Monday, November 13, 2006

The perils of MoneyGram

MoneyGram is a peculiar beast. I had an evil MoneyGram agent get snippy with me Saturday because I'd been putting "NONE" in MoneyGram sends to Latin America when the recipient did not have a second last name so they wouldn't look for one and refuse to give them the money.

The customers always put "NONE" on the send paper, so I assumed that they either knew what they were doing or were told to do by their relatives. After all, it is THEIR FREAKING MONEY.

No, as it turns out, the MoneyGram heifer says to put either a backslash or a period there, or it will be refused anyway. I really don't see how it matters. "NONE" cannot possibly be mistaken for a last name. If you see the name. Ricardo Martinez NONE. You don't think you're looking for someone with the last name Martinez-None now do you? Huh?


I'm trying to send a MoneyGram for an Express Payment. These are absolutely the easiest kind of MoneyGrams. The only trouble is when people don't know their account numbers, and even then, you just can't do it.

So when I punch up this man's car payment, it comes up "Call AutoTel Auto Finance Immediately" and gives a 1-800 number.

Now I've already got her money. Because we can't send the MoneyGram without actually taking the money. So the cash is already in my register and this is a non-refundable transaction. And now the stupid thing won't go through.

I call. Their advice is basically this "The account is good. The account number is right. We don't have a problem. You're doing it wrong. Thanks for calling AutoTel." Yeah. You have a good day too buddy.

So then I look at the woman's form one more time. She put a dash between the last two numbers. Which usually means that either we or the company told her to at some point. After all, IT IS A COMPUTER.

The money goes from one computer to another, so the account numbers are just fields in a database. If it calls for fifteen characters with dashes at certain spots, it has to have fifteen characters with dashes at certain spots.

I've even had MoneyGrams that have to be specific combinations of alpha and numeric characters, like ABC-123-456-789, or BUC-999 or something like that. So I ask her "Do you always have this dash here?"

She goes "No."

I ask "Is this dash on your account statement?"

She goes "No."

I WANTED to ask "Well why the hell did you put it there then?" but I didn't. I just took it out, tried to re-send the money and voila - it went right through.

I tried to laugh it off, but the manager who came up to help gave me a dirty look, like "Why didn't you think of that before, you idiot" and the woman was looking daggers at me with one of those "You made me stand here and try to keep the kids happy and it was probably your fault anyway for not reading my mind?"

I will never understand people. Never. Ever. Ever.


IrishOshen said...

I used to send Money Grams as my car payment. I would go to wally world and after the second time of my money going into the wrong account, I quit going to walmart. I did pay very close attention to how I filled out my paperwork but still things happened.
I love your blog! Keep it up, and G(g)od(s)(ess) bless you.

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog makes me feel so much better. I'm a Customer Service Staff at Publix, and I feel like I went through hell tonight, but it must have been nothing compared to what you are used to. I'll tell you that I really do hate those women of a certain age. Those old bats need to bring it down a notch.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but you're way out of line here. They were right: you should have read the customer's mind! Seriously, you act like you don't even HAVE telepathy!

Jackie said...

Thanks for the information about MoneyGram's. I am having to learn the customer service desk procedures the hard way..on my own. I don't want to work there permanant or even secondary, I just want to learn how to do it. (I am thinking if I advance WalMart or otherwise, I would like for the advance to be at least a dollar increase.) Since I let a couple of CSM'S know of my interest in learning customer service they send me over there for short periods of time to relieve someone for a break or if the crowd is getting out of hand.

Both computer systems at the service desk and at self check out have software that would "teach" me how to use the system but there is never time for me to go into it. Too, the computers are "user friendly" and all that is necessary is to follow the prompts. It helps me that I completed a BS degree program in information technology in January 06.
Anyway, thanks for the information your site provides is a very valuable resource and I read it every week.

Anonymous said...

"Never.ever.ever," either either.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what you really need? An Obscenity Thesaurus.

Then that would make writing your blog a lot easier.

Anonymous said...

I worked at the customer service desk for 3 years and right now I am a CSM, and whenever we have problems with a Money Gram that absolutely will not go through we always do a refund. All we have to do is cancel the transaction. After all, until the Money Gram is sent, the money belongs to the customer.

Anonymous said...

I have read through your entire blog, archives, everything and I NEED MORE. I NEED IT EVERYDAY. I have worked at Food Lion for over 12 years and I know where you are coming from. i love your site!

Anonymous said...

I'm having a problem with moneygram. When my friend went to redeem the cash, they said it was already redeemed. I've had the local police get a sepeina (spelling) and in fact, the information the frauder used was not valid. Moneygram is telling me tough luck and that there is nothing they can do.

Any suggestions on how to get my money back? It was close to 5 grand...

Alejandra said...

Re Claim: CM106424
Good Afternoon,
I am Maria Alejandra Salmon Suarez. Peruvian born, I reside in the UK. I have recently experienced a problem with MoneyGram’s services
I am a website designer living in the UK and I am building a website for a friend since childhood who resides in the USA. Although I don’t usually use MoneyGram, on this occasion to make a quick and easy transfer I decided to use their services. My friend set up a money transfer and I went to the MoneyGram office located in the post office in Macclesfied, Cheshire in the United Kingdom.
As in the UK people don’t hold IDs like in the USA, I went to the MoneyGram office with my Peruvian passport as the only ID I hold that shows my maiden name. The lady called Debbie at the Post Office here asked me for a second ID with a photo on it as it was a large amount of money ($2.000). I showed her my Peruvian National ID and my Peruvian Military ID. She refused to accept these and asked for UK ID with my UK address. I do not have a UK Driver’s License or Passport. Even if I did, these would be in my married name, as are the UK bills etc which are in my name.
Debbie told me that she wouldn’t allow me to receive the funds so I asked her to call MoneyGram central office to explain the situation. Debbie refused to do so, telling me that ‘she doesn’t call nobody’ and further more ‘she only had 5 minutes to close the office’.
In the mean-time, MoneyGram called my friend who had transferred the funds stating that there were fraudulent transfers being made to my zone in the UK. My friend was subjected to a ten minute interview quizzing him on the legitimacy of the transfer. He is a busy manger of a global business and did not enjoy this inconvenience.
It was implied that because I did not have the expected identifications that there was a likely fraud. There was no mention made of the understandable difficulty of a Peruvian national having two photo IDs in her maiden name, having been married and resident in the UK for nearly ten years.
As a consequence of MoneyGram’s false implication of fraud I have not only lost business but also a friend from childhood. This inconsiderate behavior has not only brought into question the legitimacy of my business but also my personal integrity.
I would be extremely grateful if MoneyGram could issue an apology to my friend and me for the misunderstanding caused by their unprofessional behavior. I understand that there is always a risk of fraud, but this is no excuse for potentially libelous implications.
I am fully prepared to go to the press with this and pursue legal avenues – what has hurt me most is that a friend has been placed in a situation where he was completely unjustifiably caused to question my integrity.
Maria Alejandra Salmon Suarez

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