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rediATM failure

October 17, 2012 — BarryK
Most, perhaps all, credit unions in Australia, and at least one bank, use the rediATM network of automatic teller machines.

I am a member of a credit union and have used rediATMs without any problem for years. Until about a month ago...

I tried to draw $900 from a rediATM, but got a "network timeout" message, followed by a "transaction cancelled" message.
I then tried another nearby rediATM and tried to draw $300, same problem.
I then used a Commonwealth Bank ATM to draw from my credit union account, successfully.

About a week later, the periodic statement arrived in the mail from the credit union, and it showed both transactions as having succeeded!
In other words, the amount of $1200 was deducted from my account, although the rediATMs had failed to give me the money.

I filled in a complaint form, which was investigated promptly and my account corrected.

However, this has left me with a deep worry about rediATMs. The communication protocol between ATM and server should be such that the server only recognises the cash has been dispensed when the ATM advises successful dispensing. This is such basic common sense, which leads me to think that the people who have programmed the rediATM communications protocol are incompetent.

I have suffered a loss of confidence, and from now on will use Commonwealth Bank ATMs to draw from my credit union account, despite the $2 fee.


rediATM partners
Username: BarryK
These are all the institutions that use rediATMs: So, I am criticizing a very big company. If my blog post attracts the attention of someone "high up" at rediATM, I hope that they investigate the problem and get it fixed.

Username: cthisbear
"Woolworths costs you nothing. Why not go for an ING Direct card. Costs nothing. You move money between your ING a/c to your ING Visa. No fees ever. " No monthly account keeping fees. No ING DIRECT everyday fees. Free access to every ATM in Australia - just withdraw $200 or more and we'll reimburse the ATM owner fee. If you have a homeloan with us, we'll cover the fees regardless of the amount withdrawn." Chris.

incompetent ?
Username: K Godt
"Two years of the hidden unmount bug in rc.shutdown and calling others incompetent ?

Re: incompetent ?
Username: Jota
"@ K Godt Hey, you have to put things into context... One man work against a large corporation, with lots of programmers, resouces and man-power...?? You should be kidding K Godt?

rc.shutdown bug?
Username: BarryK
"[i]Two years of the hidden unmount bug in rc.shutdown[/i] Huh?!!! This is news to me. What bug are you referring to? Why are you keeping this bug a secret from me? And, to compare, a bug that you say is in rc.shutdown (that I don't even know about), with such a serious bug in rediATMs -- oh, man, I shall resist replying with what I think about you. As someone said in an email to me yesterday: [i]that is a major screw up for an ATM to claim a failed transaction and still take the money out. The transaction is supposed to be atomic, there is absolutely no room for this type of scenario to ever happen in monetary transfers so I think your blog post is great.[/i] The ATM bug is very serious as it potentially results in significant monetary loss for people who do not carefully check the statement from the financial institution. Note, there is one shutdown issue in rc.shutdown that has always been there. It has never been solvable and is a minor matter. That particular issue is something that I and others have put a great deal of effort into. I won't describe that any further here as it is too off-topic.

Re K Godt
Username: BarryK
"[i]oh, man, I shall resist replying with what I think about you[/i] post might be misconstrued, so I will qualify the above a bit more: [i]oh, man, I shall resist replying with what I think about you[/i][b]r post[/b] You have been extremely helpful for Puppy testing and development over the years, and also I have never previously known you to post anything inflammatory. So, I take the insult as an aberration, and move on.

Tags: general