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September 16, 2005 12:03 AM

Broken: Jet-wash instructions

DollarcoinsonlyJeremy Burton writes:

The attached picture shows the vacuum cleaner at a car jet-wash in Pacifica, California, USA.

The sign says, "For Your Convenience This Machine Accepts Dollar Coins Only".

Given that dollar coins are not in wide circulation, this is absolutely not convenient for any customer. It's only convenient for the owner of the jet-wash, who forces customers to change bills into (too many) dollar coins which you can use virtually nowhere else but which you can of course use on a subsequent visit.

I wonder if the owner really thinks that people will read the sign and think, "wow, that's great, so convenient!" or whether he/she is just really saying "who cares, just pay me".


Actually, you can use dollar coins everywhere. They are legal tender for all debts, public and private.

Posted by: John Bauman at September 16, 2005 12:30 AM

For Your Inconvenience, This Machine Accepts Dollar Coins Only

Posted by: john russell at September 16, 2005 01:24 AM

It's convenient because you don't get stuck behind someone fishing under their car seats for change? :)

Posted by: Alden Bates at September 16, 2005 01:50 AM

You think having banknotes that take three to pay for a beer is convenient?

(The view from the UK.)

Posted by: Alex R at September 16, 2005 05:00 AM

I would have to say broken but not because it takes dollar coins because like mention before you can spend them at any store. Has anyone noticed the sign that said it dispences dollar coins?

Posted by: tool at September 16, 2005 05:16 AM

Not broken. Ok perhaps it is not just for "my convenience" that it takes $1 coins. but is it not eiser to put in 2 one dollar coins then 8 quarters?

-Thinking that you can only spend $1 coins at that carwash is broken

Posted by: ron at September 16, 2005 06:16 AM

i think that's from canada. that's all we have here, $1 and $2 coins.

Posted by: tic at September 16, 2005 07:23 AM

It's not a "convenience", but its not particularly inconvenient. Actually, it's more convenient than the ones that take tokens you can't spend anywhere else, especially if you live somewhere that rains a lot and thus won't get a chance to use the tokens again for a long time.

Posted by: sir_flexalot at September 16, 2005 07:55 AM

It's a lot easier to feed in dollar coins than it is to feed in dollar bills, so it's convenient in that sense, right? Still a bizarre sign.

Posted by: anitsirK at September 16, 2005 09:24 AM

I don't think this is from Canada. Most little stickers here have a picture of our dollar coin (the "loonie") and the word "loonie".

I moved California just around the time that $1 Sacajawea (sp?) coins were issued. The only place you could get them was as change from US Post Office stamp machines. So I got some when I bought stamps. Being Canadian, I was very used to using dollar coins and didn't think twice about using them to buy a Coke. I put my coin in... and nothing happened. I thought the machine was broken. Weeks later, the tech came to fix it and I found out that the external slot was big enough to accept dollar coins, but the internal slot was not. My coin had blocked up the works! Now THAT's broken.

Similar thing happened when loonies were first introduced in Canada in the late '80s. They put the stickers on the Coke machines saying they accepted loonies, but forgot to make the external coin slot big enough to accept the new coins. At my high school, this was fixed with a hammer and a screwdriver...

Posted by: blargle at September 16, 2005 09:42 AM

The broken bit is having to change perfectly good money that you already have for money tender you don't have.

Adding an extra step.

Then it appears they want you to throw away the remaining coins, as illustrated in the trash sign on the left. !

Posted by: Brooke at September 16, 2005 09:43 AM

The broken bit is having to change perfectly good money that you already have for money tender you don't have.

Which is a perfectly good argument for dispensing with the paper dollar alltogether.

Posted by: ruidh at September 16, 2005 10:20 AM

"For your convenience" is just meaningless jargon that gets attached to any request of a customer. It's "broken", but It's just convention, really, and should never be taken seriously.

