Potential Dangers of a Wells Fargo ATM.
At some point in life almost everyone has encountered an ATM machine within a bank, gas station or casino. They’re convenient and allow anyone to handle simple things 24/7. Yet – with the updates over the years the ATM can handle much more than just dispensing cash. For example – I bank with Wells Fargo and their machines actually accept cash into the machine and will deposit it instantly to your account. I’ve placed as much as $5,000.00 into the machines and it goes right in.. counts the money.. then confirms your deposit and it’s in your account.
Sounds easy enough – right? Well… this last week I learned a VERY VERY valuable lesson regarding the Wells Fargo ATM machines and wanted to alert the general public before you find yourself victim as well.
This past Tuesday I cashed a check in the amount of $2300.00+ dollars at a Wells Fargo branch and decided to keep the cash on me to potentially deposit into another bank account I have. As the day progressed – I decided just to place it into my Wells Fargo account. So.. as I always do I went to their local ATM machine. Placed $300 in $20’s and $2000 in $100’s into the machine. I’ve done it countless times so it’s no big deal.
During the $2300.00 deposit the machine only took $200 of it and spit back out the $2100. No big deal. It’s happened before – sometimes it just gets a little stubborn. So I confirmed it took $200 and then proceeded to make another deposit – this time only placing $2000 all in $100 bills into the machine. It starts to make the normal noises, the screen had the WAITING message displayed and then BAM. Nothing! Wait? Nothing? The screen advises me the machine has malfunctioned. It can’t return my money. Then… it asks me to guesstimate what I placed in the machine before the jam. I pushed $2000.00 and then it gave me a $0.01 credit until their bank can confirm the issue.
After seeing this unfold for the first time – I just trusted that it would be handled. I waited to make sure no one else pulled up behind me to find $2000 in the deposit slot – but the ATM actually stated it was not taking deposits after my fiasco. I walked inside the bank shortly after this and advised them my money is stuck in the machine. The teller inside didn’t seem too alarmed or concerned and said it would be credited to me in 24 hours 99.9% of the time. She advised the ATM was not part of the bank and handled by another division and they had no access to it. I thanked her and walked out of the bank.
Within a few minutes – I still felt odd leaving that much money locked in a machine. So I called their toll-free number and advised them of the mishap. They opened up a claim the very same day for me and stated they would be alerting me and following up. Another 24 hours goes by and no one calls me and I get no messages in my e-mail. At this point I’m still optimistic. I wake up Thursday morning… no updates. I call them back and one lady tells me they only found an overage of $400.00 in the machine! I was in shock. I hung up with her and went as high as I could within Wells Fargo and finally got a group called the ATM Executive Office. They advised me that in fact that was not correct and that the machine had not been balanced since Monday of that week. (The day before I even used it!) He stated it was their internal team’s fault and assured me he would e-mail them to place a little fire into the balance team who was dragging their feet.
Keep in mind – I have e-mailed their teams all sorts of back-up data and plenty of documents to provide a full account of what happened. Well… come Friday morning I still had nothing in my bank and NO updates. When I called to inquire – they advise me they don’t have any updates. THIS IS NOW THREE FULL DAYS LATER?!!? In what business can someone take in $2000 in overages and not be able to easily detect it within 24-48 hours.
So I ring the ATM Executive Office again on Friday and advised them nothing has progressed. I informed them it is Friday afternoon and we are going into the weekend with NO resolution. They apologized and stated they would e-mail the teams at hand again regarding the dilemma.
As of Friday afternoon they did not offer updates, they did not offer any temporary credits or apologies or anything that made me feel secure about the situation.
Stay tuned… I’ll be updating this story as soon as resolution comes forth.
- Never place checks and/or cash into ATM machines. If it jams – you could be without your deposit for two weeks – if it’s even recovered!
- If you are forced to make a deposit in the ATM – make sure you clearly hold up all bills in front of the camera. As well – if you can document with your phone how much you placed in – it will clearly help you in the event of a malfunction.
- Although it’s less convenient – there is no better way of doing business than with a REAL person. It’s best to only use the teller window or go inside.
- KEEP ALL TRANSACTION RECEIPTS UNTIL YOU KNOW YOU’VE BEEN CREDITED.