Decoding the mind of an ATM user

My card does not expire till April 2011. Why is the ATM showing me this message? I’m going to dip this again. I’m already running late! I have to shop for groceries.

That auto rickshaw ride from Hebbal to my apartment cost me a fortune! Why did I chose Hebbal to disembark? I could have gone into the city instead! Well, I could also have got down at the airport and used their Volvo.

Disgusting machine! Let me try it once more. Is it a problem with the magnetic strip? No, I don’t think so! The machine would have displayed a message saying “Unable to read your card”. I’m not going to teach you how to read.

Let me wipe the magnetic strip before using it again. What will I wipe it with? Why am I hesitating to wipe it on my shirt? I should carry an hanky. Why can’t there be tissues near the wash basin? All they have is a hot air blower. They don’t want to encourage the felling of trees! Forget about the trees. I feel cleaner after using the tissue to wipe out the excess water from my hand.

Give me a break. My card does not expire till April 2011. This is a futile exercise. No shopping for groceries tonight! It will be a good excuse to go out for dinner. I may be able to blog on it too! I can ask my wife to spend. But, is there a problem with my debit card?

I have never used this fancy phone ever. It connects to the bank directly. Let me check with the bank. The board displays a lot of option – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. But none of this is for a debit card problem. I will still give it a try. So it doesn’t call the bank instantly. There is a telephone number written on the board to call the bank. I’m dialing the number. But, there is no dial tone! Let me call from my mobile.

The call is getting connected. I’m so glad to hear the voice although it is mechanical and emotionless with a neutralized accent. Didn’t Thomas Friedman do a documentary before the novel “The World is Flat”? That documentary showed the Indian firms hiring professional help to neutralize accents. The young junta over here already speak as if they are in US and UK.

I’m connected to the bank. What do you want? My 16 digit debit card number. Here is it. If you can’t recognize my 16 digit debit card number, why did you ask me to punch it in the first place? You should have given me an option to talk to a live person directly. Will I have to listen to the awful music while I wait for your person? Will you be telling me the time left for your person to service me? Isn’t that usage weird? No, don’t even go there. You are in public space.

What a surprise! A live person minus emotions on the other side before I get to hear any kind of music. I’m so happy. No, I’m not happy. He is asking me for my 16 digit debit card number. My dear sir, I had entered the 16 digit number couple of minutes back. Your fancy software did not tell you the numbers I punched in. You should get a project going for this functionality and help the economy. We have to bail ourselves out of the economic mess.

What? My account is locked out! May I know the reason? Are you joking? I punched in an incorrect pin while using the ATM. Wait. If I entered the incorrect pin, why did the machine talk about an expired card? No, don’t divert from the issue. First, answer my simple question. Please answer. Why did you mislead me?

I entered the pin correctly. Check with your records. This is my pin. What do you mean? I’m not supposed to disclose my pin over the phone. OK. OK. I will change my pin when my account is reactivated.

Wait. I used my card only twice. Even if the wrong pin, I should have one more chance. Isn’t it the best of 3? Well, that is my rule. You tell me why the logic of disabling after 2 attempts. Forget about activation. You tell me the logic. Everyone gives me a third chance. Well, not that person. Again, not that person too. Those are exceptions. You are a tough nut! You are citing examples of people who don’t give me a chance at all!

It takes 24 hours to reactivate my account. I don’t have any cash with me! I have a wife, a kid and a long grocery list. How will I survive? You have a solution for this! I’m impressed. You are good! You are going to help me out of this fix. Now, tell me what to do?

You are asking me to borrow money from my friends till the card gets reactivated!


  1. superbo...wonderfulo...hail nona

  2. Dealing with banks can be a harrowing experience, especially like the one you described so well. As if to add icing to the cake or rather rubbing salt into the wound, the Call centre will make your piquant situation worse.They for instance will ask you to disclose your details even if you have gone thru TPIN verification! Say how about the last 2 transactions on you card? here you are in the middle of nowhere & they expect you to tell them the last 2 transaction details? Morons. And even if you somehow scrape thru all this, you still have put up with their policies, procedures blah blah.

  3. @Joydeep
    Amen. :) Thanks for dropping by.

    This is the problem with not writing the blog as it is happening. Yes, you are right! He did ask me for the last 3 transactions, address and zipcode. I failed in the zipcode test and on the amount-associated-with-the-transaction test.


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