Sunday, July 26, 2009

Holding Me Over a Bank Machine

Okay, here's something that's not just annoying, it's damn unfair. As you all know, bank machines, or automated tellers, charge you a fee to extract money. I'm okay with this as the machine is providing me with a service. It's convenient not to have to look for my bank and just go to the nearest machine. All fine and dandy.

Now you may have also noticed that these machines don't all charge the same fee. Generally in my experience the fee is $1.50. Occasionally it is $1.75 or $1.25, but far and away the most common fee going at a bank machine is $1.50. Once I used a machine at Costco and it was only 75 cents. Those Costco guys are always undercutting the little guy. Now here comes the crux of the matter (I've always wanted to use that expression).

I have experienced a rather nasty strategy being used in some places with bank machines. These places are usually somewhere that has few choices for getting cash. A captive banking audience. The most recent was inside the gates of Playland, a Vancouver amusement park. I didn't have any cash when arriving at the park, but thought, no problem there will be a bank machine. We paid to get in and there was the machine. I put in my card and the fee at this machine was $2.75. Give me a break.


  1. Ah, small town boy, welcome to the big city. It's not uncommon at all to see a $2.75 charge. But forget about that. I don't get where you think any charge is okay because they're providing a service. Aren't the human tellers providing a service, too? But beyond that, they've got our money! And they're getting rich off it. They didn't used to nickle and dime us for every transaction. How about we take our money out and see how they do?

  2. You forget of course that when you use a cash machine it isn't usually owned by the people that have your money. So they are providing a service. When you go to the teller that is your bank and so those are the people that have your money. Now the banks are not innocent of nickeling and diming us, but you are overstating your case.

    If we did all take our money out there would be problems not just for the banks, but that's another story.

  3. Wait a minute. I know this isn't your point, but...are you telling me that you actually used an ATM at Playland? Please tell me it ain't so!

    This makes us Risk Management types shudder. Do the words "debit card skimming fraud" ring a bell?

  4. Dumbass, you just got "dinged"! You work for the same people as me. You can have your pay put into a corporate account and pay no fees, on ATM's and many other things including a much reduced fee on a safety deposit box. I am frankly quite amazed to hear this colleague. Going to "Playland" without $, hmm you either need to drink a lot more, or a lot less? Cheers, xelA.