Western Union Merchant Services 2023: Reviews & Complaints

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Western Union

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PhonePhone(800) 325-6000 View Pricing

Company Overview

Western Union is a money transfer and communications company based in Meridian, Colorado. Founded in 1851, Western Union originally rose to power as a widely used telegraph service before adding its money transfer feature in 1871. In the late 1980s, Western Union shifted its primary focus from communications to financial services, eventually doing away with telegram delivery entirely. In 1995, the company was acquired by First Data (now Fiserv), another large, Colorado-based financial services company. First Data spun Western Union off into its own company in 2006, and Western Union now operates as an independent entity.

In 2022, Western Union finalized the sale of Western Union Business Solutions, which did most of its B2B payments, to Goldfinch Partners LLC and The Baupost Group, LLC. The resulting company is now known as Convera.

Western Union Payment Processing

As the inventor of the wire transfer, Western Union is primarily known for its bank transfer, money order, bill payment, and gift card services. However, the company launched a Business Solutions department in 2010 and has recently entered the mobile payments market through a self-branded app. Western Union now offers the ability for businesses to send and accept international ACH payments online through its WU EDGE service, and its app allows users to schedule wire transfers to most Western Union locations. It has also launched a sub-brand called “Speedpay” that offers various billing solutions for small businesses.

Location & Ownership

Western Union is headquartered at 7001 E. Belleview, Denver, CO 80237, although the BBB lists them at 7979 E Tufts Ave, Denver, CO 80237. Devin McGranahan is the CEO of Western Union.

Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Offers variable transfer fees on a large number of transfer types with…
  • Complaints & Service: Complaints number over 1,000 on…
  • BBB Rating: Has a “B” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 912 complaints and 110 reviews in…
  • Sales & Marketing: Does not appear to employ independent sales representatives and has received a low number of…
Western Union money sending services

Western Union has modernized its money sending services to compete in today’s market

these processors announce that they now sync with quickbooks

Western Union Reviews and Complaints

Here's What Their Clients Say

Complaint Summary

Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint

High Complaint Total

There are thousands of negative Western Union reviews to be found online, and most of these complaints have been posted by people who were scammed through Western Union. However, given the nature of Western Union’s services and its large size and time in business, it is reasonable to expect a large complaint volume. If you have a Western Union review to make, please do so in the comment section below.

Seller Fraud

Some types of wire transfers sent through Western Union require very little in the way of identification by either the sender or the recipient. By far the most common type of fraud committed through Western Union occurs when a seller requests payment by Western Union, collects this payment at a Western Union location, and then never delivers the agreed-upon service. Since Western Union sometimes requires minimal identification (just the first and last names of both parties, a transaction number, and a security question in some cases), there is no way for the sender to recover his or her lost funds.

Western Union Warnings

Normally, this security flaw would severely damage a provider’s reputation, but Western Union fully discloses the potential hazards of sending an unsecured wire transfer through the company. The company even offers this page to help users protect themselves against fraud and provides support for these situations. For many users, Western Union is the only available option, and its loose transfer requirements can actually be a valuable feature for those who are underbanked.

Western Union Lawsuits and Fines

In January 2017, Western Union agreed to forfeit $586 million and enter into agreements with the Federal Trade Commission, the Justice Department, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Central District of California, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Southern District of Florida. As part of the agreement, Western Union admitted to “criminal violations including willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and aiding and abetting wire fraud.” The FTC’s order “prohibits Western Union from transmitting a money transfer that it knows or reasonably should know is fraud-induced, and requires it to:

  • block money transfers sent to any person who is the subject of a fraud report;
  • provide clear and conspicuous consumer fraud warnings on its paper and electronic money transfer forms;
  • increase the availability of websites and telephone numbers that enable consumers to file fraud complaints; and
  • refund a fraudulently induced money transfer if the company failed to comply with its anti-fraud procedures in connection with that transaction.”

Western Union began its first distribution of this forfeiture in an amount of approximately $153 million to over 109,000 victims located in the U.S. and abroad. In September 2020, it began its second distribution of approximately $147 million in funds to 33,000 victims in the U.S and abroad.

