A woman claimed she was scolded by a staff member when she tried to pay — but her decision to pay ina certain way has sparked fierce debate.
A woman claimed she was scolded by a staff member when she tried to pay — but her decision to pay ina certain way has sparked fierce debate.

Fury over ‘rude’ supermarket checkout move

A Sydney woman has sparked a fierce debate on Facebook after claiming she was "scolded" by an Aldi cashier for wanting to pay for her groceries in coins.

"(The employee said) Aldi policy can only accept $5 worth of coins," she wrote in a post shared to the Aldi Mums Facebook group.

The mum explained that she had been wanting to pay $9.25 using $7 worth of coins, only to be "abruptly and rudely scolded".

Her post soon attracted hundreds of comments from other shoppers many of whom were confused over the issue.

"I thought it was no cash for the COVID issue. But not regular practice before this," one person wrote, while another added: "I have never heard of this apparent police. I work for Aldi and we are to accept all cash, and if it can't fit in our tills it goes in our safe."

The woman claimed the Aldi cashier had 'scolded' her for paying in coins.
The woman claimed the Aldi cashier had 'scolded' her for paying in coins.

"Usually it's because the till can't hold it, I worked as a cashier years ago and we were told nothing over $5," another said.

One person said if stores could refuse to accept certain forms of payment then customers should be able to do the same back, commenting: "So if we pay cash in notes and they give us coins in change, we can refuse?"

Others said they loved when customers paid in change and didn't see what the problem was.

"Working in retail I love it when people paid me in gold coins - we always seem to run low on them and it saves getting more change from the bank," one commented.

In a statement to news.com.au the supermarket said that it wasn't store policy to accept only a certain amount of coins, apologising to the customer.

"Limiting the payment amount of coins is not an Aldi policy," an Aldi spokeswoman said.

RELATED: Aldi shoppers confused by similar packaging

There are limits on how many coins can be used in a single transaction for it to be considered legal tender.
There are limits on how many coins can be used in a single transaction for it to be considered legal tender.

 

CAN A STORE REFUSE TO LET YOU PAY IN COINS?

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia the "refusal to accept payment in legal tender banknotes and coins is not unlawful".

When it comes to coins, there are limits on how many coins can be used in a transaction and if a customer exceeds the limit then it is no longer considered legal tender.

The Currency Act states that the use of 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c coins must not exceed $5 and for gold coins it must not be more than "10 times the face value" - so $10 for $1 coins and $20 for $2 coins.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic many Australian businesses banned cash and only allowed card payments, something the RBA says is perfectly legal to do.

"A provider of goods or services is at liberty to set the commercial terms upon which payment will take place before the 'contract' for supply of the goods or services is entered into."

Businesses must make clear that only one form of payment is accepted before a transaction takes place - for example, by having a sign at the front of a cafe that says they only accept card so a customer knows before they place their coffee order.

 

Originally published as Fury over 'rude' Aldi checkout move

It is legal in Australia to refuse cash payments as long as the business has a sign informing customers before a transaction takes place. Picture: Julie Cross
It is legal in Australia to refuse cash payments as long as the business has a sign informing customers before a transaction takes place. Picture: Julie Cross

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