Western Union

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Western Union Holding My Money Hostage
Posted on
Rating: 1/51
GEORGIA -- I sent $200.00 to my sister in Jamaica electronically using the WU pay system. The first phone call inquiry about the money I sent since my sister said it did not arrive place the blame on my bank. Of course the bank released the money to Western Union the very day I authorized it so it was not the bank. It was Western Union. One day later they emailed me to tell me that the money was available in Jamaica for pick up. I confirmed this by telephone with Western Union representative. The next day my sister returned to pick up the money, the Western Union agent in Jamaica told her I have to call Western Union to answer some more questions before they can release the money. By now I was so upset I was steaming because just yesterday everything was OK and the money was there and now I am hearing that it is on hold. I called Western Union to find out what was the hold up. A representative for the 10th time ask me for all security information Then she tells me system is down, call back in 5 min. I called back and the Western Union representative want to know what ID my sister would used to pick up the money and what her date of birth was before the money could be released. I told her to cancel the transaction because I cannot give someone else's security information to a Western Union representative whether it is my sister or not. I cancelled the transaction. I will be looking at my account in the next 24 hours to make sure they refunded my money. Guys do not use this WU pay system. It is full of headaches. My sister had to call me about 3 times from Jamaica about this transaction. I had to call her four times. I had to call Western Union about 5 times. Western union e-mailed me about 6 times and I am sure this is not the end of it.
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AnnaMolly on 06/28/2013:
Unfortunately, there is a lot of fraud involving WU. I understand their concept of "better safe than sorry", but it happens. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you can find some other, safer, way to send her money, I would go that route. I hope this gets resolved for you.
Jack on 07/21/2013:
Did your issue finally get resolved? You are right that why you should give security details to WU, I am having similar issue as they are asking me to send scanned copy of id of the recipient, when I said cancel it and I will send through someone else they said I can't do that unless I provide DOB and Place of birth of the recipient... WTH they are ripoff
ali on 11/19/2013:
I have the same issue ....
if solved please send me how is it solved ..
Armando on 01/12/2014:
I am having a similar issue, Western Union claims that there is a "legal problem" with my name and there is no possible way that I can get my money unless I give my ID and personal info. And I have heard of many fraud stories, there is nothing I can do at this point but give my personal info. I know that this is in some way violating my rights. If anyone can tell me of something that I can do, perhaps a lawsuit, I will gladly listen. Please get back to me ASAP if y'all know anything.
Thank y'all.
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Posted by on
Rating: 1/51

Western Union refuses to fulfill the minimum transfer requirements given by Court (FTC) http://www.scribd.com/doc/21413451/MoneyGram-FTC-Complaint
and with this, the Money Transfer has to be closed. Here the continuing conversation:

Response Via Email (Aldwin A) 07/18/2012 02:03 PM
Dear Gerhard Kommnick,

Thank you for your recent email.

We appreciate your attention on this matter. If you could provide the MTCNs of these transfers, it would help us with our internal investigation. Please be advised the we strongly advise our consumers against fraud, most especially on sending money to individuals that they do not know, or whose identity they cannot verify. We offer money transfer services, and is not responsible for knowing the receiver not their identity.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused. Should you require further assistance, please let us know. Thank you.


Al [snip]
Western Union Customer Advocate

ATTN: Al [snip]