Western Union has also been fined a number of times for economic sanction violations, consumer protection violations, and anti-money laundering deficiencies.

Western Union Customer Service Options

As with other large money transfer services with overseas operations, Western Union has received some very severe complaints about its customer service. The company does appear to offer all-hours phone support to its users, but many complainants report difficulty reaching any kind of resolution without escalating their issues to management.

We have located multiple Western Union customer service numbers:

(800) 325-6000 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
(877) 989-3268 – Website Care
(800) 877-8973 – For TTY Users

Western Union also offers customer service chat on its website.

After considering the full breadth of available complaints about the company, we have awarded Western Union a “C” in this category.

Western Union BBB Rating and Report

Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment

BBB Summary

Total Complaints
Resolved Complaints

Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.

Over 900 Complaints

Western Union currently has a “B” rating with the BBB and is not BBB-accredited. The company is showing a total of 912 complaints in the last 36 months. Only 294 of these 911 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 618 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.

What Users Say

Western Union also has 110 informal reviews on its BBB profile, 110 of which are negative while only 1 is positive in tone. The most recent review describes difficulties with unexplained reasons for not transferring money:

They do not care about their customers. Couldnt send money and when asked for a reason all was given was company policy and told to try another way or go to an office. After trying another way same thing happened!!! When emailed to complain and talked to them on phone no reason given except company policy even thought they couldnt tell me what that was. After over a dozen emails complaining all I get is standard repeat generated responses

Business owners can avoid situations like this by working with a top-rated merchant service provider. 

An “F” Performance

The BBB cites the 2017 FTC action against Western Union as the primary factor lowering its rating at this time. Taking into account the company’s high complaint volume, we have adjusted our rating to an “F.”

in the news apple versus banks

Western Union Fees and Rates

A Closer Look at the Contract

Don't Fall Into An Expensive Trap. See Who The Worst Processors Are.

Cost Summary

Transaction Fee
1% - 9%
Early Termination Fee
PCI Compliance Fee
Equipment Lease Terms

Variable Pricing

Western Union offers a wide variety of money transfer services for both business and personal use, and the fees associated with these services can vary depending on the type of transfer, the currency used, and the destination of the transfer. The company provides a price estimation tool that allows users to enter the details of a transaction and see the projected transaction fee, which is a useful resource before sending a payment.

Western Union Pricing Example

Western Union fees for a sample transaction are shown below, but you should note that the prices below should not be considered representative of all possible money transfers. In addition, these Western Union rates may have changed since this review’s publication.

Western Union Fees for a Sample $500 Transfer to New York City

Payment Method Delivery Method Transfer time   Cost   Effective %
Credit/debit card, online In-person cash pickup Minutes $45 9%
Bank account, online In-person cash pickup 3 days $10 2%
Bank account through WU Pay online billing In-person cash pickup 3 days $10 2%
Bank account, online Bank account deposit 6 days $5 1%
Credit/debit card, online Bank account deposit 3 days $25 5%
Cash, in person (expedited service) In-person cash pickup Minutes $40 8%
Cash, in person (normal service) In-person cash pickup 1-3 days $28 5.6%
Cash, in person Bank account deposit 3 days $28 5.6%
Credit/debit card, mobile app In-person cash pickup Minutes $45 9%
Bank account, mobile app In-person cash pickup 3 days $10 2%
Bank account through WU Pay online billing In-person cash pickup 3 days $10 2%
Bank account, mobile app Bank account deposit 6 days $5 1%
Credit/debit card, mobile app Bank account deposit 3 days $25 5%
Credit/debit card, phone call In-person cash pickup Minutes $45 9%

According to the information above, the transaction fees enforced by Western Union can range from 1% to 9% depending on transfer type and destination.

Speedpay Rates

These fees may not apply to payments sent to or from businesses through Western Union’s Speedpay solution. Western Union’s business services are designed for merchants who process a large number of international transactions, and they will therefore fluctuate in price due to currency conversions and price differences within international supply chains. Western Union creates custom service packages for different business types, so merchants should be sure to understand all associated costs of processing international payments through Western Union and compare them to other digital invoice payment processors.

