round. The fee's on this loan is not even $100 and if your impatient like me you're willing to spend that $100 to get your taxes back faster. I have never had a problem with this card at all (and once again I use it year round for all my bills). I do agree that they take a little longer on dropping like the account authorizations and such but my old bank account took about 2 weeks as well. And the reason you couldn't get your stimulus check on the emerald card is because the IRS said if you got an RAL you would have to wait for a paper check. That's the IRS decision not HRBlock and also its good because many people throw their card away right after they have used all the money off of it. Also when you get your taxes done at the bottom page it says you can save money and wait 8-15 days for direct deposit next time. So if you hate having to give up your own money than stop getting stuff like loans and wait for it because nothing fast and quick will be for free.
Frogchile on 02/06/2009:
I was just looking Around online For Aswers and I stubbled into here. I just felt the need to respond to a few things that were said on here. We filed our taxes the first day Possible and Were told we would get it over that weekend. We understood that we were paying a Fee that was large and New that it was a BANK LOAN. The Monday After We were supposed to get our money We called and Were told that the money was just not there yet and The IRS still had it. The IRS Said they did not have it the Emerald Card did. We listened to that for another week Finally got a hold of someone that sent us to LP for the Card and They said we had not received our money Because our Indentity had not been veriftied. Even though they had our SSN and ID copies. But whatever they were going to send the money Back to the IRS which Would take up to 5 Days and then the IRS would cut us a check within 8-15. Now we are Looking At a month Since our taxes were filed with What was supposed to be 1-2day Service and The IRS has no clue where our money is because the records show that the Emerald card people have the money But They swear the Money has been sent back to the IRS almost 2 Weeks Ago. So no one Knows where the money is AND no one is willing to take credit for the screw up. I understand that the Fees and The risk was mine and I will never Do that again BUT They should be held responsible for the Run around and Not handling there Business in a timely Fasion. I understand that it is not All H&R Blocks Fault that they use outside Bank Which I will leave unnamed But that Leaves they able to Say Hey We don't know anything We are just the ones that Helped you make a decsion that Affect you Whole life and We choose to leave out parts that were not beneficial to us. That does not seem like a Company that should be allowed to stay in business without changing its ways of working.
jodayle on 02/10/2009:
I'm so aggrivated about this whole H&R Block issue and the refund, the RAL blah blah..its just awful. So yes like everyone else I'm waiting now 8-15 days for my refund after being lied to and false hopes by the BLOCK. SO now my question is..They have excepted my return(IRS) however it says there are prior obligations from somewhere that may delay my refund. We have called everywhere, treasury dept etc. and we don't owe antthing. What does this mean. I'm so confused and don't know whom to call
BokiBean on 02/10/2009:
Ouch. Prior obligations. I'd be thinking back child support or previous tax monies owed to the government. Just a guess though.
ajanew on 03/13/2012:
I have the prepaid MasterCard and wondering if I get my employer to start a direct deposit how long does this take? will it beginthat week?
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Insane Tax Preparation/Rip Off of Charges
Posted by on
DANIA, FLORIDA -- What a nightmare!!!!!! My husband had applied for HR Block's pre loan Emerald Card about three weeks ago. Was approved and minus their fees received an advance on this debit card. Fast forward to last Thursday and the nightmare of tax filing begun. First, the tax preparer couldn't get the computer to cooperate. Then onto the rest of the process..took us an hour for a simple filing. Now we come to the part of subtracting the 1st Emerald Card. Oops, computer can't do it, no one can find this card operational. We also at this time have NO clue where the $30 withholding charge was to add back onto to this original card. Now the employees, yes we had three at this point trying to figure out the whole mess..gave us another card and said when the tax return is on the new card call them and tell them to deduct the original loan from the first card. We paid the $$$ to get the 1-2 day RAL and don'tcha just figure our tax return isn't on the card to this date..now 4 days and over 20 calls to both that incompetent Block office and their tax preparers to the Emerald Green Card services and BEWARE!

ALL calls to customer service for the Emerald Card cost you $2 a call guys--$2 a call for you to figure out their mistake. We've been told "computer glitch" to "bank error"..etc. This is the explanation for taking the pre-loan out of our taxes twice. They (whoever they are) deposited our refund money minus the original pre-loan amount and then turned around and made an "adjustment" minus of the same pre-loan amount. So in essence they debited our first loan out twice and we now have a whopping $20 of a tax refund thanks to the competent tax people of HR Block. Tonight we are still waiting for a regional manager to call back regarding some discount/refund of the 1-2 day charges that my husband has demanded. We WANT some money back--no 1-2 days, then give us the difference!!

Ha..watch how long this will take. We have been filing our taxes with HR Block for over 25+ years, this will surely be our absolute last!!!!!!! Their computers don't know what their doing, their tax preparers don't know what their doing, their main office's don't know what their doing and neither does their Emerald bank! We are incensed that we, as loyal customers have been treated in this manner.
     
