We’re all about keeping you updated with the world of the #AntiMLMmovement here. Today, one of my UK-based Y-spies messaged me regarding some communications mentioning Western Union, as received in the “UK & Ireland Presenters Only” Facebook group, and in an email from Younique Corporate themselves.
Why is my Y-spy concerned? Well, no sooner had the communication been released and the presenters sent into a frenzy, it was subsequently deleted. Almost like it never existed. Perhaps the flurry of people needing help was far too much to handle?
It transpires that Younique’s PayQuicker system will be moving to Western Union as its “bank of choice“. Oh, and it also transpires that some presenters are struggling to gain access commission that is rightfully theirs.
It all began with this communication from the admin of the UK & Ireland Facebook group for Younique Presenters:
Here is the PDF:
The Facebook post was accompanied by what was – presumably – a copy/paste of Younique Corporate’s communication:
Many of you have already seen the news regarding the changes to international commission accounts with PayQuicker (we emailed you, check your inbox). Our goal is to provide additional information and an FAQ to address all the questions you or your fellow Y-Presenters may have. In case you haven’t seen this letter from PayQuicker, we have attached it here for your reference.
Here is a brief overview:
1. PayQuicker has been planning to move away from their current bank (Choice Bank, Ltd) for some time to provide better service to our wonderful Presenters. In planning for this change, there was a benefit to expediting this decision, and so PayQuicker is in the process of immediately moving forward. This requires a few changes that you need to be aware of during this transition.
2. The new bank PayQuicker has chosen is called Western Union. They have existed since 1851 and have almost 200 years of experience and stability. PayQuicker will also be working with other International Banks with this same credibility as they move forward with their vision.
3. With such a large-scale transition, there are a few important things you need to understand regarding the current funds in your account. Click here for the full FAQ: www.youniqueproducts.com/business/support/000002733.
For additional questions, please feel free to contact PayQuicker or our Customer Care team. We appreciate your patience during this transition and we are confident and happy with the strategic decision made by PayQuicker to improve the efficiency of their systems.
What is PayQuicker?
For those who don’t know, PayQuicker is (in Younique’s words): “a third party company that works with Younique to pay Royalties to [our] Presenters as quickly as possible.”
- PayQuicker is briefly explained in Chapter 3 – Enter the Charlat-huns of Elle’s #Poonique tale.
- Maz Carrah explains PayQuicker in-depth, including fees, in her article The Magic Purple Card.
In a nutshell; when you see a Younique presenter bragging about “getting paid every 3 hours” – it simply means their commission will land in their PayQuicker account 3 hours after a sale is made.
Choice Bank Ltd is currently the bank PayQuicker uses to store all non-US commission accounts. As you can see from the above communication, PayQuicker is going to be moving away from them, and straight into bed with Western Union.
What is Western Union?
According to the Business Dictionary definition, it is a “Financial services corporation that specialises in the transfer of money from one location to another location. The company is based out of the United States, but processes financial transactions from across the world. Individuals deposit money at one of the company’s kiosks, and then the receiver is able to pick-up the funds at another branch. The company has been in business since 1851.”
In order to send funds, a sender goes to a Western Union office and presents funds (plus fees) for “Next Day” or “Money in Minutes” service. The sender provides his or her name and address, the recipient’s name, and a designated payment destination. Western Union then provides the sender a 10-digit Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) that the sender must provide to the recipient.
The recipient will need to present the 10-digit MTCN, and a photo ID, in order to receive these funds. In some locations, if a recipient lacks identification documents, the sender and receiver can set up a pre-arranged password. Funds are paid out in cash, although if payment exceeds a local maximum or cash on hand, a cheque is issued. Alternatively, a sender may forward funds to a recipient by using Western Union’s website or by phone. In some countries, the recipient doesn’t need the MTCN number if one has sufficient identification. [Source: Wikipedia]
Further Reading on Western Union:
- Pinoy OFW‘s “Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Western Union Money Remittance“
- Currency Shop‘s “Review of Western Union“
- NerdWallet‘s “Western Union Money Transfer Review: Fast or Cheap but Not Both“
- Indian Share Tips‘ “Western Union – Advantages & Disadvantages for Sending Money in India & Abroad“
Now, I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear Western Union mentioned, I wince. I understand that there are of course pros and cons with any such company, but personally, I have not heard good things whenever their name comes up. I can thank the likes of ‘advance-fee fraudsters‘ and ‘romance scammers‘ for that: money sent via Western Union to overseas scammers is almost always unrecoverable. For this reason, it is banned as a medium of payment through eBay, and predominantly discouraged on other online auction websites.
In January 2017, Western Union admitted to allowing wire fraud and agreed to pay $586m, for turning a blind eye as criminals used its service for advance fee fraud. Scammers engaging in various 419 advance-fee scams (including offering fake job offers and lottery prizes), were able to process transactions using Western Union money transfer, mainly by giving the agents a share of the earnings from their scams. Western Union failed to investigate hundreds of thousands of complaints victims filed.
What does this mean for Younique Presenters?
This news only affects non-US presenters. Younique have released a PayQuicker FAQ to guide them through this transitional period.
Here’s the most stellar piece of advice:
“…To ensure the smoothest transition possible, PayQuicker is recommending that you spend, withdraw, or transfer your current funds to your personal bank account as soon as possible. For your convenience, one (1) ATM/cash machine fee will be credited to your account per day.
