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Teller Shortage Due to Typo (Deposit)

A customer was depositing a Not On Us check for $1500 into his checking account for $1200 and was supposed to receive $300 cash back from the transaction. The teller mistakenly keyed $1500 into the cash recycler and handed the cash directly to the customer. This is proven by video surveillance and the reporting tool from the cash recycler, which shows the denominations of the bills he received. The cash back totals $1500, is time stamped for when he is at the teller window and has the teller #. Is this sufficient proof so that the Bank can the bank legally debit his account for $1200? The customer has hung up on bank employees when we have attempted to contact him.

by Ken Golliher:

We don't usually hold court here; the issue is whether or not a judge would agree with you, not whether one of us would.

Regardless, your proof seems to be more than adequate. I would put through entries that would correct the original transaction, not just debit the account for the amount due. Then write the customer a very brief letter explaining the correction and noting your prior attempts to reach him by phone.

Timing is of the essence here; it will eventually dawn on this customer to simply close the account and reap the windfall. Posting in the Guru Forum vs. a public forum will delay your receiving a response by days or even weeks.


by John Burnett:

Here's an update on this drama. We contacted the individual who asked the question, and learned that the bank's customer apparently listened to his or her conscience (after realizing the evidence the bank had of the overpayment) and returned the $1,200. There is one very relieved teller, who undoubtedly learned a lesson from this mistake.

First published on 09/30/2018

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