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Taking Rejects from Coin Machines OK

By Carl Sebastianelli

This is in reply to name-withheld’s reply [in the Feb. 9 issue] to Jim Tigner regarding coin machine finds. I think we all agree that Jim seems like he is a great father, and he has a wonderful daughter. Additionally, let’s apply some common sense, shall we? It is called common because it is supposed to be possessed by the vast majority of us, making it common. The other part, “sense,” means it is logical, intellectually honest, not like “the dog ate my homework ... I won but I lost.”

His daughter identified the person who lost the wallet probably by its contents. No identification was left by the person(s) recently at the change machine. Anyway, that is to be expected; nobody these days wants to leave their identity recorded at the change machine because of supposed excessive government’s nose in our business. We thus have abandoned property by design or by accident, with no way to ask the person if they want the rejected coins back or not.

My next stop is someone in authority. It is easiest to find a manager at Customer Service. I ask what is store policy regarding coin machine’s rejected and abandoned coins. Always there is no store policy. I offer to exchange the amount of rejected coinage with good ole American (oops, I mean United States, see below) coins. Always the answer is no. When pressed for an explanation, the manager will say something like any of the following: “you’ll screw up our accounting at the end of the day ... we will have money we cannot account for ... we will have money but our inventory will not reflect a sale ...”

I then ask if I can keep the rejected coins. After a few moments of awkward silence or stammering, I usually hear something like “do what you want ... I’ll just put the coins back in the rejection tray anyway (because) I don’t know what to do with them.” Then I walk out of the store with the rejected coins that have found a very welcome and loving home unlike the one from which they came, carelessly unloved. I will not slink out because I have exhausted all common sense solutions to this problem.

As for “American,” never use that description of your U.S. citizenship re-entering the United States. I thought I was an American. When I proudly announced it, the Border Agent asked if I were a citizen of North America or South America. I said North America. Then another question: “Canada, Mexico or the United States?” I correctly replied U.S. and the Border Agent sighed with relief, saying, “well I’m glad we were able to figure that out!”

This Viewpoint was written by Carl Sebastianelli of South Abington Township, Pa.

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