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Wells Fargo ATM outage traps weekend fun money

The next stage in frustrating ATM boondoggles.

The next stage in frustrating ATM boondoggles.

Wells Fargo customers looking to pick up a little play money on Friday night found themselves with nothing but fuzz in their pockets when nearly all the bank's ATMs in Minnesota crashed.

Unlike the last time this happened--February 7 on a Monday afternoon--the machines couldn't have picked a more inconvenient time to go down. And it was happening all over the country.

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The problem sounds almost identical to the February outage when 9,500 Wells Fargo ATMs went dark. While that crash was touted as one of the longest and largest in U.S. history, Friday's could be the new champ--ATMs weren't back online until Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m.

A "majority" of the bank's 12,000 machines were out of service across the country, according to Richele Messick, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo.

"We certainly apologize to our customers for any inconvenience," she says.

According to Messick, anyone who paid a fee for an out-of-network ATM withdrawal within the time frame of the outage will be automatically issued a refund.

The last time this happened, computer professionals speculated it might be because Wells Fargo was trying to boot a new security system. The bank's been mum on the cause--then and now. Perhaps, as this weekend warrior's nightmare suggests, it's because they just don't know?