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Check the Other Coin Collection Basket Inside the Coinstar Machine
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- I deposited coins: pennies, nickels, quarters, half-dollars and dollars into a Coinstar at the Ralph's supermarket.

None of the half-dollars or dollars registered as being counted and none were in the reject bin in the front of the machine. I called the Ralph's manager over. I asked her to look inside and she said she couldn't. I put another half-dollar into the machine to prove it wasn't registering and was not returned.

I asked to speak to her Coinstar contact but then she opened up the machine. (I guess she then remembered she had the key). Inside the Coinstar machine was a plastic container with my half-dollars and dollars and some nickels and quarters. My advice, if you use a Coinstar, have the manager there to open up the Coinstar machine to collect your money that is not counted and is not returned to the reject bin in the front of the machine.
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Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA -- I have been using Coinstar for years and always appreciated the convenience. Don't mind paying the 9.7% as I hate to roll change! The other day I used a Coinstar located in a new location in my local supermarket and when I tried to cash in the voucher the next day at the very same supermarket the store mgr let me know the voucher was no longer valid and it is to be used the same day it is printed from the Coinstar machine or you forfeit the amount posted on your voucher. There are no disclaimers or any notifications stating these terms regarding payment. Somehow I don't think this is legal!
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Whiteduck on 01/03/2013:
Good to know. Sorry you got hosed... Thanks for the heads-up.
leet60 on 01/03/2013:
The requirement for the voucher to be cashed in on the day it is issued is decided by the retail location. This store should have posted a notice about this requirement.
Obsfucation on 01/03/2013:
I agree, this cannot be legitimate. Tell him if the voucher is no good, you want your coins back. They cannot just keep them.
clutzycook on 01/03/2013:
This is directly from the Coinstar website:

Does the Coinstar cash voucher need to be redeemed for cash right away (the day of the transaction)?
Some retail locations require vouchers to be redeemed the same day or within a certain timeframe. Please check with the store before leaving with an un-cashed voucher.
MissMary1978 on 01/03/2013:
Just as an FYI - from Coinstar's FAQ -

Some retail locations require vouchers to be redeemed the same day or within a certain timeframe. Please check with the store before leaving with an un-cashed voucher.

trmn8r on 01/04/2013:
Did you point out to the store manager that the terms were not advertised? While CoinStar allows stores to impose this restriction, it seems like there simply has to be a warning somewhere on site - a sign, message on the machine, etc.

FWIW, I think the amount they charge is totally absurd - 10% is highway robbery. I keep my loose change to an absolute minimum by using my credit card for virtually everything.

I can see how people who build up larger amounts of change need a way to exchange it - my bank has a machine that account holders can use for free!
jonthethird on 01/04/2013:
Agree trmn8r: my credit union will run the coin through their machine at no charge. CoinStar is an expensive way to go
Amy on 01/05/2013:
I hate rolling coins too but if anyone is getting ten cents on the dollar for my change it will be me. I would never pay to have it done for me. The store should have a sign posted however with the conditions. Their failing to do so means the manager should go ahead and redeem your voucher this time at least. Then in the future you would be aware of the policy and act accordingly.
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Theft by Coinstar machine IMHO
Posted by on
SPRINGFIELD, OREGON -- I took my precounted change to a Coinstar machine in winco at the Springfield Oregon store, it gave a 5 plus dollar false count to coinstars favor. with no way to challenge the count.
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At Your Service on 12/31/2011:
If it was precounted, is there a reason for not taking it to a bank or credit union?
I love my son on 01/01/2012:
Is it really taking your money or is it deducting there fee for using the machine? I forget how much of a fee the one I used years ago was but it was a percentage and it was high like 7 percent of what was counted. some banks have them for free if you bank with them and I have counted my money to make sure it was accurate and it was..
trmn8r on 01/01/2012:
Someone posted recently that Coinstar gets 8.9% (!!!!!!!!!!) for using the machine. I have a hard time believing that - it's absurd. My bank has a machine that is free.

