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TD Bank pulls plug for good on coin-counting machines

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More than a month after taking all of its "Penny Arcade" coin counters out of service amid reports that customers were getting short changed, TD Bank is permanently retiring the machines.

"With thousands of individual customers using more than 1,000 Penny machines from Maine to Florida each day, TD was concerned Penny may not always meet its standard," the Canadian-owned bank said Thursday in a statement.

And, while the bank is closing the books on the Penny Arcade machines, the final chapter remains to be written, with a proposed class-action suit filed last last month in federal court that contends thousands of consumers lost millions of dollars over the years by unloading their change into the machines.

"Recent accounts regarding the performance of our Penny machines have led us to reassess this offering, said Michael Rhodes, Head of Consumer Bank, TD Bank, in a statement. "We have determined that it is difficult to ensure a consistently great experience for our customers."

Use of the machines had also declined steadily over the past few years, Rhodes said, adding: "We will continue to assess the Penny experience and intend to appropriately address customer impact."

The bank, which used to offer a prize for those who could guess within $1.99 of the total of coins dropped into their counters, drew scrutiny after reports questioning the calculating abilities of the machines, with some reportedly miscounting by nearly $50.

TD Bank, with U.S. headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, initially responded to the negative press by pulling the machines out of service, saying they would be brought back once they met performance requirements.

TD's troubles prompted PNC Bank to pull its remaining coin-counting machines from its branches last month.

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