Beware: SVM on eBay Now Codes as Cash Advance

Beware that the SVM Gift Cards seller on eBay is now coming through as a cash advance on most credit cards.

Many reports are coming in within the past few days of people who got charged a cash advance fee on their Visa and Mastercard for an SVM purchase, across many different card issuers. I believe Amex cards are safe (personal experience), and we don’t yet have data points about Discover.

Sometime on February 8th or 9th, SVM changed their merchant category code from “Services Not Elsewhere Classified” to “Prepaid and Stored.” The new coding is coming through as a cash advance which has fees and doesn’t earn points.

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 9.39.10 PM Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 9.38.46 PM

The new code is showing on Amex cards too (as indicated in the screenshots above), but Amex isn’t considering it a cash advance while other banks are.

I imagine this will be fixed quickly. If they don’t refund you, be sure to leave them bad feedback. Others have already done that.

If you did get hit with a cash advance fee, you might want to quickly pay down your balance in case it can’t be reversed. Otherwise, interest starts accruing immediately.

In the olden days, the advice in similar circumstances was to pay with an eBay gift card – something no longer possible. Now, my only advise is to use an Amex card. Or use a Paypal balance or checking account if you don’t have an Amex. You can also try using a Visa or Mastercard which has it’s cash advance level set to $0, but there’s a good chance the transaction won’t go through.

Hat tip to @milesperday

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madage
madage

My SVM purchase on 12/4 coded as a cash advance on a BoA Visa. Looks like this issue may be back…

Beldar Conehead
Beldar Conehead

Here is an email which I sent to SVM cards this morning (March 12th):

I’m still waiting for a refund of the $14 in “Cash Equivalent and Minimum Interest Charges” which I was charged when I purchased a $100 Sunoco Gas Card from you last month. You claim that this fee was charged in error by PayPal, yet I haven’t heard a God-damned thing from them about this “error”, or how they are going to refund these fees to me. Until I receive a refund of the $14 from PayPal which I was charged as a result of my purchase from you, I hold your scumbag company responsible. “Thanks” for charging me $107 for a gift card worth $100, you thieving bastards!

Bill
Bill

Just wanted to leave you an update, I sent Svm a message/question again here Tuesday on why my purchase was processed a cash advance, and this time they got back to me. Here is what they wrote.

Hello,

PayPal would like to take a moment to address an issue with your recent payment to SVM, LP on the eBay platform. There has been an issue that may have caused buyers purchasing a gift card from SVM, LP to be charged a Cash Advance Fee from their credit card company. This issue was on PayPal’s end and not SVM, LP. PayPal sincerely apologizes to both SVM, LP and our mutual customers for this situation and assures us that each customer that may have been charged the cash advance fee will be credited. The credit can take up to 30 days to reflect in your credit card statement.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and we thank you for your continued patience.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Looks like they are saying PayPal is culpable for it

steve
steve

Had issue here $10 cash advance fee on my citi double cash. Paypal said transaction on their end processed correctly. SVM lady said it is a paypal ‘back end payment issue’ No clue who to believe but Citibank said cash advance fee will post on my account at next statement closing & I can call at that time to have the charges reversed.

Bill
Bill

Just to let you know it’s still going on, I purchased gift cards from Svm via EBay on February 23, and I was charged $10 “cash equivalent fee”, I then had to pay my entire balance on my credit card since there is no interest free grace period for cash advances. I called PayPal and then EBay and they both blamed it on my credit card company, which it wasn’t. 🙁

Mark O
Mark O

That blows….I am only using Amex going forward with SVM

Laurel
Laurel

I just discovered that all the negative feedback I left for SVM has just vanished! So, I guess they don’t have to make their buyers whole after all, they can just remove the feedback!

Mark O
Mark O

I think the only safe thing is to use Amex cards when buying from them since Amex has no cash advances. That is my plan going forward.

CJ
CJ

You guys need to read the feedback terms better. You purchased gift cards from SVM via ebay. SVM sent them out promptly. That is all they are responsible. All of your negative feedback will be removed upon their request because they fulfilled the terms of the purchase. Just because Paypal had a durp moment and changed their coding, doesn’t mean that SVM should be on the hook. It sounds like SVM is doing what they can just short of putting the cards on their own website at those deal rates (which they really should… because fkk paypal thats why : ] )

With all that said, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t leave neg feedback, it is a big enough bother to them that they are having to call ebay to have it removed, so keep it going till it gets fixed as a way to keep reminding them to follow up on it.

Mark O
Mark O

FYI – Update

Much better response but sounds like it is setting up for orders effected not being made whole

Thank you for reaching out to SVM Gift Cards. We are aware of the erroneous Cash Advance charge that has affected some of our customers recently and apologize for the inconvenience. We have been ensured that the error has been corrected by eBay and PayPal so that future orders will not be effected.

Please note that this was NOT a mistake caused by SVM, rather it was an internal processing error in the PayPal system. We are working diligently with eBay and PayPal to rectify the situation with those customers that have been affected, but have limited control due to the issue stemming from non-SVM controlled systems. If you have been affected by this issue and have not received contact from PayPal or eBay within the next three business days, please respond directly to this message and we will work to get this resolved on your behalf.

Joshua K.
Joshua K.

Thank you for reaching out to SVM Gift Cards. We are aware of the erroneous Cash Advance charge that has affected some of our customers recently and apologize for the inconvenience. We have been ensured that the error has been corrected by eBay and PayPal so that future orders will not be effected.

Please note that this was NOT a mistake caused by SVM, rather it was an internal processing error in the PayPal system. We are working diligently with eBay and PayPal to rectify the situation with those customers that have been affected, but have limited control due to the issue stemming from non-SVM controlled systems. If you have been affected by this issue and have not received contact from PayPal or eBay within the next three business days, please respond directly to this message and we will work to get this resolved on your behalf.

Thank you for your understanding and continued patience.

Mark O
Mark O

This is their response today

Hello,

Thank you for your purchase. We are seeing that a message was sent to some users regarding a cash advance for their SVM order. Our eBay contact has let us know these messages were sent due to a backend error. You have not been charged a cash advance fee for your order. If you see any fee in your PayPal transaction history, please let us know.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Pretty sure this doesn’t respond to my issue and I have no idea what message they are talking about.

William Charles

They are so hopeless, they don’t even understand the error at all.

GRR
GRR

Feb 13 using CITI Double Cash coded as

Mortgage Co/NonFinancial Institution/Travel Chk

showing as pending but appears no CA fee was added

Mark O
Mark O

The fee wouldn’t hit until after it settles