I never have heard more stupidness than in your last E-Mail. Western Union had, in absolutely no way, fulfill the Court Decisions that are necessary to handle Money Transfers at all, what means: in that way Western Union is not allowed to handle the Money Transfers by law, and you try to pose the faults to the clients that are paying you !!! Further on, as I have shown, Western Union is directly involved in the crime (10% to the Western Union Office) and then Western Union paid the transfer. Besides that who told you that I did not know the persons. I know them but the real ones and all payments had not been done on base of scam or so. So each point you are telling here, only fakes. Western Union has to fulfill the Court points and then nothing had happened. But as Western Union is going on that way, ignoring apparently the Court decision, it shows that you still further on want to work on that way accepting and very well knowing that thousands of crimes also will be continued with that. Also this is direct involvement in to the crimes and punishable by law. And if Western Union does not follow up Court's decisions and the principals that are given there for handling Money Transfers, Western Union must be closed immediately and brought to Court;. and you on top with such irrelevant argues. You offer a service that is called Money Transfer and that is for all and not only for fraudsters. And the Court decision also says that it is your responsibility if the Money is frauded. And in the same way is arguing the Attorney General of Arizona: all fraud has to be compensated although I said in the beginning, that two valid passports are needed (sender, recipient). And what you have told me there that one only should send money to well known persons is also a fake when Western Union Employers do not realize forgery passports the principal of the transfer conditions. So, even this what you were telling here would not be a solution as Western Union is frauding.
I, further on, am still waiting for the informations in which country, office of Western Union and when the fraud was realized. I am still missing that. And when you also are too stupid to understand that this request concerning the Transfer conditions and that for this no police is necessary as I never asked who has taken the money, then I cannot help you. The only thing I can tell you, if my case now is not solved within this week it will cost Western Union Billions of USD. The informations from my side will continue.
Awaiting your swift reply
Best Regards
Gerhard Kommnick
and with this, the Money Transfer has to be closed.
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jktshff1 on 07/19/2012:
So, simply put, you wired some money and the wrong person got it?
onlooker on 07/20/2012:
It appears that somehow Western Union is responsible for someone with the correct code number/correct ID or 'secret' answer, picking up funds meant for some else. And unhappy sender wants them closed down for their fraud.

Frustrating unfortunate and probably expensive. But I am afraid that the OP will not get anywhere with the scam/fraud suit idea.
Whiteduck on 07/20/2012:
I assume there are indeed instances where money has to reach someone far away immediately, but in well over 50 years of life, it's never happened to me. I would think in this day and age that anyone wanting Western Union payment is probably a scammer. Not sure what WU does to verify the receiver's ID, and this could be a legitimate gripe, but with the scammy bad reputation that transferring money this way has acquired, I'm not sure why anyone would do this.
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Western Union Asked Me to Solve Their Own Problems in China
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I used Western Union to transfer USD500 to a friend on vacation in GuangDong Province in China who was in dire need for some cash. I tried their online payment transfer using my credit card but was declined for some reason (which they would never tell me despite asking them over the phone and emailing them).

OK, so I went to the nearest Western Union physical location near my home to pay in cash. I got their so-called Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) and they told me all that is needed by my friend halfway around the world would be to quote this number and prove his identity, then she could collect the cash within the next 30 minutes.

DON'T ANYONE EVER BELIEVE WHAT WESTERN UNION TOLD YOU!!! I did and it was miserable! My friend tried collecting the money from a designated Western Union location in China, a branch of China Agricultural Bank, and was given a few pages of forms to fill. The forms?? They are to apply for a local bank card. The reason?? The bank there said that she will have to apply for a local bank card in order to claim any Western Union money from the bank. How in the world can a visitor to a small town fill up a local bank card with a valid local address I wondered... Next after those forms being filled, on the next day she returned to the bank, she was told that the MTCN number did not show any fund availability. She tried another location there, the China Post Office and again was told that the MTCN number showed empty!


The customer service officer repeated again and again that the money was available in their system. I said that the China system did not show that to be the case at two separate locations. He replied that if there was a problem, the recipient could call an international help line - some 732 area code number which is clearly a USA number. Asking someone in dire need of fund stranded in an international location to call back to USA on a paying phone? And this is an "international help line"?? This is baffling! And to add, this number is voice prompted in English. My recipient did not know a word of English... I then asked if anything could be done for Western Union in USA to prompt the disbursing locations in China to quickly release the funds. Nothing! Nothing could be done. We are at the mercy of the Western Union's "world-class" network and their screwed up partnerships with the locations there! The customer service person even asked me to tell my friend that she should tell the bank that the money was there! How naive of any customer service representative to even say this when the foreign bank did not see it in their system.