If you do not have a personal bank account or the ability to withdraw your funds through an ATM/cash machine, PayQuicker is offering to transfer all existing funds to the new bank they will be using during this transitional period; Western Union. To complete this transfer, PayQuicker requires your consent. Contact PayQuicker Support to consent: https://younique.mypayquicker.com. This transfer will take approximately one (1) business day…”
Naturally, this announcement has caused a mass-panic of sorts. All that traffic flocking to the PayQuicker site means that most presenters just see this…
The screenshots provided by my Y-spy show some presenters experiencing problems with fees.
And also the frantic tagging of downlines…
There is a common theme emerging though…
The theme is photo identification.
Followers of my Facebook page will recall seeing this recent post, where a UK-based follower was asking for help. She wants to leave Younique and is unable to access her PayQuicker commission, due to a lack of photo ID. She doesn’t have one as she said she has no need for a passport, and she is not able to apply for a driving licence due to a preexisting medical condition.
Some followers were confused at how she was able to get as far as gaining presenter status without photo ID.
One very helpful answer said: “For money laundering reasons, they are well within their right to request a form of ID. However they should accept other forms (birth certificate + proof of address [and a potential confirmation of identity by a professional person]) and really should’ve done it at the start.
If the agreement is as per the Independent Presenter Agreement (Effective June 24, 2016), section 3.3 does not state anything about photographic ID, so keep firm and DO NOT CONVERSE ON THE PHONE.
Keep firm and write a letter, send it recorded/signed for (email if you have to) and state that as they do not possess photographic ID and due to financial reasons (or whatever) are not willing/able to get one. Attached are birth certificate+such-and-such which are accepted forms of identification as per the UK government, and if commissions due are not paid within 14 working days, *the entity listed in their contract* will be considered in breach of contract and compensation will be sought through the court systems.—worth a punt—
In all honesty, probably just cut your losses and go. Small claims court takes for ages (you need to wait at least 8 weeks before even starting the claims process!) and requires a shedload of proof. Unlikely they’ll pay up ‘just because’. (note that the presenter agreement is adamant on arbitration. You can do this via the small claims court for free, so it’s all easy peasy)…”
At the time of this article going to press, the lady in question is going to speak to Citizen’s Advice, and is still no further to getting her commission. By the looks of some of these screenshots, she’s not the only one.
Of course, its the end of the little purple card as we know it. Until its relaunched under the new Western Union regime, that is.
According to the FAQ, “…a debit card in your local currency will not be available during this transition. If you require a card during this time, PayQuicker can provide you with a prepaid card in USD (US Dollars). Please be aware that any funds transferred to this card would be converted into USD (US Dollars) at the current market exchange rate. Please also keep in mind that any money spent from that card would be spent in US Dollars…”
Come on, Younique – you’re just making things ridiculously complicated now.
Regardless, presenters are still naturally concerned about how they will access their commission.
According to my Y-spy, “contact support” was the most popular retort from the group admin, and any Black Status presenters.
One presenter seems to think that they’ll accept a Citizen Card as proof of ID. However, the lady who contacted me via Facebook for help has allegedly been told by Younique Support that it is “not an acceptable form of ID.”
According to this presenter, nor is a birth certificate. Is there a possibility that no one can give anyone a straight answer?
Looks like they’ll still be doing their utmost to shaft their presenters on fees, though. As if shafting them over the cost of the products isn’t enough!
According to their FAQ, “…Both PayQuicker and Younique are working as quickly as possible to make these transitions. Due to the large-scale nature of this change, please understand that this will not be immediate. In the interim, It is so important to us that you have the most consistent and convenient access to your funds possible. To that end, we are waiving fees for up to two (2) bank transfers per day during this transitional period…”
Very generous. I’ve always thought how generous it was, that they charge presenters a fee to withdraw their own money. I was foolish enough to not check this when I signed up as a presenter, and I am certain I am not the only one.
One presenter was charged £2.37 to transfer £16.00 – ouch. According to this Facebook group admin, “…Transfer fee has been switched off now. If you paid it, email [PayQuicker] and they will refund it…”
So which is it? Has fee charging been switched off completely, or are Younique sticking to their generous “waiving fees for up to two (2) bank transfers per day.” Plus, it sounds like there’s going to be a LOT of transfer fees to refund at this rate.
Perhaps the inconsistencies in information explains why the post was suddenly deleted? My Y-spy said that it just vanished after approx 3 hours of being posted, without further mention.
However, she says that its clearly real, and its happening. Its on their official website after all. Apparently, presenters have also been emailed by Younique Corporate about this wonderful and exciting news. Or so they say…
No doubt “support” are going to be inundated with people needing help to access what’s rightfully theirs, so I wonder exactly how long this transition period will take.
I also wonder how long it will take these presenters to realise that this company really, really doesn’t give a shit about them. It gives a shit about their money, yes…but them? Pfft.
Why are Younique doing this?
Right now, I have absolutely no idea. I mean, the official stance on their website FAQ is that they are making this move “…after the feedback both PayQuicker and Younique Products received from Younique Presenters. This move ultimately will improve PayQuicker’s ability to provide faster and more cost-effective bank transfers, and card-issuing banks within your country of residence.”
Let’s be honest, this is a multi-level marketing company we’re talking about here. There’s bound to be some kind of ulterior motive, one that doesn’t involve being more convenient and cost-effective to the presenters!
My Y-spy will keep me updated as and when she spots more information.
Time will tell as to whether this move to Western Union will pay off for the benefit of the presenters…but if Betting on Zero has taught us anything, we know that’s an unlikely story.
Presenters – you deserve better than MLM. Its not too late to walk away, and the anti-MLM movement is here to support you.