CALIFORNIA -- My mission for the month of October is to make sure that every person I come into contact with knows that Western Union is the worst company I've done business within the last year. They have won my personal Total Lack of Customer Service Award for September 2002. Two days ago, I returned from a three week vacation in Europe. I was extremely tired, especially after going to work the morning after my 9:45 pm flight came in.
This morning I was awoken by a close friend who is trying to get back to the U.S. from eastern Europe. His request was simple - a short term loan that would enable him to fly back here, where he would be receiving money and would be able to pay me back. The dilemma: time. He had about 90 minutes until the travel agency was supposed to close. No problem! I'm all about last minute. I've tackled much more complex problems - especially while in Europe.
So I tried the Western Union website, which seemed easy enough. Well, the webpage wouldn't even load. I knew it was their issue because my DSL was working on many other pages and this was the first problem I've had in days. After several attempts, I turned to Yahoo! Yellow Pages to find Western Union locations. I found a few in my county, but only one in my city. I called it only to find that although they're open, they don't begin any WU transactions until after 10 am. So I decided to give the website another shot.
I mistakenly thought that just because I could talk to a tech support person "live" online, that their servers were working again. Boy was I wrong. Their chat support person even admitted that the site was just not working well, stating that "not all of our servers are down". (Yeah, just MOST of them!) At last it began to work, so I feverishly entered my information and got all ready to send the money. After another waste of time - this time about 10 minutes - I found that my transaction, including all of my sensitive personal and financial info, was stuck. The next page would not load.
I waited for about 15 minutes, during which time I talked to a tech support person "online" again. They were courteous, but also used a lot of sentences which sounded completely generic and prewritten. This particular support person told me that they were surprised I hadn't gotten an error message yet, implying that all of the other customers she had dealt with were experiencing error messages. In the end (about 20 more wasted minutes later) there was nothing they would offer me to encourage me to use their services. I even spoke with a customer care rep and a SUPERVISOR, who both told me that there was nothing they could do.
I proposed a discount in the astronomical amount they were going to charge me to send the $500. They did not comply, insisting that there was no way for them to process such a request. In the end, a northern California bank won - Bank of the West. I had to drive down there, but they completed a transfer of funds to my friend's Bank of the West account in less than 5 minutes. They were courteous and efficient, and a major contrast to the nightmare I had been through the previous two hours with Western Union.
However, my friend had to POSTPONE HIS RETURN by ONE FULL DAY because it had taken so long to get this all figured out. So, thanks to Western Union, he's stuck in Europe for another full day. How much money is an entire day worth to you?
A complete and total lack of concern, no sense of urgency, and a virtually worthless website (which I had previously heard from friends has been riddled with issues) are what was offered me this morning. But no offer of solution or campaign for my business was put forth by Western Union. I guess they figure that they're big enough and they charge enough money for every transaction they perform that they can afford to lose a few people like me. Well, if I have my way, they'll be losing multitudes of potential future customers. I will be encouraging PayPal or CitiBank's money transfer system, and completely slam on Western Union.
People deserve to hear horror stories like mine so that they can realize what some companies and corporations actually put the average consumer through. It should be noted that after this 2.5 hour international incident, I was not even able to go back to bed before having to get ready for work. Luckily, the Bank of the West branch was close to my home. However, time is - and always will be - MONEY. And they wasted my precious reserves of both this morning when they managed to convince me that I'd sooner stick money in the pouch of a carrier pigeon than send money to the next town using Western Union services.
I hope that you will consider my terrible experience and also consider NOT giving them your business. Find another way. They will waste your time and not offer you anything for it. Besides, they charge fees which should be classified as extortion. Hell, my credit card company charges less for a $500 cash advance than WU charges to send $500 to a regular person. So what exactly can YOU afford when it comes time to send money to a friend or loved one who's in a pinch?
My aunt sent me $200 as a wedding gift. When I went to collect it, I was told that it was already picked up. When we called Western Union, they said that it was collected in a different city and they gave me a receipt with a signature that doesn't match my signature or handwriting. And they are saying that they followed procedure and they are not responsible for it. What can I do to collect my money?
Jun 2010 friend from US send me the money to Cusco Peru and Western union send money to Trujillo another state in Peru and was pick up in this place. When I tried to get some information in WU Cusco were very unhelpful telling that I pick up the money so I have made a fraud investigation and police force WU to prove my signature and they lose because my signature was falsified. But is not possible to get back the money because WU have staff of lawyer making my life unpleasant.
I made a money transfer for $1,400 from Los Angeles to New York and paid and extra $100 for an instant transfer. They said the money will be available in a minute and that the receiver can go to any nearby Western Union store to pick up the money. My friend, who was leaving the country the following day, went to the nearest store and asked for the money. He was told that they don't have the money then they sent him to a different store. He went to the second store and the printer was broken so they could not deliver the money. Because my friend was leaving the country the following day he had other stuff to do so he couldn't do the third location.
I called Western Union and asked for a refund, but they said I am not eligible for one cause I should have called their 800 number before I went anywhere. I said how would I know what to do if you don't tell me and tried to explain that the friend had to organize himself for his trip. However, they said it was my fault. I called and asked to talk to a manager 7 times. All of the supervisors told me leave us your phone number and will call you back. They never did.
Why is such a bad service so expensive? It seems like they want to keep you ignorant about how their company works so they could take you money!! A friend of mine had a bad experience with them also. I strongly recommend not to deal with this company.
This is very strength that when I found the different amount of money in different agents of Western Unions. I sent the money to China and I found the amount is not match to the transfer rate today. Ever thought the rate changes very second, how there is almost 250 Rmb different when I only sent 1300 Canadian dollars to China. I did 3 call to find out the problem. I went to the agent put 1300 dollars and the agent provide me 10,102.86 Rmb. I call the Western Union customer service and they tell me is 10,039.86 Rmb. I call the other agent which I found online provide me a 10,286,35 Rmb.
I check the online from the bank is 10,261.04 Rmb. Customer service tell me they don't follow the bank rate, they have their own rate. I think they said they have their own rate is the rate under the fair rate they should provide for their customers. I heard from my friend said Western Union make money with some special skill, now, I understand how they make the money from the customers.
So, if you are going to sent money by Western Union, you should better check the rate first and ask them follow the rate. One more thing is if they just write down the money amount on the paper for you, be careful. I found last time the agent print the money amount on the paper, but this time she just write down on the paper. I guess there are some other thing she was doing to me. I don't know how much money I lost because I sent money quite often.