Sunday, April 1, 2012

NEW JOB, MONEYPAK, EVICTION & THOSE FOLKS FROM WESTERN UNION

Our daughter, the microbiologist… moved to Arizona… lock, stock and barrel. The job she went there for did NOT work out. So what else is new? She is NO stranger to being unemployed. My husband and I have damn near bankrupted ourselves trying to help her the past 10 years. We have tried to cut the cord, so many times it isn't funny. My husband lost his job in September 2011. A new one hasn’t come along. We’re on Social Security on a very fixed income. Even though we can’t really afford to... we still pay her car insurance and cellphone bill each month.  With no money coming in, our daughter has had to apply for government assistance. Her food and electricity are covered. But... because of the expensive neighborhood she lives in, they will NOT take care of the rent, water or sewer. She is in arrears... one month going on two... the first of April. We told her to start selling off her belongings to raise cash. Because it’s a gated community there are rules against garage sales. We suggested Craig’s List or a local bulletin board at the grocery store. So far, no bites on anything. Her landlord, as predicted, started the eviction process. She tried to negotiate with him, but he won't work with her. She is out of luck.  So suffice to say, things are a BIG mess.  Seeing her suffer, knowing we can’t help with the rent situation, this time around, has NOT been easy. But it's a lesson that needs to be learned. She is almost 40 years old. HOWEVER, we are NOT heartless. Since her bank account is empty, adding money to it would only result in MORE fees coming out, than cash going in... Therefore, our daughter devised a convoluted plan so we could put gas in her car, so she could have internet access to apply for jobs. It works like this. We buy this thing called a MONEY PAK card. It costs $5. You add whatever dollar amount from $20 to $1100, you want to put on it.  The store activates it. Then we scratch off the code on the back of MP card and call our daughter with the number. With this number she can add that dollar amount to her Visa/Debit card balance. Last weekend we bought her a new MP card for $100. She added it to her debit card via phone. She checked to make sure the NEW balance showed up on her account. It did. At 3am, Sunday morning she went to Wal-Mart to get a few things. The transaction was denied after her card was scanned.  According to the cashier there wasn’t sufficient credit on the card. The websites associated with our daughter’s Visa/Debit and the MONEYPAK card were both down, for routine maintenance. She CALLED us screaming and crying, like it was our fault. What did she expect us to do?  We're halfway across the country. When she tried to access her account again to see what was going on... she was denied access, unless she changed her password. After she did, she still got no information.  When the website was finally back up... it showed that the MONEYPAK card had indeed been credited to her Visa/Debit but was showing up as being SPENT, so her balance was a big fat ZERO. We were out the money. That was OBVIOUSLY wrong. She couldn’t call anybody in customer service about the situation until Monday. The problem with Monday was... even if they FIXED things, and re-issued the credit back where it belonged, it would be TOO late. On MONDAY at 7:30am our daughter was supposed to start a NEW temporary job, forty miles from where she lives. We got this particular MONEYPAK card so she could make that trek.  Because of this debacle... she was without the funds needed to put gas in her car... She told us she now could NOT report to work. My husband was having NONE of that nonsense. So we decided to put PLAN B into action. We’d send her some quick cash via WESTERN UNION. It was now around 5 or 6 am. I called their toll free number. I went through the agony of a computer talking to me for the first 15 minutes. Then WESTERN UNION put a customer service representative from ANOTHER COUNTRY on the phone, to complete the transaction. The problem was this man’s accent was so thick, I could hardly understand a word he said. It was like pulling teeth. He told me it would cost $118 to send the $100. He wanted my daughter’s name, exactly where she would be picking the money up. Then he wanted my full name, birth-date, my credit card information, my driver’s license number, my email address, my phone number, my street address, my first born child, etc. After all of that, he informed me that his computer said NO. It could NOT complete this transaction, sorry. Try visiting your local WESTERN UNION kiosk, he suggested. Goodbye. Say what? What kind of racket is this? He had enough information to STEAL my identity and clear out my bank account. I was livid. I got back on the phone to complain to WESTERN UNION but there was an endless loop of computer talk to thwart my best efforts. My husband said, "Let’s go to Meijer’s, instead. They have  WESTERN UNION. Maybe we can straighten this out".  It was 7:30am. They’d now be open. There, we met a charming young lady in customer service. We told her what had happened. She made things right. She said NEVER EVER do WESTERN UNION by telephone or computer. She handed me a piece of paper that didn’t ask a million questions (like that guy on the phone had asked). I filled it out. Handed it back. She said it was going to cost $112. I gave her the cash.  She transferred it. MONEY was in Arizona in 15 minutes. IMAGINE that?  Our daughter collected it. She put gas in her tank and started the NEW job. She works TWELVE hour shifts. Her first paycheck will be in 3 weeks. I guess it’s better LATE than never... to get a FRESH start. Tell that to her landlord, though. UNFORTUNATELY, our daughter is STILL being evicted. Meanwhile, she can’t take time off work, to go to court to appeal it. So... she’ll be out on the street, with no roof over her head. Our hands are tied. All we can do is PRAY.

