Google Wallet – even worse than PayPal pt. 2


Yesterday I wrote about how Google Wallet is even worse than PayPal. A quick reminder:

  1. When I buy stuff on PayPal I don’t have to pretend to have a billing address in a different country. They’re quite happy for me to use my UK issued card for payments to US suppliers.
  2. I don’t recall ever having a PayPal transaction cause an issue with Amex.
  3. The PayPal resolution process only required me to submit one form of ID.
  4. The PayPal resolution process completed same day.
  5. I’m not dependent on PayPal for Google services (like renewing Google Apps domains or buying apps or content on my Android phone/tablet).

The saga continues…. The good news is that it didn’t take 3-5 days to get a response. The bad news is that they’ve rejected my proof of ID as being inadequate.

They asked for a scan of my credit card statement with the first 12 numbers blanked out:


This I did. As it’s an Amex card, which has 15 digits, this left 3 digits showing.

Now they email saying that they want the last 4 numbers visible.


Make you minds up guys. If you don’t give me clear resolution instructions, then your response makes you look like dicks.

For extra irony I should point out that my full credit card number without any digits blacked out was at the bottom of the scan – where’s the harm – they have the whole number anyway.

There’s another possible twist here… As I used a supplementary card for the recent transaction I can’t possibly send a statement with that number. It just doesn’t exist – the statements only carry the number of the main card. (I’ve written before on the topic of additional cardholders being a weeping sore in the security model for online payments).

I’ll try a utility bill.

Congratulations Google – you’re the topic for my 300th blog post.

PS I should have added to my post yesterday that when I bought an iPad online from the US Apple Store and had it shipped to my friend in Virginia I had no trouble whatsoever (and Apple didn’t make me use iTunes to pay for it ).

Update 13 Sep 2013

Once again Google have replied within a day, but once again it’s not good news. They’re insisting on a statement showing the additional card number, which simply doesn’t exist:


I’ve (once again) resubmitted my documents, this time with the following comment:

The last transaction on my account was made using an additional card. The numbers for additional cards are not shown on my statement, and therefore I have no way of supplying the information you’re now insisting on.

I’ve done my best to comply with this process, but you’re now asking for stuff that I (or anybody else ever using an additional card) cannot provide. So we meet an impasse.

I have proven my identity. I have proven my address. Amex approved the payment (second time around after I’d been through their fraud prevention false positive hoops).

What now? Do I have to abandon my Google Apps and stop using Android phones because I can’t pay for anything with Wallet any more?

I have a Google apps domain that’s due for renewal next Tuesday (17th) and I have no way to pay for that. Suggestions?

I predict this won’t end well.

My plans to get a Nexus 7 LTE (and a Galaxy S4 mini) are now on hold – what’s the point in having Google devices if they shut down the means to pay for anything?

Update 18 Sep

No word from Google – the daily back and forth seems to have stopped.

It seems that I’m not alone having this kind of problem when buying Nexus products. It also seems that Google is systematically unable to do anything about such issues.

Update 22 Sep

I’ve called Google Wallet support twice in the last couple of days. The first agent (Neysa) told me to send in a photo of my additional card. This didn’t help. The second agent (Jamie) told me that she couldn’t do anything to help as it was ‘a different department’.

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