Let's see, if the missing amount is the fee, the OP would have put in about 5/.089 = $56.18
ChuhBaca on 01/01/2012:
I did the same thing several years ago. I know how much change I had, calculated the fee, and used the Coinstar machine. It definitely shorted my even when accounting for their fee. I haven't used one since and it doesn't seem that you have any recourse.
The stores housing these machines take no responsibility.
ktisnumeroUNO on 01/02/2012:
Coinstar does charge .9 cents on every dollar for using their machine. This may be attributed to this loss..
tnchuck100 on 01/02/2012:
They charge more than 9/10 of a cent per dollar.
trmn8r on 01/02/2012:
.9 cents would be 0.9%

I heard it was 8.9%, which would be 9 cents on the dollar.
FoDaddy19 on 01/02/2012:
It's not a false count. There's service fee involved for use of the machine, it's often manifested in a certain percentage of the total amount of change counted. However some places will waive that fee if you opt to get a gift card to certain merchants, usually the one the Coinstar machine is located in. There was no theft here, I suspect the OP just didn't know the policy.
raven2010 on 01/02/2012:
According to their website, it is a 9.8% fee in the US with certain exceptions.

Is there a charge to use the Coinstar Center machine?
Not always. For Coins to Cash™ service, we charge an 9.8% processing fee in the United States, an 11.9% processing fee in Canada, and an 8.9% processing fee in the U.K. Some retailers or financial institutions may choose to subsidize this fee. Coin counting is free in select regions of the U.S. if you convert your change to a nationally-branded gift card or eCertificate.
Ripped Off By Coinstar on 10/22/2012:
We had pre-counted (2x) change that we put into a Coinstar Machine at Walmart in Jay, OK - we had $58.00 (we made it even) and the machine counted $46.21 BEFORE the fee!!! Big rip off - DO NOT USE THESE MACHINES! I think Coinstar "assumes" no one counts their change first?! For people that need to use their change for food or gas...a $12.00 RIP OFF BEFORE THE FEE is a problem!! BEWARE is all that we can say - have told all our friends, neighbors and family not to use Coinstar!
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Posted by on
My 7 year old son has been saving money for over a year and was really excited about seeing how much money he had. We emptied his piggy bank and counted out $75.75. in Quarter, $25.60 in Dimes and didn't bother on counting the Nickles or Pennies. We went into a local Grocery Store that had a Coin Star machine. After going through all the computer screen steps we started loading in money and reloading money from the bottom. After the machine did it's transaction it came up with an amount of $50.08. What? 9.8 cent on the dollar? Can't be right! Store manager had the key and when she opened it up discovered loose change scattered threw out the machine. Still wasn't close to what we were short. Was told to call the 800 number on machine to make complaint. Complaint filed....... I was told that we are going to have to wait until machine is full, the counter counts it then determines if they owe me anything. If they decide they do I get a check for the difference. My point.......If the machine doesn't work why not send someone IMMEDIATELY to inspect it? Why give a key to a Grocery Store Manager if they can't do anything about it? How many over paying customers did not catch that machine is not working? Where does that money go...more profit? Why use Coin Star? 8.9 cent on the dollar? Not even close and never again!
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Soaring Consumer on 02/14/2010:
That is how they make money, their service charge. Coinstar is a for-profit organization. Depending on the machine, from what I've seen, it may or may not be posted, and also I've seen them claim that their service is free, so for that I vote this helpful.

