Thursday, April 21, 2005

Oh, here’s something else that should be fun…

Last Sunday, I was in London. When I was at King’s Cross Station, waiting for my train, I figured I’d use the Cashpoint (that’s an ATM) to withdraw my rent money then rather than walking an extra distance in Stevenage to the Cashpoint. (When, oh when, will I learn that my timesaving measures rarely are?)

Since one of the Cashpoint machines was out of service, there was a line at the other. After queuing up, it was finally my turn. I inputted my PIN, pressed the £100 key, and then retrieved my card and my £60.

(Oh yes, you read that correctly. Missed it? Read that last sentence again.)

Not believing that it really was £60, I counted again. Sure enough, there in my palm were six £10 notes rather than the four £20 notes and two £10 notes there should have been.

Thinking that maybe I pressed the £60 key rather than the £100 key, I headed back to the queue. Unfortunately, it was quite long by this point and my train was due to leave quite soon. I decided to leave Kings Cross Station and see if there was another one of my bank’s Cashpoint machines nearby.

Luckily, there was (at the Thameslink station a couple blocks away – no, this was quicker, really). I first got a MiniStatement (a really handy thing – it lists for you the most recent transactions on your account) that confirmed that I did indeed press the £100 key.

Let’s review here. It’s Sunday afternoon. All bank branches are closed (heck, I couldn’t even SEE a bank branch, much less find an open one). I’m in London, getting ready to leave. I withdrew cash from a machine. I neglected to count my cash in plain view of the camera (not that you’re supposed to, but it might have made my case a bit stronger). There’s not much left for me to do but hop on the train and head home.

Monday afternoon, full of impending dread at having to explain to someone at the bank that their machine unfortunately decided to withhold 40% of my withdrawal, I went to the local branch of the bank.

Luckily, the customer service person was quite nice about it all. And, evidently, this thing happens quite a bit. Well, at least often enough for them to have both a specific ‘Cashpoint/ATM Transaction Discrepancy Form’ and a unit dedicated to investigating Cashpoint/ATM transactions.

So, I haven’t gotten my money back yet, but at least I’m hopeful. I mean, I filled out the form. That’s gotta count for something, right?


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