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Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 01:22 PM

What do you guys think of what happened? Do you believe that he should have to pay the $140 fine ?

news.yahoo.com . . .


Personally, I am wondering if the man will pay the fine in pennies...

35 Replies to Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?

re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By Wicked_Elphabamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 01:25 PM
No. Pennies are money, money can be used to pay for things. I don't agree with the fine. I probably would have done the same thing AND pay my fine in pennies. ;)

I have customers pay for stuff all the time with coins, It doesn't bother me. It's US money, so I could care less how they pay for stuff.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 01:31 PM
I think that the pennies itself have more "value" then paper bills anyway. I was just talking to someone who did border patrol, and you aren't legally allowed to bring more then $200 in pennies or something stupid like that. I guess the value of mental is worth 5 Cents for 1 Penny, or something weird like that.

Heck, if they don't want the pennies, I would be glad to take them!
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender? (karma: 2)
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 01:37 PM
Edited by Megan (87282) on 2011-06-07 13:41:03
Dude. It's not about the pennies. It's about the way he dumped them on the counter like a douchecanoe and told the poor girl to count them.

Yes, pennies are legal tender. But if you're going to use them to pay for things, they should be properly rolled and not treated like a revenge scheme. Even better, just take the stupid things to the bank and exchange them for less annoying denominations. Using them as a form of "protest" in the way this man did SHOULD get you fined.

I sincerely hope none of you ever have to experience counting thousands of pennies while you have a line building and angry customers shouting, but if you do, you'll understand.

Pay with your pennies, but if you dump them on the counter and demand they be counted, that's just passive-aggressive jerkwad-ery.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 01:40 PM
I would have stuck them in a jar at least. But hell yah he shouldn't have to pay.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By Trout
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 01:44 PM
Edited by Trout (227574) on 2011-06-07 13:47:58
He's not being fined for using pennies, he's being fined for being a jerk, and I totally agree with that.

He had to go through the effort of getting 2500 pennies and hauling them in there, it's something that required thought and action. It's $25. He could have paid in bills. Spending that much time and effort to do something that mean should be punished.

Really, it's $25. What kind of a nasty, immature person decides to "protest" by paying in pennies? It's just stupid and mischievous.

Edit: Pulled this up in case we feel like getting technical.

Police may use a disorderly conduct charge to keep the peace when people are behaving in a disruptive manner to themselves or others, but present no serious public danger.

This guy was charged with disorderly conduct because he was disturbing the peace. You can't just go into a business and deliberately waste their time and resources and expect them to shrug it off. Dumping 2500 pennies on a desk and demanding they be counted is disruptive and is taking up that business' time. The billing people probably lost a lot of productivity that day, and it's not fair that someone can just waltz in and do that. He should be fined.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By Coccinellamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 02:08 PM
I think you should be able to pay in them, but they should be rolled if anything over a dollar or so in pennies. When I worked at Starbucks I had a customer drop a ton of coins down and he actually had a serious speech impediment to the point that he couldn't even tell me what he wanted. I had to turn the guy away because I didn't know now to serve him...but that's off point.

I tend to save my change in a big jar and when I have a lot, I go buy wrappers and roll them, take them to the bank and have it deposited or changed to bigger bills.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By LeSoulierVertmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 04:28 PM
Sure this is a douche bag move, but I don't see anything illegal going on here. Yeah it sucks to be treated like crap, but is it illegal? I don't think so.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By ChristinePremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 05:55 PM
I hope there is more to the story. Was his manner menacing? Did he raise his voice or verbally accost the payment clerk? Did he refuse to roll the pennies himself, if asked?

It sounds like the man went in there loaded for bear, and found one. Or several.

On another note, years ago our phone was about to be disconnected for non payment if we didn't come up with cash by 5 PM and make the payment at the business office. I did drag two jars of change down there, and it wasn't a protest. It was just, literally, my last dime.

Coins are much more cost effective for the mint. There is a campaign to encourage people to use the one dollar coin instead of paper money. Several of my kids save quarters, wrap them up every couple of years, and take a vacation with the money.

