Last Updated: June 9th, 2013

Peer-to-peer fund transfers using an online service are nothing new – Paypal's been successfully doing it for years, and that's how AP writers have been getting paid since the site was launched. Needless to say, when Google announced payments through Gmail (which uses Wallet), it seemed like a no-brainer – we all have Google accounts, so this would be an ideal way to get paid.

Wrong. Getting paid through Wallet has been the absolute worst experience I've ever had with a money transfer, and I'm not alone here – this has been an incredibly frustrating experience for at least half of our team. To add insult to injury, Google Wallet's "support" line is filled with some of the most unprepared, ignorant, untrained personnel that I've ever dealt with.

Here's the story, and why you should stay away from using Google Wallet for transferring money unless you want to deal with randomly placed holds on funds, clueless support, countless delays, and accusations of violating terms of service.

It sounded like a good idea at the time

For our most recent paychecks, Artem asked if we'd like to be paid with Wallet. Curious to see how the service worked, most of us agreed. Considering all of my past experiences with Google Wallet were basically pleasant (read: not "I'm ready to set the world on fire" frustrating), I expected the entire thing to go off without a hitch.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

The funds showed up as "processing" in my Wallet account almost immediately; unlike with Paypal, they were not available for immediate transfer to my bank (despite the fact that the Wallet FAQ notes "sending money using your credit or debit card is almost immediate, and usually takes up to a couple of minutes). There was a note attached to the Processing tag stating that funds "usually arrive in less than 24 hours, but in some cases might take up to 10 days." Naturally, I waited.

It took four days before the funds were even available in my Wallet account. But that's not even the worst part. Far from it, in fact.

After about 48 hours, I contacted Google Wallet's "support" line to find out what was taking so long. After speaking with a representative who I could barely understand for about 20 minutes, I was told the sender (Artem) needed to contact Wallet because there was an issue. Fantastic.

And it only gets worse from here.

Artem promptly called them to clear any potential issues – this is where we first got a glimpse of how utterly clueless and untrained Google's Wallet support actually is. Initially, they told him that there wasn't an issue and I needed to "accept" the funds, because it was the first payment that had been sent to me. This information was incorrect, because Ron had previously sent me a penny in order to activate the "pay through Gmail" feature in the first place. Wallet's outsourced support had no idea – they were just throwing ideas at the wall to see what would stick.

Next, they told Artem I needed to verify my Wallet account – something that I did months, possibly even a year or longer, earlier. Again, they had no idea. My bank account was also verified, but that shouldn't have mattered either way at this point in the process.

After the "support specialist" had tried everything that the pre-scripted documents told him to do, Artem was asked to call back in two hours' time so he could speak with an account manager of some sort. Apparently those guys get to sleep in. 

From what we understand, Wallet's support team can only talk to account managers via chat, and the person with the actual issue (in this case, Artem) can't talk directly to the manager. Everything has to be done vicariously through a support agent, who is on the phone with you and in chat with a manager.

What a disaster.

Two more days pass, and the funds were finally available in my Wallet account. For those who are keeping count, that's 96 hours (or four days) of processing time. Now, the trouble starts for several other team members. No fewer than three of my colleagues' payments were inexplicably cancelled by Google Wallet, even after Wallet support told Artem all other transactions outside of mine were fine.

Thank you for using Google Wallet. We understand that you are concerned about the incomplete state of your recent transaction and apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused you. To ensure a safe purchasing environment, Google Wallet reviews transactions on a regular basis, considering a variety of factors in each review.

A support specialist has researched your account and resolved your issue. You may now continue to use Google Wallet as normal and can view the status of any past transactions at wallet.google.com/manage.

So, why the cancellation? Because Artem was "adding then withdrawing lots of funds from [his] Google Wallet Balance or sending/receiving money in a way that may violate their Terms of Service" – even though he was still well within the $50,000/5 day transfer limit.

Thanks for your email. I apologize for the inconvenience. We recently noticed that you're adding then withdrawing lots of funds from your Google Wallet Balance or sending/receiving money in a way that may violate our Terms of Service. As such, the transaction(s) in question have been cancelled.


What part of the Terms of Service were being violated here? According to Wallet support, Section 7:

Notwithstanding any limitations described elsewhere in this Agreement, we may establish general practices and limits concerning use of the Services, including without limitation individual or aggregate transaction limits on the dollar amount or number of transactions during any specified time period(s).

Oh, look! A blanket term of bullshit!

Basically, they said he was sending too many transactions at the same time. So, why does this violate the terms? Because, according to Wallet, he could've been using the transactions to "rack up airline miles/rewards points or get cash advances," or effectively taking advantage of the "no credit or debit card fees" promotion (which has since been adjusted to apply only to the first $250 worth of transfers).

We wanted to offer a friendly reminder that the peer to peer service is intended for Google Wallet customers to send money to other persons, and not to rack up airline miles/rewards points or get cash advances. We view such transactions as misconduct under section 7 of the Google Wallet Terms of Services, and may decline to process such transactions or close your account if we identify in the future that you are using your account (and the no fee promotional period) for these purposes. I recommend at this time to reattempt the transaction.