I happen to like dollar coins, I used to use them when I lived near a subway that had change machines that dispensed them. I hope that they come into widespread circulation more now that lots of small things cost $1 or more.

The downside to dollar coins is that like all coins, they fall out of a pocket easier than bills. Loosing some nickels, dimes, even an occasional quarter is no big deal, but several dollars is bad.

Posted by: Reed at September 16, 2005 10:41 AM

Everybody who said that you can't use dollar coins anywhere but that car wash is wrong. You can also use them at the post office, and the post office!

Posted by: Bob at September 16, 2005 10:47 AM

I hardly find it convenient considering it's rare that I have dollar coins laying about. So if I want to clean my car, I pull up, notice I need dollar coins, have to go get dollar coins from either the attendant or a bank or somewhere, come back, then I can clean my car. The time I wasted hunting down dollar coins I could have cleaned my car even if I had to spend precious time putting in 4-8 quarters. So not convenient.

Posted by: Faolan at September 16, 2005 11:19 AM

At some car wash places- you pay in $.25 increments. If they only change to dollar coins, then you have to pay in $1 increments rather than the .$50 you might pay for the 2min of. water or whatever.

Posted by: sarathea at September 16, 2005 11:59 AM

I think it's more broken that there are three signs saying it takes dollar coins, and one sign that says it "dispenses" dollar coins. I think ounce you put in a dollar coin, it doesn't come out. Therefore, it doesn't dispense them at all!

Posted by: engunneer at September 16, 2005 12:03 PM

I think it is pretty clear that the "dispenses" sign is misplaced. The machine does not dispense dollar coins, it only accepts dollar coins. The "dispenses" sign was meant for the dollar bill changer, another machine entirely as evidenced by the "available at change machines" sign.

The top sign was meant for this machine.

The bottom sign was meant to be placed on the dollar bill changer, but some idiot attendant placed it on the wrong machine.

Posted by: Hoki at September 16, 2005 12:49 PM

I don't understand the comments continuing to state that dollar coins can only be used in certain places. They spend just like any other money in the US. Every store, restaurant, etc., will accept them if they accept cash. All newer vending machines will accept them (and older machines if the operator has updated their coin handlers). I personally love being able to buy a Coke by dropping a single coin instead of having to work an older bill into the machine, or drop four quarters.

Posted by: David at September 16, 2005 04:54 PM

It's like the change machines that have a sign on them saying "For your convenience, this machine returns 90 cents in change for every dollar inserted"....So how is in "convenient" to me to loose 10 cents on the dollar???

Posted by: Gary Edstrom at September 16, 2005 05:13 PM

Looks photoshoped.

Posted by: someone at September 16, 2005 06:39 PM

I think the top is where the poster tried to be helpful and enlarged the sign below on the machine and pasted it above over the other signs... kinda broken if so in that too since the sign as it exists on the machine in the photo is easy to read....

Posted by: the only Infinity at September 16, 2005 09:31 PM

You know something's broken when it has to say "dollar coins only" FOUR times.

Posted by: Chris B at September 16, 2005 09:39 PM

I use dollar coins quite a bit, actually. It still seems ridiculous to make a coin handler that only accepts one kind of coin.

Posted by: Sido at September 17, 2005 12:08 AM

I agree with Sido, in that this machine should at least accept quarters too.

Look, the reason this is broken is because Americans have never been too smitten with dollar coins, but we do love quarters. Not that many Sacajeweas are minted anymore, because not that many people use them. the effort has been made to introduce them to the public, but they've mainly been failures. Look at the SBA's and Sacajeweas. They failed to take off. The reason this is broken is because the American public doesn't use dollar coins, with the exceptions of everybody who posted NOT BROKEN here.

Posted by: Bob at September 17, 2005 07:47 AM

do they even make dollar coins any more !?

Posted by: NICK at September 18, 2005 04:02 PM

and if so........ who here carries dollar coins with them ?!?

