TD pulls Coinstar machines in wake of lawsuit; Loblaw reviewing accuracy
Published Thursday, July 28, 2016 10:51AM EDT
Canadian coins are pictured. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)
TORONTO -- Canada's largest grocery chain says it's trying to verify the accuracy of the coin-counting kiosks in its stores after TD Bank got rid of similar machines from its branches over allegations that they've been nickel-and-diming customers.
"We are aware of the concerns recently raised about coin-counting machines," Kevin Groh, the vice-president of corporate affairs and communication for Loblaw, said in an email.
"We have been working with Coinstar to confirm the accuracy of the coin-counting machines located in our stores and have no current plans to remove the machines. Should customers have a concern with any of the coin-counting machines in one of our stores, please contact our customer service team to let us know."
The coin-counting machines located in Loblaw stores are owned and operated by U.S.-based Coinstar, the same company that owned and operated the machines that TD Bank pulled from its Canadian branches in May.
Last month, a class-action lawsuit was filed against TD on behalf of everyone who used the coin-counting machines at the bank's branches between Jan. 1, 2013, and May 25, 2016.
Grocery store chain Metro also has Coinstar machines in its stores. A spokeswoman said the company has not received any complaints about the machines and therefore has no plans to remove them.
But Metro will continue to monitor the machines to "ensure our customers' satisfaction," Genevieve Gregoire said in an email.
The lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit is Lisa Ram, a woman from Kitchener, Ont., who says she counted her coins before depositing them in a machine at a TD Bank in the city.
Ram says she had a total of $854.25, but was shortchanged by $159.50. She alleges that she complained to the bank but they failed to do anything.
A statement of claim filed by Toronto-based law firm Sotos LLP alleges that the bank knew about accuracy issues with its machines south of the border, but still proceeded with a national rollout across Canada in January 2013.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
In order to proceed as a class-action, the suit requires certification from the Ontario Superior Court.
TD Bank declined a request for comment, saying it could not comment on the pending litigation.
Coinstar said in an email that it aims to provide customers with "convenient, reliable and accurate" service and that its machines have processed more than one billion transactions over the last 25 years.
Any customer who has questions or concerns should contact customer service staff, the company added.