That's a pretty damn strong accusation to throw at someone without any sort of evidence. At this point, three of my colleagues' payments have been completely cancelled based on an assumption that Artem was in violation of the ToS. Without evidence. To make matters worse, they offered no way to reverse the decision. It was done.


You can see the beginnings of his frustration here.

Google Wallet's Support has no clue what's going on, and you can take that to the bank

After my four day "processing" period, I started the transfer of funds to my bank. Surely things would go smoothly moving forward, right? Again, wrong.

According to Wallet, moving funds from your Wallet balance to your bank account should take about two days. Three days passed, and nothing had changed. At the end of day three, the status on my Wallet account changed from "transferring" to "complete" – could it be? Did the transaction finally go through?

Hell no. The funds still weren't in my account. I gave it until the following morning – which was yesterday. My bank deposits electronic transfers promptly at 4:15 AM PT every day, so I expected to wake to a bank account full of money (OK, not full, but not empty). No cigar. Once again, I was on the phone with Google Wallet.


Here's what the Wallet support agent was able to tell me: the transaction shows as completed on their end, and I need to contact my bank. Fantastic.

I called the bank, which needs more info about the transaction itself – information that only Google Wallet can provide. Back to Wallet support I go, and this is where my frustration levels go through the roof.

The list of things my bank needs to track the transfer is pretty short:

  • Dollar amount of the transaction (found in Wallet's log)
  • How it was transferred (wire or ACH)
  • Date started (found in Wallet's log)
  • Initiating institution (what bank Wallet uses to transfer funds)
  • Trace number

Out of that list, two of the items are already accessible to me, so I only needed Wallet support to provide three pieces of information.

After speaking with three different representatives, they had no idea what I was talking about and said my issue "needed to be escalated" because the transaction was already showing as complete on their end. I was put on hold no fewer than five times while the rep "looked through the resources" for answers to my questions. Every single time, they said the same thing upon returning: they'll have to escalate my issue.

It was painfully obvious they had no idea what I needed or how to access that information. It can only be assumed they have approximately five screens of information, and if your question is outside of the realm of what that information covers, they immediately turn into lost puppies and have no idea what to do aside from spit out robotic pre-written statements about escalation.

I still haven't gotten my money, and it's been nine days since all this started. Paypal takes approximately two days, and I've never had to contact their support team. It just works.

If this were my real wallet, I'd take it outside and burn it


Image credit: Tracey Eaton, via 500px

Here we are, more than a week and several phone calls later, and this is the most frustrating online experience I've ever had. The amount of headache caused by untrained support technicians has not only affected me, but also Artem and several other AP team members.

Google Wallet's support team has no idea what it's doing. The outsourced company seems to have no idea about how money transfers work, so they inherently have no understanding of the very service they're supposed to be supporting. The documentation and access to information is severely limited, so the only solution these people have is to brush you off and have you call back, or say the issue is being "escalated."

Google wasn't ready to make the leap into peer-to-peer money transactions. Its system downright sucks and is riddled with problems, the outsourced support is an untrained mess, and trying to find any information required so the bank can trace the transfer is virtually impossible.

Of all the Google service catastrophes I've ever encountered, this one is by far the worst. This isn't people's email, chat logs, or search history they're dealing with – it's their money. In some cases (like mine), it's their livelihood.

That's just something you don't mess with.

Update: About two hours after this story went up, a "Manager Specialist" from Pay by Gmail contacted me through email to let me know that my issue has been escalated to her and she was going to get the trace number to find out what happened the funds, as it was "concerning that the amount is still not reflected in your bank account after more than 24 hours." They also credited my Wallet account $50 "as an apology for the inconvenience."

Looks like we might be finally getting somewhere. Maybe.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • silver_arrow

    So I take it you are going back to Paypal?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Oh hell yes we are. Everyone who's been involved in this fiasco has been paid via Paypal as soon as the funds were returned and received them instantly. Then cashed out to banks within 2-3 days.

      • mechapathy

        Yeah, but think of all those airline miles you're missing out on.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson


        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I might not sleep tonight just worrying about this!!one

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    I have lived through this mess to tell the story (through Cameron). Google, this shit is a total clusterfuck. I never thought I'd say this, but Paypal is a saint comparatively.


    • Craig M

      If you guys hadn't had this bad experience with Wallet, would you have posted that Bloomberg Report story?

      • Thomas

        Probably not, and had this been a situation affecting a huge amount of people but not themselves, like the N4 incident, then they would probably be calling us whiners and to stop spamming them with news requests.

        Eventually they would make an editorial telling us to chill out and defend Google.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Your whining is getting old.

          • Thomas

            I may be a whiner, but atleast I'm not a whiner and a hypocrite :)

          • Craig M

            Why in the fuck do you come here if everything they write pisses you off man?

          • Thomas

            Now where did you get that impression?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Yes, absolutely.

  • RitishOemraw

    Sounds like initial Nexus phone launch customer service all over again, but then worse.

  • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

    One the Best Rant I have ever read in Recent time LOL. quite entertainingly brilliant post , thanks for the writing Cameron Summerson :)

    • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

      One Google Employee (Wallet Division) Down vote my comment :P

  • Mungo

    Sounds like fun times ahead for all app developers once they switch developer payments over to Wallet in November...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      I am seriously concerned about this, too. Developer payments have already had a less than ideal history, so it would be pretty shameful if things aren't virtually flawless by that time. Hopefully somebody will have the stones to stand up and insist on delaying those plans if everything isn't ready by November.

    • Zargh

      I don't see how dropping the Google Checkout payment processing (which was responsible for the Nexus and IO situations) in favor of an outsourced solution could make it any worse to be honest.

  • Gloria Tortorella

    It's so sad to read this.

  • Mastermind26


    "I am sorry for your loss", seems like the only thing the support has yet to say.
    But really, I AM sorry for your loss.

    Google seems to do things really well or reaaaaalllllllyyy crappy. This one is the latter.

  • Nathan Guenther

    So sad, was really looking forward to this.

    Sounds like they need to close the service, and start it over and get their shit together. Hope they figure it out eventually...

  • Carl_Barlson

    This is completely unacceptable from a company like Google. Whoever is heading up the project needs to get canned.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      He was. In March.

    • SheDevilsRule

      Agreed, I have read post's from a year ago, their problem then is my problem now. ONE YEAR LATER. They haven't fixed or trained their people at all? total bullshit

  • Mungo

    From my experience Google is really crappy with support in general, it's either not helpful or non-existant. For example just last week one of my apps suddenly lost a few hundred ratings (a well known issue since at least 2009 that they apparently are unable to fix) - a serious issue, as it affects the average rating and placement of the app in charts.
    There's a prominent "Contact support" button in the Android developer console, but if you hit it it just leads to a page with a couple FAQ entries and the following text "Need to contact our support team? For our registered Google Play developers, we provide Email Support for the following issues". Yes, it specifially says that you can contact their support by mail, but there simply is no option to do so. No mail adress, no contact form, nothing. Thats just...insanely frustrating.

    • abqnm

      Agreed. I have been trying for over a year to get them to fix Play Store purchases. Suddenly early last year, I tried to reinstall some apps that I had already purchased. Play said I had to buy them again. I have the Wallet receipts in my Gmail for them but support has been telling me for months that they are aware of the issue and they are working to resolve it, but there is not anything they can do to fix it now. Really Google? A year?

      It took them about 10 months to fix an issue where I couldn't buy an app because it said I had already purchased it, even though I hadn't. So when I would hit install, it would just tell me I haven't purchased it. No shit. I know that. Now let me buy it. This took ten months to resolve from the time I first contacted support to actually getting it fixed. And again, this was just like the current support issue, where I was being told it was a known issue, blah blah blah. So who knows how long it was actually going on before it became a "known issue."

    • Mike Reid

      Google falls down anytime people are involved. Nexus launches are also abysmal.

      Googles machines, OTOH, are mostly good.

  • eyeballer

    While there's no excuse for the poor support I think you should expect teething issues with their new system as it rolls out.

    The issue is, Google basically screwed up by offering (almost) unlimited no-fee credit card funding and it has been abused heavily by people on various forums trying to rack up miles/points. I'm sure a bunch of people got caught in the cross-fire with Google trying to limit the damage. With the new $250 max rule let's hope they can focus on getting things running smoothly.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Yeah, I agree part of the problem is specific to credit cards in this case - I had a smaller transaction go through fine (from a bank account, presumably). But Cameron's issue getting it to go through to his bank is not credit card related at all - that sounds like Google just screwed up, and in a bad way.

      The incompetent support, though, is inexcusable. When it comes to money, you need well-trained support staff to handle troubleshooting, because people will freak the fuck out when their cash gets stuck in internet limbo. We, being reasonably tech savvy people, are pretty confident our money isn't going to just disappear (hopefully Cameron's hasn't), but try telling a 40-something who can't figure out what happened to his money to calm down while they "escalate" the issue in a couple hours. They'd never use it again.

      • Craig M

        Why does it have to be "a 40-something" ? are you saying I'm not tech savvy???

    • RvLeshrac

      No, you shouldn't "expect teething issues with their new system." When someone offers me a product, I expect it to goddamn well be complete and functioning.

      • Danny Holyoake

        Especially as we're talking about actual money here. This is downright unacceptable.

    • armshouse

      when it comes to money, teething issues aren't acceptable! If a new phone arrives a week late, if my calendar is down or emails down, it's annoying but i could survive. If my salary came in 9 days late, I know I'd feel the strain! When going into the financial market, everything has to be on point! Teething issues is transfers take 24 hours instead of 1 hour, not 9 days! ridiculous!

    • Mason Gup

      Teething issues? Not with money. If your new free chat service or music sharing app or something has teething issues, that's okay. You aren't losing anything except maybe a little time. When your money seems to disappear into a black hole and nobody knows anything, that's about as not okay as an online service can get.

  • Thomas

    Considering how you handled the Nexus 4 travesty, I hereby revoke your whining privileges.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Good thing I'm not whining, then. Just telling it like it is.

