A Western Union Money Order provides a convenient way to pay bills without the use of cash or personal checks. It's not necessary to use a bank, or have a bank account. Instead, you simply visit a Western Union agent, fill out a form, and pay a fee. If the money order is lost or stolen, the company provides research and tracing services that will help you track it down.
Using Western Union Agents
Western Union operates through a network of more than 515,000 agent locations in banks, grocery stores, retailers, airports, and currency exchange offices around the world. In addition to Western Union's well-known money transfer service, many of these agents will issue money orders, which are useful when you can't use personal checks, credit cards or cash for payment. You'll need to fill out a money order request form and provide the funds, as well as pay a service fee.
Completing a Research Request
If your money order's gone astray, go to an agent location or go online for a Money Order Research Request. Fill the form out completely with the purchaser information, the money order number if you know it, amount, date and location of purchase, and the name of the payee, if written on the money order. The form also requires that you explain the circumstances of the loss, and prove that you are the original purchaser. If the money order was stolen, Western Union will need a copy of the police report. You'll also need to provide a notarized signature on the request form.
Paying Fees and Submitting the Request
The original receipt, with the money order number, provides evidence that you bought the money order. If you still have the receipt, the non-refundable processing fee for the research service is $15. The fee rises to $30, also non-refundable, if you don't have the receipt. Once the request form is filled out, copy all documents and submit the request by regular mail, fax or e-mail to the addresses provided on the form and on the Western Union website.
Western Union states that it takes six to eight weeks to complete research on a lost or stolen money order. If the money order was cashed, you will receive a copy of it, showing the payee. If the money order has not been cashed, and Western Union verifies all the information you provided on the request form, the company may refund your original payment, less its fee. If Western Union cannot trace the money order, it will notify you but will not provide a refund.