ATM Dispute/Claim Was Denied

Oct 28th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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111op: Consider letting some of the comments of Janis and Patrick sink in. They are doing you a service.

If people here are confused or even perhaps skeptical of your version of events, it is no wonder why the bank may also be. Use the comments here to refine your story and memory so it makes more sense for the bank representatives.
Bitter is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 06:01 AM
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Robert, if you are still reading this thread and posting, can you elaborate on your transaction with Santander? That should pacify Patrick and Janis.

Also, has someone used a non Citibank ATM card with a Citibank ATM in Europe. If so, do you remember what messages the screen print?

Is there a Fodorite who is planning to be in Brussels in the near term and who is reading this? If so, can you use a non Citibank ATM card with the Citibank ATM at Gare Centrale and report back?

The same plea applies to someone who may be passing through Munich. There was a Citibank ATM on Prielmayerstrasse, very near the Hauptbahnhof. This information should be accurate as of April, 2007.

111op is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 06:08 AM
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Oh Bitter, these bank reps are not that smart. They are not going to quiz me in such great detail. I'm sure you've dealt with phone reps before. To get them to speak perfect English alone can be a challenge.

Actually I don't know what there is to be skeptical about. I really don't.

I've provided enough details about what happened. So all I can say is read this thread again. I've addressed (or someone else has) addressed all the questions and skepticism.

1. I have explained which transactions I cancelled and why.

2. I have explained which transaction the bank is disputing.

3. I have explained my experiences with Citibank ATMs in Europe.

4. Someone else has explained his experience with a Santander ATM in Europe.

5. I have even attempted to give addresses of the banks I used on Passeig de Gracia.

Can someone explain why this sort of atmosphere prevails on Fodor's? Why do people have this "guilty until proven innocent" tendency? I really don't get it.
111op is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 06:12 AM
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Heck, since I am asking -- can a Fodorite use a Santander ATM in Barcelona and report back? Preferably one on Passeig de Gracia next to a Barclays? But maybe that one is a Banesto.

So the only way I can be sure is to retrace my footsteps for that night.

Fodor's editors, if you are reading this, can you fly me to Barcelona to find out? I'll take photos.
111op is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 06:39 AM
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We'll be back in Madrid in a couple of weeks, and will check on the exchange at one of the Bank of Santander ATMs to see if there has been any change in the way they handle non-EU based ATM cards. The fee on a 50-euro withdrawal will won't be so bad now that the Euro is worth nearly 25% less then it was this summer.
Robert2533 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 07:07 AM
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I've been using ATMs in Europe for the past 9 years and have never been shown what the exchange rate is for my withdrawal or, for that matter, been charged a fee from the European bank. All the fees that I am charged come from local bank.

Following up on a question from Patrick, I also would like to hear details from other travellers as to whether European ATMs now tell you what will be deducted from your local bank.
Roger1x is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 07:12 AM
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Isn't Robert basically confirming that Santander does this? What else is there to confirm?

I don't think that I made a claim for all European banks. I made some claims about some specific banks.

Really in the end what I really care about is that I want my money back. Anything else is not that interesting to me.
111op is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 07:20 AM
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By the way, just to add to this, I don't know why it's so surprising for banks to know what they will charge in dollars. If you look at the online statement whose excerpt I gave, the wholesale rate that day was 1.4348.

This is not my area, but is it possible for banks to agree on a wholesale exchange rate for that day? By the way, I think I arrived on a Saturday. So evidently three different banks agreed the "right" rate to use was 1.4348.

It's certainly not inconceivable that banks have an agreement for an official clearance rate that everyone uses. If that's the case, then why should it be surprising that the ATM can tell you what the amount in dollars is?

I understand that the skepticism is that banks now do this as a matter of fact. But let me say this again -- I made no such claims about banks in general. I made some very specific claims. However it doesn't surprise me that any bank can do this if they choose to. Why should people find this surprising? That's what I don't get.
111op is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 07:24 AM
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I'd be interested to know if these ATM's are clever enough to give the exchange rate in Pounds to those with a British ATM pass. I can't see why they would quote a dollar exchange rate unless they can do it for all currencies that they make be dealing with.
I'm not saying you are wrong about the dollar conversion being displayed, just curious.
hetismij is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 07:34 AM
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Well I don't know if they actually displayed the exchange rate. But there was enough info to figure out what it would be. Either they displayed the rate, or they told me how much would be deducted. For 100 euros, it wasn't difficult to figure out one from the other.

As I said, with a Citibank ATM with my Citicard, the message is something along the lines of "I'm about to deduct $xx.yy from your account. Is that ok?" Probably no exchange rate is displayed, but I can't remember for sure. But it's enough to figure out the implicit exchange rate.

I'm so used to using Citibank ATMs (less lately, as I mentioned) that as I said, it's not surprising that other banks can do this.

Plus as I explained earlier, three banks charged 1.4348 that day. So if that's the way of doing business and everyone agrees on a wholesale rate, there's nothing surprising that a bank can report the transaction equivalent in dollars.
111op is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 07:36 AM
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xx-xx NONCITIBANK ATM WITHDRAWAL Sep xx 17:15 yyyy $ 143.48

xx-xx NONCITIBANK ATM WITHDRAWAL Sep xx 17:26 yyyy $ 143.48

xx-xx NONCITIBANK ATM WITHDRAWAL Sep xx 10:21 yyyy $ 143.48

xx-xx NONCITIBANK ATM WITHDRAWAL Sep xx 17:14 yyyy $ 157.83

If I'm following this thread correctly, is it right to say that the 2 transactions you actually took out money were:

10:21 and 17:26?

