The Western Union Company (WU) is a financial services and communications company based in the United States. Its North American headquarters is in Greenwood Village, Colorado, and its international marketing and commercial services headquarters are in Montvale, New Jersey. Until it discontinued the service, Western Union was the best known US company in the business of exchanging telegrams. Western Union has a number of divisions, with products such as person-to-person money transfer, money orders, and commercial services. As of 2008, the company had 350,000 Western Union agent locations in over 240 countries and territories.
How WU Works (Getting Paid)
The sender goes to a Western Union office and gives them the money (plus fees), for Next Day or Money in Minutes service. Sender needs the recipient’s name and payment city and country. WU gives the sender a Money Transfer Control ID which they then pass on to the recipient. Recipient goes to any WU agency in the designated payment city, presents the Transfer ID and picture ID, and are paid the money. Money is paid in cash, or if payments exceeds a local maximum or cash on hand, a check. Unfortunately it fails in some countries.
I have come to know by a friend of mine who had been in trouble back some days using Western Union services. In Pakistan, even in big cities there are many local agents who provide WU services. They work at some kind of contract with Zarco Exchange and Western Union. It has been reported that they have been cheating or misguiding people at large scale. Whenever some person goes to get their cash, they take the MTCN (MTCI) and offer people to take some part of their money and then advise to come back at the end of the day to collect back remaining money.
Banks also provide WU services. When a local bank was inquired about this situation they suggested that it can be a worst mistake by customer in case of large sum of money. They told not to give MTCN to the local agents until they confirm that they have got the enough cash, otherwise when you tell somebody your MTCN, you can loose your cash. In the case of WU, MTCN is the final authority with its holder.
What local agents are doing is, they have made it a habit to deliver a part of cash to owners and tell them to visit next time for remaining cash and give them receipt at simple paper. Innocent people are getting caught by this behavior of WU representative agents who can exploit their personal information and MTCN.
Right now I am mentioning here two agents here who have made it a permanent habit of dealing customers this way.
Ground floor, Office #3, 884-D, Faisal Town, Peco Road, Lahore
firstname.lastname@example.org [ these guys even do not have their official email address ]
Zarco Exchange (World Wide Money Transfer)
Authorized from State Bank of Pakistan
Shop #4 basement Umar Centre Plaza, Akbar Chowk, Township, Lahore
No email address [ these guys even do not have their email address ]
Most of the time they say that Western Union link is down and payment can not be processed today and come tomorrow. Even some Banks say to customers that the Western Union link is down. Most of the time the customers give their MTCN to such agents and leave. After that they keep calling these agents and these agents give them money after 12 hours or even next day. The agents say that they can call and confirm and when there will be availability of money they can receive their cash.
This is happening at a wide scale in Pakistan and yet this is wrong. These agents must not be sitting there if they do not have cash to serve their customers. Their licenses should be canceled at once because they are not providing the right services anc can be a potential threat to the name of Western Union. There should be a check on these small local agents.
At the other hand there are some spots which are good and never have done such things with clients. For example there in Liberty or Gulberg Market Lahore there are agents who are pros and they never run out of cash and they are providing services. I would suggest to customers to go to authorized dealers or agents and if you want to receive money, go to the branch which just deliver money and go to the main branch of Western Union and never give your MTCN to other local little thief agents.