ALL Of The Techies At Direct Express Should Be Fired

30 11 2022

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The Direct Express debit card has been issued by Comerica Bank since it was selected by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in January of 2008.  The federal government uses the Express Debit product to issue electronic payments—such as Social Security benefits—to people who do not have bank accounts and to those who choose not to receive their payments otherwise.

The Direct Express card is a prepaid debit card offered to federal benefit recipients who receive their benefits electronically.  Users do not need to have a bank account to sign up for the card; and there is no credit check or minimum balance requirement.  Among the federal agencies that use the card are the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

As of October 16, 2018. approximately 4.5 million Americans and their families were served by the Direct Express programs, including thousands of veterans and some of our country’s most vulnerable citizens, including older Americans and Americans with disabilities.[2].  Recently, Comerica’s technical staff—or “Techies”—have created chaos in the lives of Direct Express cardholders, by making it impossible to log in, and to obtain critical and time-sensitive documents.

The Coronavirus pandemic brought about dramatic changes in America’s workforce, whereby many began working remotely with little or no supervision.  Techies, in particular, made changes to Websites that had been functioning well, to justify their existences.  The extreme seems to have befallen Comerica and its Direct Express workforce, which have made changes that invariably strike fear in their customers.

Many Americans have used the Web for decades and are very conversant with such problems, and are generally quite patient in dealing with them.  Others who are often aged and not used to the nuances of the Web are befuddled by such changes, and even panic from them.  They don’t understand what has happened to their money when they must effectively create new accounts; whereas, everything had been working properly.

Fair or not, the onus of such chaos rests with the Techies who created this mess and hurt loyal customers, and must be fired.  New employees must be brought in to fix the problems and restore a sense of order and normality.  Serious thought should be given to removing Comerica’s Treasury Department selection, and choosing some other business entity to handle such sensitive matters.  Bank of America comes to mind, but even its Techies have made recent changes to its Website that were unnecessary.

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© 2022, Timothy D. Naegele

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[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6  and https://naegeleknol.wordpress.com/accomplishments/   He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service).  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/ and https://naegeleknol.wordpress.com/articles/), and studied photography with Ansel Adams.  He can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comerica (“Comerica”) and https://www.usdirectexpress.com/faq.html (“Frequently Asked Questions”) and https://www.warren.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018.10.16%20Letter%20to%20VA%20re%20Comericas%20Direct%20Express.pdf








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