People's Bank of East Tennessee Complaint - ATM Error Has Gone Unresolved

Review by mariemorris1221 on 2010-03-24
TELLICO PLAINS, TENNESSEE -- On 2/27/2010, my adult son and I went to People's Bank Tellico Plains branch ATM where I used my Suntrust Bank card to request a withdrawal of $40.00. I asked for $40.00 and received $40.00 (two twenty dollar bills).

My first mistake was not checking my ATM receipt at the time my cash was dispensed.

After getting gas at Valley Mart in Tellico Plains, TN, we left on a trip to Cleveland, Tennessee. Upon return to my home that evening, I checked my Suntrust account and found to my horror that the ATM had debited my Suntrust card $141.72 instead of $41.75. I immediately telephoned Suntrust Bank in Maryville and also sent them an email message that the ATM was in error. I was told by Suntrust that my account had to be debited before they could file a dispute against the other bank.

On 3/1/2010 Suntrust debited my account $141.75.

I filed a dispute with Suntrust and was given a $100.00 credit back to my account on 3/2/2010 and I thought that the case was taken care of.

My second mistake was believing that Suntrust Bank could handle the problem with People's Bank, who probably doesn't even own the ATM in their parking lot. The automated ATM teller in fact has a very disturbing and distinct British accent........

Needless to say I was more than simply annoyed, when on 3/17/2010 my Suntrust account was again debited $100.00, and in my mailbox was a letter dated 10 March 2010 from Suntrust that they that the "ATM owner" had denied my request for credit. "Because Visa Rules and Regulations specifically stipulate the qualifications considered appropriate for bankcard companies to intercede on behalf of their cardholders we have no further recourse."

I spoke with the manager at People's Bank of East Tennessee who said that their ATM balanced for that time period. Great, but either there is an internal problem with a bank employee or someone who used the ATM later is $100.00 richer. In any case, since they "balanced" ok, the will not pursue an investigation nor even review the videos during that time.

When is it appropriate for a bank's ATM to erroneously debit a person's account? What is the recourse for that person to recoup their loss due to an electronic malfunction from the one-armed bandit (ATM) in the People's Bank parking lot?

I am out $100.00 and there are only two possibilities: Internal problem at the bank or someone else received my money in their withdrawal. Any other ideas people?????

No, I did not get an extra $100.00 and simply forget it. My son also said I only got $40 as he was sitting right beside me in the car when I got my money out of the ATM.

If it happened to me, it can happen again.
Comments:1 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-03-25
Posted by Fufu487 on 2010-03-25:
Hmm thats odd indeed considering ATM's are typically designed to re-start if there's any recognized mistake happening (i.e. miscounted money, error reports, receipt jam). So if the machine was about to dispense you more money than you requested, it should have canceled the transaction before dispensing the cash, spit your card back out, and have you start over again. Though every machine can flaw from time to time.

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