I’m Seething! MoneyGram is a Pain in the Ass!

Have you ever used MoneyGram?

I needed to pay some money to a friend in Moldova for services he’s provided to one of my businesses. Watch this bit carefully: the services have already been provided and I want to pay for those services that have already been provided. This is a genuine transaction.

Why have I stated that so clearly?

MoneyGram doesn’t seem to be able to get its head around it.

Sending money to Moldova is difficult because of the criminal cretins who enjoy ripping off non Moldavians. You know the types, Moldavian men who make lonely women fall in love with them then ask them for money; and Moldavian women (usually men disguised as women) who tell lonely men they will marry them and have their babies but they need money for food and airfare.

Most Moldavians are regular people like you and I. But the fraudsters have spoiled it for the good, honest people of Moldova. Indeed, I met the lad I’m trying to pay through a priest, Vasile Filat, for whom I built a website many years ago. I received timely payment. I trust the lad I’m trying to pay.

Sadly, PayPal and many online payment options are closed to Moldavians or there usage is severely restricted in Moldova.

Bank transfers are available but the processing fees are ridiculous.

But I digress…

I chose to use MoneyGram. What a mistake!

MoneyGram currency transfers should take 30 minutes to succeed. That’s what the writing on the MoneyGram website says.

This one has taken 5 days, 1 email and 4 phone calls.

When the lad I employed went to collect his money – an hour after I’d sent it – he was told the payment had not been processed so was unavailable. Talk about dangling the juicy red carrot in front of his nose.

I immediately emailed MoneyGram.

The next day, the lad tried to pickup his money again. This time he was told the transfer had been blocked by MoneyGram.

Now this is my money that I’m sending to someone for services already rendered. Understand how peeved I was at this point.

I phoned MoneyGram to find out more. I was told MoneGram didn’t feel comfortable about the transaction because “it is a business transaction.” Granted, I’d listed the reason for the payment as “Payment for software development.”

To help MoneyGram feel a little more comfortable about the transaction I said, “I put it down as a business transaction so I could put the payment against my tax. The payment is actually a donation in recognition and gratitude for help received with one of my websites.” This worked. Transaction unblocked…

… 10 minutes later, MoneyGram phoned me to tell me they had received an email from me and that they could not process the transaction because it is a business transaction. I seethed with frustration. I do not like not paying for good service and I especially hate paying for the lack of service currently being received from MoneyGram.

Vexed, I told the MoneyGram rep that I’d resolved this matter less than 20 minutes earlier. A few “putting you on holds” later and the rep agreed to process the transaction.

The following day…

RING RING, RING RING… Another MoneyGram rep on the line to follow up my email. Again I was told the transaction would not be going through. Another 30 minutes of me bollocking them and not accepting apologies and being put on hold, and MoneyGram again agreed to let me transfer the money. My money. My payment to my ‘friend’.

Today, my ‘friend’ went again to collect my ‘donation’ to him.

Transaction not allowed.

I’d gotten his name back-to-front. I’d put his surname where his forename should be. I knew I had. I couldn’t believe it.

A fourth call to MoneyGram and I canceled the payment. I’d had enough of explaining and arguing. Will receive a refund for the full amount I paid (including processing fee). Now I need to find an alternative payment route to Moldova.

We would use a bank wire but the process goes through a middle country that takes a huge chunk out of the transfer.

My newly opened MoneyBookers account needs to be verified before I can load funds to it. I wish I could transfer from PayPal to MoneyBookers then to Moldova.

what else can I use that’s trustworthy and quick. Maybe the Post office (and risk it getting ‘lost’) or perhaps I’ll fly over and hand deliver it (need a holiday after all this). However I pay it, I’ll pay my friend extra to make up for the trouble he has suffered while trying to collect it

It’s been fun.

Things I’ve learned from This Cockup

When sending money though MoneyGram:

  • Never, ever, ever say it’s a business transaction. Always list it as a ‘donation’.
  • Never admit you don’t know the recipient personally. Tell them you’re related and have met.
  • Never email to complain about a transaction not going through on time.
  • Always make sure the recipient’s name is correct.
  • Use your real details as the sender in case you need to cancel the transaction (I did use my real details).
  • MoneyGram is stressful. Very stressful. Very, very, very STRESSFUL.
  • Use a different payment method if available.

Please don’t be shy. Let loose and tell me your adventures with MoneyGram and other payment gateways to Moldova, the Ukraine or elsewhere. I’d be delighted to see how mad they make you.

