Trademe + NZ Post + VISA = consumer frustration.

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 10-Mar-2008 20:27

I have previously been a big advocate of Trademe in this blog, but the little things are starting to annoy me.

My Trademe account is in debt. I have used a Prezzy Card (Prepaid VISA debit card) before, to pay my Trademe account fees.

Trademe state they prefer Visa.

NZ Post says "Prezzy Card can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted electronically, whether in a physical store or for online purchasing."

And yet, here we are:

trademe card type not accepted

Whats the story NZ Post, VISA and Trademe? Is this a valid credit card or not? Its marketed as such - use it anywhere VISA is accepted electronically.

I am an authenticated Trademe user, who has used this payment method before. The card is new, with a $100 balance (checked online just now to be sure).

Now I have $100 locked up in a prezzy card, and no way to credit my Trademe account in time to get auctions set up to close on the weekend (and still have time to attract interest during the week).


I can see the commerce commission being interested in the claims being made about this product.

Trademe should also clearly state that they do in fact NOT accept all valid, legitimate VISA cards.

More information

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Comment by Michael Carney, on 10-Mar-2008 21:39

Sorry to hear about your frustration, Tony. This issue occasionally crops up on the Trade Me Message Boards. The situation is covered in NZ Post's Prezzy Card FAQs ( "Why can't I use my Prezzy Card for PayPal and some TradeMe and Vodafone Live services? ========================================= "PayPal and some Trade Me and Vodafone Live services use credit cards to verify the customer's details, such as their age, or so that they can trace the customer if something goes wrong. Since we don't hold Prezzy Card holders' personal information, Prezzy Cards can't be used for this purpose. "Prezzy Cards can be used to pay for an auction where Pay Now has been listed as a payment option. Simply enter the cardholder name as Prezzy Card (first name) Holder (surname), the expiry date and the security code (the 3 digits found at the end of the signature panel)." Translating into RealSpeak: you can use Prezzy Cards to buy stuff on Trade Me through Pay Now, but you can't use it to top up your Trade Me account because of the authentication issue. It's covered in the fine print, but they should tell you before you purchase a Prezzy Card. NZ Post are also coming out with a new "Loaded" debit Visa card, through KiwiBank. I'm waiting for more details before I have a Point Of View on it; if it's aligned with a KiwiBank account, it should be acceptable to Trade Me -- otherwise treat it like a Prezzy card.

Comment by Richard Wood, on 10-Mar-2008 22:02

I had a similar issue trying to pay for subscriptions to my children's Runescape subscription. I don't like to use my own credit card for international purchases, so it seemed like it might be useful. Note that Runescape mentions it uses WorldPay, no mention of PayPal, so I wonder if NZPost's FAQ is underplaying the problem. Prezzy card not only didn't work, but the money was deducted from the card or reserved, despite Runescape not completing the transaction. Since I tried it twice, it was deducted twice and most of my money was gone. It took some phone calls at odd times of the day to sort it out - who knows where the call centre is. And get this - they charge you for each phone call, which to my mind is atrocious customer service, although fortunately for me the card ran out quickly and they still took the phone calls. So even with the money back in the card I was left out of pocket and that's not counting the time spent on the phone. I doubt I'll ever use a Prezzy card or similar again. It's hard to believe that this is from NZPost, whom I think otherwise do a damned good job.

Comment by Bruce Fitzsimons, on 10-Mar-2008 22:36

The new KiwiBank "Loaded" card looks just like a Prezzie card, and it specifically notes that merchants that require authentication then it won't work. I wasn't aware this was TM and Paypal either, apparently taxi's and automated fuel things are nogo too. The Westpac DebitPlus card does work though, and can be attached to a card with no annual fee. The card itself does have a pretty small annual fee.

Comment by hellonearthisman, on 10-Mar-2008 23:11

Quote from the faq that should fix trademe's issue:Who can use a Prezzy Card?

Anyone who has legitimate possession of the card and who has agreed to the terms & conditions of using the card - by signing the back of it, or offering it to a merchant in full or part payment for goods and services. We recommend the card not be given to young people less than 12 years old.


Comment by freitasm, on 11-Mar-2008 09:59

It does make sense though. If a thief puts up some stolen goods on Trade Me, having a credit card transaction is a way to trace it back to someone if needed to.

An ad hoc credit card would make this a lot more difficult.

