Cancelling ATM withdrawals, a warning!

My boyfriend and I were recently on holiday in Argentina. As Monzo customers with a joint account between us, we planned to benefit from their favourable overseas rates by drawing cash from ATMs as we needed it. The first two ATMs we tried, however, presented us with relatively large fixed currency fees right at the end of the withdrawal process. When we saw the fees, we just cancelled the withdrawal (obviously getting no money) and eventually got our money elsewhere.

At that point we were not concerned. The fees were from the ATM, not Monzo, and we had cancelled the expensive transactions.

Then we noticed that the banks had actually taken the money from our joint Monzo account - two transactions in different banks worth about £75. We discovered that exactly the same thing had happened to another person on the trip. We still weren’t that concerned, as we knew someone who had had an ATM fail to issue and charge the amount but had a refund automatically after a few days.

It goes wrong from this point.

After days had gone by with no refund, we contacted Monzo via their app. This involved many separate discussions with several different people who often seemed to have no access to the previous chats. Worse, our joint account wasn’t treated as joint; agents have said they have no access to conversations with my boyfriend and have told me that they can’t discuss it with me as he raised the original query. Worse still, they clearly suspected we were not telling the truth asking us why we didn’t raise it earlier and emphasising that it is “extremely rare” that ATMs “fail to pay”.

Currently, after we complained, Monzo have made a £20 goodwill payment but just referred our issue to Mastercard. Given the service so far and the tone of some of the responses we are not confident they will represent us well.

So, some tips for others:

• In Argentina at least (and possibly elsewhere), cancelling a transaction when the fee is presented seems to result in a charge every time from most major banks. As you can’t see the fee in advance, you might want to reconsider using your Monzo card for cash overseas. This might apply to other debit cards.

• Monzo at least (and hopefully not too many other banks) may assume you making a fraudulent claim and refuse to make a refund unless a lengthy claim process via Mastercard is decided in your favour. I imagine they do get a lot of fraudulent “ATM didn’t pay” claims but they clearly don’t consider the specifics (this was a cancelled transaction, it would make no sense to mis-claim two separate transactions, no investigation of our parties 100% record of this etc).

• Monzo joint accounts are not as “joint” as you might imagine. Customer service do not have full access to records from both parties and will treat both parties as part of a single query process. This makes pursuing an issue like this significantly more difficult (and irritating!).

I hope others can avoid some of these problems. I’d be very interested to know about other people experience of cancelled ATM transactions overseas or Monzo. I will also post this on Martin Lewis’s Money Saving site, as I suspect the cancelled transaction problem applies to other banks, even if they handle it better.



Sounds bad. Did you try phoning Monzo too, might be easier to explain over the phone than in chat? And you can both be on the phone to the person handling your complaint that way?

Hope it gets sorted.

Good idea, will try this tomorrow and let you know how it goes!

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Just checking, but did you select “Pay without currency conversion” or similar before getting those fees?

I’ve had this problem today as a matter of fact. We were seeing different things in our feed and we both raised it with 2 different agents (unbeknown to each other we were raising it) and it becomes a very disjointed conversation and I’ve had issue in the past where it’s been actively denied what I’m seeing is happening only for them to say “oh sorry we were looking at your personal account feed”

The curse of the crap Monzo customer service strikes again!

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Ah… I just posted in the joint account only thread: Joint Account only

but, if Monzo treat a joint like two separate accounts - this has kinda put me off a monzo joint account…

I’ve had this issue in the UK, but it did come back. How long did you wait?

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

As an update, Monzo have now agreed to credit back the amount subject to a challenge from Mastercard (which apparently takes about 8 weeks).

awjdean: We are very aware of the trap of having the an ATM (or shop) do the conversion and did not choose that.

WillP79: We waited for well over a week before raising it with Monzo but it still hasn’t been refunded by the bank many weeks later. I know someone who had an issue with a UK ATM (it ran out of bank notes at the end of the transaction!) but that refunded in a few days with no need to flag it to Monzo.

I’ll let everyone know if the Mastercard process ends with a rejection!

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Hello, thanks for sharing.
I have recently had a similar experience.
I went to Turkey for the first week of September, attempted to withdraw from an atm but cancelled after I saw the currency fee. I soon realised that the money £148 left my account. After explaining this to Monzo they credited my account whilst an 8 week investigation took place.
Last week the money left my account again!
Monzo told me that we lost our fight with the atm provider and they agree with it. There was no excess amount in the atm and that it was in balance!
Obviously I’m really stressed and upset at loosing the money and have contacted the financial ombudsman, I’m currently hoping they can help with this situation. I have been made to be a lier, that’s what hurts the most.
If anyone has got any advice please share.

Hi, welcome to the community

Looks like a very dodgy ATM provider, there’s nothing monzo can do if they’re told that there’s no extra money in the machine.

You should log a crime with the Turkish police, that’s probably your only legal recourse.

This is one of my issues with Monzo, Starling etc. They’re too small to take the hit and swallow the cost to provide better service. Presuming you’d not been involved with any previous suspicious ATM fail-to-pays and you’re not a brand new customer or something else suspicious I think any larger bank would refund you and that would be the end of it.

The newer banks simply don’t have the cash to be providing the level of service we’ve come to expect. Larger banks may not be good at a lot of things but they’re generally not going to let you lose out for no fault of your own regardless of whether they get the money back.