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Monthly ArchiveOctober 2006

Bowling by Spencer on October 26, 2006

Turning the Corner?

Greetings all,

I’ll keep this bowling blog fairly short and sweet.  Last night was a much better night for me; even if we lost 2 out of 3 games.  I bowled a 156, 171, and 180 (I think those were the scores, don’t have them with me).  I felt better about my spare shooting, missing a couple I should have made, but pretty accurate overall.

The other team was really good.  They had one bowler who averages well over 200 and another who averages around 165, but bowled two games over 200 himself and we were crushed the first two games.  The last game it went down to the very wire.  We were up by just 1 pin going into the last bowler for each team.  I let the other guy go first so I would know what I needed to do.  For some reason, we both didn’t have our best frames, but I was able to keep our 1 pin lead to win the game so that felt really good.  I had the chance to really increase the lead, but nerves did get to me and I’m glad I held on regardless.

Have a great week folks!  Don’t work too hard.

Life by Spencer on October 20, 2006

Response from Coinstar

So, I got a response from Coinstar and it was a quick turnaround. Even though I will get my fee back, I was more pleased with the fact that they are working on software upgrades to prevent this in the future. Here is the response:

Dear Mr. Stanton,
First let me apologize on behalf of our company for your experience with our machine. We are aware of circumstances where this type of error occurs, and have a software release ready for deployment that will result in the desired scenario you stated.

Unfortunately, with equipment on any communication network, these types of network outages do occur, we are also working hard to minimize the occurrence of these events from the network perspective.

With that said, we would be happy to reimburse you for the fee that was deducted from your transaction. We feel it is only fair that since we failed to provide you the product you chose, we should be accountable for the failure.

If you would please send me the address you would like to have a check mailed, I will ensure we get a check produced for the $5.29.


Dave Cramer

Coinstar Customer Service Manager.

It even got escalated up to the manager quickly. So, maybe Coinstar doesn’t completely suck, but I’ll still think twice before using them again. Especially since Nevada State Bank has free coin counting even for those who aren’t customers of the bank.

Life by Spencer on October 20, 2006

Coinstar SUCKS!

Below is a letter I just sent to Coinstar regarding an experience my wife and I had last night. I am so angry that this happened. NEVER USE COINSTAR for any reason is my only advice.


First let me start that I expect some kind of response to this letter… not repayment or any other physical handout, but at least a non-form letter response from your company regarding/explaining your response to the following situation.

My name is Spencer G. Stanton. My wife and I had what turned out to be $59.43 in change and since we had noticed that Coinstar machines allowed for the purchase of gift cards WITHOUT any service fee, we decided to try one out for the first time. We went to the Coinstart located at the Albertson’s on the corner of Eastern and Horizon Ridge in Henderson, NV.

The process seemed very easy and straightforward; we started out by picking an Amazon.com gift card and proceeded to insert our coins. The final total came to the above mentioned $59.43. After all of the coins were processed, we were given the message that it may take a minute or two for our card to be processed and we could hear the modem dial out somewhere.

After about 2 minutes, the machine came back with a error stating that it couldn’t process the request for an Amazon card at that time. However, instead of giving us any other options (a different kind of card, for example) the machine stated that it was printing a cash voucher. This would have been fine, except that in the printing of the cash voucher, your machine proceeded to charge the ENORMOUS 8.9% that you charge for changing cash into cash. That left me with a voucher for $54.14, a loss of $5.29. One of the reasons I had never used a Coinstar machine in the past was the service charge; the idea of transferring to something other than cash for no service charge was the only incentive for using Coinstar at all. As far as I remember, there was no warning of any kind stating that cash would be used in case of the inability to issue the card. I would have seen that as a red flag and probably would not have continued my transaction.

As this was my first use of a Coinstar, you can be assured that I have no plans to ever use one again. I feel that this may not have been some technical error, but rather a thinly-veiled bait and switch. If it was a mechanical error, or in the case that gift cards can’t be given out at a specific time for any reason, the ONLY acceptable option is to give the cash voucher and waive the 8.9% fee. I’m not so upset that the card wasn’t available, but rather that I was given NO OTHER OPTION but to take the cash voucher with the fee attached. This is a completely irresponsible way of handling difficulties at the machines.

I like the idea of converting change into other, more usable options so long as there isn’t a charge involved. If I had been given the option of even taking back my change rather than accepting the finance fee, I would have taken my coins back and transferred them some other way.

Again, I expect a full, personal response to this letter as well as a plan to fix this kind of problem in the future. Thank you in advance for your time.


Spencer G. Stanton

I will post their response, if any. I still can’t believe we got screwed like that. Have a great weekend and go Purdue!!!

Bowling by Spencer on October 18, 2006

6 Week Slump

What’s worse than a bad bowler?  A bad bowler who thought he was good.  After a terrific first week, things have just been down hill.  This week has by far been the worst 3 game series I’ve bowled in league.  I haven’t had a single clean game (no open frames) and only 1 over 200 the entire time; and that was in the first week.  Pathetic is all I can say about it so far.  The only other remotely decent week was when we all pre-bowled so we were able to go at a much faster pace.  It got so bad tonight that I used my straight spare ball the third game because I couldn’t handle the bad breaks.

The most frustrating part is, espcially in the last two weeks, I’ve been hitting my marks on my strike ball.  My aim is right where I want it; but either I get too much or not enough oil and the ball misses the pocket nearly every time.  I make a small adjustment, as I should based on the previous ball and the same thing happens, either I hit high or I hit light.  To put it in other terms, it’s like hitting a baseball on the sweet part of the bat every time but still flying out at the warning track.

Here are all of my scores to get you up to date:

Wk# Date Lanes Gm1 Gm2 Gm3 Series Avg Run Avg
1 Sep 06, 2006 9-10 150 *218* 179 *547* 182.33 182.33
2 Sep 13, 2006 19-20 182 125 169 476 158.67 170.50
3 Sep 20, 2006 27-28 172 130 192 494 164.67 168.56
4 Sep 27, 2006 29-30 160 145 189 494 164.67 167.58
5 Oct 02, 2006 27-28 189 170 179 538 179.33 169.93
6 Oct 11, 2006 33-34 190 139 131 460 153.33 167.17
7 Oct 18, 2006 35-36 147 137 133 417 139.00 163.14
Game Averages:  170.00 152.00 167.43

I need to figure something out quickly as it’s to the point now where my poor bowling is hurting the team pretty drastically.  I’m supposed to be the most consistent, and at least 30 pins higher in my consistency than I was tonight.  I either need more practice or need a break; and I just don’t know which.  Probably should get a lesson with someone who can look at my game objectively and put me back on the right track.  Who knows?

Thanks for letting me babble on.  Have a great rest of the week, everyone!