How to Avoid and What to do If the ATM Did Not Dispense Cash But Debited Your Account
As the saying goes, there’s always a first time for everything. It was last Sunday evening that I experienced to be debited in my ATM account. The cash I was supposed to get was for grocery and for my sister.
A SHORT BACKGROUND
I withdrew at an Eastwest ATM machine at the newly opened Landmark Store in Alabang. I checked my balanced first before clicking the Withdraw button. I’ve waited for 3 minutes for the machine to release my money, but it did not and instead the “Transaction Timed Out” message was displayed on the screen. I thought that the machine was broken, so I took my ATM card and went to another ATM machine (UCPB) outside the mall.
When I was at the UCPB ATM machine, I directly clicked the Withdraw button, but unfortunately, the “You don’t have enough balance” flashed on the screen, I tried to withdrew twice and the same message popped up. That’s when I decided to check my balance again. To my surprise, at nangatog at pinagpawisan ako talaga, na debit ang account ko sa Eastwest ATM machine inside the Landmark Supermarket.
I ran back to Landmark and reported it to their customer service. I was already panicking at that time at hingal na hingal when the person at the Customer service, calmed me down and told me that she will contact the bank to help me report the incident. Nahimasmasan ako mga besh! Thank you for the angels here on Earth.
I have talked to my bank’s customer service agent and they told me to wait for 5-7 days for an investigation and for my money to be credited again… grabe ang hassle sa tagal.
Pero kahit na asar at takot naramdaman ko at that time, I’m still thankful na hindi ko unang naisip mag withdraw sa labas ng mall, since gabi na mahirap na maghanap ng tutulong (I really don’t know what to do since as I have mentioned, it was my first time to experience such error). In times like this, I wish I have just transacted to the old school passbook-teller thing.
Now, I want to share some tips to perhaps avoid this thing happening to you also.
How to Avoid Being Debited in Your Account?
- As much as possible only withdraw in your bank’s own ATM machine. There’s a lower rate that this will happen to you.
- Make sure to withdraw in an ATM machine that has someone doing some withdrawal before you already. Doing this will help you determine first if the machine is working or not.
- You know that ATM machines has its own camera, but it only takes a picture in front of the person withdrawing (as far as I know), so it’s advisable to choose a machine inside the mall or area that you know that has it’s own camera. You may have not avoid being debited in doing this, but it will give you assurance that during the investigation, they can see that you really did not get the money you withdrew.
What to do If the ATM Did Not Dispense Cash But Debited Your Account?
- Report the incident as soon as possible. That’s why I will suggest to withdraw in broad daylight and while the banks are still open so that you can use their phone to call the customer service. Yes, even though you are already inside the bank they will still ask you to report the incident to their customer service for record purposes.
- I know you’re frustrated and perhaps scared at the same time, but remember to record the date, time and location where the malfunction happened.
- Keep the ticket number that the customer service attendant gave you. You’ll use that number for following up your account with them.
- Always check the balance after unsuccessful withdrawal, so that you’ll know where the transaction happened.
- Do not go far from the machine immediately, wait for the person next to you if he/she will be able to transact and if he/she will not get your money. Doing this will just assure you that nobody got your money.
This incident is frustrating. I am glad I still have some cash with me and was able to go home and text my husband about what happened.
I’ll update this post when my money has been returned to my account already.