      • Thomas

        Yeah, like how you totally "told it like it was" when Google messed up with the Nexus 4 launch, oh wait, you didn't. Then you had an editorial that pretty much told people to stop campaigning, like you are now, because it was unnecessary and spammy.

        Looking forward to that editorial where you can "chill out" because Google are new to the P2P Payment game, the service is improving and that they couldn't have foreseen the abuse.

        Guess that won't be coming though since it's easy to tell people to "chill out" when you're not yourself affected by an issue, guess that showed us when the line is drawn, with your own paycheck.

        • Thomas


        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

          I honestly can't believe that you're comparing a botched phone launch to something like this. Waiting a few weeks to get a new phone is not even remotely the same as having your entire paycheck delayed for nearly two weeks and no one being able to tell you where it is.

          Also, just to make it clear, I didn't write the Nexus 4 editorial that you keep bringing up (one of my colleagues did). However, I did have to deal with the headache of a system Google used for the N4 launch when I tried to order mine. It was frustrating, and Google could've handled it much, much better - but it doesn't even begin to compare to this mess.

          • Thomas

            I know you didn't write it, but the site posted it, I presume that articles do undergo some basic scrutiny when being planned/posted?

            So how doesn't it compare?

            Many people were sitting with a significant portion of their paycheck frozen, because the system sometimes did double or triple orders(or worse).

            The financial situation was no less than the one you(the person) were in, and you(the site) could've basically have recycled the entire N4 article in defense of Google for this situation.

            So the attitude displayed by the staff from back then when people tried to get, rightfully so, media attention to the issue is just downright hypocrisy when you(the site) end up posting an article based on a "single" personal issue you've had.

            Let me just say, that I don't disagree with your(the person) article, but this is the kind of article that should've been written with the original Nexus 4 launch, I'm not holding you personally responsible for it, so apologies if i gave that impression, but the site should be responsible for it.

      • Thomas

        Oh and I'm glad you were able to solve your issue by leveraging your journalistic credentials, too bad your favorable review of Google's mindblowingly incompetent support staff, server infrastructure of their store and their lack of improvement didn't help us out a year ago.

        But since they've paid you off can we get a more favorable article now? I'm sure Google would appreciate that.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Lol @ $50 = "paid you off."

          • Thomas

            Well yeah, it may not be a lot, but if you hadn't been using your news articles to escalate support issues, you wouldn't have gotten anything near any form of usable cash.

            I can tell you it's definitely a whole lot more than what customers got in the Nexus 4 screwup, but then again, Google was apparently new in the whole storefront game (they weren't, nor should they really be new in the whole "can sustain more than a few thousand users"-department) and that they couldn't have anticipated the demand (Of course not when you put an off-contract phone for less than half the usual price of a highend off-contract phone)

            They are on the other hand new to P2P payments, but apparently defending Google when there's nothing to be defended apparently only counts when you're not personally affected.

    • Stephen

      These guys are enormous hypocrites you should know that by now

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    I had my doubts going into this, and everything about the experience just sort of proves that Google has no idea what the fuck it is doing when it comes to Wallet.

    PayPal remains #1 in the online payments business for a reason - they're reliable. Almost every PayPal horror story I've read has to do with an eBay dispute, and guess what - that's probably understandable. Selling things online is an inherently risky business, and someone's going to get the short end of the stick sometimes in a "he said, she said" scenario. I personally have never had a single problem with PayPal and 100% trust it as the means by which my livelihood is sent to me.

    PayPal transfers to my bank take 48 hours on average, 72 hours more rarely, and show up at 5AM when my bank processes ACH transfers. (And yes, I know that the hold is artificial, while PayPal collects interest, but 48 hours is still light-years better than this bullshit.)

    Wallet also has no exportable transaction history, no monthly statements (PayPal Business / Premium have great account statement export options), and very limited transaction filters. If you pay employees / get paid through Google Wallet, have fun doing your taxes next year.

    This, along with the continued reports of buggy / unreliable NFC Wallet payments (in the few places they are accepted and on the few phones that are supported), has pretty much tainted the Wallet name in my mind.

    • CoolCustomer

      I can't comment on the funds transfer yet but I'm busting my a$$ trying to catch my friend before they transfer me funds through this "system". That aside I was wondering what issues you were having with the NFC wallet payments? Having worked with both Google Wallet and Isis I haven't had much issue with either, not that I don't hear the horror stories but most of them seem to boil down to the store not configuring their POS terminals correctly or using outdated software.

    • lewishnl

      I too like PayPal, but why not just use direct bank transfers, aren't these quicker and better value?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      To be fair, PayPal went through these problems and MANY more in its early days. With nearly 15 years and a few acquisitions - and being acquired - under its belt, I think it's reasonable to expect PayPal to have worked out most of the issues. Neither company has a great record with customer service, so I'm only remaining cautiously hopeful that Google may work to improve the situation quickly.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Awesome. In the meantime, as a customer, my customer experience is way better at Paypal. I don't know if Google will ever bring support back to the States and train it properly, but if they do, we may revisit.

