Western Union Account Suspension

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Feb 3, 2017
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#21
Many debit and credit cards now do not charge currency exchange fees - but, it being China, there could be a host of various reasons and given recent relations with them and the U.S., things may be changing without much notice, etc.

Hard to imagine there are not many people in their situation as a lot of people send money home to their families in countries around the world and to China, of course.

Let's hope his congressperson or his congressperson's constituency director takes the time for him.

He should contact both the district office and the DC office of his congressperson - staffers (chief of staff or other) will usually handle such constituent issues.
 
Likes: jsn55
Mar 23, 2015
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#22
I don't think that debit/credit card idea will work, because it will be on a US bank and carry the same monetary transfer restrictions as any other method. There would also be exhorbitant currency conversion fees.
Well shoot. I wonder if a bank in China would cash an American check? I really feel bad for this guy who's trying to help his wife/in-laws. :(
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#23
Many debit and credit cards now do not charge currency exchange fees - but, it being China, there could be a host of various reasons and given recent relations with them and the U.S., things may be changing without much notice, etc.

Hard to imagine there are not many people in their situation as a lot of people send money home to their families in countries around the world and to China, of course.

Let's hope his congressperson or his congressperson's constituency director takes the time for him.

He should contact both the district office and the DC office of his congressperson - staffers (chief of staff or other) will usually handle such constituent issues.
The OP needs to find out if the restriction is from China or the US first.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#24
Well shoot. I wonder if a bank in China would cash an American check? I really feel bad for this guy who's trying to help his wife/in-laws. :(
International check clearing takes a long time and there are fees — for example a check from the UK took 8 weeks to clear and I was charged $35 in fees.
 
Likes: Mel65
Jan 17, 2019
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#26
The plot thickens.

I filed an appeal with their Global Consumer Reinstatement department. They requested further information, which I provided. Today I received an email from them saying:

"We have reviewed your information in our system and found no records related to any issue with your name."

They referred me back to Western Union Customer Service. I opened a chat session with Customer Service (again.) After a further 30 minute chat session, including a supervisor, the finally referred me back to a phone number in Global Consumer Reinstatement . I called that number, and all they would do is refer me back to Customer Service.

So now I'm caught in an endless loop.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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#28
Interesting - I wonder what would occur if you tried to sending the money again now you have that response of there being no issues involving you.

I am not suggesting you do that but maybe something you could find a way to look into it - If you have something in writing from saying there are no issues re: you, I can't see why they would find it unacceptable for you to attempt to send the money again.

As an aside, I would call your congressperson's district and DC office and ask to speak to someone about this and then get the name, title, etc of who in that office (and, which office) you should send a letter and whether it needs to be a letter or if you can email. I have had people using email with their elected representatives on certain issues pertaining to their personal situations.
 
Jan 17, 2019
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#29
Didn't write my congressman; I did some research, and there are no sanctions preventing me from sending my usual $500 transaction.

Western Union Customer Service told me to do the transaction through a local agent. I tried 3 different local agents. They were able to perform the transaction with no problems except the agent application requires either a middle name or mother's maternal name be entered before they can proceed to the next step in the transaction screen. My wife has no middle name, and if the agent enters her mother's maternal name that name also appears in the transfer form. She has no ID that uses that combination of names, so the agent in China won't give her the money, because the name on the transfer and the name on her ID must be an exact match.

I did reply to the Global Consumer Reinstatement email telling them that Customer Service had referred me back to them, and I copied my reply to the President of Western Union Global Money Transfer division, and I guess I'll see of I get any sort of response.

I also filed a complaint with the Colorado Division of Banking asking if there is anything they can do. I'm not asking them for anything except the ability to send money through Western Union again. What really torques me off is the non-responses from Western Union that run me in circles.
 
Jan 17, 2019
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#30
Interesting - I wonder what would occur if you tried to sending the money again now you have that response of there being no issues involving you.

I am not suggesting you do that but maybe something you could find a way to look into it - If you have something in writing from saying there are no issues re: you, I can't see why they would find it unacceptable for you to attempt to send the money again.

As an aside, I would call your congressperson's district and DC office and ask to speak to someone about this and then get the name, title, etc of who in that office (and, which office) you should send a letter and whether it needs to be a letter or if you can email. I have had people using email with their elected representatives on certain issues pertaining to their personal situations.
I tried to send again today while I was in a chat session with "customer non-support;" got the same error. Sent a copy of the email I got saying there are no issues with my account and was told that there is nothing they can do. Then they referred me back to Global Consumer Reinstatement and disconnected the chat session.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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#31
So, they changed their rules about the identification needs re: names required? That's now different than it was before - hard to grasp they can't (or, won't) find a way around that given they used to do this all the time. Seems like a significant change to me - whatever the reasons.

