ATM! Where is my money?

ATM’s have made our life easy, no more long queues at a bank branch to withdraw money, nor do we have to abide by the timing of a branch and can withdraw money at any time.

Like all electronics they can work only when they are feed with power, but what happens when a power cut happens, well I had the first hand experience of this today.

On a lazy, rainy saturday evening before heading home I went to the nearest ICICI bank ATM to draw some money. I dipped the card in the slot provided, entered all the required details and just before the machine could make the normal counting and dispensing sound to send the money out, the machine went off due to the load shedding which BESCOM is doing all over Bangalore.

So here I was without the money I was supposed to get, I waited for a couple of minutes to see if the power would come back but it did not, nor did the SMS informing of the money being debited. But to make sure I call the customer care number and checked for the balance and the last five transaction only to find out the amount had actually been debited.

So got on to a customer care executive to be told that if the money had not been dispensed it would automatically be credited back, but if I wanted I can lodge a complaint which I did and I was told that it will be processed within 5 days. It was only sometime later did I get a SMS informing of the debit.

It has been almost 4 hours since the transaction and I have not got my money back, so it means that automatic credit has not happened, so looks like I have to be on the lookout for when I will get back the money I should have had in my pocket now.

It bring to the fore the question why did the ATM switch off immediately when the power went off and why was there no backup for the ATM? With power supply playing hide and seek in whole of Karnataka at the moment is it not putting the customers to a lot of hardship, what if I was in the process of withdrawing a huge amount and since the amount is debited already it would not have been possible to withdrawn the same amount from some other ATM unless I have that much balance in my account. Banks please get your act together.

Update: 5th Oct 2011 8:10pm: Received a message from ICICI Bank “Dear Customer, ATM transaction amounting to Rs.xxxx has been reversed to your account on 05/10/2011”. So a good ending, It makes me very happy that I got my money back without having to call them again and within the time frame mentioned by them.

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