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Haitian woman gets money returned from Western Union

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Haitian woman gets money returned from Western Union

By Christy Dimond. CREATED Sep 20, 2013

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - Fox Four Troubleshooter getting results for a local Haitian woman tried sending money back to her home country, but the money disappeared. 

Vinouth Pierre, of Lehigh Acres, saved for months to send $1000 to her aunt in Haiti, who uses the money to buy food for those in need.  Pierre sent the money via Western Union in June, but her aunt never received it. Western Union representatives told her they would open an investigation, but Pierre never heard anything back. 

We reached out to Western Union and today, the company refunded Pierre for $1,000 and gave her an extra $100 for the inconvenience she went through. 

The company released this statement about the incident: 

"There was an error in processing this transaction.   We extend our apologies to the customer for the inconvenience caused.  At Western Union, the trust of our customers is paramount given the essential nature of the funds being sent.  We strive to provide excellent service.  This clearly did not occur in this case."

Pierre was ecstatic to receive her money, and plans to send all of it- including the extra $100- to Haiti to help those in need. 

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A Lehigh Acres woman who intended to send money to her home country of Haiti to help those in need said the money never made it there, and somehow disappeared during the Western Union transaction.

Growing up in Haiti, Vinouth Pierre was always taught to give to others.  
 
"My family, our main responsibility we had every Saturday was to alwasy give food to churches as much as we can," Pierre said. 
 
Since she moved to the United States 13 years ago, she frequently sends money back to family members in Haiti who use the money to buy food for those in need.  In June, she sent $1000- more than she'd ever sent before- and it didn't make it there. 
 
When Pierre learned her aunt couldn't retrieve the money, she contacted Western Union.  A representative told her someone from Nevada called in, claiming to be Pierre, and changed the recipient of the transaction and cashed out the money. 
 
Pierre said Western Union opened an investigation and informed her she would get a response in 24 hours.  Soon, 24 hours turned into 48 hours and now, it's been three months and Pierre has not heard anything. 
 
"I'm frustrated, I have no words for it," Pierre said. 
 
Fox Four in Your Corner reached out to Western Union today and re-opened Pierre's case, telling her that her assigned Western Union customer care worker would contact her tomorrow with more information. 
 
For the mom of two who saved for months to be able to send the $1000, it hits extra hard. 
"I've been out of work since March, we don't have a lot of money so it's not like $1000 is nothing... it's a lot of money," she said. 
 
Still, no matter how much or how little Pierre has, she's committed to helping others in need. 
 
"I believe in doing good, if I have some then someone else can have some too, no matter how big or little is it," Pierre said.