Call Kurtis: Can I Trust These Machines?

(CBS13) — You’ve probably seen them at the grocery store. Those coin counting machines, like Coinstar, where you throw in your loose change and get cash. But a Sacramento woman says she was shorted so she called Kurtis.

Coinstar’s web site says it has 19,000 machines across the country.
Sure, it’s an easy way to cash in your coins. But unless you count your coins ahead of time, how would you know if these machines are accurate?

Joy Hauser says she counted her change and believes she had exactly $122.56 in coins. But when she loaded her money into this Coinstar machine inside a Placerville grocery store, she says it only registered $111.

After Coinstar took out its 9.8% commission, she thinks she walked away with $5 less than she expected.

“That was our money and they kept it,” says Joy.

So how do any of us know if we can trust these machines?

“You expect it to give you credit for what you put in there,” says David Lazier, Assistance Director, California Division of Measurement Standards.

But Lazier says no agency is really keeping tabs on these machines for accuracy.

“We do oversee the machines, we just don’t test them on a regular basis,” says Lazier.

Partly because there are no testing standards. So it’s really up to you to count your own coins or here’s an idea. Bring them to your bank. Many branches have coin counting machines.

Certain branches of the Bank of Stockton, Modesto Commerce Bank, Elk Grove Commerce Bank, Golden 1 and Safe Credit Unions will count coins for free for their own customers.

It’s tough to know what happened in Joy’s case.

Coinstar told us:

“Accuracy is paramount in our business and Coinstar goes to great lengths to ensure that the accuracy levels of our machines remain at their highest….” and “that human error is by far the predominant cause of count discrepancies.”– Sarah Ward Jones, Manager, Public Relations.

“There’s seemingly no recourse,” says Joy.

More from Kurtis Ming
  • Paul

    Maybe Joy should take a remedial mathematics course. $122.56 minus the 9.8% comission is $110.55.

  • G

    No kidding, people, learn how to do your math! It doesn’t even add up!

    I’ve used Coinstar for amounts way more than $100 and it’s been DEAD ON every time. Yes, I counted it before, but didn’t want to roll it and go to a bank.
    And this is loading the coins so fast, the machine says “Hey, wait a second, chill out, I’m only so quick!”.

  • Meems

    Hey Paul you need to read the story. It says it read $111 BEFORE their 9.8% commission… So her math is quite fine.

  • Paul

    That’s not what it says. She never says how much she got, only that she thinks she was shorted $5.00. If she put in $122.56, she is due $110.55. I don’t know where she gets the $5.00 from. Makes no sense what she said. The word before does not appear in the article with regards to the commission.

  • Paul

    There is another possibility that comes to mind. Maybe the store took a cut also. This might account for the $5.00

  • yest

    Just join a credit union, most if not all will count for free no need to roll your coins.

  • still kicking

    Stupid people deserve what happens to them. This lady complains about losing $5 but has no problem giving the coin company almost 10% of her money because she is too lazy to take it to a bank or simply spend it over time. And in a time of severe economic hardship for so many people.

  • Jennifer Banks

    Thank you for the post. I was able to save my coins over the year to save money. I just got my own Coin Counting Machine and it has been very helpful and saves so much time!

  • bespoke coins

    I beloved up to you will receive carried out right here. The caricature is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nevertheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you want be delivering the following. in poor health for sure come further until now again since precisely the same just about very often inside of case you defend this increase.

blog comments powered by Disqus
The Taz Show
LIVE: Monday through Friday from 6am – 6pm ET

Listen Live