PLAINVIEW, IOWA -- I had a rather large sum of money transferred to myself from my bank. Was given 3 nearby locations to receive transfer. None of the locations provided would give me the transferred amount even though customer service rep. said that two were able. After making dozens of calls to Western Union and given the same information, asked for supervisor.
The supervisor repeated information like a computer. There were no attempts to rectify issue. Not one went out of their way to help beyond what their computers said. The information it provided was not updated. Wrong addresses given or agent no longer existed, no information upfront about limits of agencies. Would recommend to whomever is reading this to find another way to transfer funds. Will never use them again.
I purchased the card to buy a bus ticket, WU decided it could not verify who I was without me sending a copy of all of my legal documents and a copy of a bill from my current address. The ticket I wished to purchase had to be purchased a week out for me to afford it. I am stuck in a homeless shelter trying to make it to my spouse, every day counts.
I had to take the card I purchased, find a WalMart, pay an additional fee for a WalMart Visa and a transaction fee, spending an additional $14 which I do not have. Luckily I was able to get the bus ticket with the much less restrictive gift card for the same day. If you are trying to use your own cash to purchase something online, do yourself a favor, skip the bs and buy yourself a gift card.
I originally had a Western Union card, this card is being phased out. So, I switched to the NetSpend prepaid card after being told about it by the phone representative at Western Union. My sister sent $100 via Western Union to me. I was not able to load the funds onto the card by my computer, no explanation was given by customer service at NetSpend, and I got tired of being transferred around. I went to a location and had it done there.
The biggest problem that I have, for EVERY TRANSACTION THERE IS A FEE OF $1.00 UP TO 3.00! What fool would give their money away like that? This is a stupid card and I am canceling and having them to send a check for my remaining money. Dumb!
Follow up: Found out to get a check issued, you have to PAY $6.! smh
Western Union is being totally irresponsible and almost complicit in the abuses of online crime, by allowing online 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 online scam problem exists and that the scam exploits the laxness of WU. And WU knows that the solution is an easy one. Major online 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 whatever 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.
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!
She got back to the hotel and contacted me and I called up Western Union's customer service... And this is where I got the greatest shock about WESTERN UNION'S SERVICE WHICH THEY CHARGE USD14 FOR NEVER MIND THE PROFITS THEY GOT FROM AN UNREASONABLE FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE!
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!
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.
DENVER, COLORADO -- I wanted to send some money and after tons of personal questions and holding me online for a long time then they accepted and charged very high fee. Then after few minutes I got a call from them that the transfer was rejected to send the money to my family for an excuse that some frauds have been reported in that destination.
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.
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 it's 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 runaround 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.