26 comments:

Buttercup said...

What a tough time. Adding my prayers.

Formerly known as Frau said...

Yikes....I'm so sorry! Keeping her in my prayers!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Your are fortunate that you can help your daughter like that. I hope she does learn a lesson from all of this and that the new job will be one that continues on for her. Some temps are in the same job for years because people find they save money using them. One of my sons was hired on to a full time position with the company he was temping for because they liked the work he did. I was never blessed to be able to help any of my children much with giving them money and thankfully they've all been able to care for themselves. There is a lot to be said for not dealing with people on the phone. Glad it all worked out and she's able to go to work. I'll be praying she can find a place to live and continue to work to pay her own way. It would be wonderful if she could even begin to pay you back for all that you've done for her.

Bobbi said...

One thing I've found to be true is that our children never cease to be a worry for us. I will be sure and pray for your daughter...

That corgi :) said...

I am so sorry, I remember when you wrote about her going to this job months before. I am sorry it didn't work out. (Her counterpart, my son, who is 23, moved back in with us this past January). I truly understand what you are going through because for the most part we are going through the same thing, still helping, and we are on a fixed income too. I truly do understand (I know I said that before, but I get it).

I'm sorry you had such a hassle too to trying to provide her with money. That is good advice you shared with us though not to deal with Western Union on the phone.

I'm sorry for your daughter; with the eviction its going to "haunt" her for a bit on her credit report and possibly renting again. By the grace of God (and more help than he should have gotten from us) son managed not to get evicted before he moved back with us but he does still owe the apartment complex some money (which we are making him be responsible for).

The best thing indeed is prayer; just keep praying

betty

RoeH said...

So sorry this is happening you all of you. This is happening to so many people these days. Prayers for all. I sure hope her new job works out this time.

Forty Pound Sack said...

First, just, WOW, I am so, so sorry you have to go through this. I have a family member who lives on the edge, too, and I know how stressful it can be to be tapped continually. Hugs to you, sweetie. I hope your daughter gets her ducks in a row ~

Jon said...

My God, what a nightmare! Take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. I know numerous parents going through the same thing. Unfortunately, most children seem to cause more problems as they grow older. I'm so glad that your daughter finally has a job.

I have a cousin in her 50's who works twelve-hour shifts.
I haven't worked twelve-hour shifts since I was in my 20's......

By the way, I use MoneyPack to buy things on eBay.

jack69 said...

oh sweetheart, how we understand this! I give the 'Never again speech.' and not long after it is a different situation and yep, we give in again. To be honest, it is getting better each time.
But We do understand the frustration, will say a prayer.

It would be nice if somehow all 'kids' would grow up, we have one near 50, maybe he will grow up next year.

Hopefully the situation will righten itself and daughter will truly become self sufficient. Ahh the pains of Seniors.

Belle said...

We help my daughter out quite often too. They have some financial problems. I know you can wire money from Walmart now and people say that works well. That Western Union is a disaster! I'm glad your daughter got a new job. Life is tough out there. We were evicted from a place once when my husband was out of work. What the heck - s&%$# happens.

ain't for city gals said...

This will sound harsh but your daughter will only quit asking when she knows for absolute certain you are not going to bail her out. It is time for her to make it on her own...or not. Hard to do but you must...

alphawoman said...

