"So if I take out 20 bucks, I get charged 3 bucks, which is more than 10 percent, right? It's ridiculous," says ATM user Katherine Golden. "It's terrible."
Using an ATM at a bank where you don't have an account usually means paying twice -- often $1.50 or more to your own bank and another $1.50 to the bank that operates the ATM.
"It's really just extortion -- the bank is able to charge you the money and therefore they do. And it's insulting to those who have to pay it," says ATM user Megan Ishler.
That added $1.50 insult at the ATM has now brought a consumer uprising in San Francisco.
John Gollinger of the California Public Interest Research Group has led a campaign to get the double ATM fee declared illegal in San Francisco. On Tuesday, voters will decide whether the added fee at the ATM should be banned.
"Any time David takes on Goliath it's a tough fight," Gollinger says. "The big banks know if San Francisco passes this measure the idea will spread like wildfire."
The banks say if voters can control bank fees, next they'll try to lower the price of gasoline and coffee. In any case, they say local government has no power to control federally regulated banks.
John Stafford of the California Bankers Association says, "If the measure passes in San Francisco, we will head straight for federal court."
The bankers admit there's a good chance they'll lose.
"Most people confronted with the opportunity to vote for a free lunch will choose to do that," says Stafford.
Consumer advocates say they don't want a free lunch, they just want to stop paying twice when they get their lunch money from the ATM.