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Coping with Change

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  • Coping with Change

    My earlier thread "Not the full Quid" reminded me of another recent incident involving money in a retail store.
    I was again taking my 98yo Mum shopping (she is 75% visually impaired) - this time in Target.
    She bought a $14. item for which she offered a $50. note.
    The young male cashier looked perplexed and spent some time shuffling around in the till.
    I was embarrassed for him and looked away as I thought he couldn't work out the change.
    After about 30 seconds he handed my Mum a $20. note and $16. in 50 cent coins!

    She couldn't even hold them all in her hands.
    He said "Sorry, I haven't got any notes".
    I said "Mate, this is no good to us, what about one of the other cashiers?
    The girl at the next register said "I don't know how to give you change without registering a sale".
    At that point a lovely lady at the next checkout held out a Salvation Army donation envelope and said "I will swap you all that coin for a $20.note - the Salvos won't care."
    She wasn't even worried that it was only $16. but I insisted on giving her another $5.

    I had a chat with the Target training manager and she agreed that there was a small training need there.

  • #2
    Several decades ago I lived in a large apartment complex. I went to pay my rent with my usual cash and was told they now only accepted checks. I politely pointed out the "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private." statement on the (US) bills and the power hungry petty bureaucrat officious a$$ still refused to accept my payment. So I asked for a written statement from her stating that I had offered cash and they had refused it. She wouldn't do it. So I showed up the next day with 2 friends as witnesses plus a mini transcription recorder tucked out of sight in my shirt pocket. The previous evenings scene repeated itself. I offered the cash, she refused. I asked for a written statement, she refused. The same scene was repeated again the next evening. This time I told her to contact me when she was ready to accept cash and she told me if I didn't pay the rent that day, with a check of course, she'd evict me. I told her to go ahead and I'd see her in court (In this state in order to evict a tenant who refuses to leave the landlord has to go to court and get an eviction order from the judge, during which hearing the renter can present their side of the story.). Due to her delay in filing the paperwork and the long court schedule it was 2 months before we went before the judge. I went in to pay the rent each of those months in cash and was as usual the manager refused to accept it.

    Usually these hearings are simple and straight forward. The landlord says the renter hasn't paid the rent in XX number of days and owes XXXX dollars. The judge asks the renter, if they're even there, if they have anything to say and then issues an eviction order for 5 days hence if the renter has still not paid the back rent due. This time though things didn't go quite as usual. I told the judge I had tried to pay the rent and it had been refused. The judge turned to the manager and asked her if that was true. She looked around and could see that my friends (The witnesses.) weren't in the court and she told the judge "No, it's not true." As the judge turned back to me I told him I had 2 signed and notarized statements from people who had witnessed my attempting to pay the rent. He stated that they were not acceptable as proof as I could have faked them. At this point the manager was standing there smirking at me. I then pulled out my recorder and looked at the judge and asked him if a recording of the event was acceptable. Hahaha....The smirk instantly disappeared from the managers face as he said yes and I pushed the play button.

    When the playback was done the judge looked at the now very nervous manager raised an eyebrow as if to say "Well?". She then started stammering out a story about how she couldn't accept cash as they didn't have a safe and she was afraid of getting robbed. I then piped in with the comment that I had tried not once but 3 times each month to pay my rent and had been refused the same way each and every time. The judge then looked at the manager and said "So let me get this straight. He attempted to pay the rent 3 times every month using cash and you refused to accept it. Is this correct?"? The manager mumbled "Yes." and the judge with a now very pissed off look on his said "Speak up! I can't hear you! Is what he said true?". The manager said more clearly "Yes." and the judge then stated "Eviction order request denied. Case dismissed." As the manager started to turn away and leave the judge sharply barked out "I'm not through yet! First off Ms. Whatever-her-name-was let's get something straight. Despite what you may think you have no choice but to accept cash payments. Federal law over rules your desire not to accept cash. Secondly rarely has this court been so disrespected and blatantly lied to. Accordingly I here-by fine you $1,000 for contempt of court. Consider yourself lucky I'm not sending you to jail! You can pay the clerk on your way out." He then turned to me. "Mr. 'Javaphile', when you go to pay your rent if they refuse cash again you are to directly notify this court. Court adjourned!"

    Now, to get to the point of this whole post and to show that it really is on topic: Before I went in to pay the rent I borrowed a friends 1 ton van, grabbed some items from work, picked up a couple of friends, and then spent half a day making the rounds of the local banks. (Can you see where this is going? ) We then headed back to the apartment and spent the afternoon preparing things in the van. Once we were ready we drove over to the office. Once there we each grabbed a couple of the 20l steel cans from the van and walked into the office where we set them down in front of the desk. The manager frowned at me and asked what we were doing. I replied that I was there to pay the 3 months rent I owed. While I was talking to her my friends went back out to the van and continued carrying more cans in. By the time we had all the cans in the office the manager was sputtering and fuming. I went over to her and said "Here's 135,000 nice shiny US Mint pennies to pay the rent I owe!" "But...but....but....." "Pennies are just as much legal tender as dollar bills are." "But...but...but...." "I've even made it easier for you to count them by removing them all from their wrappers!" "But...but...but..." "Is there a problem with the cash? Should we call the judge?" "But....but....Where am I going to put them? How am I going to move them?" "Sorry, not my problem! I know you'll want to count them before giving me a receipt so I'll come back tomorrow for that. Have a nice evening!"

    And that's the story about how I left an officious jacka$$ to cope with a half a ton of pennies!

    Java "Change anyone?" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!


    • #3
      There seems to be a difference between debt and transaction.
      Makes for interesting reading, given the topic has been brought up.

      I wonder if it's the same for you Javaphile?

      RBA Banknotes: Legal Tender
      Last edited by chokkidog; 26 July 2013, 12:40 AM.


      • #4
        I haven't checked lately but last I knew you could get full face value for the note at any bank as long as over half the bill was there as well as one of the serial numbers.

        Apparently the law on accepting cash has changed as a few years ago I ran into a business that only dealt with credit cards and when I called the Feds to check if that was legal I was told it was.

        Java "Don't ya just love the vagaries of the legal system!" phile
        Toys! I must have new toys!!!


        • #5
          The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) site says a few things about point of sale transactions not having to accept coin/cash
          and about how much coin can be proffered as legal tender in transactions (i.e. no more than $5 worth of 5c coins, et al).

          As far as debt goes though, unless prior arrangement has been made then any cash is legal tender in terms of
          discharging the debt. Even (by interpretation) 1 c and 2 c coins can be used, even though they are no longer in circulation.