Every day at Cracker barrel I see people carrying babies around. You know what I think? I think how they will always be their babies. Forever and ever and ever. you never stop. I use Money Gram at Walmart - lol. Believe it or not, I have a frequent user card! I have sent money to Joe in Arkansas, my pal Barry in Lex and my almost SIL Scott who's parents do not help him out (I guess they are unable) but I love him like a son. And natch, my daughter. I am sorry to hear about your daughters plight. I hope it all works out.

Paula said...

I know a person who is trying to practise tough love on his daughter. She is in her 50's. Just pitiful. She never even says "thank you" for all he does.

Ina in Alaska said...

You are on a fixed income and your 40 year old daughter is still taking advantage of you. She knows you will cave in and give her money every time.

Unless you put your foot down this will never stop.

Sorry, but I do not feel bad for your daughter. She perfectly well knows what she is doing. It is not your fault she is a poor money manager and living above her means. She knows you are in a financial bind and she is taking advantage of you and your husband. That is not fair to either of you. She is not a teenager any more. She may have to take advantage of public welfare system. Unless you firmly and finally put your foot down this will never come to an end.

Roses around the door... said...

Your stress level's must have gone through the roof, i was holding my breath reading your post.
What wonderful parent's you are, times are hard for so many, there was a sniff on the news last week that we may have a petrol strike soon, people have been panick buying, yesterday our little garage in the village had sold out!
People get scared they can not get to work.
Well done to you and your husband for not giving up, time to try and rest now, hope your daughter knows how lucky she is for having such supporting parents. Best wishes jackie x

Cliff said...

I'll bet this is consuming for you and your husband. Hope it finally works out.
Cheaper apartment?
I sure hope your identity wasn't compromised.

Diann said...

Oh what a nightmare! I can understand the insane and ridulous running around when you deal with these kinds of online or telephone businesses. I hope all settles down for you soon!

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Oh my gosh, I don't know quite what to say! I do hope (and pray) that your daughter's job works out. I know the hours are long, but there are many much older than her that work those shifts. It can be done. Hopefully she will find somewhere safe to live that she can afford. Maybe rent a room from someone for a short time until she gets on her feet? I hope things get better for all of you. Take care!

Lori said...

That is a real shame, and I hope things work out for her. I know it has to be a very real worry for you!

Lisa said...

Praying for your family, Hugs Lisa

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Phew, quite an ordeal, and the eviction par sucks, but glad that she is working.

Soos said...

I'm so sorry, Terre. You don't stop being a parent, even when your kids don't live with you. And they're almost 40 years old! You do what you can. Hope things get better for you all.

Pat MacKenzie said...

Hang in there. I have no advice to offer. We love our children anyway though don't we. I hope her new job works out for her.

Jenny Woolf said...

This is so hard for everyone. What parent wants to see their child suffer?

I see a similar situation in the life of someone who is close to me, a woman on a low income, widowed, and with health issues, and a daughter who always has some awful problem which means she needs more money. The daughter asks her mother for gas money every time she visits her, but I notice that she does manage to find money for little treats for herself. The mother has recently had to make urgent payments for just this reason, no gas.

Her daughter runs a fairly nice car and live in a nice place (though she too lost her home a couple of years ago, she was bailed out by some other of her relatives and now complains she has to live somewhere she likes less).

The mother just can't bear to listen to the heartbreaking tales her daughter tells her about her problems, and she is truly concerned how her daughter will ever cope. She has hinted to me that she knows she is being taken advantage of, yet she helps her daughter because she'd feel like a bad person if she didn't. It matters more to her to behave in accordance with her conscience than keep her money. Also in many other ways her daughter is good to her, and she'd be afraid to lose her daughter from her life for the genuinely good things the daughter brings into it.

I try not to offer my advice, I can see it's not simple, so I won't offer you advice either cause I am sure there are many aspects to this.

I have heard bad things about Western Union because of the lack of security. It's used by scammers who take over identities. I'm paranoid about people stealing my ID I always end up changing passwords and even cards if I suspect someone has tried.

Megs said...

I truly hope this does not offend you, but has your daughter ever looked into OVR or MH/ MR to help her get/ keep a job? Maybe she has other issues ( that usually involve some type of diagnosis) that interfere with her living on her own.
I feel for you, it is so frustrating.

Megs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.