Posted by: NICK at September 18, 2005 04:05 PM

They are just using a cheap machine. It is probably set for the size of a dollar with no other sensing. Since the product is just vacuum they don't care if someone cheats. I wouldn't be surprised if a quarter would work.

Posted by: Dennis at September 18, 2005 07:53 PM

Posted by: ruidh at Sep 16, 2005 10:20:22 AM

"The broken bit is having to change perfectly good money that you already have for money tender you don't have.

Which is a perfectly good argument for dispensing with the paper dollar alltogether."

Actually, it's a good argument for getting rid of COINS (in increments less than $1), not the paper dollar. Think about it (of course then everything would have to be price adjusted to the nearest dollar).

Posted by: ambrocked at September 18, 2005 10:29 PM

I think you should drop a Loonie in that machine and watch it start smoking. I've never seen a canadian coin I liked until I found a machine that needed "fixed".

Drop the Loonie and leave a note for the car wash owner that says, "For your convenience, I think you should reconsider dollar coins - they drive me loonie."

Posted by: Canadian Bacon at September 20, 2005 05:26 PM

And to think, this is in the town I live in...

Posted by: Manor Man at September 22, 2005 01:09 AM

Judging by all of the signs..... do you think it accepts dollar coins?

Perhaps I should get some quarters instead.... hmmmmm

Posted by: cxzv at September 23, 2005 12:09 AM

In the the UK we dropped the £1 note some time ago on cost grounds. ThHe US public pays an enormous amount for the 'knee jerk' insistance on paper money (although some US citizens actually see paper money as a Federal plot to destroy real (i.e. silver/gold) currency!!

Posted by: Ian M at September 23, 2005 10:12 AM

"...although some US citizens actually see paper money as a Federal plot to destroy real (i.e. silver/gold) currency..." How is this relevant? Some Belgian citizens continue to maintain that paper currency is a gift from God.

Many machines in NYC and the surrounding area give $1 coins for change. This seems to be their main application. I have never had trouble spending them.

To make a machine that accepts the coins only is silly to say the least, though what is most broken is the claim that it is "for your convenience". Convention or no, that's just not true.

Posted by: conant at September 23, 2005 04:08 PM

Ya know what's convenient? Buying something and getting back a dollar bill as change. I always have 1s for the vending machine, parking garage, tips, etc. I couldn't imagine carrying around 5 or 10 one dollar coins.

Posted by: Oi at September 23, 2005 05:07 PM

I could imagine having problems spending a 1 dollar coin. Ever give a clerk a 2 dollar bill?

Posted by: Oi at September 23, 2005 05:08 PM

The Top Left-Hand Corner Of The Vacuum Appears To Have A Sign Directing You To Throw Money In The Trash...Hmmm...

Posted by: Strife_Master at September 26, 2005 10:49 PM

Just to say... I HATE the 1 pound coin. First off, they're heavy (when you get a few in your pocket anyway) secondly, it is SO MUCH easier to have a bill in your wallet. I like the dollar bill so much better than the dollar coin, because you can have lots of bills while all those coins jingle around in your pocket. Also, I am much more prone to losing change than I am to lose a bill.

It IS inconvenient because the average American usually has a couple singles in his wallet, but never carries a dollar coin

Posted by: Bill at September 30, 2005 05:29 AM

The machine dispenses and accepts dollar coins, so why can't you just stick a dollar bill in and vacuum?

Posted by: Jon at November 5, 2005 12:07 AM

Who walks around with $1 coins anymore? Whoever thought up this machine and sign probably was thinking of something else.

Posted by: Sam A. at November 7, 2005 10:56 AM

In response to whoever said the machine would probably accept quarters too... I've used a cardboard pop-out circle to buy a gumball in a gumball machine. Of course, the gumball machine was probably MUCH lower-tech.

Accepting ONLY $1 coins is stupid, but accepting them at all is smart, for the few people who use them.

Posted by: Julie at November 30, 2005 02:55 PM

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