Why Are ATM Machines So Stupid?
I just put my ATM card into a Bank of America ATM machine. The first screen that came up was a screen asking me what language I’d like to enjoy my transaction in.
Ok, #1. Why should the ATM machine be asking me this question? How come every single time I do an ATM transaction every ATM machine asks me what language I want? I want English. Why can’t I set English as my default and never have an ATM ask me this question again? Why can’t the ATM machine be smart enough to know that if I picked English the last time I used it, I probably haven’t changed my default desired language for my transaction? I get my bank statement in English. Do they really think that I might like my statement in English but my ATM transactions in Spanish or Chinese?
#2. Why does Bank of America ask me to confirm my language choice? WTF? Why do I have to tell them twice that I want to have my transaction in English? It’s bad enough I have to be asked this question once. Do they really need my special confirmation? Are people so stupid that they get this question wrong enough on the first go around that confirmation is really necessary?
#3 Why does the Bank of America ATM machine present me with a choice of withdrawl amounts which never includes the amount that I want to withdraw? Every single time I go to the ATM machine I withdraw the exact same amount of money, $500. Why do I get presented with a choice of $20, $40, $80, $100 when I’ve never ever ever selected those amounts? Why can’t the machine be smart enough to look at my past activity and present me a button for $500 rather than make me slect another button and manually enter in this amount?
#4 Why does the Bank of America ATM machine ask me from what account I’d like to withdraw the money, savings, checking or credit? My ATM card is not a savings account ATM card, it’s not a credit card. It’s a checking ATM card. How is it that the ATM machine can’t be smart enough to determine that my ATM card is a checking account ATM card and just automatically use that without my having to tell it so?
#5 Why does the Bank of America ATM machine ask me if I want a receipt? I always select no. I don’t want a receipt. I never want a receipt. Receipts kill trees. Why not let me sign up for no receipts on my ATM transactions ever? I didn’t want a receipt last time I was there. Or the time before that. Or the 10 times before that. Or the 100 times before that. Why do I need to be asked over and over and over again if I want one now?
#6 Why does the Bank of America ATM machine ask me if I want to do another transaction? I have never ever wanted to do another transaction. Not only is it dumb to make me say no, but this also represents a security risk. What if I get my money and walk away without paying attention. Now somebody else can come press “yes” and withdraw some more money or something. If I want to do another transaction I’ll put my card back in the machine a second time and do another transaction.
I’d be willing to bet that at least 90% of the time people answer no to this question. So why make the 90% of us who also say “no” suffer for the 10% of people that might say yes?
That’s all, ATM rant over, oh wait one more thing.
Why am I paying Bank of America $2 for using their ATM machine? And if I’m not paying Bank of America $2 I’m probably paying someone else $2. $2 is highway robbery. It’s too much to pay — especially to a machine that’s as dumb as BofA’s ATM machine is. And why do I have to reconfirm my willingness to pay them $2 *every single time* I use their machine?
Here’s how an ATM machine ought to work.
1. Insert card.
2. Enter PIN.
3. Select Withdrawl
4. Push a button reflecting the amount that you’d like to withdraw with your last withdrawn amount being one of the choices.
5. Out comes your money.
At least my iPhone, MacBook Pro, PC, XBox 360, Canon 5D, etc. etc. don’t ask me if I want to use them in Spanish every single time I turn them on.