News, Culture & Society

Pensioner told she can’t pay for shopping with gold coins

A pensioner and her daughter have been left red-faced after being told it was illegal to pay $30 of their grocery bill in gold coins.

Maria, 82 and Helen Garvey were shopping at a Coles store in Victoria last week when a cashier informed them they do not accept more than $20 in $1 or $2 coins.

Shocked and embarrassed, Ms Garvey took to Facebook to ask those online whether they had ever heard of such a law, with thousands equally perplexed at the law.

A pensioner and her daughter have been left embarrassed after being told it was illegal to pay $30 of their Coles grocery bill in gold coins (stock photo)

The pair visited the Glen Waverley supermarket on August 25 and purchased $130 worth of items.

Wishing to pay $30 of the total in coins, they were left perplexed when they were told that company policy dictates a person cannot pay more than ‘$20 in gold coins’.

While the cashier let it pass as a once off, Ms Garvey told Daily Mail Australia the exchange had left both her and her mother bewildered, having never heard of such a law before.

‘My mother was confused as she didn’t understand why her money was illegal,’ she said.

Maria, 82 and Helen Garvey were shopping at the supermarket's Glen Waverley store in Victoria last week when a cashier informed them it is company policy not to accept more than $20 in $1 or $2 coins (stock photo)

Maria, 82 and Helen Garvey were shopping at the supermarket’s Glen Waverley store in Victoria last week when a cashier informed them it is company policy not to accept more than $20 in $1 or $2 coins (stock photo)

Ms Garvey posted on the store's Facebook page (pictured) to ask others  whether they had ever heard of such a law, with thousands equally perplexed at the law

Ms Garvey posted on the store’s Facebook page (pictured) to ask others whether they had ever heard of such a law, with thousands equally perplexed at the law

‘I’m all for being law abiding, however it would be nice to have some kind of signage so that people are aware. I had no idea about this law at all. 

Ms Garvey said that her mother now felt embarrassed to shop there again and that the pensioner was disappointed as ‘she was thinking she was helping the cashier.’

Her post to Coles Facebook page has since gone viral, amassing nearly 10,000 reactions and 6,000 comments. 

In it, she explained that her mother was ‘a pensioner and a widow’ and did not own an EFTPOS card.

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia (stock photo pictured), payment of coins is legal tender throughout Australia but is 'subject to some restrictions'

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia (stock photo pictured), payment of coins is legal tender throughout Australia but is ‘subject to some restrictions’

Ms Garvey said she did not blame the cashier as they had been doing their job, but said signange should be present so others are not caught out the same way (stock photo)

Ms Garvey said she did not blame the cashier as they had been doing their job, but said signange should be present so others are not caught out the same way (stock photo)

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, payment of coins is legal tender throughout Australia but is ‘subject to some restrictions’.

Among these are limits to the value of the $1 and $2 coins, which cannot ‘exceed 10 times the face value of he coin’.

Ms Garvey, who said she did not blame the cashier, sent Coles a message but stated that they had ‘struck to their guns about the federal law’.

She plans to write a letter, following the ‘astounding response’ of others online, many of whom were also unaware of such laws.

‘Are you serious. Money is money no matter how it comes,’ one user wrote.

While another added: ‘This is disgraceful and at the end of the day money is money.’   

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk