Debit card fee error

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On our trip to the Azores in spring 2006, in the town of Velas on the island of São Jorge I went one morning to withdraw money from the ATM at the local bank. The screen gave me a message that the machine was not, at the time, operative. Needing cash that day, I went inside the bank and asked the teller if I could withdraw money.

“Of course,” was the reply.

I had more than enough money in my account. I took the bank at their word that they would process the withdrawal just as if I were using their ATM. I showed my debit card (branded Visa but not a credit card or any combination of a credit/debit card). They copied down the numbers. I signed my name and showed my passport and was given the €200.

When I later received my bank statement, I saw that I been assessed various charges amounting to some $20. A call to my bank (PNC) confirmed what I thought: the withdrawal had been treated as a cash advance.

There had been no need to “advance” me money since my account held more than enough money and I just wanted to pull some out. I didn’t understand why the withdrawal, using my debit card, was handled as a cash advance by the teller when a withdrawal from the ATM would have been handled just as a withdrawal. I’ve never used a cash advance in my entire life (age 77).

Fortunately, when I explained the matter, my bank was nice enough to cancel all of the charges, including even the conversion fees.

BILL STELTZER

West Grove, PA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

On our trip to the Azores in spring 2006, in the town of Velas on the island of São Jorge I went one morning to withdraw money from the ATM at the local bank. The screen gave me a message that the machine was not, at the time, operative. Needing cash that day, I went inside the bank and asked the teller if I could withdraw money.

“Of course,” was the reply.

I had more than enough money in my account. I took the bank at their word that they would process the withdrawal just as if I were using their ATM. I showed my debit card (branded Visa but not a credit card or any combination of a credit/debit card). They copied down the numbers. I signed my name and showed my passport and was given the €200.

When I later received my bank statement, I saw that I been assessed various charges amounting to some $20. A call to my bank (PNC) confirmed what I thought: the withdrawal had been treated as a cash advance.

There had been no need to “advance” me money since my account held more than enough money and I just wanted to pull some out. I didn’t understand why the withdrawal, using my debit card, was handled as a cash advance by the teller when a withdrawal from the ATM would have been handled just as a withdrawal. I’ve never used a cash advance in my entire life (age 77).

Fortunately, when I explained the matter, my bank was nice enough to cancel all of the charges, including even the conversion fees.

BILL STELTZER

West Grove, PA