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Author Topic: 4 cents is 4 cents darn it!!
Member # 6700

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OK.. I will say up front that this may seem petty... but it's not about the 4 cents.. it's the principle darn it...

So I was at a Kwik Shop with my son, his friend and my daughter. My son bought a couple of sodas. His change should have been 44 cents. The cashier was out of pennies so she told my son that she was only going to give hime 40 cents change. I told the cashier that I wanted the 4 cents change due, she couldn't just short change him because she didn't have pennies. She said that there was nothing she could do about it. I told her then she could just give him a nickel. She refused to do this because she would be "giving" my son a penny and that would make her drawer short. I asked her why it was ok to short my son 4 cents but "wrong" to short herself 1 cent. She still refused. At this point she told me that if I didn't like it I could take my business elsewhere (I had a couple of sodas myself). I told her no problem and that I wanted a refund on the items that my son purchased so that we could go somewhere else. She refused this request as well. And she tells me that she has been out of pennies all day and no one else has had a problem getting shorted by a few pennies. I tell the lady I either want my 4 cents or a refund. She tells me to leave the premises, I tell her I was not leaving without either a refund or my 4 cents. So the friggen lady calls 911!! Now mind you I was upset, I couldn't fill out the complaint form she gave me because my hands were shaking, but I was not raising my voice or calling her names or smacking the counter, I just wanted my 4 cents!! The whole time this lady is belittling me in front of other customers, telling them that I must have had a bad Christmas because I was throwing a fit over 4 cents. So the cops get there. I tell them what happened. I explain to them that it is not really about the 4 cents anymore. You just can't short everyone all day because you are out of change. That adds up. So anyway... up shot.. I ended up getting a nickel change, I called the other store and got the manager and explained the situation. The manager was just in shock that her employee refused to give me change, she told me that the cashier would get written up and that I had every right to lodge a formal complaint with the district office.

I know this sounds really stupid. Maybe I should have just let it go, but I didn't, and I won't. I mean if this lady had been shorting people all day that adds up. I do think I'll write a letter to the district office. I have never had a cashier as rude as this lady was.

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Member # 6659

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She's not very good at math either. If she had been shorting people all day, then her drawer is way over, and giving you the extra cent wouldn't have mattered.

I'm so glad you stayed until the police came. What was their attitude and reaction?

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Member # 3264

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If she had been out of pennies all day and other customers hadn't complained her drawer would not have been short if she gave your son the nickel. The other customers would have made up for it.

You did the right thing.

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Member # 6358

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That is ridiculous. You did absolutely the right thing, and I would certainly write the letter to the district office as well. To refuse to refund the money when you wouldn't accept not getting the 4 cents was just bizzare.
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Member # 6636

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Oof. She deserves to be written up just for belittling you in front of the other customers, regardless of how many cents were involved! Good for you for standing up for yourself in the face of rudeness, you do the rest of us a favor!
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Member # 1227

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You absolutely did the right thing. Especially with your son there. My father once drove my brother clear back across town when he found out he'd been given a penny too much in change. He was so distraught over it. He got a real lesson in honesty.

I have had this happen before and the clerk routinely just hands over the nickel or suggests a way to make the purchase come out to an even 5-cent or 10-cent interval.

And if she's been out all day, doesn't that also mean that ALL of her customers have been out all day too? I mean, c'mon, this just doesn't make sense.

I carry around a boat load of pennies at any given time just because they accummulate so rapidly. I can't believe she didn't think of asking customers if they had pennies, or that she never got some in as the day progressed.

I could see her saying that's she'd be low on 'em all day and was currently out, but then she should've just done the right thing and made a note of it in her cash drawer.

I would've been angry too. And you're right, it's not the money, it's the princple. I wouldn't be surprised if the management got a nice bill from the police department too for the cost of that response call. Seriously, clerk called 911 over that? I hope she at least used a non-emergency number, and not 911!

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Member # 1115

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I wonder if she was skimming the extra money she was making with this policy? As someone pointed out, a few cents per customer doesn't look like much, but it does add up.
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Goody Scrivener
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Adding my approval to the round of applause. And I also picked up on the "been out of pennies all day" comment. Makes me wonder how much she could have potentially racked up in a shift by shorting people like that, and if she's skimming the till of the overage at the end of her shift. Management totally needed to know about this for several reasons.
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Member # 8353

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Gets out fortunetelling crystal . . . "I see a cashier out looking for a new job . . ."

I mean, she called 911??? What is up with THAT?