Slower and More Expensive Than Competitors

Although the Western Union contract terms are favorable in the sense that it does not enforce long-term contracts or hidden fees (such as early termination fees or PCI compliance fees), the service does not compare favorably to its competitors in the money transfer space. Some mobile apps like Venmo or Square Cash allow users to transmit funds within one business day for no fee whatsoever, which is both faster and cheaper than most of Western Union’s options. Even so, Western Union can be a good choice for people who need to make quick, guaranteed payments that can be picked up in the form of cash at a specified location. It is not an especially affordable solution, though, for digital money transfers. We encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant services.

The Western Union process

A simplified depiction of the Western Union money transfer process

Western Union Jobs and Employment

Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment

Audit Your Current Statement To Find Its Hidden Fees

Processing statements are intentionally complicated so that they can overcharge you. Get clarity before you switch.

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms

An Established Brand

Western Union appears to rely primarily on its widespread name recognition and physical locations across the country to attract business. The company’s agent program allows its agents to establish their own Western Union locations in order to increase the company’s territorial foothold. We have seen some Western Union reviews that accuse the company of nondisclosure or misrepresentation, but these instances appear to be mostly due to user error rather than deceptive tactics by sales agents.

No Deceptive Quotes

There is no evidence at this time that Western Union engages in misleading promotional strategies in its official materials, and we therefore award it an “A” rating. This compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors. For a better understanding of how Western Union’s rates and fees compare to traditional credit card processors, we recommend reading “Fee Sweep“.

Western Union Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts and Opinions

An Average Option for Money Transfers

Western Union rates as an average money transfer service according to our rating system. The company is a good option for underbanked or international users who need to arrange cash payments in a short amount of time, but it is also much more expensive than most peer-to-peer payment methods. Casual users who simply need to transfer funds online or via a mobile app will be better served by a top-rated mobile app for sending money. Our rating for Western Union is severely impacted by the recent FTC ruling against the company.

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Customer & Employee Reviews

What Others Are Saying About Western Union

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136 Responses

  • Ceres Trivino

    MNVH Minneapolis

    No. Western Union stole my money! They are thieves!

  • Eddie G.

    I’m looking to open a lawsuit against Western Union. My fiance is living in the Philippines, and ever since 2021 they have refused to send my transfers, and when I ask for a reason why they tell me they are “legally unable” to tell me? How is this a good customer service practice? And for some strange reason, it seems they’ve put out some kind of “alert” or red flag on my name because MoneyGram, Remitly and a slew of other companies are also refusing my transfer attempts. My fiance and our daughter are in need of help and WU has caused this blockage. So looking to open a lawsuit against them so that they can remove whatever block they have against me. And it sad because I’m a loyal and devoted customer, what gives them the right to not only block me but to cause other companies to block me as well? And me being a black man from the US, the stench of racism flows from their corporate offices, so they will have to answer for this in court. If anyone has any pointers or tips I’d greatly appreciate your advice!!!

    • Felicia P

      Iam dealing with the same issues I was blocked by western union reached out to them to see why I was block they can’t tell me they asked me to send in my information only to tell me I can never use their service again I would like to clear my name I want to start a lawsuit

    • Kl


      They did me same way

    • Kl


      The same happened to me I hope you get something done about this

  • M Torki

    They sent me a fraudulent check and never apologized!!!!!!!!
    They sent me a check as a refund for a lost money order, which took about 1.5 months to deliver, and yet the check was fraudulent!!!!!!!!!!!! After lots of hassle and calling back and forth, they issued another check without the driest apology, saying it would take another 2 to 3 weeks to deliver!!!!
    Bunch of cheating gangsters…

