Fee sting! This DUMBO cash machine charges $3.99!

Fee sting! This DUMBO cash machine charges $3.99!
No-armed bandit: This ATM, which sits near the cash-only tourist Mecca, Grimaldi’s, charges a $3.50 surcharge — one of the highest in the city.
The Brooklyn Paper / Heather Holland

Talk about soaking the tourists!

One of the borough’s most-beckoning attractions — the glorious view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the foot of Old Fulton Street in DUMBO — also has one of the borough’s most egregious tourist traps: an ATM with exorbitant a $3.99 service fee!

The cash machine outside Pete’s Downtown Restaurant on Old Fulton Street and near popular destinations like Grimaldi’s pizzeria, the River Cafe, Empire-Fulton Ferry state park, Bargemusic, the Brooklyn Flea and, of course, the classic bridge, wallops customers like a kick in the keyster.

“It’s insane,” said Ken Oertel, a Californian feeling swindled as he withdrew money from the only nearby cash machine. “And I’m outraged.”

Even an official from the city’s tourism agency, NYC & Company, couldn’t believe her ears when told of the onerous price levied by the ATM nestled close to the corner of Water Street.

“What?” asked Kimberly Spell, the group’s senior vice president. “It sounds very high — and it’s a little disconcerting that it’s near three things [Grimaldi’s, the River Cafe and the Brooklyn Bridge] that we promote so much.

“It’s a shame to hear they may be taking advantage of tourists,” added Spell.

Safe & Sound Courier Service from Nassau County owns the machine in front of Pete’s Downtown and declined to comment for this article.

Safe & Sound’s surcharge surpasses the costs imposed by huge multinational banks like Chase, which charges $3 a pop for non-account holders, and the terminals on the tourist-trap Boardwalk in Coney Island, which have also hit the $3 mark in some cases.

Only recently, Safe and Sound’s cash dispenser soaked customers for a comparatively thrifty $3.75. But thieves burglarized the machine and the fee was raised, resting tantalizingly close to four bucks.

Ken Oertel, a tourist from California, used the expensive ATM on Old Fulton Street. He said he was “outraged” by the $3.75 fee.
The Brooklyn Paper / Bess Adler

An employee of Pete’s Downtown said he had never heard any complaints about the price at the automated teller machine.

The bleeding doesn’t stop after being diddled for $3.99. Customers also have to pay a fee to their home bank, meaning that they could have a bill of $6–$7 for accessing their accounts.

Of course, the customers aren’t being duped into paying the service cost. Like other ATMs, they must accept the charge or cancel the transaction.

Indeed, federal and state laws permit ATM operators to set a surcharge as high as they want — as long as customers are informed of, and accept, the fee during the transaction, the state Banking Department said.

But that didn’t satisfied some customers.

“Yes, I’m consenting to pay, but it makes me sick to use so much of my money just to get any money,” said one disgruntled out-of-town woman.

Frugal account-holders can save money by going to the ATM inside of cash-only Grimaldi’s, also on Old Fulton Street. On a recent visit by The Brooklyn Paper to the brick-oven pizza place, the ATM had a $1.50 service fee.

But if you want to use the machine, just make sure that all the tourists don’t think you’re cutting the line!

— with Thomas Nocera

This is the most expensive ATM in Brooklyn!
The Brooklyn Paper / Julie Rosenberg

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