Apparently Western Union customer service officer can only think that anyone can just walk into a bank or anywhere and claim that his or her money is available and should be withdrawn then and there without valid proof! Such is the stupidity of Western Union customer service! I was furious and demanded that they should solve their own problems, and not expect customers to do so. This was when the customer service guy hanged up abruptly refusing to help any further.... I paid Western Union a service fee plus money they make from foreign currency exchange - and this is all I got! Screw them! I am not going to use Western Union anymore!
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Anonymous on 01/14/2009:
If you can retrieve your funds from Western Union, take them to your bank and ask them to do an international wire transfer. It's a whole lot more reliable.
saj80 on 01/14/2009:
Ken, in order to retrieve an international wire transfer, the person on the receiving end needs an account, also; don't think this would work for a visitor in China.
Anonymous on 01/14/2009:
Saj, point taken. I was blinded to the 'vacation' part, by the 'friend doesn't speak English' part. While not impossible, it is markedly more difficult if you don't have an account there to wire it in to.
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Worst Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
HAWAII -- I was attempting to pay with a credit card on the Western Union website and have the money transferred to a bank account. It kept giving me an Error message so I called. First person I talked to said she doesn't know why it's not working, no explanation at all, all she knows is that it's not a problem on their end. She tells me I can go into any location and bring my credit card to make a payment, she will even give me a discount code to get 50% off. So I agreed, wrote the code down and headed to a store. Took off of work to go and get this transaction completed only to find out that the lady at the Western Union counter had no idea how to assist me with what I needed, even went and called a manager who was also just as clueless. At this point I'm pissed already. I get home and call the customer service number again, now to be told that the only way I can make a payment with my credit card is if The location has a black phone, I am literally fuming now because the first lady never mentioned that. So I tell her that I am not about to waste my time and go back to a location, if she can just help me over the phone, she agrees but then tells me that its going to cost me $108. I told her to apply the discount code I was given to that but really my fee should be waived for all the trouble it is taking me just to make a simple transaction when I thought Western Union was supposed to be easy. She tells me that code is only if I go in the store. I ask for a manager and get the same run around that they are not sure why or what information is giving me an error but I'm sorry for your trouble but we cannot give you a discount over the phone, only at a location BUT you cannot pay with credit card. All I know is PayPal is cheaper to send money and a lot easier. Will Never Use Western Union again. For one not even the supervisor could show any time of customer service and compensate me for the terrible customer service I received. Second, all every question I asked no one knew the solution too...what is a call center if you have to tell me to check the website or that you are not sure and then proceed to tell me that no one else would know the answer. Third, I decided to use PayPal and took me one input and I got the money transferred with 30 minutes.
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Western Union transfer money to Netspend Prepaid card
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
EAST PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA -- Both companies have a big problem in their processing of mistakes on their part. I deposited 20.00 and paid the fees of 3.95 for Western Union to load my Netspend card. I had confirmation of the transactions from both companies. This occurred on 4/11/2011. On the 4/23/2012, my account was blocked from my Netspend account. I called and waited hold for 9 hours and talked to Netspend repres for maybe 15-20 minutes total. BOTH companies told me that they had no idea why it Western Union requested a block on my account. Netspend blocked my account merely because Western Union requested them to do so! Neither company can answer why the account was blocked! Netspend told me, I counted this statement, " Western Union requested the block and only Western Union can remove it". Western Union says I own them $20.00. The question is why??

I paid for a service in cash to Western Union that they provide. Why do I owe them an additional $20.00? If someone wants to check it out, here are the MTCN 724-313-2663, sender's confirmation number 2824021. Both indicate that the transaction was complete. Since then I have contacted Western Union and they no idea why my account is blocked. These two companies have a partnership forming a conglomerate. When it comes time to communicate with each other they have problems not just in general but when trying to resolves any issues. I am being charged by Western Union an additional $20.00 for a successful transaction that I paid them to do.

Now my normal deposits for my retirement are on hold! The Netspend company loves putting you on hold! I have used 9hours of talk time to resolve this issue. At the Partner Service department, they people who work there love using the hold button and love to play games on, who's going to be the supervisor. Yesterday it is Matt, today it is Tiffany. Each of course claim to have the power to remove the block. That is of course, when Western Union finds the time to send an email. An email!!! I was told that,"they should have an email today, I mean hopefully this morning".. It is all tatctics with them. When I ask for, Chuck Harris, the guys who runs Customer Service and Operations, clamer and than forward me to another office person who plays the role and still tells me, that they talked to the Reprs from Western Union who said that they will send them an email to clear this matter up. I was a happy customer with them. Now, I am looking at the benefits of Bank of America for the needs etc... Stay away from Netspend and Western union when it comes to transferring moneies that you pay them to load into the pre-paid car like Netspend.

