All companies that issue money orders will issue refunds under specific circumstances. It is not difficult to do a money order refund, but the refund policies and procedures vary by issuer. It is always a good idea to ask about the issuer’s refund process when you purchase a money order.
Western Union Refunds
Western Union sells money orders online and at more than 500,000 locations. Like most issuers, the company refunds purchasers for money orders that are lost, stolen or destroyed. However, Western Union also extends this service to recipients. If you have the receipt attached to the original money order, send it, a $15 processing fee and a money order customer request to the address on the form. Without that receipt, send your cash register receipt, any other proof of purchase, the request form and a $30 fee. Recipients are required to send an affidavit, but no fee.
A receipt is essential to get a refund from second-largest issuer of money orders. If you have the receipt from the original purchase, send it with a money order claim to the address on the card. MoneyGram deducts a $15 fee to process any refund or to investigate if a money order was cashed. If you have lost your receipt, you have no access to a refund. Neither do recipients.
Bank-Purchased Money Orders
Banks are owned by a multitude of individuals and corporations; they have differing policies, and not all sell money orders. If you purchase a money order from a bank, ask about its refund policies before you buy. However, if the selling merchant is a different company from the issuer of the money order, typically the issuer -- not the merchant who sold the money order -- is responsible to investigate and issue refunds.
The United States Post Office
Postal money orders are the least expensive to refund or replace; the processing fee is only $6.10. You must have the money order or its stub, and the claim must be completed and filed at the post office. Request PS Form 6401, Money Order Inquiry, from the clerk. After you submit the form, check the online Missing Money Order list for your instrument’s serial number. If the serial number is not listed, call the Postal Inspector at 1-877-876-2455.
If you believe the company that issued your money order treated you unfairly or incorrectly processed your refund request, don’t give up. Your local consumer affairs agency as well as consumer organizations like the Better Business Bureau have complaint departments that might be able to help. If you are still unable to obtain a satisfactory outcome, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.