The 2 you cancelled were:
17:14 & 17:15 (at 2 different ATMs)?

Here's my explanation for what *could have* happened would be:

1) 17:14 you used a Santander ATM. According to Robert, Santander uses DCC and the screen shows you the US equivalent of the $ you'll be charged, which is a substantial mark up. You cancelled that.

2) 17:15 you used a Barclays ATM. Perhaps it did or did not show you the US$ equivalent, but most likely the screen has a warning of "You may be charged a fee by your own bank" and you decided to cancel that.

Can we all be nice to each other and get along please?

I was in Spain in Feb 08 and I have made multiple ATM withdrawals using my BoA ATM card. I do not recall being told what the US$ equivalent I would be charged.

And last month while in France, I used BNP Paribas ATM 3 times. None of those times I was told how much $ I would be charged.
yk is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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"Isn't Robert basically confirming that Santander does this? What else is there to confirm?"

Isn't he confirming what? That the Santander ATM tells you when you put your card in what your bank is going to charge you? I know you've already accused me of not being able to read, but I have searched and searched and can't find any such confirmation from Robert. I interpret his post as what he was actually charged later. I don't think he's saying the ATM told him at transaction time that's what they'd charge but he did it anyway. Why would he?

Robert, are you -- or is anyone else out there -- confirming that European bank ATMs now tell you at the time of your transaction what your US home bank is going to charge you? Anyone?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Yes yk, you got that right. Thanks for summarizing this.

Of course I can't be absolutely sure that the banks were Santander and Barclays.

Anyway, I think that I've had enough of this. Maybe you can take over, yk.
111op is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 08:01 AM
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Oh yk, just to add to your summary -- I'm pretty sure that Barclays didn't show the $ equivalent. It was something about fees, and when I saw that, I cancelled.

Deutsche didn't show the $ equivalent either, if I remember right.

I can see that ATMs don't do this in general. However some specific ATMs can do this. And that's what I've claimed. Not sure why this needs to kick up a storm as it's really pretty simple.
111op is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 08:10 AM
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OK, now I apologize. I guess in Robert's first post he DID say that the print out showed the actual amount in both dollars and euros.
Although I still don't understand that it showed that in advance -- in time for you to cancel the transaction. He seems to indicate that was only on the printout AFTER the transaction, in fact he even called it a "hidden charge", presumably something you would be unaware of until AFTER the transaction. No?

Meanwhile I'm fascinated by this DCC charge on a bank ATM. That surely seems outrageous and worth contesting!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 08:15 AM
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Thanks for the apology, Patrick. And you will just have to take my word for it that there was something shown that led me to cancel that transaction. I knew that I wasn't going to take out 100 euros at a rate that was higher than 1.50+. I was thinking bank robbery. And you can see from the output I supplied that the markup was outrageous!

Anyway, as I said that one was cancelled, no questions asked.

It's the other one that's causing a problem. Let's see what Citi tells me in a few weeks.

111op is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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By the way, if you're very detail-oriented, like I tend to be, take the numbers I provided given by 157.83 / 143.48 and you see 1.10014.

So my guess would be that Santander (or Banesto, or some other bank) attempted a 10% markup over the wholesale rate that day.

Alternatively, take 1.4348 x 1.1 x 100, you get 157.828.

So the wholesale rate that day was probably indeed 1.4348 (FX rates should be quoted to four decimals, I think). All four ATMs agreed.

Then Santander charged 10% over this and rounded to the nearest penny.

111op is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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No, the ATMs do not tell you what the exchange rate is when you are withdrawing cash. The incident with the Bank of Santander in March was when we printed out the receipt. It was in English, not Spanish, and noted the exchange rate used to convert the Euros to US Dollars. A convenience? Hardly. DCC is more like it.

El Corte Inglés also uses the DCC scam if you happen to use a non-EU based credit card. As a result we only use cash when shopping in El Corte Inglés and spend less then we used to.

Robert2533 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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111op: I know you've decided I know nothing and can't help you - but I have a suggestion I really do think you should consider . . . . .

As Robert has confirmed, even the DCC assessing ATM did not tell him the exchange rate until AFTER he had the money and receipt in his hand. Therefore, canceling after learning about the lousy exchange would have been impossible. (And the other ATMs would not have provided that info at all)

Soooooo - instead of posting over and over on this thread, you might want to sit down and actually figure out how to clearly and concisely explain to the bank what you think happened. Because as it is now, your explanation is so confused I am pretty sure the bank will not give you a final credit.

You need to clean up you recollection/story to give the bank something to work with.
janisj is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 09:26 AM
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Well janis, there's nothing to clean up really. And the story isn't confused.

Someone else evidently can follow this. The fact that you can't or doubt suggests a couple of things to me.

I really don't want to get too personal here. But these are a couple of possible reasons.

1. How intelligent are you?

2. Could it be onset of senility? That's what I really worry about, janis!

I hope not, as you're so sharp that it'd be a shame to lose your insights on Fodor's. What will I do without you, janis? I'm crying as I write this!
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