ATM experience in Edinburgh

Sep 22nd, 2013, 12:37 AM
  #1  
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ATM experience in Edinburgh

We have used ATMs freely all over Europe and elsewhere, for years. On this recent visit to Scotland, we went inside the Royal Bank of Scotland, at what I think is their headquarters in the New Town in Edinburgh. After what seemed like the normal sequence, the machine said transaction cancelled and kept my card. I went over to a bank employee and explained my problem. No sympathy, no recourse. Only if I had an account at RBS, could something be done. Otherwise the fault was mine, either I'd stolen the card or my account was empty.

I then spent a long time on the phone to the US, including time on hold, cancelling my debit/ATM card and confirming that there was plenty of money in the account as well as a note about my foreign travel.

I never had a problem before, so must assume this was a one off. But I'm left with a very negative impression of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Mimar is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:00 AM
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Only if I had an account at RBS, could something be done.

That's actually standard operating procedure for most banks. If you're not an account holder then normally what happens is they destroy the card.

The situation sucks but it's not RBS's fault.
sparkchaser is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:45 AM
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What evidence is there that it was the fault of RBS?
alanRow is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 06:37 AM
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I have had it not give me money and you have to deal with your own bank if the atm is not your own bank that you used. Takes forever to get the money. The pitfalls of atm machines.
flpab is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 07:56 AM
  #5  
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Everything was normal with my account. The fault was with RBS or the company they employ to program and service their ATMs. It was possible for the machine to cancel my transaction and return my card. And there was definitely a problem with the way the bank treated me, assuming my guilt and implying I was some sort of criminal.
Mimar is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 08:18 AM
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This was obviously a distressing event, but it is standard procedure in Britain for a bank or a retailer to be instructed to destroy a card (usually in front of you and by cutting it in half with scissors) if there is an indication that a card has been stolen or cancelled. I had that happen to me once when my bank cancelled a credit card before it sent me a replacement. It was not my fault, or that of Trailfinders where I was booking a round-the-world air ticket.

In the circumstance you describe, it seems more likely that it was your bank in Seattle that refused the transaction and gave the instruction to retain your card. A poster here recently reported that she was denied an ATM transaction in Scotland because her bank had only authorised ATM withdrawls in England. Are you sure that the same could not have happened to you?

If you had reported that your card had been stolen, would you like an overseas bank to continue to process transactions against your account, or simply decline them and return the card to the thief?
chartley is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 09:15 AM
  #7  
 
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I've always figured that I was over-cautious for having two ATM cards. This post tells me that I am not crazy after all.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 09:59 AM
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>>A poster here recently reported that she was denied an ATM transaction in Scotland because her bank had only authorised ATM withdrawls in England.<<

That was moi

I told the bank (in person) I'd be traveling in the "UK - United Kingdom" (That's exactly what I said) and their fraud prevention provider (not the bank itself) didn't know Scotland was included in the UK. I my case the machine did return my card. But if it hadn't -- I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have got it back.

No need for the bank personnel to be rude -- but they were correct in not returning it. That is why I carry THREE debit cards w/ me (and leave my 4th at home to make sure I have something to fall back on if there are problems when I get back)
janisj is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 10:21 AM
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THREE cards, Janis??? THREE??????
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 10:31 AM
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Yep -- I bank at four banks (well 3 banks and a credit union).

I take 3 of the cards w/ me only intending to use 2 of them and keep the CU card as the back up since it is just a small account.
janisj is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 11:07 AM
  #11  
 
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This is one of my fears while traveling. I hate the machines that take my card while it processes the transaction. From what you say, the problem does seem to have been RBS and not your bank as you have already spoken with your bank. People need to stop being so defensive. The people at the bank could have explained this better to the OP.

If it makes you feel better by all means write a letter to RBS explaining the situation, location, time and anything that would help investigate the problem if they decide to. Machines can be wrong too. I am a big believer in speaking up. What they do with the information is their business but how can things be fixed if the don't know about it? Write the letter than expect nothing. At least you tried to bring it to their attention and did your due diligence.
sassy27 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 12:11 PM
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THREE cards, Janis??? THREE??????

I see someone has embraced Improviser's Travel Rules of Three.
sparkchaser is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 12:19 PM
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I do not however carry three compasses (nor any compasses for that matter)
janisj is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 03:40 PM
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Several years ago, I was trying to get cash from ATM at a Barclay's. the sun made it very difficult to read the screen; however, I was convinced that I could complete the transaction without seeing what I was doing. Result was no cash and it did not return my card. I watched as a number of people seemed to use the machine with no problem. It was a Saturday afternoon, and I had to wait until Monday morning for bank to reopen. I was there as soon as it opened and explained what had happened. They had my card, and it had not been destroyed as I had feared. I did learn a lesson.

I have two different credit cards and an ATM/debit card. Now thinking I may get that third card. Maybe.
historytraveler is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:10 AM
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Also you can buy travel cards now and the issuer always gives you two. You load the cards with an amount which is converted to the currency of the places you plan to visit. You can nominate different currencies. They only work on a pin number and have no connection to your own bank account. I know American Express issues them in the USA (I'm an Australian and we have many options) but probably there are better ones. They are very safe and can't be used unless the pin is known. They also protect you from currency fluctuations.
Smart move to take three cards Janis. We take 4 between us!
francophiletasmania is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:39 AM
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> Travel cards ...

Aren't they the new versions of travelers' cheques, that are not recommended here due to bad exchange rates ?
kappa1 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:42 AM
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Aren't they the new versions of travelers' cheques, that are not recommended here due to bad exchange rates ?

Correct.
sparkchaser is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 03:55 AM
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"Aren't they the new versions of travelers' cheques, that are not recommended here due to bad exchange rates ?"

Incorrect, at least as far as UK originated cards are concerned . I have 5 pre loaded cards with www.fairfx.com, in three different currencies. If one is lost or stolen, I can switch the balance to another car. The rates are amongst the most competitive on the market and the fees are minimal or no existent. As I tend to trVel for long periods, I can also top up the cards as and when the fx rate moves in my faavour.

Not sure whether anything similar is available in the US yet as the retail banking system their seems to be years behind in this sort of technology.
crellston is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 04:12 AM
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as the retail banking system their seems to be years behind in this sort of technology.

You got that right.
sparkchaser is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 06:03 AM
  #20  
 
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I have read advice here on many occasions to use ATMs that are attached to banks during banking hours so that if there is any trouble with the machine you can get your card back. It appears that this advice does not prevent losing one's card to the machine, at least in the UK. I do have a backup card from another account, but I will now consider getting an extra card for my main travel account.
Nikki is offline  

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