Do get in touch with your congressperson - they can get things done (though it may not seem like it at times) that will surprise you. I would pursue that contact - If they can't help, they can't but it is, yet again, a no harm in asking situation.

Have your facts in hand when speaking or emailing (the name you used to send the money to, what they are now requesting, who and where you have spoken to WU folks (their actual names which I presume you took down when speaking with them), the email you received from WU - have it all clearly laid out before you make contact with your representative.

There may well be something that did not pop in your research that is not yet easily accessible to the general public given what's been happening between the U.S. and China of late; I personally would not presume to think I had all the facts even if as research was done....

Again, good luck. I so hope you get this sorted.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#32
I tried to send again today while I was in a chat session with "customer non-support;" got the same error. Sent a copy of the email I got saying there are no issues with my account and was told that there is nothing they can do. Then they referred me back to Global Consumer Reinstatement and disconnected the chat session.
Given all these issues, why would you want to keep doing business with them? There are many companies that can do remittances to China. Have you spoken with your bank?
 
Feb 3, 2017
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#33
Have you already written to the WU contacts Neil provided? If not, I'd do that right away - it is not "customer service chat" - I wouldn't hesitate one second to email them.

The contacts Elliott.org has are not ones we in the general public can get our hands on with ease (or, at all) - Please don't underestimate how those contacts can be incredibly responsive - no promises can be made by anyone here, of course but I've successfully used them a number of times times (with large corporations) - and I wasn't getting satisfaction at all from regular customer service of any of them until I used the contacts here.

And, do use the guidelines for emailing the contacts as described on the contacts page at the bottom - and look over the link to "proven strategies...."
 
Jan 17, 2019
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#34
So, they changed their rules about the identification needs re: names required? That's now different than it was before - hard to grasp they can't (or, won't) find a way around that given they used to do this all the time. Seems like a significant change to me - whatever the reasons.

Do get in touch with your congressperson - they can get things done (though it may not seem like it at times) that will surprise you. I would pursue that contact - If they can't help, they can't but it is, yet again, a no harm in asking situation.

Have your facts in hand when speaking or emailing (the name you used to send the money to, what they are now requesting, who and where you have spoken to WU folks (their actual names which I presume you took down when speaking with them), the email you received from WU - have it all clearly laid out before you make contact with your representative.

There may well be something that did not pop in your research that is not yet easily accessible to the general public given what's been happening between the U.S. and China of late; I personally would not presume to think I had all the facts even if as research was done....

Again, good luck. I so hope you get this sorted.
None of the three local agents I tried could figure out a way around the name issue. Customer Service keeps insisting it can be done, but they couldn't tell me how. When I pressed them on that they disconnected the chat session.

And as I said, the local agents had no problems performing the transaction, except for the name/ID issue. No sanctions violated. Western Union is screwing up. One department is saying I'm suspended and another is saying I'm not. And each one tells me to contact the other one to get it fixed.

I've been trying to do a wire transfer from our bank here to her bank in China, but her English is failing now, and she's having major difficulties getting me the information our bank here needs to do the transfer. Been trying for 10 days and still can't get the information I need. Now she's so frustrated she's ready to give up.
 
Jan 17, 2019
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#35
Have you already written to the WU contacts Neil provided? If not, I'd do that right away - it is not "customer service chat" - I wouldn't hesitate one second to email them.

The contacts Elliott.org has are not ones we in the general public can get our hands on with ease (or, at all) - Please don't underestimate how those contacts can be incredibly responsive - no promises can be made by anyone here, of course but I've successfully used them a number of times times (with large corporations) - and I wasn't getting satisfaction at all from regular customer service of any of them until I used the contacts here.

And, do use the guidelines for emailing the contacts as described on the contacts page at the bottom - and look over the link to "proven strategies...."
As I said above I did reply to the Global Consumer Reinstatement email telling them that Customer Service had referred me back to them, and I copied my reply to the President of Western Union Global Money Transfer as listed in the Elliot.org contact list. I was polite and asked them for suggestions as to what I should do. I hesitate to send a separate email at this point.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#36
Didn't write my congressman; I did some research, and there are no sanctions preventing me from sending my usual $500 transaction.