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Filip

Tried sending some money over to Romania 1 hour ago, waited ~40 mins for processing just to get a “transaction cancelled” message instead without a given reason and now it won’t allow me to send again with the same debit card… What …the…fuck….

ahmed

I tried to send money to China and recipient said I was blacklisted. This was first time I ever sent money via moneygram and I got blacklisted. Now, after reading this I am not going to try pushing it get through but I will take the money back. thanks for the article, its helpful.

krys

Sent to California.. I got two answers there wasnt enough funds to cover and my transaction was under review.

Hand Solo

Trying to buy some electronic equipment from Bulgaria (I am in England). Online money transfer was denied. Walked to Post Office, filled in form, gave cash over. Woman behind counter told me that the computer system said: “Middle Initial of Sender is too long”. My middle initial is “I”. That’s ONE letter. Tried three times. Nothing.

Ned Smith

I am not sure the point of Moneygram. I have NEVER sent money internationally, they drilled me like a criminal. How are they still in business? First time, last time. I will NEVER do business with them again!

Rik

The whole Moneygram system is a shambles. I’m not sure if I’m more offended that my time’s been wasted on a transaction that subsequently didn’t go through – or that I have to explain to some Moneygram employee the reasons I want to spend my own money. I didn’t know I was asking for a loan. Also, this whole preventative effort of theirs is quite insulting – If I want to buy a dozen monkeys from Thailand then let me do that and take your cut. Awful business.

Kaitlyn Poole

If I want to be scammed, let me dammit! It’s MY money!!

Steve Joy

I also recently just got blocked because MoneyGram was not “comfortable” with me sending money to my wife! How ironic, when just last month my wife received a counterfeit note from Moneygram, and we were not able to be reimbursed as the bank seized it while making a deposit.

No Moneygram, I am not comfortable with you… and your terrible customer service. Thanks for nothing.

Do NOT use Moneygram. You’ve been warned!

Rohit

Moneygram doesn;t work for India either. None of their indian agents will pay out the $$ instead they ask for a commission fee of 15% to release the payment and if thats not forthcoming they say the money is still enroute and to check back in 6 days … tried one of the banks in India that are agents and they too refused to pay out, instead of a commission fee they said need to open an account with them and deposit some money there first before any funds could be paid out! Called the Moneygram Headoffice and the agents… Read more »

Randall Richards

I was seething today too!, I’m in New Zealand, have funds in the U.S. bank account or credit card, and got drilled with personal questions, then was denied because they weren’t comfortable. What an idiot company.

Wow, wish I read this prior to my dealings with Moneygram. Trying to buy “vitamins” from Turkey, and they grilled me and asked me what I was going to buy. I made all the mistakes pointed out in this article. I told them I didn’t know them but my friend did, and I also told them it was for goods or services. It is none of their business about any of this. ALl these questions after I performed the primary and secondary security verifications. NOw I am wondering if these people are going to run rampant with my information. THey… Read more »

money gram sucks

Money gram does indeed suck! Just before Christmas this year someone transferred $285 from my moneygram account to someone in Brooklyn MN …. What the??? I have no idea where this is I don’t know anyone there and I certainly did not authorize this transaction. I went to my TD BANK branch they cancelled and changed my ATM card at once and submitted a fraud report to moneygram who continue to insist that I made the transaction because all the information was there ( address card # Cvv etc) ahh no guys … Someone inside your organization STOLE FROM ,Y… Read more »

Art

I saw it coming, “Your transaction has been flagged as it is being sent to a destination known for criminal activity, and your money may get stolen” My first question was, Who are you? Why are you calling my number? Just because you call and identify yourself from MG I’m supposed to provide you with transaction information? You must think I’m an idiot… After a few FUs… they cancelled the transaction, while I had them on the other phone, (get the new transaction number, you will need it to get your money back)… I went and received my money at… Read more »

Truth

FYI, it’s not just foreign countries. Someone from another U.S. state sent me a Moneygram money order they had purchased at WalMart. Went to local WalMart wiht receipt to cash. They verified the money order by phone, then said it’d be $3 to cash it, then said wait, sorry we can’t cash it at all because it’s out of state and you have never cashed anything here before and by the way we need your SSN and DOB and drivers license all to make nothing happen. All this even though I had the purchase receipt and they verified the authenticity… Read more »

misty shealy

My 70 year old grandfather tried to send money with money gram using the online site. It highlighted the phone number on the website and would not let him fill it in. When he called customer service a very rude Indian woman tried to walk him through it, misdirecting him, then rudely demanding he follow her instructions. Then placed him on hold for half a decade. Finally frustrated he hung up. I know that the elderly are not as technologically advanced as the younger generation, but have a little empathy. Money gram sucks!!!!

