To whom it may concern:
On January 4th, 2013 I went into 711 (NYC) to purchase a western union prepaid card. I paid $4.95 to activate the card plus added $10.00. This card was purchased for use on vacation out of the country on 1/12/2013. After receiving the card, I registered it online and added my checking account (because of the bank to prepaid debit card transfer option). I successfully proceeded to transfer $500 on the card. I received an email stating, "Congratulations! Your bank account transfer has been submitted and the funds will be available within 3-5 business days". The same day I called to make sure that ATM debit transactions would be successful, and was told ATM transactions are not allowed with temporary prepaid debit cards and a personalized card would have to be issued. Shortly after speaking with the representative, a personalized card was ordered and expedited after I loaded the $25 expedition fee.
On Monday, January 7th after I logged into my western union account and because of the lack of status information provided to me regarding the $500 transfer made on 1/4/2013, I successfully proceeded to make another $500 bank to prepaid debit card transfer thinking the one made on 1/4/2013 was not successful. Again I received an email stating, "Congratulations! Your bank account transfer has been submitted and the funds will be available within 3-5 business days". After I received the email, I called to verify some details and was told that bank to prepaid card transactions are not allowed on temporary cards. I then asked for status on the delivery of my personalized card. I was told by another rep that, "federal express does not give tracking numbers for deliveries from Western Union". I asked to speak to a supervisor who then told me the he needed to make a special request for the tracking number. With no help from western union to track the package, I successfully received the prepaid card on Monday evening after 7pm from the North Hangar Road location in JFK.
When I arrived home, I successfully added the personalized card to my existing account. The same day, after speaking to several western union reps regarding what happens to the funds that were so called successfully transferred to the temporary card, I was told," I would have to wait 7- 10 business days for the funds to clear". Then I was told," I would have to wait 3-5 business days for the second transfer to clear". Then I was told, "The funds would not clear because bank to debit card transfers are not allowed on temporary cards and the funds will be refunded to my account on the 17th and the 21st". Then I was told, "The bank that Western Union uses for the bank to prepaid card transfers has been down since Christmas and that I would have to contact my bank and cancel the transaction". After contacting my financial institution and my lawyer regarding the entire situation, I was advised to dispute the pending ACH transactions (claim#s 374016153900001 and 684016180920001) due to inaccurate and confusing details from western union customer representatives and remove my checking account information immediately. I took their advice. The 2 pending transactions were credited (from my financial institution) successfully to my account on 1/8 and 1/9/2013.
Now I am unable to access my account because my card has been suspended.
I have used Western Union many times in the past without any issues. This situation has made a lie of Western Union's ability to successfully complete bank to debit card transfers, however using a local agent or debit card transfer for loading options are favorable.
During this entire situation, I spoke to the following customer service reps :
Supervisor - Jason Keifer (no help at all)
Johnathan - ID 902
Mary - ID 038
Ken - ID 949
Chuck - ID 596
Karen - ID991
Ray - ID554
Esteban - ID371
George - ID 540 (extremely helpful)
Supervisor Aldo - ID 249 (extremely helpful)
Andy - ID389
1. If I was able to view the status of the pending bank to prepaid debit card transaction, I would have not made another.
2. Communicating with representatives was somewhat difficult (language)
3. The option for loading via bank to prepaid debit card details is inaccurate on the site and via emails.
4. After knowing the Western Union bank was down since Christmas, one of the customer service representatives that I spoke to should have been able to notify me to avoid future bank to prepaid card transactions.