Best regards
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Where's the money?
Posted by on
I am a host mother for students who come to the US to study. On March first, 2011 the brother of one student sent him $1985.00 by Western union. He went to the Meijer store #121 to collect his money. They told him they couldn't give it all to him in cash. They gave him $985 in cash and a check for the remaining money $1000.00. He took the check to Bank of America in South Bend and deposited it into his account. They told him the money should be available in his account the next day. With the $985 he paid school fees, etc. thinking he would have more money the next day. It wasn't available the next day, nor the next, nor the next. He was being sent back and forth between the Meijer store and the Bank of America for the next week and still had no money. I finally said I would call Western Union for him and see what was going on. On March 10th, 2011 I called Western Union. The agent pulled up the file and told me they were aware of the problem. He said they had talked numerous times with the Bank of America branch manager and the manager at the Meijer store where the check was issued. He told me there was a computer error and the check was logged as "cashed out", when it wasn't. He said the case had been "expedited" (they don't use that word) on March 8th and a case should be resolved within 24 to 48 hours of the "expedite" so by morning he should have his money. He still doesn't have his money four weeks after it arrived! I have talked to the bank manager, the Meijer manager and numerous agents, supervisors and managers at Western Union. Meijer says the mistake was Western Union's and the check is being shown as paid out when it was not paid out. Whether the mistake was made at Meijer or a Western union office, all agree that the student didn't get his money. I have called and called and called Western Union, been on the phone for over an hour numerous times and I get nowhere. Where is his money and why won't they give it to him.
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tnchuck100 on 03/31/2011:
First key question here is what bank and account was the check from Meijer store drawn on? You did keep a copy of that check didn't you?

Tracing THAT check is the trail to pursue.
trmn8r on 03/31/2011:
Wow. Bizarre. I know that WU is very wary of fraud, and I am surprised that you have been able to pursue this matter for the student. Usually, privacy rules would prevent that, and WU is the most stringent I have experienced in this regard. Did you have to go through a procedure to act on his behalf?

It sounds like WU admits the status was logged incorrectly at the store WU terminal. I don't see why WU has been unable to fix this. Weird.
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Western union fails their responsibility
Posted by on

Western Union is being totally irresponsible and almost complicit in the abuses of on-line crime, by allowing on-line scammers to collect money at Western Union offices, without Western Union agents taking ANY reasonable measures to get proper identification and protect their client (the person who sent the money), or help track down the scammers and put this practice to an end.

Millions of US dollars would be saved if WU would only step up and do the right thing, and turn over money only to people who show that the transaction is legit. WU knows how to spot shady deals, and is very aware that the on-line scam problem exists and that the scam exploits the laxness of WU. And WU knows that the solution is an easy one. Major on-line sellers such as Amazon, eBay and AutoTrader have asked Western Union to simply take some reasonable and inexpensive steps, because the laxness of WU hurts buyers and all those sellers and other businesses that transfer money electronically. But Western Union ignores them because the consumer protection laws have been made so weak over the past 10 years, so WU can ignore senders who complain that the money sent was released far too easily to criminals that could easily be deterred or caught if Western Union would only require better identification. Folks, Western Union is providing the way for terrorists, criminals, tax evaders and other bad guys to get away with transferring money to do bad things.

Moreover, WU exploits the fact that senders are usually under heavy stress to complete electronic transfers, and offers a "Money In Minutes" premium service--implying that WU will provide extra service and / or actually deliver the money to the receiver. But they don't do anything for that extra charge. They just take advantage of the fact that you are under pressure and they take your money to "guarantee" something they should do on a regular basis: Give your money to somebody else. Furthermore, when we asked for information on the receiver, WU refused to give the information EVEN THOUGH WU is more than happy to sell MY financial information and information about who I am, and where I did the transaction to retailers, marketers, credit card companies and financial institutions and any other Western Union "partners" who have NO RIGHT to know anything about the transaction or see ANY of my confidential information. This is the same company that charged me and then denied me the right to see the name of the person who took MY money. They claimed that they have a "duty to protect the privacy of all our customers". What bull! They do what ever is cheapest and best for Western Union, and the buyer be damned. Thousands of people have been scammed this way, but the consumer protection laws have been re-written lately to the advantage of outfits like WU so we all need to call our state's attorney general office and ask them to force WU to operate to a higher, yet reasonable standard and put a stop to this kind of abuse.
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Hugh_Jorgen on 06/12/2010:
And as soon as they tighten up their requirements to protect people from themselves, they would have people here complaining that their standards were too high and therefore a legitimate money transfer didn't go through.

