Sunday, July 23, 2006

CoinStar Sucks

I had used the CoinStar counting machine once before, to count up my pennies when I had a bunch of them accumulated. They charge 8% of your change value for the convenience of counting it, which I considered a little steep, so I had the rest of my change counted somewhere they don't charge you anything (South Lake Tahoe).

However, I'd seen ads about using the machines to convert change into gift cards (with no fee). And I figure I hit Starbucks often enough to justify getting a card. So I went in today with my accumulated change, dumped it in (about $65 worth), and picked "Give me a new Starbucks card".

The machine took about a minute or two grinding away thinking about it, apparently couldn't contact the mothership, pope, Grand Poo Bah or whatever controlling entity it uses, and said "Nope. Can't do it. I'm giving you cash instead."

And they charged me the 8% fee. No choices, no options, no "choose another gift card", no "give me my change back".

Needless to say, CoinStar is now on my black list.

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