The cash machine story

A few weeks back I used a bank’s cash machine to withdraw £100. I put the money in my wallet without checking the amount, and waited for the receipt, and waited. The machine was whirring away which is probably why I looked down and noticed a tiny piece of paper wedged in the cash slot. I must have realised what was happening because I checked my wallet and confirmed I had been short-changed £20 by the machine and now the machine was still trying to give me the rest of my money. I tried to encourage the tiny piece of paper out (my £20!), but to no avail. Eventually the machine gave up trying to eject the note and after some more whirring it retracted the jammed note and concluded the transaction by spitting out the receipt from the receipt tray.

So I went into the bank, which was not my bank, and told the story to a member of staff. She informed me that I would need to take it up with my bank! And this I did, using Internet banking. My bank’s system has a menu item for just this situation, so it obviously happens more than occasionally. It would take up to 19 calendar days, the system said.

Well the 19 days passed and I had heard nothing, so I fired off a chase-up message. But almost immediately after doing this I spotted a mysterious £100 credit to my account, with a description containing the date of my original cash machine transaction. So it looked as if I was no longer £20 down but instead I was £80 up!

Being an honest person, I fired off another message to my bank apologising for my earlier chase-up message and pointing out that I appeared to have been recompensed, not for the missing £20 but for the whole transaction! So how did my bank respond?

“Thank you for your message. £100 was sent to us from the other bank. Have a lovely day!”

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