Western Union is in the business of transferring money - that is all. They are not financial advisers or consumer protection advocates. That is the responsibility of the person sending the money.

Sorry you got taken advantage of, but it wasn't WU's fault.
Anonymous on 06/12/2010:
If you sent money to someone via WU, I agree that WU should be able to show you who collected that money on the other end since you are the initiator of the contract/process.

I also agree that WU should have some process in place to help ensure the correct person receives the money, even if it is only checking a valid photo ID of the person receiving the money.

I'm actually surprised they are not doing this anyway. If that's the case, I agree with the OP and it is WU's fault if my transactions are not executed per our contract. (Contract being that I am sending money through WU to a named person.)

The big ol government is all over the place in checking IDs for booze and slapping rules on Payday check-cashing places, seems they would love getting involved in this, if they haven't already.
sanfordP on 06/13/2010:

Hugh Jorgen, I am sorry to say this, but you are twisting the discussion, much like the Western Union employees and attorneys.

Let's cut through your smoke and talk about what I actually said: First off, we can ignore any reference to me saying anything about my expectation for WU to be a "financial adviser". You sound like you're trying to characterize me as simple-minded, to discredit my argument. I know what a financial adviser is, and what they do, and I don't expect that service from anybody but my financial advisers. Or maybe you don't know what a financial adviser is. In any case, that's a non-starter, so let's drop that from the discussion.

Next: You seem to have the mistaken belief that we all have a "right" to convenience. We don't. We have an obligation to do what is right, convenient or not. And that is the core issue here. You and WU seem to think that holding businesses to a REASONABLE standard of the existing laws is too much to ask. If you look past your so-called right to convenience, you will see lurking there the issues of security, honesty, and the need to catch thieves (and killers). And I am not hyper ventilating here. WU is THE channel through which most of the world's dirty money flows and that dirty money is hurting our society.

Furthermore, I did not say anything about WU's duty to be a "consumer advocate". Again; this sounds like a WU employee or an attorney. Adhering to agency law and consumer protection law is not "advocacy", it IS the law. Plain and simple. "Fiduciary responsibility" to the client is not a "premium service". It is a basic tenet of agency law. By any legal standard, WU has a legally prescribed duty to protect the interests of their client but they skirt that requirement because it is easier and more profitable. Otherwise, they would have to screen and monitor their agents (my GOD!), and they might lose a highly lucrative customer: The guys who WANT to operate in the shadows.

Doing what I've asked and what our government and other businesses have asked would not hurt honest dealings. Quite the contrary, it would make transactions more secure and make honest people feel more secure in doing business with WU. WU would probably see an increase in business. Sadly, WU chose the low road, and is getting away with skirting agency law by choosing to operate under the laws of the state with the most lax consumer protection laws, and that is not a coincidence. That choice --and the fine print on the back of their contracts-- makes it easier for WU and for everybody from terrorists to tax evaders to internet scammers to operate in the shadows; and WU knows this but chooses profit over responsibility. They cut corners and avoid the little bit of work (that they should do anyhow), just like BP and so many other big businesses avoid their duty to the public. It is simply easier for them to do business in a lax manner.

Because big business means big mistakes, I fear that there will be more and more people hurt, more and more tax dollars lost, and maybe even a gigantic disaster if WU doesn't clean up their act.

WU knows this is a huge problem because our government has told them. And law enforcement officials have told them how easy and inexpensive it is to do a better job. WU already has the capacity to do a better job, but they chose not to--only to keep the transactions opaque. Not more "private". And there is a big difference between "privacy" and "opaqueness". The only people who need opaqueness are the bad guys.

Ordinary citizens know that billions of dollars goes overseas AND comes into the USA via WU to highly dubious receivers. And government knows this because individuals such as myself, the local police, state attorneys general and district attorneys have said that they want WU to apply the readily available and inexpensive technology AND apply some fiduciary responsibility at the time of transfer--by simply getting (reasonable) identification and quit being obstructionists and hypocritical about "protecting the personal information of our customers". REMEMBER: In my case, we are not talking about "spying" on you. We are talking about a sender having access to information about the designated receiver, when the designated receiver turns out to be a crook. Why do they protect THAT person, when they don't protect ME? Profit.