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King of Men
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It does kind of seem to me that both parties are being... no, let me rephrase that. Both parties to the dispute are ignoring a fairly obvious solution. Just give the lady a penny, and she gives you a nickel in return. Voila, correct change. How difficult can it be?
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Verily the Younger
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Honestly, I would have let it go at the first mention that they didn't have four pennies. That, in itself, is plausible enough, and the amount is trivial enough that I--rightly or wrongly--wouldn't have questioned it.

However, that all goes out the window when she starts being rude about it. Belittling you to other customers is grounds for termination. And if the number she actually dialed is 911--as opposed to simply the local police department--then it seems to me she now has legal problems as well. Calling 911 over something this trivial is illegal, is it not?

I would definitely file a formal complaint. To me, this isn't even about money. It's about principle. I've been in the customer service industry myself, and I know that it doesn't matter whether or not she's had a bad day, there is no valid excuse she can possibly give to justify her behavior.

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Member # 6700

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The police officers (there were 2 sqaud cars that came) were trying to scrounge up 4 pennies between them. When I talked to the manager that was at the other store she confirmed that they were out of pennies due to the 3 day weekend. But she said that she didn't care if I was only owed one cent you just don't short change a customer because you don't have change. She said that it was their problem that they didn't have change not mine.
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Member # 5162

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I had something happen a lot like that once, but I was on the other end of it.

I was ringing some guy up for something, and the total came to, let's say, $14.45. So he pulls out a roll of bills that could have choked a rhino, at least a few of which were $50s and $100s. He peels of $14, which made no noticable difference in the size of the wad. Then he goes into his pocket, pulls out some change, and gives me 40 cents. Then he just stood there and looked at me.

I told him that he was still 5 cents short. He said, "oh, that's all the change I have. It'll just have to be close enough.

If he would have been nice about it and asked if it was alright, I may have tried to work with him. But he just told me that it was enough, even though he obviously had the money to cover the difference. So I told him that if he gave me another dollar bill instead of the change, I would refund him the 55 cents. He refused. He said he didn't want any change, and demanded that I give him the product for the money that he'd given me.

I explained to him that I wasn't in a position to haggle, that the cost was $14.45, and that was what I was going to need to complete the transaction. He went nuts. Threw a fit. He kept trying to force me to take the lesser amount, and when he saw that I wasn't going to move, he took the money back, threw the item at me, and stormed out of the store.

It felt a little bit petty, but like you said, it was the principle. It's funny what some people will try to do to get an extra nickle.

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You did right.

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Tante Shvester
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Originally posted by babager:
Maybe I should have just let it go

I would have. What was the benefit to you or anyone to have your day ruined over such a petty amount? I would have laughed it off, told my son that she was wrong, and that people just crack me up sometimes.

I'd be teaching my son not only the difference between right and wrong, but also not to be a hothead, and that sometimes it just is the best policy to not fight.

Perhaps you will feel better knowing that a lady this petty must spend a good deal of her time miserable and ticked off. I mean, it wouldn't make me feel better, but it might make you feel better.

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I would probably have let it go too, but I would have wished I had done what you did instead. It is ridiculous that the clerk acted in that manner.

Just two days ago I bought a popcorn/soda combo at Target just as we were leaving. The clerk was very sweet but told me that they were out of medium cups and she would have to give me a kid's cup (the difference was huge) or she could charge me $.50 for a large cup. Normally I would take the smaller cup since I usually get popcorn for my daughter to munch on while I shop and I could have gotten refills no matter what size the cup was, but since I was leaving, I could not get the refill. I told her it wasn't fair to downsize me for the same price so she gave me a large cup for no charge.

I just can't imagine calling the cops for something like that!

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Member # 1227

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I thought of another way of handling it, once the person got rude about it. I would tell her that I would accept her IOU and would come back later to get the money. Then I would ask for ID after she signed it, so I know I had the right person.


If she claimed not to have ID, I would just ask if I could take her picture with my cell phone camera so that I could identify her to the clerk when I came back in.

It'd be loads of fun.

[Big Grin]

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El JT de Spang
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If everyone would catch on and boycott pennies, as I do, problems like this would be eliminated.

Except for the ones involving nickels, dimes, and quarters.

And I absolutely agree with the way you handled it.

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My problem with things like what this clerk said is the illogic. If it's "just a few pennies" then she shouldn't mind being the one to lose fewer pennies. Basically, she's using an argument she doesn't buy herself, and that pisses me off when someone tries it on me.
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