I have been using western union for a few years. I have established an online account so that I can check out faster.
On 20-October-2012, a relative calls in an emergency that they need money for their prescriptions and the pharmacy may close due to the Hurricane. I quickly log in to send the money using the Money In Minutes service.
After submitting the transaction, a notice comes back that my transfer is being reviewed and a decision will be made by 5:00 CST.
Shocked, I contact the online customer support agent 'Juan C.' who robotically replied that they were sorry for the inconvenience and that the transfer would be ready by the 6:00 pm EST. I told them my situation and reminded them that a Hurricane was tearing through the area at which time he repeated that he understood and that he was sorry for the inconvenience. Agitated with his carbon copied responses, I decided to speak with a supervisor who was decent enough to call me instead of continue the conversation online.
Victor operator 112 (refused to give his full name) informed me in broken english that my transaction was randomly selected for review and was put into a que for verification. I reminded him about the emergency situation. Still, he said there was nothing he could do. Once the transaction enters queue, it takes up to 3 hours to verify all the information.
This could not have come at a more inconvenient time. my relative, nearly handicapped from a work accident, is stuck at the pharmacy that is likely closing before the WU completes their stupid verification process.
I related all this information to Vic 112 who, like a parrot, kept saying there was nothing he could do that it was for fraud prevention.
Not ONCE did I see anything (or was put on notice at any time) that there may be an occasion when my transfer would be randomly selected for 3 hours of verification before being sent through the "Money IN Minutes" service. I would have driven them the money (they are an hour away) to give them the cash and now it's being tied up with an undisclosed verification process. This is completely unfair and couldn't have come at a worse time. I will not be using their lie of a service again.