So I went to the local supermarket today with a jar of coins hoping to convert them into “real money”. Coin counting machines are ubiquitous at the supermarket as the RedBox DVD machines. So after answering a battery of lame questions (do I want to donate my coins to charity, do I want to convert my coins into worthless gift cards….) I poured the jar into the machine. After what seems to be endless whirling and clanking noise from the coins circulating inside the machine stopped. On the screen is the amount of real money that is part of my share minus 9.8% as the condition for using the service. Below is the reject tray where I found a rusty an old Penney and a Canadian quarter I assumed that where from my jar. The machine is waiting for me to make a decision to add more coins or “cash out”. I riffled through my pockets and found 2 dimes in my jacket. So I threw in the first dime and the machine again whirl and clank but the dime disappeared into nowhere. There is no change in the total amount on the screen. Hmmm…. I then threw in the second dime. Again the machine whirl and clanks and like the first dime, the second also disappeared into oblivion. The total amount on the screen is still the same as before the addition of the 2 dimes. I look down at the reject tray hoping to find my 2 dimes but no dice.
I’m not sure whether I was ripped off or 20 cents is not worth for the machine to count. Then I start to look around for the seal from the “weight and measurement” office. You know the one we see at the groceries scales, fuel pumps…. but found none. So I guess that these machines are not regulated or certify by anyone. In today’s world of bureaucratic regulations and red tapes exist a business machine that takes in real money without governmental oversight?
These machines already ripped you off 9.8% up front and only god knows how much more in intentional “miscount”. So it is back to the old saying “caveat emptor” or “you are on your own” in new English.