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View Full Version : Banks and drive-through tellers


dantheman
10-03-2002, 10:11 AM
I noticed something recently about my bank, Chevy Chase in suburban Maryland.

There are no drive-through tellers.

I rarely use the drive-through (obviously). If there's an ATM, I'm all over it. I go inside the bank to make major withdrawals.

On Monday I needed to withdraw enough cash for the rent, but I couldn't get to the bank until after their regular lobby hours (3:30? hmph). So I figured that the drive-through was a viable option, since it's open at least a little later than the lobby.

But Chevy Chase no longer has a drive through. What they have are two drive-up ATMs. This is in addition to the regular ATM.

Now, I ask you. What's the point of getting rid of the drive-throughs? Are banks that desparate to save money that they'll drop in ATMs instead? It'd be one thing if there weren't any ATMs and the branch decided to put one in, but they're inexplicibly adding two when there's already one. Overkill, if you ask me.

Now, my first thought was, "Okay, they got rid of the drive-throughs, but maybe that means the ATMs aren't as limited in what you can do at them." For example, one limitation has always been the amount one can withdraw from an ATM.

So I decide to try to get the whole amount out, but a message comes up explaining that the limit is $600. Okay, not a problem, not the end of the world. It then asks me if I want to do an additional transaction. Sure do, I say, then enter OK.

The machine spits out $180.

Hm, say I. Not nearly enough. Weird. I'll try again. So I do, and I manage to squeeze another $100 out of the machine.

But when I try a third time, another, more ominous message comes up, stating that I've reached my limit. No soup for me!

Wha? Huh? But..

I figured that the machine noted that I was trying time and time again to get cash and figured I was a thief. It then displayed the bogus "limit" message.

(Which is another thing - what's the limit? The machine specifically said $600 the first time I tried, but I've never gotten anything approaching that. Again, weird.)

The next day, I go to a whole 'nother bank. At this point, I need to scrape up $520, and since the machine had indicated that $600 was the limit, I figure I can get it in one swell foop.

Oops, can't. I do manage to squeeze another $200 from it. From two different ATMs. Man, sure is tough to get your own money!

I finally take off work (yesterday) and run over to the bank to get the rest out.

Now, for you banking people out there:

1. What's the daily limit for ATM withdrawals? And is it a daily limit or a 24-hour limit?

2. Why would a bank get rid of the drive-through tellers? Just to save money?

3. If the machine gets the impression that there's odd activity on your account (e.g., several attempts at withdrawing largeish sums of cash), shouldn't it display a message different from "you've reached your limit," if indeed no limit has been reached?

4. If an ATM is running low on cash, does it only dispense low amounts at a time, e.g. $20 or $40, so that more customers get something instead of many getting nothing?

This whole incident really burned my britches. It was extremely inconvenient to get my own money out. Hmph!

UrbanChic
10-03-2002, 10:55 AM
Now, for you banking people out there:

1. What's the daily limit for ATM withdrawals? And is it a daily limit or a 24-hour limit? My bank has a limit of $300 per day. The limit is per calendar day, not per twenty-four hours.

2. Why would a bank get rid of the drive-through tellers? Just to save money? I live in the city so I rarely, if ever, use a drive-thru teller. Actually, I rarely use the walk-up teller in the bank. Am I to assume the drive-thru tellers keep (or kept) later hours than the lobby tellers? I guess with Internet banking and ATMs drive-thru tellers are becoming obsolete.

3. If the machine gets the impression that there's odd activity on your account (e.g., several attempts at withdrawing largeish sums of cash), shouldn't it display a message different from "you've reached your limit," if indeed no limit has been reached? Can't help ya here, bub.

4. If an ATM is running low on cash, does it only dispense low amounts at a time, e.g. $20 or $40, so that more customers get something instead of many getting nothing? Dunno.

Does your landlord only take cash for rent? Are there other times you need to make large cash withdrawals? I can't think of a single time since we first moved into our apartment downtown that I needed to make a large cash withdrawal. Even then I went to the teller and purchased a cashier's check.

dantheman
10-03-2002, 11:18 AM
No, they don't take cash. They take checks, but I've been forbidden from giving them checks for over a year and instead give them money orders.

Most of the time, I'll amble three-four blocks away from work to the bank and withdraw the cash. But with my leg the way it is, I really didn't want to do that.

(Heck, I pay all my bills save this one online...)

FairyChatMom
10-03-2002, 11:45 AM
I belong to a Credit Union. We're limited to $300 per day withdrawal at the ATM. I've never had it force me to take less than I requested. I have noticed that they went to all 20's fairly recently, so you can't withdraw $50 from a machine. Wonder how long before they load 50's in the hopper?

I rarely go into the lobby, and only occasionally do I use the drive-thru. My pay is automatically deposited and I use my check card for just about everything. I love my credit union.

