By: Revanche

The day of unfortunate events 

January 25, 2017

The day the ATM stole my moneyPiC and I went to a doctor’s appointment together in the middle of the work day. The skies would not stop pouring down rain and a hint of ice. I really should have taken a hint and just gone straight home afterward.

There wouldn’t be a post, though, if I did, so onward we went, though the weather be foul. (Apologies to Dr. Seuss.)

We went to exchange my discounted gift card that I’d bought for a clean one that didn’t have marker scribbled all over it.  Nope, they can’t use a gift card to “buy” a gift card, and can’t transfer the balance, so I was stuck with the ugly card to gift. Classy.

Having trudged out in the rain, I figured we’d make the most of having to be at the mall. We stopped in at Target to find a pair of boots because daycare requires them. Nope. Nothing on the shelves anywhere.

Fine. I had $1000 burning a hole in my pocket. It’d been withdrawn for the appointment but it turned out that we didn’t need it after all. We went to the bank to deposit a huge wad of cash, and like a fool I told PiC it was fine to just hit the ATM. THE ATM ATE MY MONEY.

In 16 years of banking primarily through the ATM this has never happened. So of course it’d happen on this day. Me and my big mouth. “I always use the ATM, it’s fine.” “No, of course we don’t have to go to the teller.”


7 minutes later, I had a claim number from the Citi rep, and an assurance that when the ATM’s take was reconciled, they’d match the overage to my claim and all would be well. “Give it 1-2 business days,” she said. Mmhmm.

Four business days, and a lot of semi-panicked grumbling later, the rep I spoke to found the claim after 30 minutes of searching. “Odd, it was archived, so I couldn’t find it. But I found it! You just have to call the disputes department directly to have them complete the process though, they’re open from 9 am to 1 pm EST.” That’s great.

Another 2 business days later, because of course this would happen when I was traveling and didn’t have time to sit down and deal with it, I remembered that another phone call was due and reached for the slip of information … that wasn’t in my wallet. Many bag searches later, I had to conclude that JuggerBaby had stolen and eaten it. !!!!!

Almost exhausted, I just gave up and called the branch to appeal to them for help locating any of the claim information that would help me duke it out with the disputes department. The almost jolly young man on the other line put me on hold to go a-huntin’ and returned 8 minutes later having opened a new claim, credited my account with a provisional credit, and an assurance that that money would stay put and they’d match up the new claim to their general ledger and confirm that the money was really returned to me. I thanked him profusely, he apologized for the inane contortions they’d made me go through, and I have my money back.

It’s an ante-Christmas miracle.

:: Do you have strong feelings about ATMs or a preference for going to the teller (is it worth having to talk to people)?

10 Responses to “The day of unfortunate events ”

  1. Yikes. I admit, I pretty much only use the ATM to get cash, and that rarely. Other than that, we go to the drive-thru window, check online, use cards, etc
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…The Big Revelation? No-Spend January Challenge Week 3My Profile

  2. When it is actual cash, we tend to just hold on to it or to go to a teller. Prefer the ATM fo checks. Our credit union drive through uses vacuum tubes!
    Nicoleandmaggie recently posted…Books for #2’s DC1My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      New policy! I do remote deposit with our checks using the phone which has been great since I don’t have to worry about the machine eating the check.

  3. Jax says:

    I think I would have thrown up if that happened to me. I have only used an ATM maybe twice in the past 3 years. I am at the bank almost every Saturday because of mystery shop checks. I don’t even trust the overnight banking option. I have zero reason not to trust them other than I want to see for myself that cash/checks are deposited correctly. I am glad it all got sorted out even though it took a lot of frustration and time.
    Jax recently posted…6 Tips to Make Meal Planning EasyMy Profile

  4. Sally says:

    I always go to the teller for any funds going into the account. This includes paper checks when I receive them. I feel more secure seeing a person dealing with it in front of me, even though human error can come into play. Money coming out of the account, I prefer the ATM.

    But I don’t mind talking to people behind counters. I go on the theory that being a teller (or desk clerk or cashier) is a mostly boring job, and one plus to it is dealing with customers who are polite, nice, and have a pleasant sense of humor. I think as long as you approach the interaction like a decent person, you’re probably being a benefit to someone else’s day, so why not?

    • Revanche says:

      I don’t mind the person being behind the counter (having been behind those counters for many years), I mind having to talk to anyone if it can be avoided. 😉 But I suppose being a decent person in someone else’s day isn’t a terrible thing.

  5. SherryH says:

    I don’t mind using the ATM for balance checks or withdrawals, but I like to go to a teller for deposits. I used to make deposits via the ATM, but though I never had a problem, I like seeing the transaction handled by an actual human being.

    I like the convenience of automated tellers, checkouts, postage kiosks, etc, but some years ago I started making a point of going to an actual human being, because I want to give businesses a reason to continue employing actual human beings. doing my little part to help preserve jobs, don’tcha know.

    Now, of course, I don’t do a lot of the shopping, but if I were shopping alone I’d have to go to a human being, not just for checkout but to help gather the items I needed. ATMs do have braille and raised markings and headphone jacks, but I haven’t tried to use one unassisted. Guess that’s something I’ll have to get around to one of these days! 😛
    SherryH recently posted…Talk to Me!My Profile

  6. When I found out I could start depositing checks in the ATM without a little slip of paper, I started using them and have never looked back (though sometimes they spit them back out and I have to go in anyway). I hate filling out the stupid slip of paper! (Also… kids in the car in the drive thru ATM – if I go to the drive thru teller, I still have to fill out the darn piece of paper). Sorry your week sucked. Glad you got your money back. 🙂
    Maggie @ Northern Expenditure recently posted…Tracking Your Finances Won’t Make You RichMy Profile

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