Several weeks ago, I had a need to urgently transfer money to a family member in Arizona. I went online to Western Union and completed the form; the money was to come from my checking account and I provided the debit card number.
(The fee for this service is a hefty 10% of the amount of the transfer!) I thought the transfer would go through "in minutes" as it says on the web site. Hours went by, and the transaction still showed as "pending" in my checking account, and the money still could not be retrieved at the other end. I had multiple calls to WU Customer Service in the Philippines. Everyone was oh-so-polite, but kept telling me the transfer would go through in another 30 minutes.
Then another hour. Then another hour. Meanwhile, the WU store in Arizona was closing for the night, so the money could not be retrieved that night. I asked to speak to a supervisor and WU Customer Service claimed that none was available and I would be called back.
NEVER HAPPENED. So I called again and finally spoke to a supervisor, who blamed the IT department in COSTA RICA for the delay. (I'm not making this up -- their Customer Service motto must be: when in doubt, blame Costa Rica.) TWELVE HOURS LATER (the next morning), the money transfer was still hung up in the WU system. I ended up getting cash from an ATM and driving to a WU agent several miles from my home.
This transaction actually did go through in minutes. At that point, I cancelled the first transaction, and it took four business days for this transaction to disappear as "pending" from my checking account. After this experience, I doubt I will ever use WU again, and I would not recommend it UNLESS you are able to get cash and go to an agent in person. Even then, I would be wary of this company, which has the most inept Customer Service reps I've ever experienced and apparently has no supervisors who know how to resolve ANYTHING.
But boy, they sure know how to be polite as they tell you that you are S.O.L. I guess that is saying something.
(By the way, because Arizona is a SW border area, apparently you cannot transfer more than $450 or $500 to a single person within a 24 hour period. So if the need is for more, you have to figure out another way and hope this doesn’t happen to you late at night, or on a weekend, evening, or holiday….)
Product or Service Mentioned: Western Union Money Transfer.