Tuesday, March 3, 2009

See the fee

Had an interesting moment at the ATM today when I realised that it is indeed March 3rd and I will indeed be charged god knows how much to take out $20 from the ATM to purchase my lunch (thanks to the ATM fee reform). The reason I say ‘god only knows how much’ is because I was presented with a message that said “This is what we plan to charge you $xx... But your bank might charge you too” – how much? I’m not sure and I was trying not to think about that since it appeared my lunch was costing me at least $4 before I even ordered. Whilst momentarily baffled by the interruption this caused to my ATM autopilot transaction routine, I was impressed to see the ATM does pay you the courtesy of asking whether you accept the charges and want to proceed. I thought briefly (mainly about exactly how far I might have to walk to find a my bank's ATM and whether I was in fact angry enough about being charged extra to roam the streets or whether I was just too lazy to walk and therefore somehow the additional charge seemed warranted) and decided the later option was probably the truth. It was around this point, moments before pressing ‘yes’ to continue that my transaction timed out and it spat out my card as if to say “if you have to think that hard about spending $2, I suggest you remember to bring your lunch."

I guess the point was not that I was spending an extra few dollars - but rather what I was spending it on, who it was going to and why I was being charged in the first place...

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