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GothicSmurf on 01/28/2008:
Tax refund loans are at about the going rate of 222% interest! Why anyone would want to do that is beyond me.
spiderman2 on 01/28/2008:
Me neither! I have a CPA do my taxes, send them in a get a refund within a few weeks. It pays to do it that way. This sound like nothing more than one of those payday loans.
FoggyOne on 01/29/2008:
I think most 'walk-in' tax preparation service have these very high interest loans. Generally, the people who can least afford it take the loans with little risk to the company because the company can see how much the customer's refund is going to be. Unless one is desperate for cash, this type of loan should never be taken.
crystal26241 on 02/10/2009:
I have filed my tax return for years at hr block always got the ral refund files my taxes on feb 2 it is now the 10th no refund when they told me it would be there the next day charged me almost 300 dollars for my refund next day now they are saying it is a rac refund could take 2 to 3 weeks to get it all those charges when I could have just sent it in and got it back in 2 to 3 weeks without the 300 charges I'll never file there again just to let you all know befor hand befor you file at hr block
HRB on 09/15/2010:
First, let me say that I work for H&R Block and I want to apologize regarding the issues you have experienced. My first piece of advice would be , if this has not already been resolved, talk to the District Manager for that office. They can definitely help you. If you were not approved for the RAL, or Refund Anticipation Loan that you applied for through HSBC, you will not pay ANY finance charges. As for some follow up posts, although some companies may charge 222% for a RAL, you should do your homework on us as our negotiated rate with HSBC, the bank that funds the loan is 36% APR. As to risk, HSBC takes the risk on these loans, not the company and I can tell you there is risk. Just because we calculate a $5000 refund, it does not mean that the client will not have his refund held for student loan debt, back child support etc. There are MANY returns we do not get paid for because the IRS keeps the entire refund; that is our (HR Block's) risk. To Crystal, if you did not get approved for the loan, again, you were not charged any finance charges. If the $300 you are referring to are the fees you paid Block to prepare and efile your tax return, those fees would apply whether you paid up front and got DD into your checking account, etc. Those are tax preparation fees and have nothing to do with how you wish to receive your refund. Someone said to never take the instant or 1-2 day money. That may be the absolute best decision for most but not necessarily all. I tell clients that the cheapest way to do it using our prep service is to pay us immediately when we efile your return and wait 8-15 days for your refund to be Direct Deposited into your account by the IRS. Many customers can not pay our fees up front and choose to have them withheld from their refund. That is THEIR choice and they have to pay HSBC a $29.95 fee if they choose that option. Finally, my best advice is READ what you sign including your loan application. You filled it out, so how could you not know that like any other loan, be it house, car, etc you may not be approved? It says so in the paperwork that far too many people choose NOT to read. ASK QUESTIONS before your return is filed no matter where you go. You are NOT obligated to pay us if you are unhappy with how you are treated or unhappy with ANY part of the service provided you. Before we efile your return, we ask if you are happy with the service provided and do you want us to file your return. If the answer is no, tell your tax pro what is wrong, see the Office Leader, or pick up your papers and leave and we will not file your return or charge you. It is that simple.
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Incompetent Morons
Posted by on
MERCERSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA -- H & R Block - Mercersburg, PA. 17236

I decided to file my Federal taxes with H & R Block this year (2006) in order to get a rapid refund. I went to their local branch on February 3rd, 2006. I dropped off the paperwork, and told them I wanted to file "Rapid Refund". I was told that it would be a week or more before they could get to them, but they said "leave the paperwork, and as soon as we can, we'll do it and give you a call. On February 9th they called me, and I came into the office to sign everything. I was to get $465 back. The fee was to be $75 for the paperwork preparation and $29 if I wanted direct deposit of the refund, the amount of the refund would be about $360. I told them that I did not want to have the funds direct deposited, just have the check sent to the office and I would pick it up.

By March the 3rd I had not heard anything from them. I went on-line to IRS.gov and looked up the status of my refund. It said that the funds had been direct deposited on February 24th, and that the amount deposited was only $70. I did some quick math, and realized that the IRS had withheld an amount that I had previously owed, and that the net remainder was $70. I immediately called the Block office and spoke with the manager. I explained to him that it had been over a month since I filled for a "Rapid Refund", and had not heard anything from them, and that the IRS says my refund had already been "deposited". I told him that I had never provided a routing number for any deposit, so how did they direct deposit it, and where was my money? He said that by "deposited", that meant it had been deposited in THEIR account, and that I was responsible for the fee ($29), and that rather than receiving a refund of $70, I actually owed THEM $45! I told him that first of all, I was verbally told by two of the preparers that had worked on my taxes, that since it had taken soooo long for them to do my paperwork (was just a standard return), that there would ONLY be a $25 charge for everything.

I told this to the manager, and he basically called me a liar, since he "knows" his employees would never have told me that. My wife and I had BOTH heard the same thing from both preparers! I asked him how he could possibly be charging me $75 for a "Rapid Refund" also, when it took over a month to get a resolution from the IRS, and then had never bothered to call me? This is HARDLY RAPID!!! He got very nasty with me, and said "Sir, we WILL bill you for this $45, and you WILL pay it. You are wrong and WE are right".