I tried to send money to my best friend less than an hour away in the USA, we both live in Florida. MoneyGram withdrew the money from my account and approved the transaction. My friend went to the agent to pick up the money and was declined, I had to call moneygram and explain this was my best friend and I am giving him money as a donation to help him out. They then declined my transaction and said I would get a full refund….Now my bank account is over-drafted thanks to MoneyGram and there scam operation, they took 10… Read more »

D

Wow…Maybe we can get a class action lawsuit together? Just today my mother set up a new account online to send me $40. I know that isnt alot but I needed it badly. I waited for 3 hours, nothing. Finally, MG canceled the transaction and froze her online account. She called the customer service number listed and was treated like a CRIMINAL! They would not tell her why and called her a liar and said the account wasnt hers. How can that be? She just set up the account 5 hours ago. We think it might have been one of… Read more »

D

Let me add my mother is a hard working HONEST person who has never stolen anything in her life!

Never Again! I tried to send money to my mom in Panama to help her with the down payment on a house. When she went to pick up the money, they told her they couldn’t release it to her because they “have never released that amount before”. I called moneygram here in the US and explained the situation and they told me to advice her to go to another location. When she went to another location, they told her that her second last name wasn’t in the form and that I must call to add it in order to give… Read more »

Anna

My request to send relatively small amount of money ($400) on line by Moneygram to my niece in CANADA was denied. My niece got ill and I wanted to help her somehow. I called and asked why my request was denied. I was told that my account was cancelled for security reasons, but they “allow”me to go to Moneygram agent to do this transaction! What is the difference? The agent never asked me for my ID. By the way, on line cost is $10, through their agent – $37! I had no choice but to pay $37 as I did… Read more »

James

I have had issues with their 3rd party/affiliated companies (to send or receive thru moneygram). Most of the time when I want to receive/pickup money they almost alwasy have the same excuse “do not have funds” or “the system is offline” One time I tested one of their affiliated companies, I walked in and told them I was going to “receive” money and they told me the system is offline. What I did I went out and asked my wife to go in and inform them that she will be “sending” money and something somehow the system magically becomes online.… Read more »

Marc

Baltimore to DC… $120… 5 hrs later, nothing… disconnected during calls for simple status requests… told transaction number that I am looking at on their site for this transaction is incorrect. Angry friends, wasted afternoon. .. can’t believe this- a real company that just takes your money and then plays dumb and/or suddenly feigns suspicion or error once the money is in their clutches. Spread the word and spread it loud to shut this cancerous institution down.

Alice

J’ai fais un transfert monneygram mais le destinataire n’arrive pas à récupérer l’argent à cause du manque de réseau. Comment faire pour récupérer mon argent ?

Mike

I tried to send money to my cousin in Turkey, the process took more than one hour, during this time I was like in interrogation! they were very rude, at the end they canceled my transaction. I will never ever use there service again.

Kaitlyn Poole

I’m a personal assistant for a woman doing research in the brazilian forest (so she has to do everything through me) I tried to send money to a friend of hers in South Africa so she could have him buy her some tickets for a business event in Cape Town using Moneygram. They flagged it for review, I told them we had met, I knew him personally, the money was for tickets to an event, and they denied me anyway. Western Union did the same thing!! Very frustrating! What should be an hour’s errand took me 5 hours and is… Read more »

Infinite5oul

What a F*cking Sham!! How many personal questions can these shitbags ask you in one phone call?? No less than 10 intimately personal questions and My transaction was not only America to America, it was in the same damn state!! TO MY SON!! These whores asked me and i quote “When was the last time i’d seen my son?” W…T…FUCK!? First off FUCK YOU, don’t ask me questions concerning my son, and why i’m sending him money, thats none of your fucking business!! You get paid to send money, send the shit and STFU!!! I have NEVER been so insulted… Read more »

Scam

Today I also became another member of the “I Hate Monogram” club. They asked me the same personal bullshit questions, then declined to transfer my funds to Albania. I asked for a supervisor, and they said the same thing. I asked if they could tell me a good reason why, and they said it is “security secrets’. Of course then they said I could do it in person, and that would of course cost more. I really think it is just a scam to prevent the lower cost internet transfers. They need investigating.

MY friend, I feel your pain! The answer is BITCOINS! None of this BS when using bitcoins!

