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Is refusing pennies legal?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by Guy Incognito, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Guy Incognito

    Guy Incognito Banned

    I was having this discussion with somebody at work. They told me how they tried to pay with pennies at a toll stop and they were told We dont accept pennies.

    Is this legal? I assumed pennies are legal tender and therefore have to be accepted all by businesses and by governments, state and local. Is this true.

    Also, are businesses allowed to post signs saying Ten Dollar Minimum for VISA or Mastercard? I always assumed that when these businesses sign contracts with credit cards the credit card says they have to accept their cards at all times.
  2. jwinslow

    jwinslow A MAN OF BETRAYED JUSTICE Staff Member Tourney Pick'em Champ

    At a toll booth, you should be required to have the pennies in 50 pack rolls before trying to use them. Otherwise, if everyone acts that stupid, the tollbooth will be backed up for hours.
  3. Brutus1

    Brutus1 Don't be penurious, donate to the BP Spring Dr.

    Every toll booth that I've come across did not accept pennies.

    I don't know about the credit card minimum, but as long as pennies are considered legal tender, I'll use them whenever necessary. I guess if someone is being stupid and paying with a pile of 200 pennies, I can see them expecting them to be rolled.
  4. vrbryant

    vrbryant Ever thus to ____ers Staff Member

    As a matter of common courtesy, of course. Technically speaking, though, I'd assume the vendor in question would have to take the copper and shut the fudge up.
  5. Zurp

    Zurp I have misplaced my pants.

    I believe that it is legal to refuse any denomination of money. Stores can refuse pennies as well as bills over $20 (we've all seen those signs posted).

    The way it was explained to me (by someone who I'd believe has enough knowledge to make a ruling) is that if the store posts "We do not accept bills larger than $20" or "We do not accept pennies," then it's that simple. They don't accept that money, and you have to come up with whatever kind of money that they want. If that's all the money you have, you're SOL, and you don't get to buy whatever it is or you don't get through the toll gate. However, if they don't post that they don't accept pennies, or bills larger than $20, and that's the only way you can pay, (all you have is $50 bills, for example), you may leave without paying, based on the understanding that you will pay as soon as you get the chance. However, this may get messy, since you'll have a tough time getting the convenience store guy to believe that you'll be back in the morning to pay, and it will be a lot easier to just come back in the morning and buy whatever it is.

    Again, this is just my understanding. I'm not saying, "I'm right, so y'all better shut your bitch-mouths." If someone knows better, feel free to call me a "poop-stick."
  6. AKAK

    AKAK Mayor of Turkey Balls Falls Staff Member Bookie

    As far as toll booths... I don't know.. I know that the ones in chicago (where you toss the coins in) used to take pennies... I know... because it came to that for me once...

    Private businesses can refuse service to any one at any time, so that they don't want to pay a minimum transaction fee to Visa or someone on your 25 cent pack of juicy fruit would simply fall under that, I imagine.
  7. vrbryant

    vrbryant Ever thus to ____ers Staff Member

    Can I just say, "Poop-stick"? It doesn't have to be directed at anyone in particular.
  8. martinss01

    martinss01 blissfully stupid

    yep, legally speaking they would have to accept the pennies. i think the credit card minimums are for whether or not you actually have to sign a receipt. alot of places don't require a signature on purchases of less than 10 bucks. i could be thinking something completely different though...
  9. AKAK

    AKAK Mayor of Turkey Balls Falls Staff Member Bookie

    I think you just did.
  10. take your superior intellect and sue the shit out of them. let me know how it turns out.
  11. sandgk

    sandgk Watson, Crick & A Twist

    Lot of assumptions going on there.
  12. AKAK

    AKAK Mayor of Turkey Balls Falls Staff Member Bookie

    Seems like the toll booth might have a proble... if you are paying after the fact.
  13. Buckeyeskickbuttocks

    Buckeyeskickbuttocks Z --> Z^2 + c Staff Member

    I don't care what you guys do, just don't anyone say poopstick.... oh.. wait... nevermind.. wrong thread.
  14. strohs

    strohs Go Bucks!

    Legally, I guess.
    However it is in breach of their contract with the credit card companies.
    All of them have reporting methods listed on their websites.
    They really, really dont like it when they lose business because of owners with signs like these...

    Here is a quote straight from Visa's website:
    "Minimum Purchase Visa merchants are not permitted to establish minimum transaction amounts, even on sale items. They also are not permitted to charge you a fee when you want to use your Visa card.
    If you run into a problem like this with a merchant, please notify the financial institution that issued you your Visa card. These institutions have access to the appropriate Visa rules and regulations and can help you document and file your complaint. You'll find their address and/or telephone number on your Visa statement. Their telephone number may also appear on the back of the card itself."
  15. tedginn05

    tedginn05 Newbie

    Interesting enough, pennies cost $0.02 to make. The government at one time was debating to stop making them. But the people of Lincoln's home town made a big uproar about it. Plus I don't see how people would be able to make correct change without them. Sure there would still be pennies "floating" around, but adventually they would slowly disappear.

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