As I stated earlier, WU sells all MY personal information, almost indiscriminately. Everything, including my name, my financial information, my home phone, my cell phone, my address, the amount I sent, how I paid, where I sent it from, my email address, etc., and they SELL that to other financial institutions, to credit card companies, retailers, merchandisers, telemarketers and any other WU "partner" they chose. So it is highly hypocritical and highly disingenuous of WU to talk about their principled position on protecting anybody. They protect only Western Union.

Remember this Hugh: I sent money to a specific person, I designated a specific address, and WU will not tell me if they even tried to deliver to that address, who received the money or how they got it. They will give only very general information such as a city, and the local WU office name. No names of the person who supposedly delivered or handed over the funds, no information on the person who picked up or received the money, no indication on how they identified them self, or if the WU agent even bothered to ask for proper ID. How in the world is THAT an execution of fiduciary trust?

Please, let's drop the baloney about me having unreasonable expectations for financial advice and consumer advocacy. WU should be held to a reasonable standard-- because nearly everybody (except the bad guys and WU) agrees that WU's laxness is unsafe, if not down right dangerous for individuals, businesses and the security of our country. Again--this goes WAY beyond just me and victims of Internet crime. This is a big deal, and instead of doing the right thing, WU is hiding behind a dubious claim of "government intervention"...while they are knowing facilitators in a huge crime problem.

Laurie on 11/14/2011:
whoever wrote the opening article about Western Union not taking social responsibility, I want to talk to him/her. I have had a very very impleasant experience with WU and when I asked them to show to me the proof that the money was handed over to the person named on the ticket and proved that they had performed ID Check,I got the answer that they could not trace the transaction. I am far from being done with WU as subsequently I found out a lot lot more therefore I would like for those who feel the same way to provide me their contact emails and so I can contact them. There is a big issue within WU and it needs to be resolved so I am looking to create a Union to go after WU.
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Fear and Loathing at Western Union
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If I had known what minefield, what destruction, what mayhem was in store for me when I asked my mom to wire me $200.00 because I was stranded in St. Louis (due to Greyhound) I would have run for the hills.

A phone call from a man who clearly was in India said, "Come pick up your money, here's your control number etc." Standard procedure.

I walk 9 miles to a grocery store and I am denied because my license expired a month ago. I offer to produce any variety of seemingly acceptable documents, but the woman is nothing but cold. It's over.

A driver's license, expired or not, proves who somebody is when you punch in the DL#. End of story. I don't drive a car.

I call Western Union and navigate their idiotic voice recognition system by saying "operator, operator, operator, operator". Another Indian man tells me (I have no problem with India, but it's clear to me they've outsourced all of their support services) tells me that I must call my sender, mom, and have her add a "security question". It is my mom's wedding day and I am trying to receive this money to get thirty miles south to the wedding. Little did I know I would never make the wedding. I would never receive the money and I would end up that night sleeping in the grass by a college campus and have my laptop stolen.

I called Western Union again and after some severe resistance, managed to reach a supervisor, whose coldness was more pronounced and defiant than the underlings. She told me that not only was there no conceivable way to collect the money with my expired license. The sender would not be able to add a security question and all there was to do was to refund the money back to the sender, minus the $30.00 fee. I said, "So that's the solution, everybody loses?" "Yes," She said.

And this is how Western Union makes their money.

The wedding was already taking place by this time and I called my mom to tell her the tale of woe, and it caused her great distress.

I tried to stay awake wandering around St. Louis with no money with 4 large bags and eventually I crashed by a tree near a technical school. When I awoke my laptop bag was gone and someone had opened my gym bag but didn't find anything useful.

I awoke in the morning and began to wonder what sort of hell I had plunged into.
I began at this point to know very terrible thoughts. I began thinking of nothing but revenge against Western Union, and how I could make them suffer and pay for ruining everything. I called them again and demanded that when my mom call them to get her refund, that the $30.00 fee be included. The man agreed and said it would be done.

My mom called the next day, during her honeymoon and was not only hassled with a million confirmation questions, but DENIED THE TRANSFER FEE as part of the refund.

At this point my mom became so agitated she refused to speak to me, and refused to send any money by any other means. She simply didn't know whom to blame.

