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ATMs, exchange rates, and the dread DCC

Old Oct 28th, 2008, 12:21 PM
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ATMs, exchange rates, and the dread DCC

I posted this on another (rather contentious) thread, but after further consideration it seems to be useful information for everyone.

from The Guardian, July 12, 2008:

'A new and confusing message will confront British holidaymakers using cash machines this summer. Don't press the 'yes' button, says Patrick Collinson.

'... after a pilot project by banking group Santander (which owns Abbey), DCC is coming to Spanish ATMs, and the losers will be anybody who thinks they have to press yes to obtain euros from a cash machine. When someone arrives in Spain and puts their cash card into an ATM, after requesting euros, a message will now flash up saying: "You can be charged in GBP." The screen will also include information on the mark-up, exchange rate used and commission rate. It then says: "Press yes for GBP, no for EUR".

'Holidaymakers should just press no.

'Santander sees it in a different light. "At Santander ATMs, British customers are presented with a choice of whether they want to see the amount in pounds or euros. The advantage of seeing it in pounds is that the customer knows upfront exactly how much that transaction will cost, instead of having to wait until they receive their statement at home'

http://tinyurl.com/55n7mv

Keep on Truckin'!
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 12:32 PM
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Well that's always been the position of DCC...we are doing you a favor telling you exactly how much your transaction will cost...to bad there is a big big big charge for this "service"...

But at least they follow the rules and put the choice in your hands. What I can't stand and have had several fights about is when they pull this scam on me without asking and then tell me the lies they're trained to tell you to rip you off (we have no control over it, visa/mc requires it, the amount shown in your currency is just for guidance, it is to your advantage as your bank will charge you a fee whatever)...and then when they try to tell me they can't void the transaction I really go bonkers with them.

But the proper advice is given, just say NO like in NNNNNOOOOO.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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Interesting. I'm curious if the same message comes up (using dollars instead of pounds) to Americans using the ATM.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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Thanks for reposting this, derekflint. It's handy information and I'm sure many people will not read all the way to the end of the other thread to see it.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Well, it's been two years since I had anything to contribute so I was due! But your appreciation is welcomed.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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As I posted in the other thread, I encountered this at two ATMs in Australia in August. Both were airport locations at Cairns and Melbourne and yes it did show a USD rate (my ATM card is US issued).
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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A million thanks derekflint!

Yes, the ATM recognizes your "home" currency from your card and would offer to process the transaction in US Dollars, just like the credit card processing equipment.
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Old Oct 28th, 2008, 08:21 PM
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Yes, the scum of the earth! Don't the French have a spare guillotine sitting around somewhere we can borrow, at least for a few days?
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 05:23 AM
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Yes, I came across DCC at a couple of ATMs in Spain last year, with a choice of currency given in English. So it was easy to decline it and be billed in euro.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 06:15 AM
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Using my US visa debit card
Each time I have being offer the possibility of paying in euros or us dollars at ATMs or eventualy in some shops I have realized that the exchange rate offered is very bad compare to the one I get paying in euros and then waiting for the amount to be charged in my US account through the normal banking procedure.
So decline this "helpful service"
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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First of all you should NEVER use a debit card to purchase anything in a store while traveling abroad. Your purchases are not protected as they are with a credit card, but using it in an ATM's is fine as long as itís not one from the Bank of Santander.

In regards to using a USA based credit card to purchase an item at El Corte Inglés. You will automatically be charged in USD, with a terrible exchange rate (DCC). The sales clerks say they cannot override the system, which may or may not be true, but itís what they have been told to say.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 09:11 AM
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Well I've never bought anything at El Corte Ingles but believe you me if they ever pulled this garbage on me, I would refuse to sign the sales receipt, and then call for a supervisor.

Let me make it very clear, it is a violation of the agreement with mc/visa to pull the dcc scam on anybody without asking them if they wish to pay in their home currency or the local currency. Nothing can be clearer...how dare they pull this and then lie to boot. They are not allowed to set up the system without having an override for this rip off.

Nobody should ever allow themselves to be ripped off by this garbage.

Period end of discussion.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 12:12 AM
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To Robert2533
regarding the use of debit card.
I have a full coverage insurance for purchases with this debit card and I have gone through the protection details and it gives quiet a good coverage,for purchases outside the US. SO I do not understand your fear/prevention note.
I have purchased several items in El Corte Ingles and even if they are not my favorite store, you know that living in Spain they are difficult to avoid, and they always offered the alternative to pay in Euros or Usdlrs.
Sometimes, the employee might not be well aware of the procedure and give you the charge directly in usdlrs with the bad ex-rate. In this case they will cancel it and repeat it in euro. It happened to me once at least.
So the conclusion is you have to be careful, but I will not consider this a scam.
Now about banco de Santander, not my favorite again, but I do not see the trouble in declining the charge in dollars.
Rgds
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 07:13 AM
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You do not have the option of canceling an ATM transaction once it has occurred. The only time you see that transaction is when you receive the receipt.

Regarding insurance on a debit card. Sorry, but I've never heard of insurance being available unless it is through you home insurance policy or third party insurance.

Please read the following, based on rules for cards issued in the USA:


# Credit cards. Under federal law, if someone steals your credit card you're only responsible to pay the first $50 of unauthorized charges. And, says FTC lawyer Carol Reynolds, if you notify the issuer before the thief makes any charges, you may not be out anything. You're also free from liability if unauthorized purchases occur when the card is not physically present, say in an Internet purchase, she says.

Zero-liability policies, like those offered by Visa and MasterCard, add a second layer of protection. Under these programs you won't pay anything if someone fraudulently uses your credit card online or off.

# Debit cards. The rules are similar for debit cards, but there are a few restrictions. For example, your liability under federal law is limited to $50, but only if you notify the issuer within two business days of discovering the card's loss or theft. Your liability could jump to $500 if you put it off. And even this cap is lifted if you wait more than 60 calendar days from the time your bank statement is mailed.

Federal protections are a bit more generous if a thief just steals your debit card number (and not the actual card), but you still have 60 days after receiving your bank statement to report any unauthorized transactions.

The Visa and MasterCard zero-liability policies also apply to debit cards, but only to non-PIN transactions. If a thief steals your card and your PIN, the federal rules are your only defense.

"With a credit card, if you dispute a charge, it is taken off the record," says Ken McEldowney, executive director of Consumer Action, in San Francisco. "With a debit card purchase you are fighting to get your funds back into your account."

This gives you less leverage. You can contact your card issuer to see if they'll handle the dispute, but you'll probably have to take on the merchant yourself. And even if you succeed, you may be stuck with whatever the store policy is for cash or check returns.
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