31 May 2010

Not Legal Tender?






Since when have the 20-cent coins and the 10-cent coins gone out of fashion? Since when can shopkeepers and bus drivers refuse to accept loose change as payment for goods or services? Are these two coins not legal tender anymore? I must have missed the press release.

Incident 1: A few months back, I was at the market last month and bought something. The total cost was HK$18. I usually try to give exact change if I have it. I handed over a $10 bill, one $5 coin, one $1 coin and then I had to dig around in my coin purse for an additional $2 and I came up with eight 20¢ coins and four 10¢ coins. The shopkeeper stopped me before I could hand over the small change and told me, “I’m sorry, but we do not accept 20¢ and 10¢ coins.” I then had to hand over a $100 bill instead, to which she gave had to give me change.

Incident 2: A high school student boarded the bus and instead of using his Octopus card to pay the fare, he counted out the total fare (HK$6.20) in small change and dropped the coins into the box. The driver called him back and admonished him for using all small change to pay his fare, mumbling something about how they could only accept small change for up to a certain amount. I was already seated when this whole exchange took place and I remember wondering if the bus driver woke up on the wrong side of the bed. This incident happened about a couple of months ago.

Incident 3: Just the other day. There is this new bubble tea place that opened right in our backyard. If you’ve been my bloggy friend for a while now, you’d know how sad I was that our favorite bubble tea place closed down. Anyway… I was immediately at the new bubble tea shop for my bubble tea fix. My favorite drink (honey green tea + pearl sago) came out to HK$13. I handed over a $10 coin, a $2 coin, and five 20¢ coins. Again, I got the I’m sorry, but we do not accept 20¢ coins line from the cashier. She explained that many customers do not like getting small coins as change. It’s not like I paid the entire amount in 65x 20¢ coins; it was only five 20¢ coins, because I did not have a $1 coin. Besides, last I checked, 20¢ coins are still legal tender. When I pointed this out to her, she took my money and rang up the sale.

What would you have done?

11 COMMENTS:

blueviolet said...

I thought money all spent like money? Goodness!!!!

the Lola Letters said...

I would have done precisely the same thing! How strange is that? Money is money. End of story!

Aunt LoLo said...

That's so bizarre! I've had shopkeepers request certain types of money.....or certainly GRUMBLE if my daughter tries to buy something with all quarters and dimes...but nobody's ever refused money. ?? Weird.

Wanda said...

The same. Weird - I guess it's a trend but I'm not sure it's legal. Call the bank and ask if they are officially trying to eliminate the small coins. (Walmart will have to round off their prices if that's the case!)

Alicia said...

That is so weird!!! I wouldn't be surprised if that started happening here in the states too!

Serline said...

Nowadays, many banks charge to "process" coins, whether to dispense in rolled up form or collect and count. Little wonder then that POS personnel like these not-so-service-minded folks you encountered are tempted to simply reject coins, whenever they can.

Serline said...

By the way, no frying is involved to prepare "Teppanyaki ice cream". Lots of slicing and flipping to turn different scoops and mix-ins into one giant mess that explodes in your mouth with multiple flavors and textures ;-)

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

That's not right! Money is money, right? Looks like certain ones decide what they will or will not accept.

RoseBelle said...

Hmmmm....honestly I would just go with the flow. If the other person says he/she's not accepting the coins, I'll dig out some other currencies and then ask why has the policy changed or is there something wrong with the smaller denomination coins. Have you done any investigative work to see what's going on?

elaine said...

i heard they can legally not accept the small change. i have encountered this quite a couple of times as well.

Sonya said...

They have started this over here in the netherlands aswell..they now round the amount up or down to make it even. They want to do away with the pennies. I think thats fine but stop giving me the coins back as change then. I dont want pennies either if I cant use them anymore..lol

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