        Right now I don't see any reason to use Wallet transfers outside of the convenience of being able to send them straight from Gmail. And that's really not that much of a deal since the amount of logins and popups that result from that pretty much equal the amount of work logging in via Paypal.

  • T-Virus

    So basically don't use it as payroll.
    Use it for person to person transaction, not mass transactions. Reading the title made me think it wouldn't be worth it to send money to my sister, but in reality it should work fine. This is a problem very specific to this situation.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Not entirely. In the programming world, we might think of this as a stress test. Sure, the ideal use cases are people sending amounts of $10-$40 to pay back somebody for covering a bar tab. In reality, there are going to be several kinds of things happening, and a shocking number of them will be completely legitimate. In this scenario, it was fairly large amounts traveling in an odd pattern, which obviously triggered responses that require more fine tuning. Because of this situation, there is now a data point for the Wallet team to refer to that might be helpful in preventing future issues.

      At the very least, this obviously exposed a massive issue with the customer service side of the system. Even for people sending small amounts infrequently, one single error on Google's side could possibly turn a $25 transfer into hours on the phone with customer service. That's a problem that must be fixed, regardless of the specific scenario.

  • Michael Ta

    Someone is upset. :( here, have a key lime pie.


  • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

    I still haven't gotten my refund for the money I added to the card. I had over 200 dollars in it. I've done multiple request forms, and I haven't heard (or received) anything in return.

    • jonathan3579

      I haven't gotten my refund either. Sure, it wasn't $200 but it's still MY money ($20) and I was given the total runaround and told that because I no longer had my Galaxy Nexus in my possession there was nothing they could do.

  • Tg

    America has been doing business this way ever since it started outsourcing. You're now experiencing what most companies have been doing to their customers for years.

  • irtechneo

    Kind of ironic I am seeing this article today. I just saw The Internship movie last night about Google interns and the customer support was actually featured in the movie. The interns had to be able to answer any question about any Google product. I wonder if this outsourced company has to "escalate" issues to the actual Google interns? Kidding of course just seems ironic to see this post today after watching the movie last night.

  • phil

    Hey, good idea. Use a brand new service for something it was never designed to do then bitch about the fact that it doesn't work. Surely it's obvious that the use case for peer to peer payments is small amounts and peer to peer, not employer to employee salary payments. It might be theoretically possible according to the T's & C's, but paying 10 people a monthly salary is clearly going to raise some flags. Review under sensible conditions and see how it fares please.

    • jonathan3579

      I think this was a fair experiment and one that admittedly shows Google is not providing the backbone to support these new services. Nowhere in Google's ToS does it say that it cannot be used in such a fashion. They have every right to complain about Google's lack of support but you have no right to complain about their experiment to share with other people. See, the thing is had it worked AS INTENDED, we'd be reading an article of a different tune but Google dropped the ball on this one and the readers of this blog should know of the shortcomings of this program.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Use it for something it was never intended to do? Give me a break. It was meant for peer-to-peer money transfers, and with a $50,000/5 Day limit, it's clear that Google didn't put a "small amounts" limitation on it. Even if paying 10 people a monthly salary "raised some red flags," Google should've contacted Artem and cleared everything up before assuming he's violating the ToS and cancelling the transactions altogether.

      Even then, there's no excuse for the fact that it's been nearly 10 days since the transfer was first made to my Wallet account and I still haven't seen the money. Try to justify that any way you want, but it's undeniable bullshit.

    • scy121

      Completely illogical post, its not as if peer to peer money transfer was just invented. If a company roles out a new product or service apparently its unreasonable to expect it to function as promised.

  • Stephen McGann

    I suppose this isn't going to be the most well receive buuuuut, the service that you received does seem atrocious but part of your rage is connected to the fact you didn't really go though a much testing before you started the service on a large scale. I mean it is in beta, and it seems like maybe you should have started with 2-3 ten dollar money transfers before you started moving hundreds of dollars to a dozen different accounts. That way even if it didn't work correctly you wouldn't be on the hook for such a large financial liability.

    • NexusKoolaid

      When a company starts a service on a large scale, I'd say it's the company, and not the end user, that needs to do the testing.

      • Stephen McGann

        they're doing that right now. Hence "beta'

        • NexusKoolaid

          It the service actually beta? Has Google stated that this is? I've so far found nothing in the Google Wallet web pages stating beta status.

          • Stephen McGann

            Well it's certainly invite only. That would imply that it's a beta feature.

    • armshouse

      so what you're saying is:

      'its the users fault for using the system, and if they didn't it wouldn't be broken!'

      I'd love to use that excuse when i release products at work!

  • CoolCustomer

    I'm terrified now because one of my friends overseas is about to pay me via Google Wallet and given the hassle you guys are seeing I can only imagine what will happen to a funds transfer from someone who has a US bank account but lives overseas. I've had to deal with terrible support reps too many times in the last week if this is as bad as you say I might finally go off the deep end...

