ATM mix-up cleared up for St. Louis man

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – It was an ATM nightmare.  Lance Fister, 25, withdrew more than $500 to pay his rent at PNC Bank ATM at Grand and Klocke in South St. Louis.

Instead of getting 27 $20 bills, he got 27 singles.

He fought for two weeks to get his money, with no luck.

Things changed quickly after FOX2 started looking into his ordeal.

“I can’t tell you how important this is to me,” he said, after finally getting his money.

It began July 2nd when he tried to withdraw the money after bank hours.

He wanted to pay his rent the next morning before heading to Memphis to see his ailing grandmother.

It happened to be an ATM that dispenses cash in increments ranging from $1 to $20 bills.

“It gave me a $10 bill and single dollar bills started spitting out… I’m looking at it like ‘is this real?’ because I’m mentally disabled,” he said.

Instead of a $10 bill and 27  $20 bills, he got a 10 and 27 singles:  $37 instead of $550.

Given his mental illness, the anxiety was nearly unbearable.  He feared he’d lose his apartment home.

Fister does not have an account with PNC.  He accesses his monthly disability payments with a Skylight One pay card.

His Skylight account still showed a $550 withdrawal.

He filed a dispute claim with both institutions but was told he wouldn’t get an answer about possibly getting his money until July 17th, 15 days after the botched withdrawal.

“When I went into the (PNC) lobby, there was about 4-5 other people that it happened to.  There were people who pulled $60 out and got $3.  There were people who pulled $100 out and got $5,” he said.

Within two hours of us calling about the error, both institutions expedited his case.

He got his money and more importantly, peace of mind.

By law, PNC and Skylight have 10 business days to start investigating such claims.

So, they weren't dragging this out.

The payment to Fister is actually considered a provisional credit.  The investigation will be finalized in August.

Spokespersons for PNC and Skylight say the gravity of his case became clearer after phone calls from FOX2.