No matter the time of day, ATMs make it possible to put money in the bank almost anywhere.
Lauren Brady does it all the time.
"I have some rental properties and I receive payments once a month by cash and check, so I deposit – once a month – those payments together," Brady said.
She headed to a Chase Bank ATM with a $375 check and $380 in cash. She says a door on the ATM opened, she put the money inside and when the door slammed shut the machine shut off.
"The screen went blank, and it printed out a receipt that said there's an error with this machine and to call this 1-800 number," Brady said.
Many may panic in this situation, but she kept her cool, confident her bank would work it out.
"I've been with Chase 15 years and have several accounts with them," Brady said.
She was right. They promised to work it out and gave her a credit for what she said she put in the ATM.
"A couple weeks later, I checked my account and see a reversal for part of the credit they gave me," she said.
Turns out the bank found the check Lauren deposited but only some of the cash. It became her word against theirs.
"I thought several times maybe I need a video of myself depositing cash into an ATM, maybe that's the answer," Brady said.
That's when Brady called NBC 5 Responds. We pointed out to Chase that Brady makes the same deposit for that same amount every month when her tenant pays his rent. She says this time was no different.
In response, the Bank released the following statement, apologizing for the error, and adding:
"Our ATMs allow customers to verify their deposits on the screen and get an image of their checks printed on their receipt for an added layer of assurance. In the rare occurrence that the ATM does not process the transaction properly, customers should contact us immediately so we can look into the issue."
"The branch manager called and said, 'We are so sorry, you shouldn't have had to wait this long, your money will be back in your account in five minutes,' and it was," Brady said.
Still, her confidence in ATMs is pretty shaky at best.
"I'm not a fan of ATMs. Now, I stand in line to wait to talk to an actual person about my money," Brady said.
You don't have to kick the ATM to the curb. Here's what you should know:
- Having long-term relationships with banks can help. In Brady's case, they saw a pattern, and her 15 year relationship with the bank.
- Take notes. Make sure you know the time, location and exact error the ATM gave you.
- Stand your ground. Don't be afraid to challenge the bank if they don't immediately take your side.