Monday, October 20, 2008

The ATM Money-Eater

I was loathe to get into online banking and debit cards. The old-fashioned paper-way had worked just fine all along. I finally was dragged into it, and am not happy with mistakes that have transpired. But the one mistake I'm writing about today is the ATM eating money.

Apparently, if you don't grab the money fast enough (you have a few seconds) the ATM will suck the money back inside. It's not supposed to withdraw the money from your account (or at least that's what some of the human bank tellers tell me). Two weeks ago, the automatic teller ate $100 of mine. It was only the third time in my life I'd used the ATM to get money out of my account. When I went inside to the human tellers, they checked the computer and assured me that the money was not withdrawn from my account.

Guess what I found this weekend?

I filled out paperwork at the bank today to request an investigation to verify that I didn't get the money that the computer says I did get. They tell me it will be about 10 days before the amount is credited back into my account.

You know what? PEOPLE at the bank never grab the money back. I trust the people. I don't trust the technology and the machines.

Moral of the story: avoid those blasted machines. But if I need to use it, do NOT under any circumstances answer a child's question, picked up a dropped item, record your withdrawal, or wave at your neighbor while waiting for the money to be spit out of the machine. Be there, waiting to nab it, posthaste!


  1. I'm still holding up the line at the grocery store, writing out a check.

  2. I'm ok with the debit cards. Now.

    But I think I held my breath the entire time the first time I used an automated thingy at the gas station.

    (I love pay at the pump now. I never have to get a little one unbuckled and then re-buckled to go inside to pay!)

  3. I also hate the ATM machines, but I do have to admit that I like on-line banking. I just saved a service charge this morning by being able to check my balance and then transfer from savings right there on my computer!

    EC - Agreed on the pay at the pump! I have three that have to unbuckle and buckle (2 still need assistance). It takes longer to do all that than to fill my car! By the way - our gas is $2.31!

  4. Oh dear. I'm the other extreme. One time I shocked my children by starting to walk into a bank. "Mom, what are you doing?! People can't go inside banks!"

    It had been far more convenient, for years, to use the machine and keep the children strapped into their car seats.

  5. I haven't used an ATM in years but we don't go into the bank either since we use our debit card for everything. I love the feature that allows you to get money back at the store, it means I don't have to deal with the bank. We don't use it often because I found we spend less when we don't have cash on hand.

    Being the impatient Californian I dislike waiting in line behind someone writing a check at the store :P

  6. Polly, if we ever go shopping with Kim, we'll have to let her get in line first. ;-)