Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The curious case of Western Union

Today I went to Western Union to send one of my daughters some moolah.

As I don't do this very often, I was somewhat taken back by the complexity of the process, once it involves a significant amount of money.

After, and only after, I handed off the clerk a few thousand bucks (not over or even close to $10K in case you are wondering - as I know that this has to be "reported"), she asks me for my Social Security number.

She then asks if my SSN was "issued in the United States?"

I'm not even sure what that question means, but I tell her yes...

She then asks me where was I born.

And then she asks what I do for a living.

She processes all of this into her computer and then tells me that I need to call a number and answer a few questions before my money is "released."

I call the number, and oddly enough for someone working telephonic Customer Service, the lady assisting me had one of the most atrocious accents that I've ever heard on the telephone.

This meant that I had to constantly ask her to repeat the multiple questions, which were rather personal and somewhat surprising.

Q: What did my daughter need the money for?

A: She's moving and I'm helping with the rent and deposit, etc.

Q: Will all of this money be used for the rent and deposit? How much is the rent?

Q: When was the last time that I saw my daughter?

I shit thee not!

After multiple repetitions because I could not understand the English from the nice Western Union phone lady with the "she sounds like she's speaking Finnish underwater" accent, I'm put on hold for 5-6 minutes.

After that I am told that the funds would be released once she shows up with two forms of ID. I guess that my name didn't pop up on any nefarious lists, which is a good thing because I am one solid US citizen with zip to hide.

Now, I understand that this is all probably related to suspicions of drug money, or related to the IRS wanting to know everything about cash transactions, etc., but it truly felt somewhat scary, which sucks, because all that I'm doing is sending my fucking daughter some money to help her move.

1 comment:

Carl & Jody Wright at WSG Gallery said...

Hi Lenny, Next time use PayPal. They wont break your balls over the money. Best yet the transfer is free. Am sure that the reason that Western Union wanted some (but not all) of the information was that you were not a recurrent client. By the way did they ask for shoe size and size & style of hat you prefer?