Bank of America has redesigned its ATMs. (Yes, BoA's PR department deemed this press release-worthy). It's actually pretty cool because you can make deposits with both checks and cash without envelopes. Plus the interface is a lot nicer.
That is, unless you don't know what you're doing.
You know those machines that make change? You have to insert the cash into the slot until the machine sucks it out of your hand:
Apprantly the new BoA ATMs do not function in this way. When I returned from my trip to Vegas for the CTIA show, I was actually ahead from my slot play and decided to put the cash in the bank. So I did the usual routine of putting my card in a BoA ATM, but this time I selected "deposit cash."
A little window opened and a green light above the slot lit up:
Per my typical experience with depositing cash into machines, I slid my cash in along the arrows, expecting the ATM to suck the money out of my hand. What I did not expect was the window to close on my hand!
So there I am, hand stuck in the ATM. While it didn't crush me, it certainly was sharp and didn't open back up like a garage door does when it senses something's in the way.
What to do??
Finally I decided the only way I was getting my hand out was to yank it back. I did this, leaving behind the cash and about half of my skin. The ATM window closed all the way, made a "whirring" sound as it counted the cash and then the screen verified the amount of cash I had deposited.
Once I got over the throbbing pain in the back of my hand, I thought the ATM counting my deposit was pretty cool. But honestly, they should have shown some kind of animation on how to properly deposit cash. I believe this now after watching a poor older woman do the exact same thing I did this morning. Adults are creatures of habit. Change the way we've been accustomed to use a certain type of technology and we're liable to lose our hands.
Although I do have to say, I wasn't nearly as dramatic as the woman this morning. She yelped and said in a panic, "I think you need to call for help...!"
I told her the same thing had happened to me and suggested she take a deep breath and pull her hand out. She did exactly that, left some skin behind and was as amazed as I was at the ATM's counting.
So to all you BoA new ATM users- BEWARE! Improper use can result in depositing your dignity along with your cash.