ATM Woes

29/12/2016 15:09

There’s nothing more frustrating than using an ATM and being faced with a situation where cash is not dispensed or, your card is retained by the ATM. The situation can be more awful if a consumer experiences this over a weekend or at any time that is outside the normal operating hours of the banks.

Recently, the Council investigated a complaint where an ANZ customer attempted to withdraw $200 from the BSP ATM in Nabua. Contrary to the complainant’s expectation, neither the cash nor the receipt was dispensed from the ATM.

The complainant did not inform or seek clarification from the Bank. She assumed that the failed transaction would not be reflected in her bank account. However, two months later she was proven wrong upon receiving her bank account statement. After raising the matter with ANZ, the complainant was advised that reconciliations from BSP confirmed that cash had been dispensed.

The Council is concerned about such complaints where consumers may be losing out on their hard earned dollars and is being added into the profits made by the banks each year. Thus, apart from taking this up with the banks concerned, the Council wishes to advice consumers on the following three steps to take when faced with such a situation:

1. Take note of the time, date and place where the incident occurred. Take a picture of the ATM to record any messages displayed on the screen or if you feel that the ATM has been tempered-with.

2. Remember not to dispose any receipts dispensed from the ATM at the time.

3. Contact your bank or the service-provider immediately.

From a survey recently conducted on the six banks in Fiji, the Council has found that only ANZ Bank provides an exclusive toll free line to its ATM users. ANZ Bank has a total of 91 ATMs across Fiji. We understand that ANZ Bank ATM users from all parts of Fiji can contact the bank on that telephone line free of charge. Unfortunately, the consumers of other banks have to incur the call costs despite of no fault on their part.

However, although providing a charged service, three other banks also provide a centralized phone contact where ATM users from all over Fiji can lodge their complaints directly with their respective banks. The following numbers have been noted:

Banks Total number Contacts
Bred Bank 17 3230218
BSP 114 132888 or 3214400
Westpac 69 132032

HFC, on the other hand, which has a total of 8 ATMs across Fiji, does not have a centralized phone contact for this purpose. Nevertheless, consumers are required to lodge their immediate phone queries depending on the location as reflected below:

Location Contact
Suva 9920138
Nakasi 9991310
Labasa and Seaqaqa 9991238
Nadi 9991292
Lautoka 9991411

Bank of Baroda, which has 16 ATMs across Fiji has been found to have a similar practice to HFC. Thus, Bank of Baroda ATM users can raise their queries directly as below:

Location Contact
Suva 9907759
Nasinu/ Makoi 9907767
Nausori 9907767
Sigatoka 9907753
Nadi 9907765
Lautoka 9907752
Ba and Tavua 9907754
Rakiraki 9907766
Labasa 9907756

The Council hopes that consumers will heed the above advice and avoid forfeiting their hard earned cash if the above does occur. Nonetheless, if and when consumers find themselves in this situation, they should call our National Consumer Helpline on 155 to lodge their complaints