Friday, June 3, 2011

Money woes. Transferring money woes, that is.

A few weeks ago as I was considering how to handle my finances while in Oz, I decided I would use the online transfer service I used before: Xoom.

I used Xoom exclusively in 2009 to transfer money from my home account to my Commonwealth account, and I was pretty pleased. Even for the most seasoned traveler, sending money off can be a little daunting: I'd something goes wrong, your money is tied up until the problem is resolved.

So, when Jen and I completed the online transfer and then received an email saying something was wrong, I was both confused and nervous.

The email said someone from the same address was using the service and that further information would be needed to complete the transfer. Instructions were to email Xoom the details, including identifying who else in the household was using Xoom. A number was also included, in case I preferred to call.

Problem was, though, no one else was using my mailing address, so I called.

The phone rang, someone picked up and simply said, "thank you for calling Xoom."

I waited, thinking, "surely the man will ask how he can help me or for my name or something..."


Nothing. So I explained that I received an email, and I wasn't sure why someone else would have my address.

With attitude, the Xoom rep says, "for security reasons, I can't tell you who is using your address."

My response is, "this has to be a mistake. We're talking postal address right? Not email or anything else?"

And he says, yes.

Then he tells me that most people who call "tell me the truth," insinuating that I am lying about someone else using my address.

Admittedly, at that point I get a little attitude back. I tell him that if we can't get this resolved, I'm canceling my transfer and never using his service again. He says, he can't do anything further and that I can hang up and respond to the email.

I ask to be connected to a manager but only get voicemail.

At this point, I'm one day away from leaving and it's 4:30 p.m. I'm afraid if I don't get this resolved or have enough time to cancel and then call my American bank before 5, then my money will be tied up when I land in Oz.

I decided to call Xoom again, hoping a different rep would be more helpful or at least nicer.

Luckily, someone very pleasant and informative fielded my call. He explains that it's not a mailing address but an IP address that caused the problem. Then, I had a chance to explain that Jen was using my computer and we made transactions back to back.

The new Xoom guy understood, resolved mine and Jen's transfers and I cooled off.

Lesson of this: if the person on the other end is unbearable and not helpful, you might have better luck by hanging up and hoping someone different picks up.

I would still recommend Xoom because I do believe companies shouldn't be judged by one employee--maybe that guy was having a bad day. Xoom is quick with their transfers and relatively cheap compared to what most banks charge. And, they have 24 hour phone support...just hope you bypass the first rep I talked with!


  1. lol, clay and i had real fun transferring money over, especially with AUD being at a 25 year high?!? if anything goes wrong or you need help as soon as you get here, just feel free to call me, i live in the city. 0404 151 657

    sleep well on the plane~ :)

  2. Thanks Rachael!! :) even with the bumps in the road, I'm determined to not let anything ruin my good time!! See you soon--think of me as I sit with cramped legs and bad airline food for 15 hours ;)