    • ThePhanein

      There have been plenty of good experiences for all the bad experiences. I personally, as said in the post yesterday, haven't had any negative experiences, but there have been cases like this where Google has really screwed up. I'm pretty sure I got the most helpful Indian lady in the existence of technical support when I called to get my account fully activated.

  • brommas

    Sounds like fun! The outsourced company are probably cheap though, so all is OK from Google's point of view.

  • Huton Gergö

    And here is the answer in the article why some functions of Google wallet not available internationally, because poor support and not solid system

    And from my personal experience: outsourced customer support = crappy support!!!

  • fixxmyhead

    extra 50$ for all this? not bad

    • TunaSushi

      His total time wasted is worth more than $50.

  • Trent Russell

    This is really disturbing and i hope it gets an enormous amount of publicity. Fix your shit goog.

  • Kurt Wurmser

    Customer service hasn't ever really been Google's strong point. It hasn't really had to be for things like Gmail (if you don't like one free email provider, go get another one.) I'd have hoped they would have learned from the Nexus 4 fiasco.

  • Mason Gup

    That update is even more disturbing. A person who actually knows something tries to help you only after an article describing the problem and trashing the service goes up on a major Android blog. So exactly what happens if you try to move some money on this service and aren't a professional Android blogger? Do you have to do a chargeback through whatever credit card actually supplied the money, or file a lawsuit against somebody? I wouldn't touch this with a 10-foot pole.

    • Thomas

      Yeah that happens when you abuse your journalistic purview to get a personal issue resolved.

  • AD1980

    Where you went wrong is in expecting any level of customer service from Google. I'm in my early 30's and the most frustrating purchase of my life was when I tried getting a Nexus 7 for my son. I've never encountered any Google support staff that were remotely competent.

    I'm certainly looking forward to the rumored Nexus 7 refresh, though I'll probably pay the $20 premium and purchase it from a reseller instead of attempting to deal with those idiots directly.

  • Connel Hooley

    I love how they only dealt with your problem because of the negative press this article would create. They didn't care before.

  • AdamFitton

    I've had issues with Google Wallet as well when buying things through the Play Store. When Google Play had the 10c sale on I tried to purchase a couple of apps, but because my bank saw multiple small transactions coming in at 10c, the 2nd purchase was declined. I contacted Google and they told me that the transaction would be re-attempted. The next day my transaction came up as Cancelled. I contacted Google back and they said there had been a problem with their system. So I missed out on some good deals.

    How the hell can a company with some of the brightest minds create such a crappy system!

  • Chris

    All this aside... I still want to try the service out. Anyone care to send me a penny so I can test this out for myself?
    chris9149 if you are feeling generous.

    • John O’Connor

      sent. Good luck though. Beta Beware? lol

  • http://www.radioshak.co.uk Shakil Shaikh

    I wonder how many of those who didn't "activate via a penny" are having these kind of troubles?

  • Stephen

    I love watching the hypocritical 'editors' cry at Android Police.

  • Nick

    So, if you didn't have an Android blog, you'd still be out of luck?

    Exactly how many times can an issue be escalated?

  • Lexster

    Yeah, it's great that Google contacted you, because you right a popular Android blog. For anyone else, who doesn't, we would likely STILL be dealing with this. I hope Google doesn't think they've regained my confidence by that. I'm glad I didn't end up using the service to transfer a large amount of money someone owes me...

  • nilsan villanueva

    uugghhh wish i had read this before i HATE google wallet its filled with problem and the support sucks. im so tired of dealing with them im about to give up never ever using it ever. my problem is that i tryed to do an in app purchase with a google play gift card it told me that it was cancelled because it was consider a high risk transaction so i called to see what was happening and all they said was that my account was going to be placed in hold and that i had to verified my information im still waiting i have called a million times nothin is being done. worst part is i cant use the gift card anywhere else i have to wait and there are no refunds so i have no idea whats going to happen with my money if they dont fix the issue :/

  • googlewalletrules paypal sucks

    maybe its cuz your name sounds like a terrorists name? LOL

    most people i know that have been using paypal for years,
    and i turn them on to google wallet, they love it !! anyone reading this
    should not be discouraged from trying google checkout, these guys are
    just complainers and idiots!!

    you people are idiots.. and obviously paypal plants or spies... google wallet works perfectly and has for many years... the only thing they recently added was the ability to send and receive money through your email account.. other than that they are nothing new... in fact i have been selling stuff using google wallet to receive payments for 5 years and have received payments from 100+ countries with never a single problem.. in fact i dont even have to withdraw money ever, because google wallet deposits any money in my account directly to my bank automatically, daily, after 3 days... so it sounds to me like you guys are full of shit and making things up... or maybe you need to get a business account with them or something i dont know but what you are saying doesn't happen to anyone else that is for sure.

    also paypal is known worldwide for freezing your account from only 1 flagged transaction, taking up to a week to deposit your money to your bank, and otherwise causing all other types of problems.

  • Nduanetesh

    I realize this post is very old, but if someone could send me a penny, that would be awesome. nduanetesh at gmail, please.