It may be better to go to your bank/credit union next time and they would probably count and deposit it or change it into bills for free.
spiderman2 on 02/14/2010:
The processing fee is 8.9% in the US and 9.8% in Canada. A 5 second google search told me that. You should have done your research first. Many local banks have a coin counting service and it is free.
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
I think OP's point is that they are missing 50% + of their money instead of the 9.8%, although admittedly it was a little tough to follow.
Mrs. V on 02/14/2010:
Ponie, a lot of banks/credit unions don't take rolled coin any more. The last time I brought in rolled coin to my CU I was asked to unroll it and place it in the coin counter (the service is free). When I asked why they don't take rolled coins I was told that to many people cheated the CU by short changing the rolls by a coin each roll.
Ponie on 02/14/2010:
Guess that's a difference in banks, Mrs.V. I've never had a problem with my bank(s) in all the years I've been a client. Once I was quite surprised when the teller asked me to write my account number on each roll. But she helped me do it so it was no biggie. It's amazing how those coins pile up when you get home after a day on the road and empty your pants and jacket pockets.
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
Most banks don't take rolled coin anymore because they have no (practical) way of verifying that the count is accurate. It used to be that they had you put your account number on the wrappers, but they had to stop doing that because it compromises the security of your account number when they give the rolls out to someone else.
Nohandle on 02/14/2010:
Unrelated to the Coinstar complaint but banks in this area do still take rolled coins without them being verified at the bank. The depositor MUST have his account number clearly written on the outside of the rolled coins. They will not take them otherwise.
Soaring Consumer on 02/14/2010:
Let me clarify what I meant, I've seen their ads say that the service is free but then it talks about the gift card or Amazon credit or other perky stuff, but in fine print it mentions the service charge to change it to cash. If you don't look at the TV when the commercial airs you don't notice that part, you just think this machine is there to do things for free. Sorry I was not clear at all with my comment.
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
Spot on Ponie about the coins that pile up on us. Our credit union has a coin counter right in the lobby of every branch. It keeps nothing, you get 100% of what you pour into it. It's just another service of our credit union. Our credit union has a rather odd problem right now, no one is spending, everyone is saving. So they are getting very bloated with cash and are eager to lend it out. Every month we get flyers or emails asking us to go buy a car or open a new credit card or something. The bad part is the savings rates stink. As low as 1% on smaller CD's. But you can get a credit card with a $15,000.00 limit for 6.5% if you carry a balance. That's not a promo rate, the promo rate to tranfer from another card is something like 2%.
Ponie on 02/14/2010:
superbowl, wish my banks had a coin counter available. Then I could just keep tossing the things into baggies until I got the ambition to take them in.
Soaring, I've learned early on that there is no such thing as 'free.' Always look for that fine print. I admit I've been stung a time or two, but not very often because I don't fall for the 'free' offers! But I don't complain about it when it's my own fault.
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
I would say Coin Star is doing something right or they would not had 2009 Revenue that Tops $1.1 Billion, Increasing 50% Year Over 2008.

Not a bad business model for just counting loose change.
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
I think they made a big chunk of that on Redbox, SB
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
True. Seems they can't do any wrong right now.
Anonymous on 02/14/2010:
I simply do not trust machines to count my change. I'd never use Coin Star. We just take the change to our bank, which accepts rolled coins. I agree with the OP, that CS needs a better way of handling such discrepancies. I can't imagine how to better handle it, but when they finally get around to the accounting for that machine, there will be no way to know how many others were shorted or otherwise. I was shorted $20 at an ATM once. The bank was able to verify that they had an extra $20 in the machine's till, and credited my account. But it still took at least one day. Of course, there's a difference in dispensing money than gathering it.
Starlord on 02/14/2010:
When I was in Hobbs, NM, in 1966, some con artist took the banks in Hobbs for over $4,000. He had watched tellers, who would flip open one end of the roll, then accept it. He prepared rolls with a coin in each end, and the rest of the roll consisted of washers. That is the reason many banks will no longer take rolls, or require that the person's account number be on it. Another case where honest customers suffer because of thieves and con men.
Mrs. V on 02/14/2010:
Our Credit Union's coin counter is free to members, otherwise it's 10% for non-members.
nicnews on 09/06/2011:
CBS News wants to hear from you if you live in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
Please email Nicolette at
I'm a producer with the local CBS station.
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Coinstar Customer Service
Posted by on
I used a Coinstar machine within a local grocery store to redeem $175 worth of coins to a eCertificate. The gift code that was printed on the receipt did not work on After numerous phone calls to both Coinstar and customer service help lines, it was determined that the gift card code was printed correctly and valid, but expired due from long disuse in the machine.

Unfortunately, neither company will claim responsibility for this problem. Although, in my opinion, my change is still in the Coinstar machine at the end of the day and they need to issue me a valid gift card code.

At the end of the day, customer service treated me like a fellow human being, with courtesy and respect. The Coinstar customer service was rude, unkind, and unsympathetic to my problem.

