My husband and I recently vacationed in Aruba. Yesterday we received our bank statement. It was a rude awakening. We felt we were robbed and had no place to turn.
On our first visit to an ATM in Aruba we withdrew $800 and were informed there would be a $3 fee for using the ATM. We agreed to that fee. However, our bank charged us another 4 percent fee for that withdrawal, amounting to $32. To add insult to injury, we were charged $6 for using the ATM. Therefore, we were charged $38 for withdrawing $800. Our total cost for using the ATM in Aruba amounted to over $200.
I called our new congressman, Steve Israel, and spoke with his representative Alonso Lara. I suggested that notification on ATMs overseas should alert the public that banks charge 4 percent for their withdrawal. I was extremely impressed with Mr. Lara’s knowledge and demeanor during his explanation as to why that cannot be done. For instance, if the person withdrawing is from Canada, there is a different fee, and some banks in the USA charge different fees. My bank informed me that a notification was recently sent informing their customers that the international fee went from 3 percent to 4 percent. I must admit I didn’t read the small print from their three-page communication. The banks and Wall Street sure do have a hold and power in Washington.
I suggested that in Congressman Israel’s next mailing, he should alert his constituents to call their banks and ask what their protocol is when using an ATM internationally.
Kudos to Alonso Lara for his knowledge, professionalism and pristine representation on behalf of our new congressman. It was a pleasure to talk with him.