    • Angel Cotto

      On the 3rd of May I went got a $300 money order paid my electric $79 or so and I usually separate the ticket from the money order I lost the $300 money order they told me without a number they can’t do nothing so they can keep the money the president of the company that’s how he makes his money and the vice presidents and all the company staff and they make it seem like they’re the best of the best and they take food out of the mouth of people I don’t know how they can put a spoon to their mouth and eat while people are suffering because 30 40 50 days they’ve been transferring me back and forth and and told me that they can’t give me my money back you lost it I have like five names with their employee numbers I had to pay double my rent this month because I didn’t have it for last month I’ve 20 days ago they told me it hadn’t been cashed but because I couldn’t give him information that they wanted they couldn’t have stopped it then five more days and it was cashed Publix told me that they could keep your money and not give you anything that’s what Western Union is about I’ve used them for almost 3 4 years that president and all his staff and so-called vice presidents and secretaries you know they can wear their nice suits and everything knowing that they take money out of the people’s mouth to feed themselvesthemselves

  • Nelaine

    Not applicable

    I am done using western union. Today I wanted to pay for something and yes have known this person 5 years. They blocked payment with NO explanation. When I called the 1888 number they had the nerve to say, send an email to the compliance office and wait 20 to 30 days for reply. I kid you not.

    Would never do business with them again.

    Removing my information from their system immediately.

    • Thomas G Choate

      The EXACT same thing haopened to me. I have been and Investigator since 1987, a current Certified Fraud Examiner and rum a team of human trafficking investigators in SEA. They are profiling us with a digitial profile that includes age race and sex. I am white but they assume guys sending money to the Phillipines is romance scam. I lived with girl for 4 years…not a scam haha. I will gladly join your suit if you need to show a pattern let me know!!

  • Jean James Guerrier

    Very frustrating, unimpressed and disappointed. Western union starts to micromanage my life now. After over 5 years using their services to send money abroad to help my family, now they want me to tell them in detail why do I send money? Who am I sending money to? Why do I use their services so often? They have the audacity to say that they are simply complying to a sort of international law.

  • Deepa S

    Deepa S

    After reading tons of painful bad reviews on western union, I decided stay away from these thieves. good bye. no more western union

  • Tupa

    I WILL NEVER USE WU AGAIN I am sorry for the workers who are forced to lie in order not to lose their job, WESTERN UNION IS NOT RELIABLE AND WILL NEVER BE.


    All good day WU has poor no help customer service ,covid has been an interfencewith mail . i had send out 3 mo and it wasnevercash bcofcovid. now i been calling these idiots give a bs excuse and then charges us extra money to trace it but WHERE ISMY REUND YOUR THIEVES. WE BETTEER GETOUR MONEY WE WILL BLOCK YOU AND TELL THE NEWS THE SCAMS UR DOING AND KEEPINGOUR UNCASH MO . ITS BEEN A YEAR. RETURN OUR MONIES . IN GOOD FAITH. DOTHE RIGHT THING . OR WE WILL PROTEST IN FRONT OF CORP

  • sergiy sakarhov

    Bad service, NEVER AGAIN !!! Customer service just try to make you stupid, kicking you from one operator to another operator just to hold your money away from you as long as possible. Hard to get cancel transaction and get your money back to you. Takes almost 2 weeks to get my money back to me. I had to call in Trenton for complain to get same result. BE AWARE !!!!

  • Jesse Collins


    Wester Union is a terrible way to send money. I used Western Union for years to transfer money to Thailand. Suddenly without warning I was unable to send money. I tried for weeks to get their customer service to help to no avail. I will never use their service again. I now use Wise for all my international money transfers. They are cheaper than Western Union, more efficient and the transfer of funds take a fraction of the time. Avoid Western Union like the plague.

  • Thomas

    I have been useing WU for years. Answered a lot of questions, but that is ok. I am a 50s year old white male sending money to my wife and her family in the Phillipines. Recentlt i was banned. I filled out the GCR form. Sent bank records, pay statements, proved that I know my wife and my money was legal. The banned me. Would not tell me why. I know they use software that profiles for fraud. This software accounts for race and age. So I have been refused for service in part because I am an older white guy sending money to the Phillipines.

  • christian garcia

    western union is stealing our money plain and simple,the indian call center is nothing but a bunch of low life thieves acting like they customer service…….why hasnt justice dept. step in and put them out of business?

