Beware ATM’s during Load Shedding

Collo’s Blog

This is written from a recent and ongoing experience and possibly others have had experienced similar problems when using ATM’s recently.

Two weeks ago 4th February to be precise, I approached an ATM at SuperSpar centre with a spring in my step. After a long, long festive season and an even longer January, access to some hard earned pension funds certainly was reason for my delight.

ATMSlipping my card into the slot and dialling in my code followed by a request for a sizable amount, well sizable for me, it gave me no hint of the disasters and frustrations that would follow, and continue to frustrate.  Instead of dispensing the funds a message appeared advising of a technical issue. Having requested the balance be shown on the screen instead of a printout, I noted that the amount of the transaction had been deducted in spite of not actually dispensing the cash.

My immediate reaction was to call the number listed on the ATM. This was my first mistake for I should have taken a photo of the screen displaying the error message and blocked cash draw. After a lengthy conversation I was advised that a reference would be sms’d to me, none was received. The next day I again approached the ATM and requested my balance which confirmed that money had not yet been refunded. I called the ATM phone number again and was advised that possibly the ATM contents had not yet been processed so to wait 24 hours.

Twenty four hours on and no change to my wealth so I called again and was now told to go to the nearest branch to report the incident. So off to Humansdorp in pouring rain, avoiding potholes appearing like gorillas out  mist of the deluge. Retelling my story face to face this time I was given yet another reference and assured that the money would be refunded within three to five working days

Being unusually patient I waited out the full five working  and with hope and positive thought I tried again only to be disappointed that I had had so much belief that the bank would do me right. Another call to the bank and yet another reference I was told  it would take at least seven to ten days.

Saturday morning hoping that surely enough time had elapsed I fearfully approached the ATM, posted my card in the slop, entered my code, requested a bla balane report and …..

Eskom at that exact moment struck with load shedding and swallowed my card.

Another trip to Humansdorp. a new card application, still no money.

A final check yesterday I called the hoping it would be the last time. Oh how wrong I was for I was informed that the money would not be refunded as …. Wait for it …. I received the money or (inferring I was trying to con the bank)  … someone else stole the money —- or the incorrect balance was not reported when the ATM was refilled.

I now have to go into the branch again, request CCTV footage and lay a claim of theft.

A comment from one staff member during many calls and bank visits was that load shedding was causing them a lot of problems,

The loss of the money aside, that there is no power back up on ATM’s in this day and age is ridiculous and a serious oversight by the banks considering load shedding is here to stay for quite some time. A power backup even if it lasts only long enough to eject the card with a warning of impending power outage would suffice and cost little more than a rechargeable battery with an inverter at a fraction of the cost of the actual ATM.

As for safeguards on money not being dispensed  … well my error for believing I would be reimbursed. 

Anyone else experience problems with ATM’s –  comment below