Woman Fights Bank After Getting Short-changed at ATM

Posted on: 10:25 am, September 17, 2012, by , updated on: 10:27am, September 17, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This is an ATM nightmare story.  An Independence woman says she was short-changed more than $200 by an ATM and is now fighting with the bank to get it back.

Carla Catellano was used to going to the ATM, but her last trip cost her time, money and a lot of stress.

“Brinks was filling the machines so I had to wait,” recalled Castellano.

When it was her turn, she punched in a $460 withdrawal. The money she needed to pay her mortgage. But she noticed the ATM was giving her $10s, not the $20s she usually received. She counted the money before leaving the bank lot and discovered instead of $460, the machine had given her $230.

She went straight into the bank to talk to a manager.

“She told me we can’t do nothing about that,” said Castellano. “The machine is owned by Brinks.”

So Castellano frantically called Brinks, which correctly told her it was Bank Midwest, not Brinks who owned the ATMs.

Castellano then called Bank Midwest again which this time told her it could be up to 45 days before she got her money back.

“I’m barely making my bills,” said Castellano, who has been living paycheck to paycheck ever since her husband of 28 years passed away in February.

“He used to do all our finances,” she said, and without his help or the money from the ATM, she was now worried about making her mortgage. She was nearly at a breaking point when she called FOX 4 Problem Solvers.

We’re glad she did. Bank Midwest was clearly in error here. Federal Banking Regulation E, which governs all electronic transfers including ATM withdrawals, spells out that whenever a customer is shortchanged at an ATM, the bank is required to give the customer at least provisional credit within 10 days of being notified of the problem. By the time we talked to Castellano more than two weeks had passed.

FOX 4 Problem Solvers called Bank Midwest’s corporate office, which told us it had just become aware of the problem the day before and had also been trying to reach Castellano to give her back her money and solve this problem.

We’re happy to report that not only did Bank Midwest give her back her money, it also gave her additional money to cover the overdrafts that had occured after she was short changed by the ATM

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