Three Things Cardholders Need to Know Before Calling In

No Clue Teen SSN Card

There are a few essential things you and your family members need to know before calling in to address issues with your FamZoo cards. Not knowing them could lead to unnecessary frustration and even unexpected card account blocks. Knowing them ensures a smoother customer service experience.

Family members need to know:

  1. Who the cardholder is. It may not be who you think it is.
  2. How to prove their identity. Many teens don’t know this.
  3. Who they’re calling. It may not be who you think it is.

Who’s the real cardholder?

The real cardholder is the person whose name is printed first on the face of the card in the lower left corner. When a card includes a custom label, there will be two lines of text in the lower left corner: the first (top) line contains the cardholder name and the second (bottom) line contains the custom label.

A child under 13 is never the real cardholder. The parent or guardian is — even though the pre-teen’s name may appear in the custom label line beneath the cardholder’s name as described here.

Teens and young adults are typically the real cardholders for their cards, unless you have explicitly ordered them "on behalf of" cards with a parent or guardian as the cardholder as described here.

How do you prove you’re you?

Sometimes, you may have to prove you are indeed the cardholder. For example, when calling the 800 number on the back of your card, you’re automatically prompted for the 16 digit number on the face of the card as well as the 4 digit PIN. If those numbers are unknown or entered incorrectly, you can select 0 to speak with a customer service representative. In such cases, you’ll be asked for additional information to prove you are the cardholder — typically your date of birth and the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number.

So, be sure that each real cardholder in the family knows their PIN and SSN before calling the 800 number.

Who are you really calling?

FamZoo, right?

Well, not if you call the 24x7 800 number printed on the back of your FamZoo card. In that case, you’ll be greeted by “Card Services” staffed by Transcard.

Who is Transcard?

Transcard is FamZoo’s card processing partner. We’ve been working closely with them to deliver FamZoo cards to families since 2013. Transcard provides the underlying core card processing services for individual FamZoo cards, ranging from card manufacturing to authorizing transactions to audited financial account management to the 24x7 phone support via the 800 number mentioned above. Meanwhile, FamZoo groups the individual cards into a family unit and provides the educational family finance experience through our mobile app and the famzoo.com web site.

Why does this matter to your family?

Transcard treats every card account as a separate entity owned by a single cardholder. As a result, their security policies are designed around the individual. FamZoo, on the other hand, knows your family structure and who is assigned to which card. Our security policies are designed around the whole family.

That difference explains the following frustrating scenarios when calling the 800 number:

  1. A teen has a FamZoo card held in their name. Mom or Dad calls the 800 number on their teen's behalf to deal with a problem on the card. Transcard's Card Services staff insists on speaking with the teen cardholder. That's their individual card security policy. Unlike FamZoo, Transcard doesn't have any way of verifying that the caller is indeed the teen's Mom or Dad. Furthermore, since an unverified person called in about the card, their individual-centric security policy dictates that they lock the card to keep its funds secure until the actual cardholder calls in.
  2. A teen has a FamZoo card held in their name. The teen calls the 800 number, doesn't know their card number or PIN, and ends up speaking to a Card Services representative. The teen does not know their SSN and is therefore unable to verify their identity. The card is locked until they can call back with the right information.
  3. A pre-teen has a FamZoo card held in their parent's name. The pre-teen calls the 800 number to inquire about a problem on the card. Card Services insists on speaking with the parent who is the actual cardholder. Transcard doesn't have any way to verify that the caller is connected to the parent cardholder, no matter what is printed in the custom label line of the card. They lock the card until the parent calls in.

Not good. 😬

How to avoid problems.

What’s the easiest way to avoid the frustrations above?

It’s simple: Contact FamZoo customer service first. The best way to do that is to sign into FamZoo, select the Contact Us link, and fill in the form with a short description of your issue. The FamZoo support team receives an immediate notification with the request details, knows who you are, and knows your family structure. As long as it’s during normal “awake” hours Pacific time, we’ll get back to you within 45 minutes. We’re typically pretty quick with our responses — even on weekends.

If the problem is urgent and it’s off hours or we can’t respond right away, then calling the 24x7 800 number to speak with Transcard’s Card Services is your best option. Remember, to ensure a smooth experience, be sure the actual cardholder is on the call equipped with their SSN info just in case verification is needed. If it’s an issue Transcard can’t handle, they’ll roll the call over to us at FamZoo. If we can’t pick up right away, be sure to leave a message with your phone number, email, and a brief description of the problem. We’ll research the problem and call you back as soon as we can.

Suggestions for parents:

  • Review these 11 critical card numbers with your kids.
  • Show kids how to sign into FamZoo and locate the Contact Us link. It’s located in the upper right corner of the screen (or in the upper right menu on mobile).

    Important note: we always CC the registering parent in our responses to kids. We don’t communicate with kids without including a parent or guardian in the loop.

  • Coach your pre-teen to make sure the adult cardholder is present on any call to the 800 number.
  • Make sure your teen memorizes their SSN.
  • Sit down with your child and try a test call to the 800 number on speaker so they know exactly what to expect and how to navigate the automated prompt system. Challenge them to successfully retrieve their card balance.

Finally, if you ever have a bad customer service experience at FamZoo, I want to hear about it. You know where to find me. Just hit the Contact Us link.

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