Ever felt so lonely in this world that it made you cry? Ever felt powerless, frustrated, angry, bitter? Ever felt wronged in such a way that you just didn’t know what to do?
Well… this happened to me yesterday.
Went to an ATM to withdraw some money (so I could pay bills, the rent that was due, and pay for my gym membership.) All in all, about one thousand dollars in Romanian currency.
I use Payoneer in order to withdraw funds via PayPal or Patreon, because they are about three times faster than any Romanian bank. The downside being that they charge a hefty (by this country’s standards) commission, which means I rarely withdraw money, and only when I need to pay cash for rent and bills…
So, I went to this shopping mall close to where I live, went to the nearest ATM, and tried to withdraw the money. The ATM started counting the money, then it stopped. Then it started counting again. Then it stopped again. And then it gave me a piece of paper that stated the following: “We’re sorry, but we could not disburse the funds. The transaction was settled.”
I thought that the ATM was either short on cash or there was some issue (I do encounter issues with certain ATM/POS with this card).
The thing was… my money was gone.
All I had left was about $15 dollars.
I called the bank who operates the ATM, and they told me to contact my bank (in this case, Payoneer). I did that. They told me they couldn’t help me until the pre-authorization on the transaction expired (9th of June), and that I should call the Romanian bank (again) and tell them that it’s they who have to work on getting this issue fixed…
Long story short, I spent 3 hours on the phone with both the Romanian Bank and Payoneer (including a supervisor of theirs), and they can’t do anything.
The real troubling news?
That I could lose the money. At least that’s what the lady over at the Romanian bank told me in our last conversation: that if the money got stuck in the damn vent, the next person to withdraw money from the ATM got it, so there’s no money missing from their point of view, and money was disbursed, in which case I’d have to file a police report, and the police would have to chase down the person who got the money in my place… the odds of that ever happening are close to impossible.
Has anyone ever encountered such a situation?
I am thinking of pursuing legal action against the bank that operates the ATM here in Romania.
I do mention that I am currently in the situation of being evicted, and all my utilities being cut off (internet, electricity, etc.).
If anyone can help me in any way, I’d much appreciate it.
I read that such issues are usually solved within 90 days, during which both banks try to hold on to the money, or get the money back, and present all sorts of “documents.”
I do not have 90 days. I barely have enough money to eat today…
Also, given the situation, if you can help me by purchasing any product from my e-store, I’d be incredibly grateful.
My balance is currently $5.72.
You can also donate via PayPal here.
Rent and bills need to be paid ASAP, and I can’t because an ATM stole my money…
Any help would keep me off the streets. And enjoying actual food. And electricity.
And do advise if something like this has ever happened to you.
UPDATE #1: My home Internet was disconnected earlier. I am now relying on the data on my phone. Might be difficult to get back to you.
Do help me out if you can, you can find a ton of cool stuff on my e-store here.
UPDATE #2: I’d like to thank Jen for her donation through PayPal.
If you wish to help me out, you can do so here.