Apparently ATM malfunctions are fairly rare, and most often limited to "eating" an ATM card. Rare is not impossible though, and yesterday my bank's ATM failed.
It gave me too much money.
At first, after much noise and delay, it coughed up a solitary twenty. I indignantly waved the bill in the face of the video camera. Then, after several more minutes of grinding and retching, the abashed machine retched up another pile of cash. I managed to pull it free of a jam and found $60 more than I'd asked for (the receipt matched my request).
I have to cash some checks tomorrow, so I'll see what my bank does. I wonder how often this happens? I doubt that I'll get to keep the money, I suppose I'd have to donate it to charity if they don't want it.
Update 2/4/08: Here's what happens:
- Claims of ATM underpayment are not unusual.
- Claims of ATM overpayment are, unsurprisingly, unusual.
- The bank investigates then corrects with an additional debit.
- There's a presumption the customer is being honest when they claim an overpayment. I suspect that varies by age, ethnicity, race, dress and appearance when one claims underpayment.