It looks like frustration over banking fees is reaching a breaking point for some people out there. From West Palm Beach, Fla.-area ABC affiliate WPBF-25:
A 29-year-old man faces a charge of criminal mischief after he beat up an automated teller machine because he was frustrated about being charged too much, according to the Indian River County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said Joel Gaudreault punched the ATM inside a Hess gas station Friday, causing the glass screen to break.
A clerk at the Hess told a deputy that Gaudreault started to yell, struck the machine and created a disturbance.
According to the arrest affidavit, Gaudreault admitted to punching the ATM because the service fee was too much.
While I've never had the urge to physically assault an automated teller, I can relate to being frustrated over fees for ATM withdrawals. When you add the most common ATM fee of $3 to the out-of-network ATM fee of $2 or more your own bank will likely charge, you're looking at $5 or $6 total to take money out of a typical gas station ATM.
To avoid ATM frustration so acute it ends up resulting in criminal charges, it might be good to set up a weekly ATM withdrawal when your day-to-day routine takes you past your bank's ATM. That way you'll always have a little bit of cash in your pocket. If that doesn't work for you, you can always get cash back from a debit purchase during your weekly shopping runs.
Smartphones can also be a valuable tool for fighting ATM fees, since many bank apps can now use your phone's GPS to find nearby ATMs.
What do you think? How do you avoid ATM fees?