The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, May 26, 2002  

Just Don't Bring Coins

This really happened.

It's the transcript of a telephone conversation between a J.P Morgan Chase & Co. customer service representative (CSR) and our venerable editor:

Editor: “What would a branch be able to do for me if I were to bring in a significant amount of coins?”

CSR: “I’m not sure what you’re asking. Could you be more specific?”

Editor: “Would the teller be able to have it counted for me before depositing it into my account?”

CSR: “Count it? No, we don’t count coins.”

Editor: “You don’t count coins. Then how would I deposit coins?”

CSR: “If you’re just bringing in coins they have to be wrapped.”

Editor: “What if I wrap the coins and there are some left over?”

CSR: “Well, you can deposit the excess along with the wrapped coins.”

Editor: “What if I wanted to deposit paper currency along with a few coins?”

CSR: “You could do that.”

Editor: “How many coins are allowed?”

CSR: “I’m not sure what you’re asking.”

Editor: “Is there an upper limit on the number of coins the average J.P. Morgan teller can count?”

CSR: “I don’t think that matters. The tellers have a machine that counts coins.”

Editor: “A machine! Oh, so could I bring in all of my spare change, have the teller count it by running the coins through the machine, and deposit the money into my checking account?”

CSR: “Oh no, you couldn’t do that. We don’t accept coins that haven’t been wrapped.”

Editor: “But you just said I could deposit coins along with paper money.”

CSR: “Yes, as part of a deposit.”

Editor: “What if I wanted to deposit all of my spare change and just a one-dollar bill? Could the teller count the coins then?”

CSR: “Sir, we don’t accept coins that haven’t been wrapped by the customer.”

Editor: “Why not? There’s a machine created for just this purpose.”

CSR: “The teller can’t use it if you’re just bringing in a lot of spare change.”

Editor: “I understand that. I said I would be depositing a one-dollar bill and my spare change.”

CSR: “Look, sir, you can’t just bring walk into a bank with all your loose change.”

Editor: “Why not?”

CSR: “We just can’t handle that.”

Editor: “Logistically or emotionally?”

CSR: “I’m sorry?”

Editor: “Nothing. Can I use the teller’s machine to count the coins myself?”

CSR: “No.”

Editor: “Why not?”

CSR: “It’s against our policy.”

Editor: “So what should I do?”

CSR: “Stop by any J.P. Morgan branch and ask the teller for coin wrappers and then return them -- filled -- to the branch and then we will deposit the money into your checking account.”

Editor: “But how will you know if I counted the coins correctly?”

CSR: “I’m not sure what you’re asking.”

Editor: “I might make mistakes when I wrap them up.”

CSR: “Well, the teller will run the coins through the machine.”

Editor: “With the wrappers on?”

CSR: “No, of course not.”

Editor: “So the teller will take the coins out of the wrappers and run them through the machine to make sure the value of the deposit is correct?”

CSR: “Yes.”

Editor: “Then why can’t we just skip the wrapping part?”

CSR: “Sir, it’s against our policy. You have to bring your coins in wrapped.”

Editor: “Well . . . okay.”

CSR: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Editor: “Yes, I’d like to open a $100,000 certificate of deposit.”

CSR: “Okay. For that you’ll need to stop by a branch . . . “

Editor: “Lady, I just told you I’m counting my spare change. Why would I be doing that if I had $100,000?”

CSR: “Sir, I’m sure people with large CDs have change too.”

Editor: “Yeah, but I’ll bet they came up with the $100,000 first.”

CSR: “Yes, they probably did.”

Editor: “What if I wanted to open a CD with my spare change?”

CSR: “Sir . . . please.”

Editor: Click!

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