March 18, 2012
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So, I took 20 years of saved change to Safeway today to test the mettle of the coinstar machine they installed. I’m impressed with the hardware, but not the software. I only did it because they have an option to get a coupon for various retailers, Amazon.com being the one in which I was interested. So, Adrian and I loaded 90 quarters, 736 dimes, 614 nickels and 5926 pennies into the machine. It took about 25 minutes. The machine didn’t balk at the pocket lint. I didn’t let the snickers from the Safeway employees bother me. Proof:
That's what they call "coin"!
So, I get to the end of the process, and press OK. I see the dreaded “technical difficulties” screen and it spits out a cash voucher, for which it deducts 9.8%, or $18.23 in my case.
I went to the nice lady at customer service and told her I’d happily take cash or an Amazon.com voucher for $186.06, but no less. She must have disappeared behind that fortified door a half dozen times before I walked out with my cash. All of it.