Phantom Withdrawals

Earlier this week I spent some time with my elderly parents (both in their 70s). During a discussion, my dad perked up and asked me about his rights when trying to reclaim money he had failed to receive from an ATM. The previous weekend they attempted to take out £20 but the ATM only issued £10. He subsequently requested another £10 to have the cash reserves he needed.

My instant reaction was to advise my father to speak to Natwest and make them advocate for him to get this issue resolved. Supporting my father with the phone call to Natwest, we spoke to the advisor who informed us to call back in 24 hours in case there was a correction on the account.

The money was never returned. We then phoned again the next day and we were advised that they were going to start an ATM dispute, which could take up to 3 weeks (or 15 working days!!) We were under the impression that all was resolved and the money would be returned when the process had been followed.

I then read this article from the Guardian -

I was interested if anyone had ever experienced any issues like this before? I would also be interested to know if anyone had this issue with their Monzo card and how they dealt with it?


I had a similar problem years ago. I can’t even remember who I was banking with, but I remember raising a support request online, getting a very formal response to say they’d look into it, then another canned response a few days later to say that they’d investigated along the lines of whatever industry procedure it was, I was correct and that they’d refunded the money.

I remember it being semi-efficient, but very unhuman and formal, but also annoying. Surely ATMs should reconcile the amount of cash they have and automatically credit when mistakes are made? I also remember being confused at the time as I assumed I’d made a mistake pressing the buttons and began to doubt myself…


They totally should although I’m not sure how they’d know who was short changed :confused:

I’ve always thought what would happen in this instance but never met anyone who’d had the issue. It seems quite rare.

As I understand it, it is a combination of audit logs and CCTV. Because ATMs are not always in online mode, it takes time to check things out.

The procedure depends on the bank and the ATM, newer ATMs with the camera’s are simple and take less than a day to sort out problems, other ATMs they are slightly more complicated so can take longer. Non bank ATMs are generally even harder to sort out but it’s more a matter of taking longer to resolve with them. Although the bigger ATM providers also install the more modern ones with camera’s inside them

Newer ones do. For example all the new Barclays and Lloyds ones are designed that way.