I will choose not to use Coinstar again, but may continue to use in the future.
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ChuhBaca on 12/22/2009:
I think Coinstar is wrong. I used it once, and not only did it take the fee, it miscounted in its own favor. When I complained to the store, they directed me to Coinstar. They did nothing either.

I think Coinstar is wrong because essential their business is, "give us $100 and we'll give you $93 in return".

I can't tell if you finally received payment, but if you didn't, you could take them to small claims court and they would have to pay the amount due you, plus court fees. I know it's a small win but it would probably feel pretty good.
Anonymous on 12/22/2009:
I use Coinstar......TO CASH IN MY LOOSE CHANGE. Not for promotions involving or any other third party.
If anyone is at fault it is Amazon for not making the terms clear or did you fail to read them?
Ytropious on 12/22/2009:
I like the commercials now saying "coin star is free" multiple times, yet only once to they mention "when you turn your coins into certificates for Amazon, etc". I bet they mislead a lot of people that way.
Anonymous on 12/22/2009:
WOW! I have used Coinstar a few times, always choosing Amazon ecards. Of course, the one I use is in a very popular grocery store.

I hope you can get some sort of resolution to this. I would think the ecards could print out with an expiration date six months in advance or so. After all , the receipt is able to show the date you turned in the coins, so it should also be able to create an expiration date, IMHO.
Anonymous on 12/22/2009:
I refuse to use Coinstar. They are a ripoff. I think they charge like what? 9 cents per dollar? Some ridiculous amount of money. I use 2 separate banks, both of them have free coin counting machines with no fees, I think its even free for non banking customers too.
Anonymous on 12/22/2009:
I do the samething but I do go to a Coinstar occasionally.
Class Advocate on 12/22/2009:
This one to me is easy and straight forward: Coinstar should not be issuing expired ecards. This one scares me. I do use Coinstar frequently and am willing to pay their outrageous fees for the convenience.
goduke on 12/22/2009:
Agreed, Advocate. Seems like a no brainer.
clutzycook on 12/22/2009:
I used to use Coinstar in college when I was 100 miles away from my bank and I wanted to use my loose change to buy, um, beverages. It is a total rip-off and now that I have a bank down the street from me, I wouldn't dream of using it.
PepperElf on 12/22/2009:
I wonder what's cheaper.
Coinstar or buying a bag of paper coin rolls...

Ponie on 12/22/2009:
Pepper, I get them free at my banks(s). I'm frugal enough (read: cheap) that I refuse to give Coinstar a cut. It's easy to roll coins while watching the brainless boob tube.
anonymous213 on 12/23/2009:
The most disappointing part of this situation is that Coinstar advertises eCertificates with partners as a way to avoid the transaction fee. However, I've learned the hard way that this is just another way for Coinstar to avoid responsibility for the transaction.
Class Advocate on 12/23/2009:
Yes, but they probably make far more than 9% on the sale of an ecertificate. Anybody know what a retailer makes when it sells a gift card, which I think can act as a proxy in this situation?
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Coinstar Theft
Posted by on
FLORANCE, OREGON -- OK. My girl friend used this Coinstar machine came back home with a voucher for some web site not money. I don't know how it happened but doesn't seem as easy as one two three getting cash like machine says. Even still what was wrong was the store had "no control" over the machine that they had in there store. Well why the hell is it in your store if you got no control over it. Like letting a child break loose destroy stuff in your store I had no control over it. Even still if it was her mistake they didn't give up front agreements on the machine. Instead its printed on the receipt there is nothing you can do. Its just like giving a virus on computer. And then saying do you agree to the services now after you agreed to getting a virus on computer. The information should be given and notified before the receipt is printed not after. Like oh oops we robbed you now this is how its going to be its no longer redeemable for cash. I'm sure there are other complaints out the. But these machines need to be removed.

It was just as easy as one two three alright. Put money in let the machine count and poof oops there goes your money.
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goduke on 07/28/2009:
Coinstar now allows you to select to get your cash as a voucher to be used at various websites. There's no transaction fee if you do that. Otherwise, it's an 8.9% hit on the change counted.