My anger at this point reached terrible heights. I wanted to knock someone's teeth out. Unfortunately, Western Union seems to have no accountable persons anywhere in physical form. This time, I told the person on the phone that they were to call my mother and refund her the $30.00 per a previous conversation, and no other option would be acceptable. The person seemed amused by this audacity. When they would not connect me to a supervisor and kept repeating a denial phrase I asked them where the nearest Western Union administrative office was, because I was going to go there. And I was going to take more than my money back. This call eventually culminated in me absolutely shredding this person on the phone to pieces. I felt bad about it for a minute, but then I realized there are reasons why explosions happen, because change is needed.

Of all the companies that have screwed me over time, this one really hit home. The frustration and violent rage and powerlessness and resulting damage and endangerment and loss of seeing my mom's wedding and now she won't speak to me have caused me to designate Western Union as an Enemy of the People.

Their cold, pathetic, paranoid protectionism to cover their own selves at the expense of their own customers lives makes them a cold, heartless, inflexible company.

Do not let anyone you know and love ever, for any reason, use Western Union.


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BokiBean on 03/31/2009:
Its absolutely ridiculous for them to insist on a valid license as proof of identity. Expired or not, it should be good enough identification for a money transfer. I can't think of a reason they would need an "unexpired" license..

Sorry about your laptop, but considering that you were sleeping outside and very vulnerable in that situation, you're unharmed and safe..that's important.

I know you're upset and angry, and this won't help at all, but that's a heck of a story and in years to come, when you and your mom make up, I hope you can laugh about it together.
Ponie on 03/31/2009:
I think Starlord can weigh in on why an expired license is not accepted as ID. Seems the poster has a good(?) track record: no funds, doesn't drive, etc. Wonder why?
BokiBean on 03/31/2009:
I'd love to know! I'm pretty sure a fair percentage of their customer base is people in dire straights...just the kind we're talking about, which is why it bugs me.

Starlord, help us out!
Anonymous on 03/31/2009:
This made you so angry that you contemplated finding a WU office and "bringing back more than your money"...and this is why explosions happen, because change is needed? whoa.

Anonymous on 03/31/2009:
The enemy of the people? Well, it sounds like you really were pushed over the edge. But, looking on the bright side, I hope your future travels are better and that your mother speaks to you again someday :)
Buddy01 on 03/31/2009:
No money, four large bags, and a laptop for a wedding? Maybe you interrupted the preparations or ceremony too many times with your phone calls and that is why your mother was mad. I was put off by your demands. You were in no position to demand anything.
Anonymous on 03/31/2009:
No one was available to drive the 30 miles to pick you up?
Seems they may not have been too concerned if you made it to the wedding or not.
Anonymous on 03/31/2009:
"...there are reasons why explosions happen, because change is needed." The OP is stranded and misused by WU and this line becomes most important? C'mon! If this happened to you, you'd be rightfully furious. Quick, call Homeland Security! Someone is upset and said 'explosion'. They might be budding domestic terrorists!

Boki nailed this one by sticking to the consumer issue. "I'm pretty sure a fair percentage of their customer base is people in dire straights...just the kind we're talking about, which is why it bugs me."