  • Anon

    Do NOT ever be a customer with Western Union. They will treat you like other reviews have said as a criminal. They will ask you personal questions online and in person if you want to send people. They will make it impossible for you to send any money to beloved people, professionals, and businesses even with an invoice. I wish Western Union can go out of business.

  • Wade Churchfield

    I have been using Western Union since back around 1984, doing fairly regular transfers to family and some friends. The last several money transfers through Western Union were placed on hold and I was required to call a number to provide information, which I did, they asked a lot of personal questions and they decided that for those transfers, that I was a potential victim of fraud, which was not the case, in those particular transfers, I used another service with no issues. This week, I tried to send some money to my brother, again they placed money on hold and required that I contact the fraud group, again, they started asking personal questions, I explained I was sending to my brother which I had sent to many times in the past, again they started with the personal questions, who I was sending to, how long have I known them, what is relationship, why am I sending money, ….. At this point, they became so annoying that I told them to forget it, they still wanted to go through their script on personal information. I gave them a few choice words, then contacted customer service to cancel and delete my account because I would no longer use their service, they asked why and gave me a bunch of b.s. saying they are sorry that I feel that way. I pushed and they said they would delete my account knowing that in the future that if I ever would want to renew my account it may not be possible. I asked them to cancel the HOLD transaction as it was still pending, they said that they could transfer me back to the fraud group for that action, I told them I was done talking to that group, as they have no interest in working with me, as to cancel the HOLD transaction, they still ask those same personal questions. Never again with Western Union. I lost all of the discount points from so many previous transactions through them. Not sure who gave them the power to make decisions on who I can send my money to.

  • Kate

    Western Union just refused to transfer money for me and refused to tell me why so that the situation could be rectified. They didn’t advise me that they weren’t going to approve the payment but left it until the recipients went to the agency to collect the funds. It felt to me that the assessment was on sexist and racist grounds. I am a white woman who chose to send a gift to some kids overseas in India. They have thrown the baby out with the bath water, the company seems to have gone from ignoring scammers, to treating everyone as a criminal. There was a sense of disbelief that I would send a gift to India. I chose to send a little gift to people overseas who I have communicated with for 9 years. Apparently an independent, financially stable woman with three university degrees is not qualified to make this decision on her own behalf. The arrogance of the ‘assessor’ and supervisor was belittling and reflected a lack of insight into the purpose of their assessment. So, poorly trained staff with a list of tick-a-box rules is not an intelligent way to run a business. Also, their failure to stay in and support the people of Afghanistan is just one more example of their lack of concern for actual people. I know it’s a very large business so arrogance comes with that; but I only hope the old adage comes to fruition, ‘pride comes before a fall’.

  • Crystal


    Ridiculous w u. Wanting to charge me 15 processing fee for a 10 money order refund. Wtf. Never again wil I ever deal with them. F em

  • Siraj Nathdwarawala

    There are far better money sending services that I would prefer to use than WU.

    So it started with me sending $2.5k dollars to India in mid June 2021. I went for in store transfer in Fred Myers as the website was not allowing me to schedule an amount of $2.5k online. For some reason, they said that they could not allow so much for cash pick up and told me that I would get a refund and it would take around 14 days to issue.

    After 14 days I called them as I could not see the refund, and they told me that they had not acknowledged the transfer, so my bank would have to issue a refund. So I called my bank and they told me to file a dispute and they will investigate it. I did that and after one month, the bank came back and told me that they could not issue me the credit as I had my money already debited.

