ATM malfunction leaves family struggling with finances - WFSB 3 Connecticut

I-Team Investigation

ATM malfunction leaves family struggling with finances

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A mishap at KeyBank in Hamden left a family struggling financially (WFSB) A mishap at KeyBank in Hamden left a family struggling financially (WFSB)

What started off as an ATM malfunction quickly turned into a financial fiasco for a family in Hamden.

A mother of four went into her local KeyBank to make a cash deposit to cover a car rental payment.

She and her mother had rented a car around the holidays from Budget truck rental.

The machine took her money, but it spit out an error slip.

"I went to the bank on Jan. 4. I deposited $380 as a cash deposit ... and as soon as finished the deposit, it spit out saying my card was invalid and it wouldn't take the money,” said KeyBank customer Robecia Crew.

The slip said “transaction declined” and “unable to process transaction.”

When she tried to tackle the problem then and there, she said she got the runaround and couldn't get her money back.

"I’ve never had this happen to me before, this is so humiliating,” Crew said.

She said when employees of the Dixwell Avenue branch counted the money on their end from that specific ATM, "it was over $380, which was my money, and my mom was like, ‘why can't you give her the money? What's going on’?”

To top it off, Crew said the ATM was also out of service, and other KeyBank customers had a similar problem.

"They shut it down,” Crew said.

Not only did she fall behind on the rental car payment, she starting drowning in overage fees. She quickly found herself in more than $1,000 in debt.

The family struggled to make monthly payments, and any money they received from work went to cover overdraft fees.

Because she was unable to make the payment, she and her mother called the New Haven Budget location to explain the situation.

Eyewitness News spoke with someone from Budget truck rental over the phone who said he was aware of their financial problem.

He said they kept the car for an additional week, which doubled the amount they owed to the company.

They were also responsible when making that final payment to pay off the nearly $200 monetary hold on the car.

"When they took their final payment, they took the $700 and that hold. From what I understand, that's what caused the ball to start rolling with the overdraft,” said Bonnie Cofield, Crew’s mother.

Crew’s account was not only slammed with overdraft fees, she was also struggling to pay her bills.

Initially, to try and make up for it, KeyBank issued her 12, $25 gifts cards, but it wasn't enough to cover what was lost.

"I want to sit down and I want a detailed account of what went into that account, and what came out of the account, step by step and I want it explained to me and to her,” Cofield said.

Cofield said she reached out to KeyBank’s corporate office for help, and said initially they were helpful and understanding of the situation.

"She said, I will make sure none of your checks bounce. I will make sure your payments go through. It was a holiday weekend and I will speak with you on Tuesday. That didn't happen,” Cofield said.

Eyewitness News reached out to KeyBank and the communications office released a statement that said, in part “At KeyBank we pride ourselves on the quality of our customer service; so, when a customer's experience is less than satisfactory, we are committed to doing everything we can to make it right for them."

A few days later, Crew received a call from KeyBank, saying they brought her bank account balance from $1,200 in the negative, to zero.

The family is now trying to figure out if the bank will take care of the additional fees they’re facing, after renting another car, and being unable to pay their monthly bills because of the ATM mishap.

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