Is it legal for a business to reject "legal tender"

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Vince Maskeeper, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I was in a discussion recently about paying with rolled coin, and someone told me not to bother, as most places will reject it. I wondered, is this legal?

    I would figure that since change is a legal tender, and you're officially in busioness- there would be some requirement that you accept the legal monies of the country in which you do business. I understand it might be a pain- but it seems odd they could reject something legally recognized as money.

    Is there any law stating the rights of owners/consumers in terms of presenting legal tender for services?

    -vince
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    No, it's not required.
     
  3. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    I think that, by law, businesses or individuals cannot reject legal tender. I suppose that means if you leave a crate of pennies in the proper amount, you can walk off with merchandise and not be guilty of stealing.

    The flip side of the issue are places that refuse any bills larger than $20.

    I bet there's a rule on the Treasury Dept website.
     
  4. D. Scott MacDonald

    D. Scott MacDonald Supporting Actor

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  5. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  7. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I don't see a problem rejecting it. You see "no bills larger than $20" signs in the gas stations all the time.

    I think the problem lies in the actual rolls. Who's to say you've got a full $20 worth of quarters in there? The clerk is going to have to crack them open and count them anyway, so they're seen as the same thing as bringing in a coffee can full of change.

    Stop at the bank first and they'll run 'em through the counter and convert them to more "manageable" denominations.
     
  8. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 102. This is now found in section 392 of Title 31 of the United States Code. The law says that: "All coins and currencies of the United States, regardless of when coined or issued, shall be legal-tender for all debts, public and private, public charges, taxes, duties and dues."

    This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.
     
  9. D. Scott MacDonald

    D. Scott MacDonald Supporting Actor

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  10. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    On a related topic, I believe it is a violation of standard credit card agreements when businesses enforce a minimum charge amount.
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    That was very well phrased, KyleS. Why, a government lawyer couldn't have done it better. [​IMG]

    M.
     
  12. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    When I worked retail a few years back we would have the customer right his name and phone number on the rolls of coins in case they tried to short us.

    Also had a guy pay somewhere between 20 and 30 dollars for his purchase in UNROLLED pennies. I didn't want to do it but my manager said we had to.
     
  13. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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  14. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    I see a lot of places (bars mainly) that have a minimum credit card amount for purchases. I have no problem with that, but I usually use cash for smaller transactions (sub-$100).

    Why does art imitate life so much (or vice versa)? The calzone guy wouldn't take all of Kramer's change when he bought George's calzones for "The Boss."

    Chris
     
  15. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Brian,

    What you say is true only if the back of the card is signed. If it is unsigned they are within their rights to ask for a drivers license.

    Federal Express depots will not accept cash. It's credit card or check only.
     
  16. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Did you like that Michael? [​IMG]

    Yeah I must have submitted that at the same time as Denward left the link to it just thought everyone would like to know, FYI type of thing you know.

     
  17. SteveA

    SteveA Supporting Actor

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    I recently tried to use a Sacajaweh (sp?) dollar at McDonalds and the manager refused to take it. He said (and I quote): "We don't take that Canadian shit".
     
  18. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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    You'll have to consider the source and location on that one, Steve. [​IMG]
     
  19. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    Most have policies that they do retain the right to refuse service... so they can always fall back on that.

    I got a real attitude from a store manager when I tried to pay with a roll of pennies, but he made the sale. Now, I wish I'd walked out on him and made the purchase elsewhere.


    ...Kinda brings a new meaning to the phrase "Your money's no good here!" [​IMG]
     
  20. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    so what's the rule if your picture is on your card - like my citibank? they *still* ask for my id -- it doesn't bother me, but it does crack me up.
     

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