    So I contacted WU again and they told me that the money was ready for the receiver to pick up. And I told them that I had already sent the receiver through some other means and immediately requested to issue me a refund. Since the money was not picked up by the receiver (which is so dangerous, as if the money would have already been picked, I would have lost all the money), they issued me a refund and gave me a new MTCN number which I can take to the store and collect the money. THIS IS SO HORRIBLE, that after assuring me a refund they still went ahead and processed my original request and made money available to the receiver but the story doesn’t end here

    So I went to the store with my new MTCN number and they told me that they cannot give cash to the tune of $2.5k. So I went to another WU store and they told me the same thing. Then I called the customer service again and the person called Kabir, spoke very rudely with me but still managed to give me the new store address which would be able to process my request. Then I went to that store and they gave me the same reply that they could not arrange for so much money. Luckily it was a safeway location and they had the money, so the nice lady did told that they can honor my request. But guess what, when she tried to take the money, WU website showed that I was being serviced at some other treminal. Now this is because the previous 2 stores that I inquired, some idiot WU employee there forgot to log me out and it was another 20 minutes call with their customer service. The safeway store employees then called the WU office from their store and they managed to shut the other location access and give me the refund finally!

    To see my own money, I had to go through so many loops which is unacceptable. The entire way in which they run their business is SHADY at best and there are so many loopholes where the customer can easily lose their money.

    If the money would have been picked up by the receiver (whom I had already sent them money before through other means because WU initially told me they could not honor the request) had picked up the money, I would have lost it. If the store employee would have hit the serviced button, I would have lost it. There are just too many loopholes in their process and I advice everyone not to use WU as you could easily lose your money. At best BEWARE!!

  • Angus Friday

    Do not give, or do not accept the Western Union Card as a form of payment or as a gift. They make it impossible to activate the card. After waiting an eternity on the phone to activate the card, they then announced that it was blocked; that took another 20 minutes to get an agent on the phone who then started making my life difficult. Thankfully, I don’t need the $100+ card, but for those who do, and who may have to use up mobile phone pre-paid credit to retrieve the money, this is an absolute hardship. Meanwhile they charge $5.95 per month for inactive accounts. So, I guess they get to keep that money. Frankly, with new forms of payment coming on stream such as digital cash, I can’t see a long future for this company with such an appalling and stressful service. If I were in the stock market, (which I am not…so please do not take my advice)…I would definitely short this stock. This company, in my opinion, has no future, unless it miraculously embraces new technology and a whole new attitude and culture. Meanwhile, I feel defrauded, but this too, will pass.

  • Sandreen Ferguson

    Very bad customer service and they do not solve your problem. Know one knows what is going on. I have been using them for many many years. For such a big company they need better customer service .

  • Kaegen Lau

    This business is a den of thieves and liars! They’ve repeatedly denied me a refund for my transaction, which their very own MTCN when tracked, proved my receiver never obtained the funds. They’ve told me the only way I can get proof from them is to issue them a subpoena for bank records, and the BBB, FTC, Wisconsin DATCP, and private attorneys I’ve consulted with are either unwilling, unable, and/or afraid to help me. This has been going on since 12/09/2020. There’s a special place you-know-where for WU’s leadership in the next life!!


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About The Author

Phillip Parker is the creator and author behind this website. He has over 15 years of experience in the credit card processing industry as a journalist, consultant, and former merchant account sales professional. He started this project as a blog to expose merchant services providers that engage in predatory business practices, such as deceptive marketing, misleading pricing, and high-pressure sales tactics. His goal is to help business owners find merchant account providers who serve their industry well while offering fair rates with no junk fees and no long-term commitments.

Phillip has researched over 1,000 payment processors and been quoted in numerous high-profile publications, including the Los Angeles Time, INC Magazine, The Atlantic, and the Miami Herald among others.

Need advice on card acceptance? Schedule a consultation with Phillip.

Phillip’s Top Processor Picks:
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How Our Ratings Work

Please note that our rating system was overhauled on April 26th, 2023. Reviews dated before this date may not score in accordance with the following.

Star Rating Criteria:

At the start of our research, all processors are awarded five stars. We deduct stars if the processor engages in any of the following:

– One star deduction if the processor has any junk fees.

– One star deduction if the processor does not post its pricing clearly on its website.

– One Star deduction if the processor is suffering from moderate client complaints.

– Multiple Star deductions if a processor is suffering from severe complaints, imposes unjust cancellation fees, markets non-cancellable equipment leases, engages in predatory rate pricing, or may be engaged in illegal activities.

Get all of the details regarding out rating criteria here.

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