Me too, Boki. Me too.
Anonymous on 03/31/2009:
Dock ja, you are really laying it on thick now. It's almost as though someone flipped a switch. That's curious.
Anonymous on 03/31/2009:
LOL knowitall..now, if I had applauded the OP for making a statement like that, then we would have seen a completely different response. You just got to laugh at the nonsense of it all, but really, let's just focus on the consumers here, shall we? ;)
Starlord on 03/31/2009:
I don't know of any official or business concern that will accept an expired license as proof of identity. A large number of people throw away expired licenses, which is a bad idea. They should be shredded. If someone who vaguely resembles you finds your expired license, they would be able to claim to be you, that it was a bad picture, and be able to cause havoc with a form of identity theft. That is why an expired license is useless as a form of ID. If you think about it for a few minutes, the reasoning for demanding a current license quickly becomes crystal clear.
I still carry my old Arizona license, which was punched with a hole through the expiration date. It is useless as ID, but it is a keepsake. I agree with the question, no one could come 30 miles to pick you up?
Anonymous on 03/31/2009:
Good info, Starlord. There needs to be consistency on what is 'valid' ID for use by retailers and non-government users. I once got behind a man at WalMart whose alcohol purchase was declined because he had a 'state ID card' instead of a DL. The former was created for non-drivers, but a few places will only accept a DL as 'valid' ID. But, why someone could not come pick up the OP doesn't matter. The complaint was about how the OP was treated by WU.
Ponie on 04/01/2009:
Thanks, Starlord. I knew you'd come through for us. :)
BokiBean on 04/01/2009:
I figured it would have something to do with identity theft. I still have my expired license cause the pic is cuter! :D
jimworcs on 09/10/2009:
The service was not delivered. What was WU taking $30 bucks for? It is highway robbery.
There clearly is more to the story... why he wasn't picked up when it was only 30 miles.. he walked 9 miles.. maybe he should have just walked the 30.. his mother is no longer speaking to him...yadayadayada..but however "unrealiable" the poster, whatever his history.. Western Union failed to deliver a service and then took the money. ~What did they do for the money... NOTHING
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Waiting Over an Hour With a 5 Year Old in a Gas Station
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
I went to a local gas station to receive a Western Union for 75 dollars. The store clerks had to deal with 6 operators, each telling us something different is wrong. While I'm waiting, I had to explain to my 5 year he couldn't go to his dad's this weekend because we now don't have enough time to make it there, which was a 2 hour drive. We sat an 145 just waiting. I love holding my 5 year old while he sits and cries, not to mention I told a manager I am taking my business elsewhere and he said that was fine. It's sad because I receive money from there quite a bit. I won't be using Western Union any more and I don't recommend it to anyone else either.
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BigAl on 10/20/2012:
I am sure that after you had your child crying in this place of business for over an hour the manager did not care if you took your business elsewhere.
trmn8r on 10/20/2012:
The 5 year old is immaterial to Western Union, much as he would be if this took place at a bank.

Western Union and its clients have been the target of fraud on a large scale, so their procedures can seem onerous when things don't go smoothly. Have you had trouble like this previously? It may be a rare glitch.
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Western Union steals your money!
Posted by on
My son is in a detention center in the U.S. for something very stupid he did. I have sent him money several times through Western Union's Quick Collect Program, which "works" either via telephone, the Internet, or any of their public locations.

The problem here is, and Western Union takes FULL advantage of this, that you cannot call the recipient to verify receipt of the money. Western Union gives you a "confirmation" that they allegedly sent the money, but in half of the cases this is false. If by chance my son calls me and I ask him whether he received a particular transfer, half of the time the answer is "No."

Yes, the money is always debited from by Visa account... but like I said above, delivered only half of the time.

Yes, I have fought with Western Union's call centers to get the money delivered after hearing their lame excuses as to why they didn't send the money, but this is a ripoff, a fraud, any way you look at it. If Western Union has a valid reason NOT to deliver money to an inmate at a prison, well then don't take the money from the sender!

Imagine, just try to imagine the huge dollar amounts Western Union steals from the public like this, day in and day out. I am very meticulous when it comes to money, so I check and make sure that my son gets his money when I send him some. But I am not the only person sending him funds; he has other relatives and friends that use Western Union to send him cash; they have no way of letting him know, and he has no way of knowing they did... when Western Union steals his money.

Thumbs down for Western Union. They are a huge ripoff!
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jktshff1 on 09/10/2009:
Not being a wise a , but can you trust your son to tell you the truth?
Anonymous on 09/10/2009:
This can be tracked online from sending it, to when it's ready for pick-up to when the receiver actually collects it. Check online with your MCN number.
spiderman2 on 09/10/2009:
Is there another way you can send him money? Is there any holdup getting it credit to his account in the prison system? I can't imagine that that is instantous, but I have no prison experience.
Anonymous on 09/10/2009:
So it wasn't your transfers but those made by others to your son that Western Union has been ripping off?

If Western Union, which has been doing money transfers since the 1870s, is stealing "huge dollar amounts" "day in and day out," it seems someone else would have noticed that, too.

Maybe the guards are stealing your son's money? Or his "girlfriend"? Or maybe, just maybe, your son is lying to you and the others to get you to send even more money? Too many "maybes" to state with certainty that Western Union is stealing money.
memoryx57 on 09/10/2009:
Just a suggestion but if I were you I'd contact the detention center and find out what their exact procedures are for getting money to the inmates. Let them know the problems you've been having with Western Union and see if they can offer up anything that may help you find a resolution. It could possibly be a breakdown between W/U and the detention...just a thought. Hope this gets worked out for you.
Doctor Charlie on 09/10/2009:
What's he locked up for?
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