I fought the law…

During lunch break I went to one of the ATMs next to our company cafeteria and tried to withdraw 25,000 yen. The transaction went smoothly until the very last step – my bank card and the receipt came out of the machine, but when the cash drawer opened, the machine suddenly seized up with squeaking cacophony of bill-shredding grinds and the drawer slammed shut, leaving me empty-handed. The revolving status indicator spun sickeningly for a brief instant and finally landed on OUT OF ORDER. I glanced at my relection on the two-way glass panel from which I was doubtlessly being recorded and saw my jaw drop in a classic “WTF?” reaction.
I consciously shook off my surprise and picked up the service phone adjacent to the ATM. Twenty rings later, a sweet voice answered. The following conversation ensued:
“Hello, this is Roukin ATM Service Center”
“Hi, your ATM just died before spitting out my 25,000 yen and I’m on my lunchbreak…”
“Name, please”
(pause) “Justin Yoshida”
“OK, Yoshida-sama, please give me a number where we can contact you.”
“Say what?”
“Your phone number”
“Why the hell do you need my phone number? Just send someone out to give me my money.”
“That’s not the way it works – just go about your business and someone will be sent out to fix the machine later, after which somebody from the sales department will call about returning your cash. They will be calling you as soon as possible.”
“Are you fucking kidding me? I’m holding a receipt that says you paid me 25,000 yen which I NEVER RECEIVED and as far as I know is just stuck in the cash drawer and you think I’m gonna fucking WALK AWAY FROM THE MACHINE BECAUSE SOMEONE ON THE PHONE SAID IT WAS OK? You could be in Lagos for all I know! NOW SEND SOMEONE TO FIX THE FUCKING MACHINE AND GIVE ME MY MONEY!”
“Sir, all of repairmen are out at lunch righ-”
“DAMMIT! I’m on MY fucking lunchbreak, too! And I know this may be hard to comprehend, but you might consider the reason I needed some of that money was to buy LUNCH!”
“I’m terribly sorry sir, but standard procedure requires me to inform you that repair personnel will be sent as soon as possible and that a representative from sales will be in touch with you as soon as possible.”
“Now that you’ve mentioned it twice, just exactly when is ‘as soon as possible?'”
“Hmmm… Well, it will probably be sometime tomorrow.”
“What, sir?”
“Now I’m fucking pissed – I want a repairman here right fucking NOW.”
“Sir, as I’ve stated before, standard procedure calls fo-”
“That’s it, I’m hanging up to go get a hammer.”
Instead, I hung around out of sight of the cameras (in retrospect, why?). The repairman showed up in five minutes. I felt sorry for the guy because he had a grain of rice hanging off his chin and really must have been called off lunch so I didn’t give him any shit. Plus, he was obviously a third party serviceman and not directly related to the stupid bank. He cleared the machine and called to confirm if he could hand me over the 25,000… At which point, the Bank from Hell decided to give me more shit and insist, again, even though the money was in my sight, that a sales rep would call me and they would handle it that way. I halfheartedly argued with the twats for a few minutes, but I really wasn’t getting anywhere… So I pulled the trump card.
I got a bank manager on the phone and started accusing them of racial discrimination, on the basis that their decision to wait a day before rectifying the situation was made only after they had asked my name and confirmed SOP for dealing with gaijin and couldn’t he make it easy on EVERYONE INVOLVED by doing the eight thing and authorizing the repairdude to hand me over the cash (that by the way I paid a nominal service charge to withdraw)?
Apparently not.
The manager said I’m going to have to go to the bank to get my cash, but not until after they find out what went wrong with the machine in the first place (like that’s my fucking problem).
So now I’m waiting for the call from the sales rep, who the manager has promised will call before the end of the day. They better not assign a newbie, because I swear on all that’s holy, I am going to make that motherfucker cry over the phone. Then if they really do force me to pick up the money at the bank, I’m going to…
– To Be Continued… –

4 thoughts on “I fought the law…

  1. Ha! Once in Tokyo I needed like 250,000 yen in cash from my US dollar Citibank account. But the Citi ATM would only let me take out 40,000 yen in one day.
    So I asked the teller for an “emergency transfer” from the US account. But, she said it wasn’t an emergency, because I hadn’t lost my wallet. After trying for about 10 minutes to convince her to do the transfer anyway, I had an idea.
    I left the bank, stuffed my wallet in my underwear, immediately came back in, and said I lost my wallet.
    She (and a manager who had come out to see what was going on) said I was lying.
    I said, you can’t prove I’m lying. I’m the customer, and you have to believe me. And they agreed to arrange the emergency transfer.
    Now, midway through setting up the transfer, I needed some account information which was in the wallet in my underwear. So I excused myself, went to the mens’ room, looked up the info, stuffed the wallet back in my underwear, and completed the transfer.

  2. Ah, the beauty of customer service. I swear they have those “reps” just to avoid confrontation with angry customers such as ourselves…they are a main source of much of my frustration. You should ninja kick them in the face.

  3. Banks are really a shit.
    I tried to open an account at Mizuho bank, and the guy told me that my name could not be written the way I was writing it in katakana. It is so stupid, because I made got my AMEX with that spelling, then, if the names are different, the automatic transfer can’t be done…
    If it wasn’t there cameras and security staff, I would surely had punched him in the face. How does a stupid japanese can tell me the right way of writing my OWN name?? And yes, I accused him of discrimination, because I was not allowed to write my name the way it is read in my country (I am brazilian). Does anybody know how does someone can mispronounce his own name???
    BTW, the Post Office Savings, the Kokumin Hokken and even the Alien Registration accepted it that way.

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