Nice to hear of a neat little touch that not only saves you money, but which counts as an extra customer service. In the last issue I asked where you got your money from your change. Do you buy it from the bank?

John Tucker responded. About a year ago, after his bank decided to increase charges by 70% without so much as a by your leave, he took action.

"We offer to count customers' change and give them full value for it, unlike Coinstar which charges (almost 9%). Now customers bring it to us. Last Friday we did a guy's whisky bottle savings and it came to £135."

Charities often bring in their coin boxes, too.

"We also ask customers if they have any change on them. Some people just don't think and offer you a twenty when their trousers are falling down with the weight of change in their pockets."

He uses a coin counter and sorter so it's pretty quick to do (although the whisky bottle probably took 15 minutes).

At the same time the family (John and wife, son and daughter) took the decision to change their ATM from money provided (low commission) to self-fill (better commission).

"We should have done it years ago," says John. The moves have brought the bank charges down to £43 a month.

The family pay 29p per £100 for change and still have to buy some because the coin-counting service attracts a lot more copper than silver.

The family have run Beach Stores since 1997. The store is 50 yards from the beach in Seascale, Cumbria. A famous place. As John's son Neil says ruefully: "Yes, we have it all here a place on the beach, nuclear power and mass murders."

Last June (for those who can't quite place the place) the area became the centre of a search after gunman Derrick Bird killed 12 people, and injured 25 others before taking his own life. Two of the victims

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