Western Union

I needed to send some money back to the Philippines. So I tried Western Union.

First, they charge me $27 to send $110 to Manila. Then, at the end of a tedious form, they tell me that it cannot accept the money transfer till I call their support number and talk to an operator. They give me a 10-digit “control number” without spaces or hyphens. I call the number, enter the number, and wait. After twenty minutes of elevator music from Western Union and much cursing from me, I get a message saying they cannot accept my call, please try again in fifteen minutes. So fifteen minutes later, I try again, and must wait another ten minutes. I surprise myself with my calmness as I tell the operator who answers, “This is not the service I was expecting. I’ve been charged too much to wait too long. Please cancel this transfer, and delete my account.”

Screw Western Union. What other US-Philippines money transfer alternatives are there, while Paypal Philippines has yet to materialize? I’m looking in Xoom’s direction based on Yuga’s experiences.


  1. Try forexworld.com. Been using the service for my client’s remittances for about 3 years now. Owned and operated by Pinoys based in LA, I think. They charge only $15 per transaction, $10 if the receipient has a Banco de Oro account.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a forex local number for you: 703-683-7724. Goodluck!

  3. thomas says:

    Here in Bolivia, everyone uses DHL as well as Western Union for money transfers. I don’t know how much it costs, but hey.

    Your bank should also be able to wire money to accounts abroad, using FedLine. I think the fee is $17.50.

  4. Teacher Sol says:

    I send $200 everymonth to my mom via Western Union too. Boy, they’re system is always down! But that’s only 3 minute walk from our place, no choice; no car yet to go to VA or Maryland for BPI or Banco de Oro :(

  5. Teacher Sol says:

    Eeeep! There it goes again, pardon my dyslexic keyboards…”Boy, THEIR system is always down!”

    Sorry for messing ur comment box, “Happy 4th of July!”.

  6. Raffy says:

    I’d suggest LBC, but that’s a biased recommendation seeing as how I work for them. Not sure if they do remittance in the East Coast though. I’ll check and let you know.