Abda and her husband Mohammed Shahzad, who run Day to Day Express in Motherwell, have had nothing but trouble with their Cashzone ATM which they took over from the previous owners in 2016. The machine breaks down so often that it has affected the transaction levels and customers get totally ticked off and abusive.
Very often the ATM says the transaction has ‘timed out’ yet it has taken the money from the customer’s account. It’s just not dishing it out. “One lady tried to get £300 out for a holiday,” Abda tells me. When the machine failed to deliver, the customer burst into tears. It took 28 days to get her money back.
Meanwhile, customers cannot use their cards elsewhere because it (falsely) shows there is nothing in the account. Customers get very distraught and take it out on staff who can only apologise.
The couple sent me copies of emails that they had sent to the company. Mohammed wrote: “I have spoken to various people in the Cardtronics group about this and all say they ‘understand how it affects our business’, ‘they understand the hassle we get from customers’ and ‘they understand how frustrated we are’. No one has taken ownership of our problem and worked with us to resolve the ongoing issues. although I have tried my hardest to relay the problem. All we hear back is that it is ‘another team’ that deal with this, not us.”
You can hear the frustration in that email.
The engineers have replaced every part, sometimes several times. Various departments seem to blame each other, but Abda was subsequently told that it is actually the BT link that fails and that it is affecting many machines. Cashzone has offered to remove the machine with no penalty, but the couple want/need to offer this service. They just want it to work. They have been told a new machine would fix it, but they can’t have one (not without paying for it anyway). She was also told that Cashzone will be replacing the old machines by 2020, but she’s a long way down the list, so she asks, why not replace the ones that aren’t working first?
I put that to Cashzone and the response was: “We are in regular contact with the customer and regret he has experienced problems. An engineer was sent to the premises last week and we can confirm the ATM is now up and running.” So it hasn’t really answered any of those burning questions.
When I last spoke to Abda just before writing this an engineer had visited that day and “put a new wire into it”. But she adds: “It’s still timing out, although it is working better than usual. Only about half the customers use it now.”
She reckons Cardtronics will replace high transaction machines first. They don’t stand a prayer.