Dispute with the bank -- how long will this take?

This past Sunday, my mom attempted to withdraw $40 from a bank ATM. The ATM produced an error message stating that the transaction couldn’t be completed; she didn’t get her money. A call to the bank’s customer service confirmed that nothing was wrong with her accounts. This Monday, a $40 withdrawal showed up on her checking account, even though she didn’t get any cash from the ATM. I helped her contact dispute resolution; they confirmed a hardware error on that particular branch’s ATM, and said I should receive some forms within 24-48 hours. There was nothing in the mail today, so I contacted disupute resolution again; this time I was told to expect a letter in 7-10 business days which would contain a statement concerning the disputed charge.

So, can I expect to get anywhere with this, or has my mother lost $40? I’ve never been through anything like this.

Why would you expect “forms” within 24-48 hours? Mail service is good, but not that good.

You should be fine. I’ve been through this before. ATM records are rather meticulous.

I probably misunderstood the service rep – it was close to 1 AM.

Yeah, I would say just be patient. It took three weeks to get my money back when my account was hacked. Not exactly the same thing, but just be patient and they’ll take care of it.

This exact thing happened to me. I just went to the nearest branch office, filled out a form with a personal banker, and problem fixed (money re-deposited) the same day.
Some things really are easier and more efficiently taken care of in person.

It took my brother a couple weeks and he had a receipt that gave the status of the ATM including all amounts of money in it. It was in a service mode apparently.

It depends on the bank. A good bank will sort out the problem and credit the account within a few weeks. A lousy bank will give you the runaround. If it seems like the bank is not taking the problem seriously enough, I would consider contacting the agency which is responsible for regulating that bank, which might be the Office if the Comptroller of the Currency; the Office of Thrift Supervision; your State Department of Banking; or some other agency.

My experience also says your mother will probably be re-imbursed, but she also needs to keep on top of it and not assume the bank will remember to do things in a timely fashion.

Thanks for all the responses! I’ve shown this thread to my mom – she really seemed to like SeaDragonTattoo’s advice (that certainly would have been a lot easier!).