What to do if an automatic cash machine does not correctly dispense your money

A Spanish consumer organisation has issued advice on what to do in the event of failed cash withdrawals


On occasions automatic cash machine (ATM) users may find that the machine does not dispense the money requested or gives a different amount although the receipt of the operation shows the correct amount. Spain's Organisation of Users and Consumers (OCU) says that this can happen for different reasons, ranging from an operational failure of the ATM, or that it has run out of cash, to a fraudulent manipulation of the cash machine that prevents the banknotes from being dispensed, a practice known as 'cash trapping'.

Whatever the cause, the OCU offers consumers a series of tips on how to act in these situations:

- Check that the cash exit slot of the ATM is not blocked.

- If the incident occurs during office hours and the branch is open, inform one of the employees of the problem as soon as possible.

- If the branch is closed or the cash-machine is not located in a bank branch, never leave the premises. You should first call the incident helpline number that should be posted on the ATM and try to get a solution. You should also request an incident number for a later complaint.

- In the case of a bank other than the one that owns the ATM, you should also inform them of the incident.

- It is recommended to take photos and write down the cash-machine data, as well as the time of the transaction.

- If the ATM has issued a receipt for the transaction, keep it. If requested to view it on the screen, you may want to take a photo of this information if possible.

- Check the debits and credits to the current account. If a deduction appears for the amount not received and it is not balanced after a few days, complain to the bank.