I have a hard time understanding the objection to coins. I do however, understand that cashiers may have a problem with coins in excess. That said, I'm sure most of the problem was with the attitude.

I'll bet HE WAS ABUSIVE.... (hey, this is DDN, isn't it?)

Keep On Dancing*
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By colormeGreenPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 06:24 PM
I think you should be able to pay with pennies, but I don't agree with the way that he acted.

This reminds me of the time my friend got charged a $0.17 electricity overage in my apartment complex, and whenever we get overages they send you like 3 letters in the mail, 5 emails, and leave a ton of flyers on your door. He was so annoyed by it that he wrote them 17 checks for one cent each, and I'm pretty sure they accepted it.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 06:48 PM
^That is so nuts! The cost of the manpower to leave one flyer is far more than $0.17!!!
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By Celebrianmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 07:06 PM
For all the people in my life that have been rude to me, I should be rich now. Pardon me while I go hunt them down to collect those fines! ;)
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By Wicked_Elphabamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 07:34 PM
Celebrian wrote:

For all the people in my life that have been rude to me, I should be rich now. Pardon me while I go hunt them down to collect those fines! ;)


I know right? I'd be in a penthouse in downtown Chicago if I had a $50 fine for every customer who has been rude to me.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 07:40 PM
I'll go with the decision of the police that this was a case of disorderly conduct. The pennies would have been fine if he'd handed them over rolled or if he had offered to organize them on a desk in 100 neat stacks of 25 each. But he was obviously trying to disrupt the office.

Everyone has pennies and change build up. I never use a bunch of dollars worth of change to pay for something when there's a line of people waiting. But sometimes I walk into a place early in the day when business is slow and the cashier has nothing to do. When that happens I dig the change out from the bottom of the purse and use it all up at once. In that case, the cashier is happy to get it for use later.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender? (karma: 1)
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 08:23 PM
www.youtube.com . . .

That's all I've got right now.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By ChristinePremium member
On Tue Jun 07, 2011 08:23 PM
Celebrian wrote:

For all the people in my life that have been rude to me, I should be rich now. Pardon me while I go hunt them down to collect those fines! ;)


Or better yet, send them an award. A coin cache with a single penny in it that says, "Our interaction was a memory of discernible value."

It would cut down on the penny overload.

Keep On Dancing*
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By highlandlassie
On Wed Jun 08, 2011 08:51 AM
I'm thinking it would have been easier if there was a policy about no more than, say, 25 pennies per purchase or something. Similar to how stores won't take bills of a certain size, this policy would give the cashier something to point to. Any attitude after that and the fine would be for belligerent behaviour with the cashier, and no penny controversy.

Pennies are absolutely a valid form of payment - - definitely legal tender. But let's not get ridiculous. Got too many pennies? It's not like there are no options! Roll 'em up, take 'em to the bank, and get your cash before you head to the store.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By kandykanePremium member
On Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:27 AM
Have you ever been stuck with a bill that you did not owe or knew you had paid before? I have. And let me tell you, I moved mountains trying to get out of it. At one point, I even reported an office to the BBB for unfair business practices. It took me 2 & 1/2 years but I did finally get out of paying it. I'm still waiting for them to remove it from my credit report. Granted, in my case the amount was around $7000 but still, unfair is unfair. Especially where your credit is concerned and good credit being so valuable these days.

I can understand how he got so mad that he dumped all those pennies out for payment. Brilliant, in some ways.

Now, I can also see the other side. Young woman at a desk, just working away. And some hothead comes in and dumps a barrel full of pennies on her desk. She probably really freaked out, especially if he was yelling and screaming. In that case, she did right by reporting him. But I really think he should just have been asked to leave and they should have taken the pennies as payment. But they should have been rolled.

I was a PTA president at one time and we held a penny drive for the library. I know exactly how hard it is to handle all those pennies. You can't just take them to the bank loose. They have to be rolled first. (I cannot stand the smell of change. Ugh. So stinky.) If you take them into the counter, they keep 8%!! Outrageous!

