This startup wants to mail you quarters (really)

Washboard wants to help you get your laundry done by sending you quarters, which is just as ridiculous as the 25-year-old "Saturday Night Live" joke about a bank that just makes change.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
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Eric Mack
2 min read

Responsible enough to do your own laundry, but not to make change? You're in luck! Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

It's finally here, folks -- the worst startup idea yet. Washboard launched on Thursday with its plan to mail you quarters for your laundry. Planning to do a few loads in the near future? Just fork over $15 and you'll receive $10 in quarters sent to the address of your choice.

Why the 50 percent markup? Well, you get more value if you order 20 bucks worth -- that'll only cost you $27. But, hey, this isn't a charity, you know. You're paying for postage, and then Washboard keeps a buck or two from each transaction.

Where are all these laundromats that are nowhere near change machines or card payment systems? I've used many, many a pay washer while traveling and never had to stray very far to make fiscal arrangements with the machine.

One machine in Mexico delivered me a 200-volt shock when I dipped my hand in to test the water temperature, but I was able to convert my greenbacks to quarters and then to pesos. Even when my laundry almost kills me, I'm still able to pay with exact change, so I don't really get the need here.

It wouldn't be fair to call Washboard's concept a joke... because the 25-year-old joke that it most closely resembles was actually more useful.

The below sketch from a 1988 episode of "Saturday Night Live" for a bank that does nothing but make change for folks with an extremely high level of customer service was actually a far more utilitarian concept, even if there's no viable business model in it.