Western Union Customer Service told me to do the transaction through a local agent. I tried 3 different local agents. They were able to perform the transaction with no problems except the agent application requires either a middle name or mother's maternal name be entered before they can proceed to the next step in the transaction screen. My wife has no middle name, and if the agent enters her mother's maternal name that name also appears in the transfer form. She has no ID that uses that combination of names, so the agent in China won't give her the money, because the name on the transfer and the name on her ID must be an exact match.

I did reply to the Global Consumer Reinstatement email telling them that Customer Service had referred me back to them, and I copied my reply to the President of Western Union Global Money Transfer division, and I guess I'll see of I get any sort of response.

I also filed a complaint with the Colorado Division of Banking asking if there is anything they can do. I'm not asking them for anything except the ability to send money through Western Union again. What really torques me off is the non-responses from Western Union that run me in circles.
This does not sound like anything that a government official would be able to help with,

It sounds as if Western Union wants the complete name -- probably to combat fraud -- but there must be a way to put in "no middle name" -- many cultures do not give middle names.

Mother's maiden name is the default secret identification question.

I am not sure that regulators can do anything about inept service.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#37
I've been trying to do a wire transfer from our bank here to her bank in China, but her English is failing now, and she's having major difficulties getting me the information our bank here needs to do the transfer. Been trying for 10 days and still can't get the information I need. Now she's so frustrated she's ready to give up.[/QUOTE]

Can you write to her in Chinese if her English is failing?

What the bank usually needs is name of account holder, address, account number -- that should not be so hard. And then one needs the name of the recipient bank and address of recipient bank and the BIC/Swift Code for the bank.

My bank has a program that looks up the codes and verifies them and there are other websites that do the same. For instance on another site I easily found the BIC/ Swift code of the China Merchants Bank in Guangzhou --
 
Jan 17, 2019
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#38
This does not sound like anything that a government official would be able to help with,

It sounds as if Western Union wants the complete name -- probably to combat fraud -- but there must be a way to put in "no middle name" -- many cultures do not give middle names.

Mother's maiden name is the default secret identification question.

I am not sure that regulators can do anything about inept service.
When I was able to send through the web or the Android app a middle name was never required. I have over 100 previous transactions that never asked for a middle name, but 3 different local agents have been able to figure out how to do a transaction without entering it. It appears that the agent application requires either a middle name or a maternal family name.

And "inept service" certainly seems to be the case here.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#39
When I was able to send through the web or the Android app a middle name was never required. I have over 100 previous transactions that never asked for a middle name, but 3 different local agents have been able to figure out how to do a transaction without entering it. It appears that the agent application requires either a middle name or a maternal family name.

And "inept service" certainly seems to be the case here.
The middle name addition may be to combat fraud -- so that the name is exactly the same as on the passport.

About the mother's maiden name -- are they perhaps using the form for Spain or another country where one uses the maternal maiden name as part of the name? For instance the name Maria Isabella Garcia Velazquez -- indicates that the last name of her father was Garcia and the last name of mother is Velazquez?

I am struggling to figure out how they can mess this up so much. In some parts of the world last names are not even used -- there must be a way to leave it blank

Where I live the drugs stores have western union desks and it is the normal store employees and I suspect they really do not know much.

Is it possible that someone tried to hack your account online and that is why it was restricted?
 
Jan 17, 2019
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#40
The middle name addition may be to combat fraud -- so that the name is exactly the same as on the passport.

About the mother's maiden name -- are they perhaps using the form for Spain or another country where one uses the maternal maiden name as part of the name? For instance the name Maria Isabella Garcia Velazquez -- indicates that the last name of her father was Garcia and the last name of mother is Velazquez?

I am struggling to figure out how they can mess this up so much. In some parts of the world last names are not even used -- there must be a way to leave it blank

Where I live the drugs stores have western union desks and it is the normal store employees and I suspect they really do not know much.

Is it possible that someone tried to hack your account online and that is why it was restricted?
I have 3 Western Union local agents within 2 miles of where I live and none of them could figure out how to complete a transaction without entering a middle or maternal family name. They have a WU phone number they can call, but there is usually a 10-15 wait on hold, and these are retail clerks with other things they need to be doing. And as I said, local agents in China won't release money unless the name on the transaction exactly matches the ID. I can understand that, since there is a lot of fraud there.

In China a married woman keeps her paternal family name, so maternal family names are very rarely used under any circumstances. ChunMei has certainly never used it for an official ID. It doesn't even appear on her passport. And on her green card she uses my family name as her last name.

What makes me most angry is that I have two departments at Western Union each saying that it's not their problem; that the other department is responsible for fixing it.