Comment by sbiddle, on 11-Mar-2008 11:37

"It does make sense though. If a thief puts up some stolen goods on Trade Me, having a credit card transaction is a way to trace it back to someone if needed to"

One of the big sellings points for prepaid credit cards is that they offer an ideal opportunity for people who are paranoid about security to use a prepaid card instead of their own main credit card. If these cards are going to be blocked from online transactions then there seems no point of actually having them!

Comment by PenultimateHop, on 11-Mar-2008 15:39

I've never understood paranoia for online credit card use.  It seems counterintuitive given the security and consumer protection guarantees in credit card agreements.

Comment by Richard Wood, on 11-Mar-2008 21:53

PH Sure there is protection, but for many people I would suggest the hassle of having to deal with credit card problems in terms of time and stress might outweigh the amount involved, depending on how much you value your time etc. Eg. Who wants to spend say $200 worth of their time they could have spent with their kids, on their hobbies, or just watching a nice video or two, rather than trying to sort out someone else's stuff up to recover say $50. So in my case for example, given I have experienced problems with c.c.s in the past, I like to keep my c.c. transactions with companies I know will respond quickly if there is a problem - which to my mind tends to mean they will be NZ companies.

Comment by paradoxsm, on 12-Mar-2008 00:20

I had this problem a few weeks ago and thought it was ridiculous, address verified users with piles of feedback should be able to top up using these and I notice Trademe certainly do not put a disclosure about these cards up even though they are well aware. (typical)

I have had a good run otherwise with the prezzy cards, Every other online merchant seems to accept them asides the really fussy ones and one I deliberatly added fake details to. Be warned that some merchants will take the money out and give it back automatically a week later.

The loaded card seems to have a number of snags and other fees and my suggestion is to avoid them.
$16.50 just to apply.
$10 annual fee.
$15 account closure.
$1 to reload it.
$1.50 for an automated phonecall.
$3.50 if you need a person.
$25 if you go into debit! (How!!!! prezzy has a 30 day leeway on this in the T&C)

Adds up fast!

The Prezzy is just $5 each time you get a card with no snags. Shame they have no PIN.

I want more banks to come out with the debitplus visa type systems as they are missing a great opportunity. Loaded card Prezzy card Debitplus visa.

Comment by PenultimateHop, on 12-Mar-2008 11:13


I still don't see the problem.  I travel extensively and rely on my credit cards to live.  If I have a problem, I call Amex, and it becomes their problem.  It's usually less than 5 minutes to flag a transaction and then I forget about it.

While my experience with an ASB Visa when there was a clear fraud case was less than desirable, I think they have improved their game since those days.

Having to be so paranoid about a device with inherent security defeats the purpose and convenience of it.

Comment by Bwooce, on 12-Mar-2008 20:56


Also look at the 3.5% (fully 1% more than my CCs) exchange rate conversion fee thing. There are fees all over the place on the loaded CC, I am reasonably happy with my Westpac one by comparison (free account, $10 a year fee on card, not anonymous but any fraud limited to $$ in the account).

It also works on TM and Paypal, and everywhere else I've tried it. Slow to show credits though which make some CC verification processes more tedious.

Comment by steve, on 18-Apr-2008 09:51

You guys have put me right off a loaded card. Seems too much risk the transaction will fail and the investment in the card not worthwhile. I have no trouble with internet purchasing with my normal cards when flicked off to a reputable clearing house (worldPay, visa, etc.) but really reluctant to use them where I need to enter details on a websites secure (https) page. The details will be stored on a server and probably transacted manually and available for fraudulent use to the limit of my card at some point in the future. I'll take a look at the debitPlus visa.

Comment by selwyn, on 13-Aug-2008 10:17

my loaded card was stolen in London,ph up got sent to a woman in India,her english hard to understand,i found i had to wait 3~4 weeks for new card,,i am in London no money, cant even get my money out of loaded account by logging in,i emailed 2-3 times they didnt reply,SHAME ON YOU NZ POST,THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH..

Comment by Aaron, on 1-Sep-2008 12:51

I got this reply from NZ post: Hi Aaron, We apologise for the delay in response. If a VISA merchant is refusing to accept the Prezzy card then yes, they are in breach of the merchant operating rules. You the customer have the right to challenge the merchant over the purchase due to the rule. If you are still not having any luck with the certain merchant please contact VISA to report the dispute. Regards, Prezzy Card Admin I did not mention trademe or merchants that use a card for authentication though.

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