Direct Express Contact Number
Last updated on 08/18/20
If you are one of the 4.5 million Americans who have signed up for the US Direct Express Debit MasterCard to receive your federal benefits (Social Security and Supplemental Security Income, VA Compensation or Pension and RRB Annuity and OPM benefits) – and would like to contact Customer Service, we have the information you need:
In this post, we will provide you the information on how to contact customer service. We will then detail the step by step process in reaching a live person so you can save yourself time and frustration.
Finally, we will list the top 7 complaints cardholders have about the Direct Express debit card and what you can do to get a resolution.
This post will cover:
- Direct Express Contact Phone Number
- How to Reach a Live Person at Direct Express
- Top 7 Complaints about Direct Express Card and what you can do about them
Direct Express Contact Phone Number
To reach customer service and speak to a live person, call the following numbers:
Call 1-800-333-1795 (toll-free) and sign up to receive your payments on the Direct Express Card.
This is only for those who do not currently have a card or have not signed up yet to get their payments sent to the card.
If you are a cardholder and have questions about your Direct Express card, you may call the Customer Service Department, at:
Customer Service: 1-888-741-1115
International: 1-765-778-6290 (Collect)
Customer Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can also visit the website to see their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section or click here to download a pdf version.
You may call customer service to:
- Report a lost or stolen card
- Get your Direct Express Card Balance
- Review fee schedule
- Ask questions about unauthorized transactions
- File a dispute
- Get a replacement card issued
- Find information on in-network ATM brands
- Reset your password reset
- Change your ATM pin number changes, and more.
They can also help you with issues related to accessing the website and login problems.
How to Reach a Live Person at Direct Express
One of the biggest complaints of the Direct Express debit card is how hard it is to reach a live person.
We have detailed below a step by step process on how to talk to a human at Direct Express – based on our own testing of the best way to reach a live person.
Call Direct Express Customer Service toll-free at 1-888-741-1115 (Customer service agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
For English, (press 1), for Spanish (Press 2), for all other languages (press 3)
If you have your Direct Express card with you, then enter your 16-digit debit card number.
After entering your card number, a Direct Express customer service agent will answer your call shortly.
You may be put on a brief hold if all agents are currently assisting other customers when you call.
If you do not have your Direct Express card with you, then (Press 2) to access your account using your Social Security number.
If you do not have your Direct Express card number or Social Security number, here is what you need to do to talk to a live person:
Wait while the auto-attendant goes through the messages below a few times, then you will be transferred automatically to a customer service representative:
- We are sorry, we did not receive your selection – Please try again, your 16 digit card number is in front of your card, To re-enter your card number, press 1
- To access your card account information using your Social Security number, press 2
- To find out the status of your previously ordered card. press 3
- If your card has been lost, stolen or damaged, press 4
After the system goes through the above message three or four times, you will be transferred automatically to a customer service representative.
Other callers have reported longer hold times. If you do not have time to wait on hold, you may have to try calling at different times of the day to see if you are able to talk to a representative sooner.
Top 7 Complaints about Direct Express Card
Here are the top seven complaints about the Direct Express card, taken from the thousands of emails we have received from cardholders who need help.
We want to list them below, so you are aware of what other cardholders are experiencing and what you can do about it.
1. Difficulty in reaching Customer Service
Perhaps, the biggest complaint against Direct Express is the difficulty in reaching customer service. It does not matter what time of day or night you call, it is very hard to get a live person on the phone.
Some cardholders have reported that when they call, they get a message of “high call volume” and then they are immediately disconnected.
Even though Comerica bank is responsible for issuing the Direct Express card, it does not manage the customer service portion of the card.
That function is outsourced to Conduent, a publicly-traded conglomerate in Florsham Park, N.J.
Conduent is NOT doing a good job with Customer Service
The customer service provided by Conduent for the Direct Express program has been very frustrating to cardholders.
Some cardholders have reported calling for days, even weeks (and multiple times a day) without success.
Some of these callers are veterans and people with disabilities who rely on their benefit payments to pay for necessary medication.
The United States Treasury Department promised stronger oversight of Comerica Bank, the issuer of Direct Express cards.
This was contained in a press release when the department renewed its contract with Comerica for another 5 years, starting in January 2020.
