• Report: #1012526

Complaint Review: Western Union

  • Submitted: Mon, February 11, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, February 11, 2013

  • Reported By: Law Abiding Citizen — Bellevue Washington USA
Western Union
Internet United States of America

Western Union Western Union MoneyWise Prepaid Card Locked/Froze Our Prepaid Card with Sufficient Funds, Internet

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We've had our MoneyWise Prepaid card for over a year. The reason being, we didn't want a check by mail. The tax return is our money and we wanted ASAP. The tax return was loaded to our Western Union Moneywise Prepaid card Feb. 1st 2013. We paid off all our bills, purchased Mr. & Mrs. (Samsung Note II) cellphones + protection accessories [for the phones]. The next day [Saturday Feb. 2nd] we purchased a cheap $100 cellphone + protection accessories for our daughter. Later that night we tried purchase a bed.

Round 1! FIGHT! 
The card is declined. We knew the status of our balance... there was no question that we can afford the bed. We called Western Union (the number on the back of the card) to see what the deal was. The foreign accent told us.... the prepaid card had a daily spending limit!! In addition, we had to wait 24 hours from our last purchase to make more purchases. Our last purchase was about 7 pm that day. Our only option was to withdraw money from the ATM (which we did).

We waited until the next morning [Sunday the 3rd] to pay for the bed. It was a whole new day until... The 'Returned Item' Nightmare!! A few days later, my Husband's phone starts to glitch out on calls. We didn't know if the phone hung up after a call because the phone's screen wasn't responding to any prompts. Friday Feb. 8th 2013 The phone is in the same pristine condition as it was when purchased. So hubby decided to return the phone to the same store of purchase. In the meantime, my Hubby would use an old phone we had sitting in the junk drawer. The money was back on the Western Union Moneywise Prepaid card the next day. 

Round 2! FIGHT! 
Saturday Feb. 9th 2013. The card's put on hold without explanation or notification. After 8+ hours of being on hold, dealing with outsourced Western Union Customer Service Reps, reaching out to Managers, having those Managers hang up on us...

I s**t you not, it was that long. You have to go through the automated phone system every time they hang up on you. And then you have to wait through the 'large volumes' of calls they are ALWAYS dealing  with.

We finally reached a "Manager" (with a bad attitude) that told us that we needed to fax the sales receipt along with the return receipt. 

If we didn't have the receipts, we would have to provide merchant information that the average consumer don't have access to.

We didn't have the receipts! We went back to store to get a copy of both requested receipts and faxed them. Hubby comes home talking on his phone to confirm that they received the fax.

Round and round they went until... 

Western Union: "It's not our fault that your card is locked, you'll have to talk to our bank, Meta Bank."

Husband: "Why the hell did we need to go through all that trouble to fax the receipts in the first place!"

Western Union: "Fax what receipts?"

We gave up that night, it was time to cook dinner, and 'stew' in our internalized rage that evening. 

Round 3! FIGHT! 
Sunday Feb. 10th 2013. The card is still locked! There is no way to confirm weather the fax was received... it could've gone to New York.  The Western Union Customer Service Rep that we had spoken to could've been anywhere; from India to Indiana or anyplace in between.  Hubby calls Meta Bank and got nowhere. Customer Service Rep after Customer Service Rep and hours of scripted/empty apologies... Meta Bank Customer Service Reps refused to put a Supervisor or Manager on the phone. They didn't flat out say, "no, you can't talk to our Manager or Supervisor." They would continue to say that a Manager couldn't come to the phone for several reasons. Until...

Meta Bank Customer Service Rep: "Who does business on the weekend anyway? It's Sunday."

Husband: "Apparently your employer does business on the weekend." click...

The fight ended that day and my Husband put up a good fight. 

The card was unlocked Monday Feb. 11th 2013.

My Conspiracy Theory:

Western Union MoneyWise Prepaid card was locked/frozen in order to charge more fees. There is a 'Declined' fee! So without warning they can randomly lock your card and have your card 'declined.' You know, full well, that you have enough to cover your purchases. You insist that the cashier try your card again... and again it's 'declined.' The next thing you do is go to the ATM to check the balance. The money is there. There's another fee tact to the card.

At that point you will have paid the 'Decline' fee for every try at the register + the ATM inquiry fee. And if you pull money from the ATM as a result of the card being declined, there is another fee for that. I know that some of those fees are normal. But, I can't help the feeling that Western Union will do whatever they can to manipulate their customers to use or not use (cause they charge for inactivity) their prepaid card a certain way to rack up the fees.

I am disgusted to have had this card for as long as we did. For the "Unbanked," some prepaid cards are cheaper than the fees that banks charge just to hold your money. I believe prepaid cards are under-regulated with under-developed laws. Because of that, Companies will continue their egregious practices... Because of this, the price we pay is even higher.  I wished my Husband did his research before getting involved with this card. {side note: A few months ago we had a bank account ~ that is another story in itself.} 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/11/2013 05:05 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Western-Union/internet/Western-Union-Western-Union-MoneyWise-Prepaid-Card-LockedFroze-Our-Prepaid-Card-with-Suff-1012526. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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