Sometimes people who get screwed by the system want to screw back and make a statement. A statement is one thing. A scene is another matter entirely. Since we were not there and did not witness his behavior, we really can't judge.

kk~
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By Dancing_B
On Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:50 AM
In Australia we have laws that say how much we are allowed to hand over as coins when making purchases. The reserve bank website states...

According to the Reserve Bank Act 1959, Australian banknotes are legal tender. According to the Currency Act 1965, coins are legal tender for payment of amounts which are limited as follows:
not exceeding 20c if 1c and/or 2c coins are offered (however, it should be noted that these coins have been withdrawn from circulation but are still legal tender);
not exceeding $5 if any of 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c coins are offered;
not exceeding 10 times the face value if coins in the range 50c to $10 inclusive are offered; and
to any value if coins of value greater than $10 are offered.

So yeah, if I did that here, I would be fined.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By Iamalittlefishie
On Wed Jun 08, 2011 04:39 PM
Clearly someone needs a day in retail near a holiday to understand that dumping 2500 pennies on a desk is not the worst that a customer can do to you.

Obnoxious, as someone who has to count them? yeah, sure. Worthy of a fine? Hell to the no.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Wed Jun 08, 2011 04:59 PM
* Quick Hijack*

Ok so, I have a HUGE jar full of coins. I don't want to spend the time rolling them nor the money ( can you get free rolls at the bank?).

What would you guys suggest I do with them? I probably have close to $100 worth of coins in that jar. How much do those "coin machines =dollars" at the grocery store take away? Is it like 10% of the final amount?

*End of Hijack*
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By Teamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 08, 2011 05:10 PM
It does often end up being about 10%. The Coinstar ones do offer the full amount if you get it in the form of a gift card. However, you can usually take coins to your bank to sort. Mine doesn't charge a fee if you deposit the money directly into your account. If I need it cash, I'll deposit it, go out to the ATM, and withdraw it directly after.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By chrispbinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jun 08, 2011 05:58 PM
^Thanks Dancing_B, for the Aussie info. I knew there were some regulations about it but not the detail.

As a former retailer, we would often take payments that were over and above (or under and beneath!) those Reserve Bank guidelines, but we had a specialist shop, not a checkout style business.

On another note, if someone brought self-rolled (very unusual- rolled coins here mean from the mint or bank) or bagged (in clear plastic zip-lock bags) to pay for something, we would unroll/unbag and count them all. Even if you take coins to a financial institution in bags, they will either re-count by hand them or put them through the automatic counter. Some institutions will count your money exchange it for free, whilst others will only let you deposit it into your account or charge you a fee if you want cash. The building societies and community banks are more likely to be in the former category while the Big Four are in the latter.

My now ex discharged a loan of $15 000 with $5 notes. The bank was not happy as, even though the notes were wrapped and had just come from another bank, they all had to be un-wrapped and hand counted. He just wanted to have a LOT of money for a short time.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By pokomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 09, 2011 02:45 AM
Off topic, small change can be a good thing...Where I am, a lady at my work tried to pay a toll booth with 5c coins (the smallest denomination we have in Australia). She was denied. As she was a breakfast announcer on radio, she raised it as a talk topic on air and with the help of listeners she created "Give Me 5 For Kids". People started to donate their 5c coins and now every year we spend the month of June raising money for the local hospitals. Last year we raised $130,000 in a month.

The guy who did it, seems like a douchebag. Seriously, dropping all the pennies like that? Pathetic, and seriously needs to grow up a bit. We all get frustrated, but you don't take it out on the poor customer service people.
re: Should you be able to pay for things with pennies? Are pennies legal tender?
By boleyngrrl
On Thu Jun 09, 2011 01:18 PM
The US coins pennies. That means the any US tender should accept pennies. Does that mean all of them do? No. Does that mean all of them should? Yes. End of story. If the US wants people to not use pennies, grandfather them out. Stop coining and gradually take them out of circulation.
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