A Simple Roll of Quarters

When is it good business practice to refuse to sell a person a roll of quarters because he does not have an account with the bank?

Earlier today I walked into the downtown branch of Bank of America in Lodi, CA and stood in line for just over five minutes with a $20 bill in my pocket. All I wanted was a roll of quarters and change for the Andy Jackson I had secured in the front pocket of my jeans. When I made my way to the window at the counter I handed the teller behind the glass the much worn twenty and asked for a roll of quarters. She then asked me if I had an account with the bank. I told her no. She politely informed me that since I did not have an account with the bank she could not exchange any money with me.

I informed the young lady behind the window that I banked at USAA. I bank with that institution because, as a veteran, I find their services suit my needs quite nicely, and since that bank does not have a branch in the area I stopped in at the BofA when I remembered that I needed the roll of quarters. I told the young lady that all i wanted was a roll of quarters and I’d be on my way. She refused. She then began to ask me if I wanted to open an account with the bank. I did not let her finish. If I had wanted to bank anywhere else I would have done so many years ago.

My nerves are no longer able to handle that type of stress, no matter how small, very well. I did not yell at the lady “just doing her job,” but I did ask for my $20 bill back and let her know that I’d take my business elsewhere, which I did. Thank you Bank of Stockton for being kind enough to let this aging veteran have his simple roll of quarters.

Now, let me direct your attention back to my opening question. Can someone please let me know how that policy is good business? You can be sure that everyone I know, and anyone willing to listen, will hear this story—how a simple request for the purchase of a roll of quarters was too much for a large banking institution to handle.