ATM fee overcharge
November 24, 2009 11:20 AM   Subscribe

Taking money out at a non-my bank ATM last night, the screen stated you will be charged a $2.50 fee. However, looking at the receipt after it spit my money out, they actually charged a $6.00 "terminal fee".

I realize its only $3.50 difference but that type of misleading fraud just makes me boil. What are my options to correct this? Is there a reporting agency that is interested in this type of thing? Is the store that the ATM was by responsible for this? It does say on the receipt that the Terminal Fee was paid to the business that the ATM was out in front of. But no where on the ATM does it say $6, just the $2.50 that they make you agree to.
posted by gatorbiddy to Grab Bag (16 answers total)
 
Double check that the additional fee isn't from *your* bank.
posted by politikitty at 11:24 AM on November 24, 2009


There's an ongoing lawsuit about this sort of fee in Las Vegas right now.
posted by setanor at 11:24 AM on November 24, 2009


The additional fee is not from my bank.
posted by gatorbiddy at 11:24 AM on November 24, 2009


Take it up with the manager of the establishment in question-- it is my understanding that they are the ones who control that kind of charge. If they claim ignorance and refuse to refund you, perhaps you could go to the better business bureau.
posted by sunshinesky at 11:31 AM on November 24, 2009


Check with your bank and see if they can disallow the $3.50 difference. It's unlikely, but ask anyway.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:31 AM on November 24, 2009


I'd file a complaint with the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, and CC the company operating the ATM.

You might also, if you really want to spend the time, see if there are any contingency-fee plaintiff's lawyers looking to do a similar class-action suit in your state similar to the one in NV. That would probably be something you'd go through your state's Bar Association for.

It might also be worthwhile to go back to the ATM in question and get photos of everything on it, just so you can prove there weren't any warnings about the terminal fee. I wouldn't put it past the scumbags who run those for-profit ATMs to run around and slap a backdated warning sticker on the terminals once they start taking heat.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:32 AM on November 24, 2009


This makes me extremely angry. Sounds like a classic bait-and-switch maneuver and one that is possibly illegal. I would file a complaint with the FTC and forward your complaint along to the parent bank that owns the ATM machine to let them know what's up. You might also send an email to your local news network and suggest a consumer report piece on this phenomenon. Couldn't hurt.
posted by jnnla at 11:35 AM on November 24, 2009


Find the provider of the ATMs, get their address, get dated photos of the receipts notarized, contact a lawyer and class action their asses to bankruptcy.
posted by lalochezia at 11:40 AM on November 24, 2009


If you want to pursue this, I suggest performing another transaction and getting a video of the screen.

And don't show the keypad when you key in your PIN.

Then contact the local muckraking consumer fraud TV show and ask them if they'd like to take up the case.
posted by zippy at 11:46 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and contact your bank and tell them to reverse the unauthorized charge. Be polite but persistent. See if it gets you anywhere.
posted by zippy at 11:48 AM on November 24, 2009


I like zippy's media-exposure idea, but I'd first contact the FBI with the video. This would constitute a huge fraud and likely interstate.
posted by rhizome at 12:47 PM on November 24, 2009


Thanks for all the advice. I'll head back after work and take some footage before talking to the owners.
posted by gatorbiddy at 1:21 PM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would post a sign on the ATM to warn others of the true fee.

Also, please stop suggesting the BBB as a response to fraud. They have an official-sounding name but they are not a government organization. They are funded by businesses and they ultimately exist to serve businesses. The most they'll do is log your complaint.
posted by kamelhoecker at 1:49 PM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


"
Also, please stop suggesting the BBB as a response to fraud. They have an official-sounding name but they are not a government organization. They are funded by businesses and they ultimately exist to serve businesses. The most they'll do is log your complaint."

They don't exist to serve you, but they don't exist to serve businesses either. They're basically a protection racket, as most business owners will tell you -- a lot of calls along the lines of "Well, we've heard some complaints about you, and that's a shame, isn't it? Now, these complaints can be taken care of quietly if you just sign up as one of our partnership businesses..."
posted by Televangelist at 2:41 PM on November 24, 2009


Fair enough, I had a different impression of the BBB here in Canada. It seems plenty of people have provided to OP with some more official venues.
posted by sunshinesky at 4:09 PM on November 24, 2009


Well, we can call the dogs off, went back and sure enough in small barely legible font under a scratched screen next to the $2.50, "or 3% whichever is greater". Bah, never seen that one before for a regular ATM withdrawal. Lesson learned, and so much for my usual plan of getting more $ than I normally would when having to go to a non-my bank ATM in order to lessen the fee percentage.
posted by gatorbiddy at 4:56 PM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


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