December 4, 2006
My advice is don’t ever need money in a foriegn country immediatly – like bail for jail. Contrary to their commercials, a quick transfer, may not nessicarily be there in 5 minutes. It might not even be available in 5 hours. We’re talking days here.
First, their computer system and your credit card company won’t like each other. Nor will your debit card. You’ll be told your credit card company is withholding funds. Your credit card company will tell you that you need to give Western Union the issueing banks name, cc number, and a password. Western Union will tell you they don’t have any place to enter any such information.
So you get cash. You drive to a Western Union location to send the money only to be told their system is down. So you drive to another location. You fill out the form. The system won’t take all of the information that the form suggest you put on there. You say, “I don’t care, do what you have to, to send the money.” So they do. You email your contact in England and say here is the number to pick up your money. They email you back and say there is no such number in the Western Union system. So you call their 800 number to try to speak with a customer service rep, yet every time you hit zero, you get hung up on.
Finally, you get a live person. You give them all your info. They tell you, this is quite common, especially with transfers to the United Kingdom. Their system may be older and it doesn’t update as fast, so it might not be available until the next day.
So there you have it. Western Union. NOT the fastest way to send money. In my case, it wasn’t a life or death situation. God forbid it is for anyone else, because frankly, they’ll be dead.