Our experience with Transferwise - it's legitimate but sketchy and discriminatory
We like Transferwise because of its speed, simplicity, and low cost.
When you hit an issue, however, that’s when they really show their true color. Their customer service is downright frustrating, slow, and unhelpful.
We wanted to share a coupe of our stories, so you know what you’re getting into before you use their service.
My mom ran into an issue with a money transfer because her Asia identity document includes her maiden name and her Canadian identity document includes her married name. The money was out of the Asia account and was with Transferwise. We understood that this could be a problem and were willing to work with them toward a resolution. This is where things blew up:
* We offered two ways to resolve this: 1. we could provide other identity documents to show that my mom is indeed my mom, or 2. simply refund the money back to the account
* We figured the fastest way to ask for advice on how to resolve this issue is by calling their customer service hotline. Since my mom doesn’t speak any English, I offered to the customer service team that they could go through identity verification with my mom, and then she would give me the authorization to speak on her behalf. The customer service representative impolitely rejected the request and directed me to use email
* Their customer service team was very slow to respond to email. Every update took at least a full business day
* They told us the money couldn’t be refunded because their system was unable to move the money back to the Asia account. This is Transferwise’s problem and they insisted that we needed with our bank in Asia to resolve the problem
* After going back and forth for two weeks, most of which was spent waiting for a response from Transferwise, I stood firm and told Transferwise that this was their problem and they needed to fix it
* Transferwise then asked for a bunch of other identity documents from my mom
* The whole experience was very frustrating because each response is owned by a different customer service representative, who clearly didn’t bother to read the history of the case. I had to repeat myself and remind them what we tried every time
* At the end, they were able to fix the problem on their end and issued the refund back to the account
* It took them nearly five weeks to simply refund the money back to the account
I’ve been referring friends to Transferwise as a fast and low-cost way to move their money around the world, primarily from Asia to Canada. Transferwise has a referral program where you receive a reward of $115 CAD for every three referrals that transfer over a certain amount of money. After receiving my sixth reward, I received an email from their customer service team that my (and my only) referral program has changed. They placed me into a one-off referral program where I would receive a 15 GBP discount with future money transfers for every successful referral. **This practice is discriminatory, and it reminds me of cost-saving techniques used by sketchy companies that will go out of their way to save some money.
* I’ve since asked them to provide a reason behind placing me into a one-off referral tier. I’ll update this thread when I receive an update.
I hope this helps paint a picture of the company and the potential issues you may run into when you use Transferwise.