Bosses at Upper Street supermarket Budgens advise customers to use free ATM nearby after Cashzone starts charging
PUBLISHED: 15:23 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:27 12 March 2019
An Upper Street supermarket was so outraged when the company supplying its ATMs started charging that it pinned a sign up directing customers to the nearest free one.
Bosses at Budgens, which has been recognised for employing out-of-work locals, are now trying to get out of the store’s contract with Cashzone as soon as possible.
Office manager Julaid Ruhman told the Gazette the three machines – two outside and one inside – began charging 95p a go last week after a survey by Cashzone showed they “weren’t economically viable”.
“We were surprised by that because it’s busy,” he said. “We are now in contact with some other ATM suppliers to provide free of charge machines.
“Our company directors don’t like people getting charged to take out their own money.”
While Budgens tries to get out of the contract, it is informing people not to use the Cashzone machines.
The sign says: “We are sorry that Cashzone have put a 95p charge on this ATM.
“We fought this decision by them to administer the charge but we have found ourselves in a contract that gives them the right to change it from ‘free to use’ to a ‘fee payable’ if they choose to do so.
“Absolutely none of this charge is received by Budgens and simply pocketed by Cashzone.
“As soon as we are able to change to another ATM supplier who will not charge our customers to take out their own money we will do so.
“The nearest ‘free to use’ ATM is outside Nationwide building society.”
A spokesperson for Cardtronics, which owns Cashzone, told the Gazette cuts by cash machine network Link to how much banks pay ATM operators meant the fees it receives in some locations now leaves the firm out of pocket and it had no choice but to introduce fees.
They said “immediate intervention” was needed from the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to remove the reduced payments from banks so it could keep its machines free of charge.
The spokesperson added: “We do not want to charge for withdrawals, but Link’s cuts have left us with no choice on some of our machines.”