  • orangpelupa

    sooo... the money still gone? its been MONTHS and you not update the article. im curious :D

  • kim

    Here I sit, splitting headache headache thanks to Google. Same incompetent support, different story. For me I bought my son a nexus7 tablet. It required a Google account to activate so, knowing he would be wanting to buy game apps, music etc I helped him set one up and bought him Google play cards so he would have funds he could access without needing to use my credit card.

    At first we redeemed a $20 card, he went to purchase in game products and a message came up saying it couldn't be processed but the funds were taken from his credited balance. A complaint too Google seemed the fix the issue and his balance retired he was able to make the purchase. So thinking it was now a smooth process I purchased $70 in Google play cards and he redeemed those without issue. His balance was $74 credit and he went you by the same product he had previously purchased.. Error said out could not be processed at this time, so he tried a couple of times then realized it had deducted from his account.

    Google did refund the funds eventually, after sending robotic replied that there was a problem with my sons credit card that caused the error...what credit card? We hadn't linked one as we used per paid Google play cards instead and he had a credit balance.

    He attempted to purchase again, all attempts were declined as before, numerous emails exchanged with incompetent Google staff who seemed to cut and past responses that didn't apply to our situation. Eventually an email arrived apologizing for the inconvenience and saying the issue was resolved and try again. We did and same error grrrrr.

    More mail the Google sent, then today a mail returned stating the problem was due to my sons credit or debit card..which he didn't link because he has a credit balance from pre paid Google play cards! Ugh!

    Now they have suspended his account until he sends them a copy of his credit card statement, license etc. So he has no access to the prepayed balance on his account and we are incredibly frustrated.

    Oh and went I try call the phone number they provide for contact I get 'this number is not conected' grrrr

    Back to iTunes at least they honor there own prepaid cards.

  • william phillips

    I having a problem with google wallet myself. My sister bought my kid a google card.found he couldnt buy anything. They suspend his acct. To ussuspend it they want all kinds of indenificationand my first born . For my son to buy stuff using his google card. I have talked to 2 departments and four people all tell ne sonething diffreent. Google wallet sucks

    • John O’Connor

      The Google wallet page offers an 800 number to call for assistance. I had one of my accounts locked or from an online password change. It took 10 minutes to call the number listed on the wallet page when I tried to login to update and it was resolved. Believe it or not their customer service is actually available and helpful.

      • william phillips

        What is it i have talked to 5 diffrent people. I see lots of complaints

        • John O’Connor

          If you would like to speak to a Wallet representative directly, you can call the Wallet team at 855-GWALLET (855-492-5538) to reach someone happy to assist you.

  • william phillips

    Already called three times . They where not very helpful

  • Meg

    I'm so glad you posted this article. I'm so fed up with Google Wallet. I made a transfer and then cancelled it when I found out about processing time. I was PROMISED by TWO Google Wallet help technicians that the transaction was cancelled, and that if I re-did the transaction by credit card I would not be charged twice. Sure enough, three days later, Google Wallet WITHDREW THE CASH FROM THE CANCELLED TRANSACTION FROM MY BANK ACCOUNT. So basically they duplicated the transaction.... of $1200. For a whopping sum of $2400 leaving my bank account. I call, and they promise that the $1200 taken away for the CANCELLED transaction will be refunded within 10 days. WHO HAS MY MONEY FOR TEN DAYS? I'm practically fuming. If I don't see the money back in the account tomorrow, I'm getting a lawyer. Google Wallet is a complete scam.

  • Jennifer

    I sent my daughter money using Google Wallet four days ago. She tried to confirm her bank account using the amount they deposited but they keep saying it is incorrect. So she has to remove her bank account, add it again, they deposit X amount, she tries to verify using the amount deposited and they again tell her it is the incorrect amount. It's been more than frustrating at this point. I HATE YOU GOOGLE WALLET!

  • anon

    Nothing. Has. Changed...

  • Alvaro

    Thanks for the warning... You saved my bacon... and sanity too... LOL

  • Virginia Creeper

    I've been using Google Wallet with no issues. It's really an awesome service. ..This article is good, but hard to read as its way to long. I had to skip sections as it repeats a lot.

  • Fathur Rohim

    google wallet support = the worst google employee

  • Justice Moor

    I just had Google Wallet place a hold on my debit card funding that needed to be sent to my grandson for a medical emergency. Thank goodness I switched to ISIS digital wallet and American Express Serve accomplished the transfer without any problem.

  • T4

    I feel your frustrations...I too transferred my funds from my cards to my wallet card and app and as soon as I didy account gpt suspended...which means they have a hold on my and in my eyes childrens money...literally I was going to buy diapers and milk in morning. I am a very disabled single mom and no family but me and my kids and Im getting the same lost run around. Now this guy zthrough wallet says they're holding my money until I send social security card and state id. Why now? They've already verified that info before and used my card prior. As soon as I thought this would make my life easier and set up all my payments to it they freeze all of what we have so I cant access and then basically demand the rest of all our personals while they steal from me so a team can review all of a sudden my personal forms of debit. Seriously they did not demand this until I attached my other lines of credit and now everything we have is in their hands. I am in tears trying to figure out what to do with my baby's needs in morning on a holiday weekend.

