View Full Version : Currency Carnage (ATM)

09-18-2006, 04:21 PM
Our ATM went down the other day. This, of course, was accompanied by customers poking their heads round the door and yelling "why's this machine not working?" and "when's this machine going to be working?"

Day 1: I thought "well they should be here to fix it soon, they normally come within the day"(it reports faults itself)
Day 2: My day off. figured they would come fix it that day.
Day 3: Back at work, STILL not fixed! I phone Wincor Nixdorf, who manage nearly every ATM in the UK. They claim they logged a call with the ATM maintenance service, and they should be out "soon". Great. I made a sign in Wordpad to hang next to the ATM outside, saying something like

"the ATM is out of order. Cashback is available inside with purchases over 3. Apologies for any inconvenience, an engineer has been called."

I did this to try to limit the number of people asking us when it will be working etc. Later that day, about 1pm, an engineer shows up! Hurray! He opened the cupboard, and lifted the lid, and said "yup, theres a cash jam!" Then he phoned up for an opening code for the safe, and opened the safe. He pulled out the big cabinet with the cash cassettes in, and on the top, in the counting and dispensing mechanism, was the biggest jam of money ever. I mean, 10's and 20's lodged in every angle, ripped, torn, shredded, pulled apart by the mechanism! This guy then started pulling the money out, from every angle. It was currency carnage.

Then he pulled out the top cassette - which is like a "reserve" for money thats been left in the dispenser for too long that is sucked back in by the machine. IT WAS FULL!!! About 5000 in there! And 1000 lodged in the mechanism! The engineer said he thinks the dispenser part is faulty, because I told him customers had been getting their card back, but not the money - the money never came out. This was a complaint before the machine went down. So the money has been going back into the reserve, and this got full, then the mechanism got jammed.

Anyway, after he cleared the jam, he did a dispense test, it counted 50 and ran it to the dispenser, you could see it doing it. Then it drew it back into the reserve (which he had emptied). Anyhow, he told me that it appears to be working OK now, but if it does go down again with this fault, it needs a new counter/dispenser, at a cost of 1500 :eek: (we dont have to pay this, its not actually our machine, but the cost of the spares amazes me! They aren't even new parts, just refurbished!)

This ATM is a real source of customer suckiness for the staff in our shop. The next ATM is about half a mile away and not many people round here own cars. Many people just want to check their balance, and the machine is set up so any failure in the machine will shut it down, so you cant even get a balance. It broke down a record 3 times last week! So I'm not very pleased with it. I hope it does break down again, because we will get a new dispenser then, and it wont break down for a while!:D A lot of customers treat this machine as a "right", not a priviledge. I mean, what did they do before it was installed 3 years ago???

Out of interest, has anyone seen the front of an ATM taken off? This was cool, theres 2 clips in the back of the machine that retain the front to the wall, and the front slides out, on runners! I always assumed all work could be carried out from behind, but the guy who came cleaned the back of the glass screen and the money slot.

09-19-2006, 04:20 PM
Mind boggling, but my mind asks, what happened with the money that was ripped/torn? Was it stuffed back in? Was it taken to a bank for proper burial?

09-19-2006, 06:09 PM
He left it in the reserve container, for the cash in transit guys to take back to the bullion. They replace the reserve when they fill 'er up.

09-20-2006, 01:17 AM
the inside of an ATM is very cool to see. I took my class on a field trip to a bank last year, and they were fixing an ATM there- we all got to have a look inside it and learn how it worked. They get really really dusty inside here, so they get taken apart a lot, apparently. I was surprised by how easy it was....

09-20-2006, 06:03 PM
He left it in the reserve container, for the cash in transit guys to take back to the bullion. They replace the reserve when they fill 'er up.

Thanks for answering my question. :)

09-21-2006, 04:17 PM
What I dont get is - this ATM is owned by the bank, yeah? When the CIT guys come any fill it up, theres 2 of them and one more guy in the secure van. When this guy came to fix it, he opened the safe and exposed tens of thousands of pounds in that safe - to the public. Anyone could have been following him and done an easy armed robbery. Just this week, a convenience store in my town got its ATM robbed during a fill-up! They are even more vulnerable when theres just one guy there, surely. I dont see how they are insured to do this, especially when the ATM's safe opens onto the shop, right next to the front door.

09-21-2006, 06:18 PM
What I don't understand is why didn't you just unplug the damn thing. Would have saved alot of SC that don't read signs.

09-23-2006, 11:32 AM
What I don't understand is why didn't you just unplug the damn thing. Would have saved alot of SC that don't read signs.

believe me, i would have done if i could. the breaker in the electrical panel (ATM DO NOT SWITCH OFF) was sooo tempting. However, this ATM reports faults itself, so turning it off might have screwed it up, I didnt want to be responsible for wrecking a 20,000 piece of machinery. Its a proper "hole in the wall" one, and we aren't allowed to touch it / turn it off.:(

09-23-2006, 12:46 PM
I did an SC move one day and put a convenience store's ATM completely out of commission for a whole day. (Possibly the weekend, because it was on a Friday morning.) I was too embarrassed to go back and see how long it took for them to get it back up and working.

I was in a hurry. I was on my way to work, had called a cab, and suddenly realized I didn't have any money on me. I needed cash quickly, so I went to the convenience store just around the corner.

I was rushing, and not paying attention.
I shoved in my card, and nothing happened. All of a sudden, it dawned on me that I had shoved my card in the receipt slot.

I tried to get it back, using the thin blade of my utility knife, but it ended up going all the way inside and jamming the machine.

I was pretty much screwed. It was just before lunch, and the place was busy. I had to stand in line at the counter to report it, and there was nothing he could do, as the machines are looked after independently.
He had to put an Out of Order sign on it.

I ended up having to cash a cheque when I got to work, so I could pay my cab and get some money for my supper later that day. (Staff was allowed to cash cheques for money.)

I wish I could have seen the security footage of 'this chick trying to break into an ATM with a utility knife'. :p ;)

09-24-2006, 06:36 PM
Oh, but you negated the SC part by actually telling someone about it, and not just elbowing a customer aside at the till to yell it out at the cashier and run away :)