In other words, your girlfriend selected that option.
Suusan B. on 07/28/2009:
Bingo goduke!
Anonymous on 07/28/2009:
BA, goduke. Coinstar also gives you the option to donate to a charity.
MSCANTBEWRONG on 07/28/2009:
best answer goduke!
Eloise on 07/28/2009:
Actually, ti is as easy as 1,2,3
1.Select Language
2.Select form of payment (cash, credit for website, charity)
3.Dump your change in
How much simpler do you need it. I can't imagine making it any more simple than that. The forms of payment is also posted on the machine itself. You can also hit cancel any time prior to dumping your change in. So as you said in your review, it was your girlfriends fault. She must have not been paying attention. That makes this her problem, not the stores, not Coin Star. At some point in our lives we have to accept the responsibility for our own actions.
madconsumer on 07/28/2009:
also the voucher can be chosen to the store the machine is in.
PepperElf on 07/28/2009:
And yes, the stores do NOT have control over the machines.

They have a contract with the Coinstar company but have no legal ability to break into the machines - even if you are angry about it.
TGT101 on 07/28/2009:
A Coinstar machine in a store is the same as an atm. They don't own them they are just renting the space.
Eloise on 07/28/2009:
My store opened the Coin Star last time I was there. Maybe it's a leasing type agreement.
Ttereza on 07/28/2009:
So basically you sent your girlfriend out to exchange money and instead she ordered a gift card, and you place the blame on Coin Star or the store it was located in?

Anyway, the machines are simple, your parents should still be moderating your money if neither you nor your girlfriend can conquer the Coinstar machine.
Anonymous on 07/28/2009:
I agree with ttereza. Sounds like your girlfriend messed up. I use these machines about once a month when I clean all the change out of my purse. They are really easy to use.
Dervish-6m on 12/22/2009:
I work in a store with a Coinstar and deal with them almost every day. We can open the machine to fix problems like a blocked sensor but we can not get to the change bins because they are locked behind a steel bar and the Coinstar rep is the only one with a key
lifechanger on 01/10/2011:
yes dervish is right about that! This user must have been in a great hurry or embarrassed someone would see them using it or something because there are very easy to read and understand directions on the screen.. your GF didn't hit the right buttons honey!!she hit something other than cash back so before you complain get the facts!! Just an FYI :)
lifechanger on 01/10/2011:
Skye on 01/10/2011:
MNGS? Does that mean managers? It's really not that hard spelling out the entire word for others.

jktshff1 on 01/10/2011:
+100 goduke, the op should be upset with his gf rather than the store.
Starlord on 01/10/2011:
Lifechanger, you get your facts right. Modern Marvels on the History Channel had an episode on coin operated machines. Coinstar, of Ken, WA builds and servces the machines, and the only people who can get into the bins is the people in the office, in Kent. The managers of stores have a key for the counting mechanism, as stated, to clear jams, etc. The coin bins are taken from the macihnes and taken to Kent, WA, where the coins are rolled in clear plastic tubes and takn to a Federal Reserve Bank to be put back into circulation. It pays to watch educational TV.
Anonymous on 01/10/2011:
Indeed, Star.
jktshff1 on 01/10/2011:
+10 star, wonder if they can have 2 top advice posts.
da1woody62 on 12/31/2011:
I counted my coins took a picture returned coins it was 30.35 the machine said 25 and gave me a cash voucher for 23.wait that's not right and no way to say I disagree with your count.3.50 dollars in nickles,16.50 quarters,9.20 in dimes 1.15 in pennies two dimes in the reject tray doesn't add up
meme on 02/23/2013:
I put in $20 worth of pennies and got a voucher for 15.00
D. Hamel on 09/16/2014:
When using Coinstar to sell gift cards be aware that you MUST supply your drivers' license, a credit card and your e-mail address before the sale is final. I, personally do not want to supply this company with one of my credit cards and certainly NOT my drivers' license. The excuse is to protect them from fraud. Who knows who will be using this information on their end. Not worth the substantial fees involved.
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Stole Money
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MESA, ARIZONA -- I used the coinstar machine with a known amount of coins and it stole about $2.00 of the coins. Could not get help from coinstar. I'm going down there with a sledge hammer and get my money out of that machine.
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Billy on 12/15/2014:
I thought Coinstar charges customers to use it, am I wrong?
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