Friday, May 26, 2006

Of ATMs and Alligators

I closed my account at Presidential, and they mailed me a check for $25,633.09. Last night when I went to deposit it in a cash machine, I had a moment of worry about it-- I was almost going to wait until the next day so I could hand it to a teller. It just seemed like a very large check to be depositing in a machine.
I really don't know why I was suddenly worried about this. In the 20 years or so that I've been using ATMs I've only once had a problem, when a deposit was somehow entered as a withdrawal, and that was a long long time ago-- and it was easily fixed. I have never heard of anyone else having a problem with a deposit going missing, not even as an urban legend-- and think of all the urban legends you hear. So if the odds of my deposit being stolen are even lower than the odds of being bitten in the ass by an alligator that has swum up into my toilet, why should I be worried?

I made the ATM deposit. I'm over it now.

6 comments:

Mike said...

My dad always gets so worried when I tell him that I am going to deposit my paycheck or a little cash in the ATM. He always says, don't do that, what if they loose it, or if the machine sets on fire?

Make sure you save your receipt!

I say hosh posh, the ATM isn't going to set on fire, and the only time I had a problem was when I didn't add correctly and wrote that I was depositing less than I was. The bank corrected that for me right away.

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't bank at Chase!

They have an "automated" system that verifies your deposit and, if it cannot, it pulls the funds from your account until it can. I had a large deposit from my HELOC suddenly remove itself from my Chase checking account. Luckily, I had a copy of the check or it would have taken 5-7 days to get the funds available again...

Cap said...

well, it's a lot of money. I would be iffy about it too. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I for large sums of money (anything over 10k for me), I head in for the teller. Even if it's just a check, which I can usually get again if I didn't get to cash it.. interesting post though, because it reminded me of how I feel iffy about it.

See I'm not sure how Presidential does it, but I use to work for Bank of America in the proof department, we basically process (check & balance) checks and deposits from branches, and we handle lots of ATM deposits (checks only though, cash is handled in the cash/vault/atm department).

And although we don't make frequent mistakes, it does happen. Sometimes the checks gets jammed in the machine, gets ripped to shred etc. (which is fixable but forget getting a photo copy back) or someone makes an encoding error so your account doesn't get credit the correct amount. Our balance & check gets double/triple check again by computers, but sometimes even the computers don't catch the mistakes. Yeah they fix the mistakes eventually but it'll usually end up being a hassle for the customers.

If its a large sum of money and money that I may need immediately (which for large sum it usually is, for me anyway).. I always just hand the check to the teller. If something screws up there, at least I can get it resolve within a day and at my presence w/o issues.

Still, it's not something to worry about. heh.

Pragmatic Finance said...

The only time I have been a little worried was when I deposited balance transfer checks over 7k. But they have gone through no problem. Also, a couple of months ago I made a deposit and when I entered in the numbers I switched the place on two numbers, I think an 8 and 3. It would have cost me around $50. But they corrected the mistake within two days and even mailed me saying they corrected my mistake. I've felt much more comfortable putting checks into atms.

Anonymous said...

I have found that Wells Fargo Bank holds large checks (over $5K) deposited in the ATM for extended periods of time...

Anonymous said...

I once had an atm lose a check I deposited -- not a lot of $ but at the time I had very little and needed it (freelancing). Had to get a new check from the client. Since then I've never used an ATM for a deposit.