Monday, September 6, 2010

Coinstar is Legit! I'm Impressed That They Don't Suck.

First of all, I'm really impressed that I didn't have to write a blog post declaring that Coinstar sucks hard! Now this would have been in addition to their rates that I find to be outrageous. They take 9.5% of your deposit as their service fee (at my location). I don't know - maybe that's fair if you think about what they have to do (have some college kid pick up a few bags of pennies and bring them to the bank)? So let's say each machine gets filled up with $5k in coins. That's 500 bucks per machine per fill to walk them to a bank. Let's say each machine is filled once/month - that's $6,000/year. Give the store 20% and they have $4,800 per machine (minus 12 trips to the bank). That's a good gig. You get a couple of these machines and you're in business.

I finally moved back to San Francisco from the burbs after 3 years. Man I hated the burbs. I thought it would be cool not worrying about parking, having space to relax, and having the outdoors out of my back door. But man was it boring.

So I cleaned out my bedside table where I throw all my lint covered change and I marched down to my local Coinstar machine. Apparently there was too much lint or too much change stuffed into the machine and it broke. Now I had selected the payout as an Amazon Gift Card so I wouldn't be charged a service fee, but the damn machine, after it was fixed, spit out a cashout. I was pissed because I had to now pay 10 bucks to Coinstar for their machine breaking.

I emailed them Friday and fully expected either not to hear from them or to be told there was nothing they could do. I was dead wrong. They asked a few questions and sent me a check already. Now that's how it should be done. We've suffered too long with crappy customer service in this world.

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