Accounting Ourselves to Death

Yesterday I went to the TD Canada Trust ATM at the corner of Queen and Kent in Charlottetown to withdraw some money.

I asked for $60.

The machine, helpfully, said “I can’t give you $60, but I can give you $50.” I say “okay.”

The machine then spit out a $50 bill.

Not wanting to trouble the merchants of Charlottetown with a $50 bill (actually, not wanting to be seen as a flashy bigshot with a wad of $50 bill(s)) I lined up to speak to a real live teller to get some change.

To get $50 changed into two $20 bills and a $10 bill, I had to:

  • Attest to the fact that I have an account with TD Canada Trust
  • Wait while the $50 was tested to see if it was counterfeit.
  • Wait while the $50 was sealed inside a plastic bag.
  • Wait while two sheets of paper were printed by a computer.
  • Sign both sheets of paper, one confirming I had given them $50, the other confirming I’d received the change.
  • Receive my two $20 bills and a $10 bill.

This rigamarole, from entering the line to leaving with my change, took approximately 10 minutes.

I know for certain that if I walked into the Toronto Dominion Bank in Carlisle, Ontario when I was 12 years old, and asked to have a $50 bill changed into two $20s and a $10, the teller would have taken the $50, opened her drawer, taken out my change and handed it to me.

So how is this progress?


Oliver B.'s picture
Oliver B. on December 10, 2003 - 21:36 Permalink

Did they make you attest with your signature that you had received the change before they gave it to you. That always irks me at banks. They have you on camera taking the money from them, but you have nothing on them if they take your signature and withhold your cash.

nathan's picture
nathan on December 10, 2003 - 22:56 Permalink

A TD machine gave me the same offer about a month ago. I carried the fifty around for a couple of weeks since I only use cash for small purchases and many places don’t want to accept fifties.

I remember that TD machines used to try to give you at least a couple of tens when withdrawing cash. Too bad this practice has ended since I use cash almost exclusively for purchases under $20.

RSimpson's picture
RSimpson on December 11, 2003 - 03:17 Permalink

You are uncharacteristically bilious today Pete, xmas getting to you?

Will Pate's picture
Will Pate on December 11, 2003 - 11:15 Permalink

The problem is you’re using TD. I pay slightly higher fees at Royal Bank, but they allow me to take my money in and out as I please with minimal fuss.

Isaac's picture
Isaac on December 11, 2003 - 17:34 Permalink

I think an overlooked aspect of this is the fact that the TD machines downtown seem to be running out of their stash of $20 bills fairly often these days (you’re not the only one who had similar issues) — I can only assume this is somehow connected to the madness of Christmas shopping, and more cash than usual being withdrawn from peoples accounts.

isource's picture
isource on February 26, 2005 - 15:12 Permalink