Coinstar Machines in Sainsburys - Vent/Warning

cymruchris
cymruchris Posts: 4,882
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edited 13 February 2023 at 3:40PM in Praise, vent & warnings
I went to my local Sainsburys yesterday knowing they had a coinstar machine for depositing your small change to get a voucher redeemed against your shopping. I knew there'd be a charge - but I was ok with that as it converted my heavy pocket of change into money off my shopping. I popped the coins in, and a voucher was duly printed with a total of £12.97 on it - with the message that I could redeem it at any checkout off my shopping bill.

Went off did my shop, got to the till, and the cashier said 'Oh sorry we can't deduct that from your shopping - you can only take it to customer service and they'll give you the cash back'. This of course meant that with a voucher for £12.97 I was going to walk out with a chunk of change in my pocket that I'd just paid a fee to convert into a voucher off my shopping. The customer service lady sympathised but said she couldn't help. I then came home and emailed Sainsburys  to say how annoyed I was at going into the branch, changing my coins, getting charged (which would have been fine if the voucher had worked as it should) and then ended up coming back out with a pocketful of change. They seemed very nonchalant in their reply with a very generic response. So I'll be emptying my nectar card and going off to A N Other supermarket in future.

Sometimes it's the little things that matter.


An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
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  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,750
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    Probably better to complain to Coinstar.

    Also for a better option go to a bank, the Coinstar charges are hideous.
    Metro bank will count coins for free no matter who you bank with. HSBC have self-service coin machines if you bank with them it gets paid straight into your account.
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 4,882
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    jon81uk said:
    Probably better to complain to Coinstar.

    Also for a better option go to a bank, the Coinstar charges are hideous.
    Metro bank will count coins for free no matter who you bank with. HSBC have self-service coin machines if you bank with them it gets paid straight into your account.
    Yes - I'm going to pop in a compaint to them as well.

    You're right about going to a bank - but I'm in one of those small Welsh villages where all the banks have closed - and my nearest is not exactly convenient to reach (plus parking has to be paid for) - so for the amount I had - I accepted that I'd get charged. Another reason to keep banking local - we've gone from 3 banks/building societies to none.

    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
  • photome
    photome Posts: 16,312
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    edited 13 February 2023 at 6:05PM
    As you know the machine is owned and operated by Coinstar in Sainsbury’s ( different now in Tesco) and the percentage and how you can get your cash is displayed on the machine or it should be, I have never seen a coinstar where the percentage charge isn’t displayed.  

    just wondering what you have to complain about
  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,707
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    edited 13 February 2023 at 6:11PM
    I’m not understanding, I’ve never used any of those machines but how much change were you getting?  If you had given them 3p you would have had 1 £2 and one £1.
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 4,882
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    photome said:
    As you know the machine is owned and operated by Coinstar in Sainsbury’s ( different now in Tesco) and the percentage and how you can get your cash is displayed on the machine or it should be, I have never seen a coinstar where the percentage charge isn’t displayed.  

    just wondering what you have to complain about

    The fee is fine. I walked in with a pocket full of change - changed it - got the voucher - then coulddn't spend the voucher on my shopping when it says you can. I then had to change the voucher back to cash at customer service, which gave me a pocket full of change back. I was back where I started with a pocketful of change rather than the voucher being used for the shopping as advertised - so I'd effectively paid to get rid of my change, but then ended up with more (different) change.
    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 4,882
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    comeandgo said:
    I’m not understanding, I’ve never used any of those machines but how much change were you getting?  If you had given them 3p you would have had 1 £2 and one £1.

    The machine gave me a voucher for £12.97 - that should have come off my shopping total - as advertised on the voucher.

    What should have happened is that I walked in, changed the coins for the voucher, got the shopping, used the voucher, walked out with my shopping and no pocketful of change.

    Instead - I walked in - put the money in the machine, got the voucher, did the shopping, then got told sorry you can't use that you can only get cash back at the service desk.

    So I walked in with lots of change - got the voucher - couldn't use it as described - so ended up walking out with more (different) change after having paid a fee for the privelege of getting rid of a pocketful of change in the first place.
    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
  • I went to my local Sainsburys yesterday knowing they had a coinstar machine for depositing your small change to get a voucher redeemed against your shopping. I knew there'd be a charge - but I was ok with that as it converted my heavy pocket of change into money off my shopping. I popped the coins in, and a voucher was duly printed with a total of £12.97 on it - with the message that I could redeem it at any checkout off my shopping bill.

    Went off did my shop, got to the till, and the cashier said 'Oh sorry we can't deduct that from your shopping - you can only take it to customer service and they'll give you the cash back'. This of course meant that with a voucher for £12.97 I was going to walk out with a chunk of change in my pocket that I'd just paid a fee to convert into a voucher off my shopping. The customer service lady sympathised but said she couldn't help. I then came home and emailed Sainsburys  to say how annoyed I was at going into the branch, changing my coins, getting charged (which would have been fine if the voucher had worked as it should) and then ended up coming back out with a pocketful of change. They seemed very nonchalant in their reply with a very generic response. So I'll be emptying my nectar card and going off to A N Other supermarket in future.

    Sometimes it's the little things that matter.


    I totally sympathise and get your point. I’d have been annoyed too. 
    I wonder if they’d have been happy at the till if you had stood and counted out the coins to pay towards your shopping? 
    At the very least they need to change the sign to make it clear the voucher is NOT accepted at any
    checkout. 
    This could have been very embarrassing for anybody with limited funds who was relying on that voucher to redeem against their groceries. 
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