Melinda Reno

I am so pissed at the money gram customer service because they have mexican people working there and they can’t speak very clear english! i had a very hard time understanding a word they said. They transferred me to another specialist and I asked them for a person who speaks very clear english. They need to get rid of of those mexican people and get real americans who speaks clear english! Plus I tried to send money to China and they said that they were not comfortable sending money because of high risks. I had no problems sending money to… Read more »

Phillip

I hate these people!! They will not listen to simple reason. My fiance whom I have know intimately for 18 months and currently lives with me, is Canadian and has gone home to Africa to visit family for two months. I tried to send her 1000 dollars for family support but they blocked it on the receiving end. I called mg and spoke with two different agents and their reason was “we are not comfortable with the transaction”. I offered to send photos of us together, copy of her passport, SIN etc but useless. I tried to send a lesser… Read more »

Barney Rubble

What a joke. Their services suck! They try to intimidate a person and make you feel like a crook or something if you are receiving money. I was trying to collect funds from a sender in the country of Peru. After playing 20 questions with one woman at the counter, twice in one day, I went back the next day to another woman with an exact copy of the sender’s form that they emailed to me from Peru. I knew I had them by the……, this time. No way they could really get out of it. And the crazy thing… Read more »

Joel

After all that you just cancelled it at the last step?? The one simple thing that would have finally ended up of it and that was an actual mistake by you. I appreciate your frustration, trust me I’ve had one worse than that with money gram but it was the Walmart that the moeny gram was inside of that caused the trouble. But without going into that one, I do understand! But my advice is when something like this happens in life and you’ve spent an exorbitant amount of time already on it, then grit your teeth and become more… Read more »

Sophat

Moneygram is bad one I had never seen before. please don’t use moneygram online. bad customer service. bad accent.

rayven

My finance is in attending school in Romania. I send her an allowance each month. This month moneygram decided it wanted a lot of personal information, THey wanted my social security number and my driver’s license. WTF – this is a cash transaction at a kiosk. Then they go into the BS about how it is collected to protect me. Moneygram has been hacked in the past so i tell them is this some type of sick joke. All you are doing is opening me up to identiry theft. None of that is your dang business. THey then claim its… Read more »

Dave

Two days ago I tried to transfer money to a friend in Uganda to pay bills in advance of a trip there next week. I had to give personal/security information. The Transaction was accepted and money taken from my account. My friend in Uganda spent all of the next day queuing in the bank to be told he could not have the money “Contact Customer Services”. I called customer services, spoke with the rep whose accent was so strong I had great difficulty understanding him. Every question had to be repeated two or three times. Moneygram had cancelled the transaction… Read more »

zam

Oh My god I HATE MONEYGRAM!!!! ,,,, I sent money to Turkey and they keep telling him your name is wrong, and in my receipt his name is right! not to mention under review shit, it is now a month and the receiver never got his money. NO to MONEYGRAM NO MORE!!!!

5 years too late but still- great advice. You do knoiw that scammers worldwide try to use MG and Western Union to rip people off right? And that under the Ts and C’s that you are not allowed to send for 3rd party and business send? The agent should have asked the purpose and refused to take your money. And now you have told people how to circumvent questions that are asked for their protection, Western Union is now paying $587 million dollars in compensation (plus a hell of a lot of extra oversight). You know what,, I don;t care.… Read more »

JUDY ROSA

MONEYGRAM IS THE WORST ! TRIED TO SEND $ TO CANADA TO MY SON ISSUES WITH EVERY DETAIL
YOU CAN IMAGINE & THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE HAS TO GO! TALKED WITH SAME SERVICE MEMBER
EVERYTIME I CALLED & I CALLED AM & PM GETTING THIS PERSON FROM INDIA BROKEN ENGLISH &
MUST BE READING FROM A SCRIPT! I SUPPOSE 48 HRS. IN A CAGE CAN BE A BIT OVERWHELMING FOR
THESE KNOBS THEY HIRE TO HANDLE OTHER PEOPLES MONEY! SCARED BECAUSE THEY HAVE MY INFO &
WAITING FOR A REFUND! WHAT A JOKE NEVER EVER USE THESE INCOMPETENT SCAMMERS!

Annomous

Western Union has told me the Philippine government has black balled me from sending money to anyone in the philippines !

Tracy Gordan

What are the alternatives? Trying to send my close friend who’s living in a “risky/high-scam” country a birthday gift of money or easy to spend gift cards and NOTHING works. I’ve tried tons of gift card sites, currency exchanges, Xoom, WesternUnion, MoneyGram, PayPal… BitCoin isn’t accepted in their country/bank, so they can’t make use of it. I have no idea what to do now… :/

wadwizard

How do these jerks stay in business? A couple of hours of frustration on the phone with MoneyGram employee to send money to my friend in Egypt, and then they tell me the won’t process the transaction! I’ve successfully sent before with them to the same person. They can’t be making any money this way and sure pissed me off.

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