UrbanChic
10-03-2002, 01:18 PM
I must've missed a thread. 'Smatter wif your leg?

dantheman
10-03-2002, 01:25 PM
Yeah, FCM, I could go for years without setting foot in a bank. And people thought I was mad! Mad, I tell you, mad! But who's laughing now? They are, because the %@#$%^#$ ATM won't give me money.

Juanita, I haven't posted about it. It's just tendinitis, but I have to wear this $%@$ boot.

happyheathen
10-03-2002, 03:59 PM
Yes, Dan, ATM's are cheaper than people, and they don't expect paid time off etc., so get used to dealing with machines.

Do not antagonize an ATM - if they think you are using a card illegally, they will EAT it.

Then, when the branch is open, you can try to explain to the liveware inside that it really is your card, you weren't being nasty, etc.

Whether an ATM will limit withdrawal amounts to conserve cash - don't know - that would be a function of their (custom) programming - ask the bank, but don't be surprised if they can't answer - very few branch people see the code. ;)

dantheman
10-03-2002, 05:40 PM
Well that's horseshit. No, not your answer, but the whole frickin idea. It's my damn money. I want it! I don't give two shakes of an ox's derriere if they're running low on cash. If they're out, put up a damn message telling me you're out (which, of course, they do, frequently). If they're running low - too bad! Keep dispensing until yer out. Sheesh. They oughta be able to program these things a little better.

And you know, now that I think of it, the ATM isn't cheaper, since they keep them running pretty much 24 hours a day. Let's say a bank closes its doors at 3:30 and opens again at 8. Subtract a half hour for maintenance and whatnot and you have 16 hours that the ATM is open without the bank being open. Damn thing probably eats up electricity left n right. Hmph.

screech-owl
10-03-2002, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by happyheathen
...Do not antagonize an ATM - if they think you are using a card illegally, they will EAT it....

I've found more and more ATMs/ABMs in the area now have a 'half-slot' - insert and remove the card, and then proceed with the transaction/s. No more 'holding the card hostage'. My idea is there were prolly too many folk either forgetting to take their card (despite the ominious TEEP TEEP TEEP warning not to forget your card), or too many folk were having their cards eaten (a real pain, especailly if it is not your home bank, i.e., tourists fro out-of-the-area).

I'd seen these first at convenience stores and the theme parks; as well, I am seeing them at more and more bank branches.

Mysphyt
10-04-2002, 02:03 AM
Teller checking in.

First of all, in regards to the limit--it varies from bank to bank. I think ours is $400 at the ATM, $500 Point-Of-Sale ATM transactions--that is, using your ATM in a store or some such--and $1000 for debit card transactions per day. We know it's your money, and it's not an issue of whether or not we're out of cash. It's a security feature. In fact, most of the stuff your bank does that's frustrating is a security feature.

Think about it. We know your face, we know you, we wonder how your family's doing. We're friendly-like, and we have relationships with customers. Of course you have a right to your money. But we, as a bank, have to defend ourselves. It's easy to get ahold of someone's ATM, and relatively easy to get a hold of his PIN. Swapping faces with a guy, though, is a good bit tougher.

Even if we don't know you, there're security procedures we can go through in-branch to make sure that we know who you are. We'll verify your signature, we'll check your ID, we'll make sure the personal info you provide matches the info we have.

ATMs can't do that. Alls they have is the four-digit number you provide--a number that's often pretty durn easy to guess. By limiting the amount you can take out at an ATM, we limit our losses and yours in case of fraud.

Really. We're not out to get you. We're just trying to keep your money safe.

dantheman
10-04-2002, 06:37 AM
Ha!

Banks don't know my face. That bit of banking culture is long, long gone. Even if I went to the same branch every week, the tellers there change and would never recognize me. But even worse, more and more people are using the drive through or the ATMs and not going inside, because they don't need to. So where's the face recognition?

Secondly, even though on the withdrawal slip there are two spaces for signature, I'm never asked to verify who I am.

Thirdly, don't kid yourself - those "security" measures aren't to help the customer, they're there so the bank can cover its own butt. It'd be one thing if I made large purchases with the debit card and the bank subsequently contacted me about it to make sure all was well. But that's not what happens. The bank simply refuses the transaction, despite the presence of funds in the account.

Banks aren't trying to keep my money safe for me; they're keeping it safe so they can use it to lend out to other people.

And don't hand me this "we as a bank have to defend ourselves" crap. The bank is insured by FDIC for just about all transactions.

I still say it's bad procedure. If you want to have short lobby hours (as banks are notorious for having), that's not a problem - that's your prerogative. If you want to have extended teller hours to help us out, again no problem. If you want to provide an ATM for ultra convenience, that's great - but please don't tell me the bank's doing this altruistically.

And lastly, if you're going to have such amenities as an ATM, for God's sake don't make it difficult for the blasted thing to be used!