It was a case of adding insult to injury in this ATM charges story

Quite a few retailers have been justifiably upset with Cardtronics for switching their ATMs from a free-to-use model to a fee-charging one. What happens in many cases, of course, is that transaction levels fall.

In Manny Patel’s case his ATM, after being free-to-use for five years at his store in Long Ditton, Surrey, shot up to £1.75 per transaction. Unsurprisingly, people went elsewhere to get their money. Now he is getting hefty bills for low transaction levels. He doesn’t even know by how much they have dropped because he has no transaction information. The machine is managed, supplied and replenished by Cardtronics.

I contacted the company and a spokesperson replied: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We would like to apologise to Mr Patel for any inconvenience this has caused. We have been in touch with Mr Patel and are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

Well, Cardtronics is always polite but somewhat vague. No one has been in touch. He hasn’t seen a rep in years and just has no information to go on.

One has to think that ATMs are not a very good business to be in at the mo. Not good for providers, not good for retailers and not even good for consumers given the shrinking network of user-friendly access to their own money.