  • polska

    EXACTLY what I'm dealing with right now.. Almost word for word it's been the most horrific customer service experience ever, full of false promises lies and miss information oh and derrrrppp. Apparently transactions of 20 bucks are flagged for suspicious activity even if its between the me and the only other person ever to be associated with my wallet card.. And if something is flagged for possible fraud wouldn't you think they would try and contact the other person involved to try and confirm the transactions legitimate? Well they don't they just lock and freeze ur acc with no warning or explanation and let sit and wonder why shits been pending for ever until you call them and wait for an eternity listing to the same damn song on hold.. I wanted to hert someone so bad

    PS you got this "Manager Specialist" from Pay by Gmail Email I'd love to try and get some help also lol

  • dingus

    Wallet still sucks and my funds disappear and then reappear. Dont even try the gift cards. They cant be used in wallet and wont show as funds in wallet since they have no cash value. Also they can only be used on items that are already free on netflix, crackle and amazon. Support is no more helpful than the computer. Simply sending links of terms of conditions . None of which apply of course. I feel like the fool after wasting time to get my twenty bucks back. Cheap lesson on not to trust gooogle anymore. I just contacted them to remove everything assoviated with google in my name. Can not wait to see the redponse!

    Little do they know i am a buyer for a company that does business through google. I will close that account as well. Bet an american will call from google about that and bet i get my twenty back when i do this :-)

  • John Coleman

    I'm glad to see someone else getting the word out there about the issues with the support. I called about removing a credit card. When I tried to remove it myself it said that the card removal failed. I had to repeat information to the rep over 5 times. These people just don't listen.

    I had already added a new primary card so that was not an issue. Customer service had me looking for items that did not exist. I don't recommend this service to anyone until they did the bugs and hire competent representatives.

  • slashdotj

    Having the same exact issue. Bought a boat. Used wallet to pay the person, 7 days later I have the person calling me about not getting paid. Google cancelled the transaction and made me verify my identity. Why not hold the transaction while I verify?
    Now I have to wait 7 days,plus the wait time for the funds to return to my credit card before I can pay the person for the item that's at my house. Paypal next time. I'm still waiting ...


    try having them take 5000 from you fraudulently and then tell you looks legit. I will get my money and I have proof of what they have done! Its getting ready to hit the fan. Pull up a chair!

  • Ian Hickey

    The issue here is that a large amount of older gmail passwords were just stolen so the wallet team has been searching for anything out of the ordinary. It appeared to them that this large first time disbursement of funds was part if it so they put a hold on the transactions. I use wallet for transfers literally every single day and the only issue I've ever had was also caused by this same mess. Simply bad timing.

  • Damaged

    Three transfers not only shut down my Google Wallet, but for some reason my Credit Card company decided after 8 years of having the same number on my card, to shut down my credit card and reissue a new one with a different number. I only use that card for common purchases and run about 30% charge which is paid in full every month. Bank said my card had been compromised.

  • SheDevilsRule

    I am going thru this EXACT same bullshit,,it all started on the 9th of November, 2014. The only difference was that I was the reciver of money, two separate transactions. Now it's the 23rd the money is actulyy in my wallet (so they claim) I applied for a wallet card on the 9th and have yet to receive it. 15 days. REALLY?? So for 14 days I have not been able to touch my money. Momey that was sent to me because I NEEDED IT RIGHT AWAY!! I also went thru many different "specialists" they all had the same answer "I will excalate this" again bullshit. They do NOT train their people. They are use the exact same wording so I guess they afe reading it off a sheet of paper they all have copy's of. I truly hope if & when I get the wallet card it won't be a problem activating it & actually being ab;e to withdraw the money so I can pay somebody back whi i had to borrow money from because GOOGLE WALLET DOESN'T WORK!! I have used PayPal for 8 years & not once had a problem. The sender of the money said they heard Google was exactly like paypal & for some dumb reason they wanted to send it this way. I never heard of it but agreed, I didn'tm have much choice as this is the way they wanted to send it. So the card is two days late. Thanksgiing is in four days. I need to buy food to cook for the holiday. WOW..this really suck's I hope I get the card by then. I DO NOT RECCOMEND GOOGLE WALLET TO ANYONE!!

  • ashley

    Google Wallet is horrible, I have spent over a month trying to get a refund for over $200 taken without my consent. At first I was promised the refund, and two weeks later when I called again, told I would get a smaller refund as they said they weren't responsible for some of the money because it was taken from my bank account which is linked to google wallet. (the money was taken from my bank account to google wallet, and then spend through google wallet). none of this was authorized, and my bank account was not hacked and had no other issues aside from those related to google wallet. five calls later, I was told my refund was already processed...which surprise, it STILL has not shown up in my bank account. The customer service is really poor and the refund practices for authorized transactions is ridiculous.

  • James Threatt

    Does Google suck? They seem to be one of the the best big companies in the world. They actually do things for the benefit of the users (gmail, fiber, project loon, drive, docs, translate etc.) They don't do things only to make money. These problems are hard to hear! What is happening to Google?