I told him that I would NEVER, EVER do business with ANY H & R Block office again, if this is any example of how screwed up an organization can be!!!!!!!

So much for H & R Blocks "Complete Customer Satisfaction Guarantee"!!!!
     
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squeekie on 03/06/2006:
Can I make a suggestion? Next year do yourself a favor and get the taxcut program. You can't mess it up. It is all explained step by step and tells you what you can and cannot deduct. and does all the math for you. all you do is type in the info. it cost around 20.00-30.00 for the basic and around another 20 for the state (if you need it) and e file is $12.95 and $15 each for state and federal for direct deposit. Its quick its easy and you don't deal with anyone else doing your taxes. I also file for everyone in my family.
squeekie on 03/06/2006:
Hi JayD I did my taxes with tax cut on a Saturday afternoon and had my state refund sitting in my account on wed morning. and state took a week and a half. sweet deal IMO. and I agree you will get more back because I don't thin H&R will sit and make sure you get all your deductions. There are so many things I never knew you could deduct until I started doing the taxes myself 4 years ago.
ejack053824 on 03/06/2006:
H&R Block has and always will suck!
yoke on 03/06/2006:
How is this HR Block's fault? You dropped off your taxes and you were told when they got to them they would let you know (most people call and make appointments). They did them and filed them. You knew that you owed the IRS and never bothered to tell them. Had you told them that they probably would had informed you it may take longer for a refund, if you are due one. It was the IRS that held up your Rapid Refund, not HR Block. Once HR Block e files your return the IRS looks them over for errors and money owed from the past (like you did). Once that is cleared then the money gets sent to HR Block or to your bank account (if requested). You owe the money to HR block, so pay them. In the future I would recommend doing your taxes on line. You do get a lot more back and it is much faster. I got my state back in 4 days and my federal in 8.
cjs9473 on 03/07/2006:
Taxact.com is free! Download from the internet, do the easy step by step, and you're done! It is so simple, I even did my in-laws taxes, and the own a farm and have depreciation and all that stuff. And if your adjusted gross income is less than $50,000, you can file online for free (I think it's $7.95 if it's over $50,000).
dsmith68 on 03/07/2006:
I can't believe anyone uses H&R Block.
moonie on 11/23/2006:
BEWARE OF TURBO TAX!!!!! I did my income taxes through turbo tax last year and am STILL getting nasty letters from the Michigan Dept. of Treasury. I owed $135, and paid by check--giving Turbo my check routing number, etc. It is now November, and the state still doesn't have my money. Every time I complain to Turbo, I get someone from EGYPT whom I can't understand and they can't understand me. With interest and penalties, I now owe over $200 while everyone is trying to fix this MESS. $200 may not seem a lot to people who pay thousands, but it's the frustration and the principal of the whole thing that gets me. I'll NEVER use Turbo again.
cbso on 12/05/2007:
H&R Block has now bought out EXPRESSTAX headquarted in Jacksonville FL. Cash checking places that offer to do your taxes will be done through H&R Block and if done wrong you have a number to call (800) but they don't say that it is H&R Block but tell you to have H&R Block to take a "SECOND LOOK" at your taxes. New way of screwing the public
MrsParks on 01/19/2008:
Any time you owe the IRS, look in the mirror to find the person responsible for all your tax trouble. When you applied for Rapid Refund, you applied for a LOAN, dude. A loan that had to be paid. When that amount was not available from your refund, it became your responsibility. Suck it up and pay like a big boy, and stop whining that it's not your fault. Otherwise you get the bonus of an unpaid loan on your credit history and rightfully so.
cbso on 01/19/2008:
Peace of Mind hotline 1-866-314-8270
NOW go and get YOUR Peace of Mind!
Don't forget...the "NEW & IMPROVED" H&R Block's tax professionals don't know anything about taxes...they have to keep getting up from their chair and ask someone how to put in a W-2 in the COMPUTER!!
cbso on 01/19/2008:
Oh! forgot to tell you that if you go for their "EMERALD" card you will be paying an annual fee (even if you have a abalnce or directly deposit into it) and of course don't forget the 36% interest. Take it if you want but don't go calling their 800 number when your CHECK has not been loaded onto your card because they loaded onto theirs or someone elses card...what LOSERS!!!!!!!!!
BigginPond on 04/17/2009:
Amen CBSO!

I was in their office yesterday trying to fix my 07 return. A man walks in to pick up his return after he was lured into the Piece of Mind ruse. They could not locate his return in their office. And the young lady he gave his return to last week...she's done because the office is closing (end of tax season) and she left the country for vacation. Probably headed back to Cuba.
dwevans1957@yahoo.com on 06/19/2011:
I have been going to H&R block for years, and after hurricane IKE, and a lost of get amount, I was told to come back every year year and they would help write off my loss, and now I walk in, and the person is so dumb that she can't what has been done... Then after I agree and take a refund. I then go back and pay $90.00 to have it done incomplete and it was return to me from the IRS.... What gives to this... I screw up like this I would be out job hunting... And they feel it is OK to just take off loose time at work, that means money, take time away from things I like, and sit in there office, H
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