However, despite that promise, not much has changed.
2. Rude and Unhelpful Customer Service Agents
As mentioned above, it is very hard to get a live customer service person at Direct Express.
However, even when you get someone on the phone, there is no guarantee that they are going to be helpful to you.
Cardholders have reported that some customer service agents have been rude, inconsiderate, and provide unhelpful information and will sometimes hang up on you.
The United States Department of the Treasury reported in January 2020 that there is a 94% customer satisfaction with the Direct Express card. That is far from what cardholders are saying online.
A simple Google search about Direct Express reviews will lead you to an overwhelmingly negative response from cardholders about their experience with Direct Express customer service.
3. Direct Express Card Cancelled without Warning
Another complaint by Direct Express cardholders is the frequency of cards being canceled without warning.
Direct Express is canceling cards without notice due to suspected fraudulent activity.
This often leaves cardholders caught in uncomfortable situations where they are locked out of access to their own money.
In some cases, cardholders have to use another form of payment to complete the purchase because their Direct Express card was shut off without notice.
In addition, getting the card reinstated or re-activated can also be an issue due to the difficulty in reaching customer service, as explained above.
This then leaves cardholders days, and sometimes weeks without access to their funds.
4. How Long it Takes to Get a Replacement Card
Another top complaint of Direct Express cardholders is how long it takes to get a replacement card in the mail.
If your Direct Express card has expired, is lost, stolen or you are a victim of fraud and your card is canceled, getting a replacement card can take a while.
Some cardholders have reported waiting as long as 3 weeks to get a replacement card in the mail. Even if you pay for expedited shipping, it can take about a week to receive your card in the mail.
5. Alarming Incidents of Fraud
It appears online fraudsters have zeroed in on the Direct Express card as a target for fraud.
Thieves are stealing government benefits paid to hundreds of retirees, veterans and even those on disability who use the Direct Express debit card.
This prompted the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to issue a warning to cardholders:
US Senate Investigation
An investigation by the Office of United States Senator, Elizabeth Warren, found some very disturbing issues.
The Senator opened the investigation to Comerica’s handling of Direct Express fraud cases,
This was after a constituent in Massachusetts contacted her office to report that Comerica left the account of her family member vulnerable to fraud and failed to reimburse him.
“The investigation found that hundreds of individuals were affected by fraud in the Direct Express program.
According to information provided by Comerica, in the one year after the feature was introduced to all Direct Express cardholders in August 2017, there were 480 cases of fraud.
The total amount of confirmed fraud is almost $460,000, an average of nearly $1,000 stolen per affected individual.”
The news report on the investigation indicated that:
“The Direct Express program was plagued by similar incidents of criminals impersonating beneficiaries and draining their accounts.
Victims were not notified of the fraud by Comerica and in some cases spent months trying to get these critical benefits restored.
This left many of the most vulnerable Americans without a critical source of income.”
6. The slow pace of Fraud Reimbursements
Related to the growing incidents of fraud explained above is how long it takes for Direct Express to reimburse cardholders for legitimate claims.
There have been many reports online about the duration of investigations into fraud and as a result, a slower pace in reimbursing them their money.
In addition, some have had their accounts suspended pending an investigation, restricting them from accessing their benefits payments.
In some instances, Direct Express also charged cardholders fees to reissue and activate new cards after a fraud had been committed.
According to Direct Express, if a fraud investigation is not completed within 10 days of receiving all the completed paperwork, on the 11th day of the investigation, the cardholder will be issued a provisional credit.
However, many cardholders have reported that this policy is not always honored, even when they submit all the required documentation on time.
7. Direct Express Closing Fraud Cases Suddenly without Investigation
Some cardholders have complained that even when they are finally able to speak to a representative and open a fraud investigation, their case is sometimes closed because Direct Express claims they did not meet the deadline for submitting the required documents.
However, some cardholders dispute this claim since they put the blame on Direct Express for not sending the required documents in mail in the first place.
As a result, even though these cardholders have legitimate claims of fraud, they feel Direct Express is using loopholes as an excuse not to investigate claims and credit money that was illegally taken from accounts.
Direct Express Contact Number Summary
We hope this post on Direct Express Contact Number was helpful.
If you have further questions about Direct Express Debit MasterCard, please let us know in the comments section below.