Friday, May 29, 2009
ATM Account Balances
Maybe it's just me, but recently I've noticed that when I withdraw money from my TD Bank (nee Commerce Bank) account from ATMs at the bodegas near my apartment, the machines display my total account balance on the screen for what seems like an inordinately long time. Like I'll go to the machine, make sure no one's spying on my PIN, check "withdrawal," press the button for $80 and then as my piles of money are spitting out of the machine, the screen will change to my total account balance and will stay on the screen for 30 seconds before it kindly thanks me for the transaction, so that I'm forcibly confronted with the terrible news of my balance even when I purposely do NOT select "View Account Balance." I'm not sure who at the ATM company thought it would be a good idea to humiliate and enrage ATM users by forcing them to see their balances upon each withdrawal when it's pretty clear that people who do not affirmatively select "View Account Balance" would prefer to not ruin their days by having their balances thrust in front of them for 30 seconds which is an outrageous amount of time to be confronted with bad news. The only sense I can make of this entire situation is that the people who own the ATM machines are disgustingly wealthy and want to revel in their balances and brag to bystanders who might accidentally see the screen, while at the same time making everybody with low balances feel bad, which is a strategy I can respect and strongly agree with.