Sunday, October 08, 2006

Blasted ATMs, Indeed!

Kevin, in his most recent post, blasts the ATMs in Korea. He mentions me posting about the same trouble, but it was actually in a volley of Friday night e-mails that I was complaining.

Tell me,...please, what is UP with all the ATMs not functioning during Chuseok? Do the computers need to go visit their ancestors graves and drink some soju with their ATM-university pals that have also headed home for the holidays? Do the people who work inside the cash machines, slipping money through the little slot when I press my series of numbers need a holiday too? They need a sandwich and some juice? I don't understand it.

As Kevin notes, the bank has MY money. It's mine, I bloody well worked hard for it, and I don't see why I should have to wait to get my grubby little hands on it whenever I want! Kevin informs the that the ATMs are STILL down, so now it's been, what? FOUR DAYS of me being broke? (Actually that's not true, I had cash in my wallet up until Friday - and didn't try the ATM until then. I'll assume, though, since the holiday officially started on Thursday, the ATMs have been closed just as long.

What if I had an emergency? What if I had been arrested and needed to send my chauffeur to the ATM to get my bail money? What if my invisible car had broken down in the middle of the road and I had to have it towed? What if I needed a life saving kidney transplant and the hospital wouldn't operate without cash up front? That donated kidney on ice would go BAD, that's what would happen! And I'd be SOL.

Which is what I have been for the last three days.

I've never noticed this ATM thing before, because I've always been out of the country in previous years during the holidays. Seriously, though, it makes NO SENSE to me.

I intend to write a strongly worded letter to my bank. I'll threaten to yank my bank account to "Woori," which Kevin says has functioning ATMs. My bank will have job cuts, lay-offs, perhaps they'll have to close branches of their stupid bank, all because they will lose the interest they've been earning off my trillions and bazillions of won that's been sitting in their bank that I CAN'T HAVE!

That'll show them.


Anonymous said...

Fight the system!!!

Pay for everything in 10 Won coins!!!


John McCrarey said...

It really was a pain in the ass and it makes absolutely no sense for the ATMs to disengage. All I can figure is they had no staff available to service them (i.e. restock the cash). Anyway, my ATM card is also a debit card so I was able to pay for dinner and the like that way.

On Saturday I found a KEB bank ATM that was dispensing money so I was good to go.

humbleman said...

It may be a good idea to open another account in another bank as an insurance for a possible future difficulty.

sher said...

Yeah!! You tell 'em, Jenn! That would be REALLY unacceptable to not have ATM service for 4 days! Yikes. Well I say you should yank your account and bring them to their knees!

Brian said...

I feel your pain.

I remember one Chuseok.. maybe 6 years ago. I had no money and all my friends were busy. I was stuck at home for 4 days surviving on tuna sandwhiches.

Gord said...

Yeah, I had a disagreement with my girlfriend about that, actually. She didn't believe that some bank machines shut down during Chuseok, but I just think she's been lucky. Jeonbuk Bank's machines were often inaccessible for the whole holiday, which I discovered the hard way, though not as hard as some -- I didn't have to eat tuna fish sandwiches for four days, at least!

It turns out that Woori does keep its bank machines running during the Chuseok holidays. Of course. Woori machines, like almost all others, shut down at night. And if you have an international debit card, you can only access the account for about ten hours of the day while abroad -- Korean business hours, mind. It took me about six tries to get an answer out of someone, because mostly, when I'd call, someone would hear my accent, ask if I was Korean, and hang up when I said no and apologized (in Korean) for not being a great speaker of the language.

(And don't expect any help at all if some machine in a foreign land eats your card. Because people will tell you there's nothing for it but to come back to Korea for a new card. Then again, maybe every bank in the world would advise that.)

Just my thoughts on Woori bank. They're not the best around. (Though I have no choice; there's an alliance deal between my current employer and that bank, same as with my previous employer.) I'd consider Korean Exchange bank, or... I can't remember which, but I have a friend who's had good experiences with another bank, too...