The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Oh the beeping

Dear Bank of America,

I am just not so sure this shiny new & "improved" ATM of yours is a good idea. Allow me to explain. You see, I went to one of your branches the other day to deposit a few checks. Now, in terms of "big money" (from like, a paycheck if I had one), that would be directly deposited from the company into my bank account. However, with smaller checks from relatives or credit card companies or whatnot, I still deposit those the old fashion way...into your little machine. Anyway, I ran into a bit of a problem while attempting to deposit checks into your new & "improved" ATM.

Now, I don't wanna brag or anything, but I am usually pretty good at being quick at ATMs. Everything is endorsed before I arrive. To ensure speediness, I multi-task by reaching over to grab an envelope while your machine is "retrieving [my] account information." This time, to my dismay, there are no envelopes when I reach. Not as in, the bin ran out of envelopes, but as in there is just no bin. Thoroughly confused, I begin to look around. By now, the line behind me is two people deep. I realize that this shiny ATM had the ability to take my deposit without an envelope. Hmmm. "No staples or tape please" read the sign. Um, okay, but how do I deposit all of my checks at once? Oh gawd, the thing is beeping at me. People are staring. I grab one of my checks and just shove it in the little blinking slot. The screen tells me to wait while my check is being scanned. The machine is still beeping at me. Very loudly. The screen changes and the beeping stops. Now, the check I just put into the machine is in the form of a scanned image on the screen. It asks me if this is my check. Well yeah, of course it's my check, I did just give it to you. Thank you...what would you like to do next? Um, deposit another check.

Repeat process. During my second period of check scanning (read: machine beeping loudly while I stand there doing nothing), the lady behind me asks if everything is okay. I turn to tell her yes and notice the line is about six deep by this point. Aw man, I am THAT ATM user. I hate THAT user. You know, the one that takes so long because she is using her time at the front of the line to check her balance in every account, then do her monthly budget after balancing her checkbook. Yeah, people are looking at me like I look at her. I give the sorriest look I can and loudly say "yeah, it's scanning my check. I am not sure why, but it's scanning my check."

When I finally finish the inserting/scanning/beeping process for all of my checks, it prints me a receipt. For whatever reason, this too, takes an eternity. As my very large receipt comes out of the machine, I notice the pictures of all my checks. The scanned images of each check I just deposited is right there in miniature version on my receipt. Now, BoA, I ask you...is this really necessary? I truly hope this change is not something you did for your customers because I assure you, although my receipt is adorable, the process is fairly obnoxious.

THAT girl at the ATM,