Written on: 09/06/2012
I had used a GB pound cash passport last year with no problems. This year, I supposedly reloaded it with 400 pounds at the kiosk in Terminal 2 of the San Diego airport. I noticed the girl did not swipe my card at all, so I asked if the card had been loaded. She said "it should be." That should have tipped me off, but I am an optimist.
Needless to say - the card wasn't loaded. Here's what happened:
1) Went to purchase Heathrow Express tickets at Travelex kiosk at Heathrow Terminal 5. Card reader did not accept card.
2) Went to ATM, which DID accept card, telling me I had only the 90 pence left from last trip.
3) Travelex agent at kiosk could not explain why Travelex card could not be read by Travelex card reader, and said to call the US number on the back of the card because "UK Travelex won't be able to help you because card wasn't issued here."
4) Called US number on back of card. Turned out to be MasterCard help desk in the UK! Guy very nice, offered to talk to the UK Travelex people who happened to share the building. Confirmed that "UK Travelex can't help you with a card not issued here because the systems are separate." Told me I should call issuing kiosk in the US.
5) As US not awake yet, called 3 "Help" numbers from the Travelex website. 2 simply did not ring at all and I waited on hold for 25 minutes for the other before I had to leave to do something on, oh yeah, my vacation.
6) After enough time had passed, I called both numbers for the Travelex counters at the San Diego airport. Both had been disconnected.
7) I called my bank (Bank of America) and disputed the charge, explaining what had happened. They are rapidly dealt with it.
Will never use Travelex again, and will warn others off on it.