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ATM Warning: Make note of transaction, even if transaction is �canceled�

ATM Warning: Make note of transaction, even if transaction is �canceled�

Jan 29th, 2003, 08:55 AM
  #1  
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ATM Warning: Make note of transaction, even if transaction is �canceled�

Last May, at an ATM in Salzburg, my husband attempted to withdraw 400 euro. After chugging along, the transaction was canceled by the ATM. The message was something about being unable to complete, so, no cash, and no receipt (which is apparently common at some/most European ATMs). No problem - I tried my card for my (different) account, got cash, and we went on our merry way.

Went we returned from our trip, my husband balanced his checkbook, found a discrepancy, but figured he had just forgotten to write down a withdrawal.

Forward to the December bank statement, and a mysterious $400 (approx.) CREDIT, plus a notation about interest. It took a trip to the bank (to find out exact date of original, matching DEBIT), and a good bit of though, to remember the scenario in paragraph 1.

In future, we will make note of ALL ATM stops, so at least we know when there is a problem.
And, yes, we do feel a little stupid, but allâ?™s well that ends well.
elberko is online now  
Jan 29th, 2003, 08:59 AM
  #2  
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OK, I have no idea why my post is "Spanish"!
elberko is online now  
Jan 29th, 2003, 09:47 AM
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I have seen this happen. It was explained to me that it happens when the ATM network is busy, your bank gets a request to dispense, debits your account, and sends ok back to the ATM. But if the ATM network is slow, the ATM times out waiting for the permission to dispense cash.
In my case, the exchange rate at the time I used the ATM was more favorable to me than the exchange rate they used to refund my acocunt, so I contested and got the difference.
My strategy now is to avoid using the ATM late in the afternoon in Europe to minimize this kind of problem.
greg is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 07:11 AM
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Thanks Greg, that seems like a likely explanation.
elberko is online now  
Jan 30th, 2003, 08:05 AM
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It's a good idea because, as you noted, some ATMs in Europe won't give you receipts.
The bank benefits too because once in a while things go your way. At an ATM in Conway, NH, I tried to take about $300. It gave me $200 and then the machine seemed to freak out. It started whirring and buzzing and then just shut off. I called my bank when I got back home to let them know in case there were any weird debits to my account. For some reason I was never debited the $200.
And when my husband flew to Brussels in 1999 for a job interview, he paid for the ticket and then billed the company 25,000 belgian francs (about $675 at the time)...they did a wire transfer to our account for 25,000 EUROS. Yes, we reported it. Made our bank balance look real pretty for a few days!
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