Pensioner 'embarrassed' after Coles cashier says store won't accept payment in gold coins

A Melbourne pensioner and her daughter have been left furious after they were told it was illegal to pay for part of their groceries with coins.

Helen Garvey and her 82-year-old mother Maria paid for $130 worth of groceries at Coles at the Glen, in Glen Waverley on Friday August 25.

In a Facebook post, Ms Garvey said her mother doesn’t have an EFTPOS card and is “quite beyond the technology”.

“Her total bill was $130 she paid 100 in notes and 30 in gold coins,” she said.

Ms Garvey said her mother was left embarrassed by the exchange. Source: Facebook

“We were told by the cashier that she will accept the gold coins this time however next time she can only accept $20 in gold coins.

“My mother and I were quite embarrassed and my question is when has there been a law as to what money is accepted at Coles?”

According to the Currency Act of 1965, while coins are legal tender there are limits and you can’t pay more than “10 times the face value” of gold coins.

That means you can’t pay $11 in one dollar coins.

The cashier was technically following the law. Stock photo. Source: AAP

While, it’s not known exactly how much the pensioner paid in $1 and $2 coins, Ms Garvey said if it was “common practice” there should be signage so “others won’t feel like second class citizens”.

“This is really disappointing and now she feels embarrassed to shop there again,” she said.

Ms Garvey’s post has since been shared more than 1000 times and has gotten more than 7000 comments.

And while many have cited the Currency Act in the comments, others have suggested the cashier polish up on their customer service skills.

“Remembering my old bank training days, this is technically correct, but surprised that Coles would follow it, seems like poor customer service,” Rebecca Cram commented.

“Money is money. What a silly thing this person said to you,” Jacqui Cavanagh said.

In a response to the Facebook post, Coles said: “We’re disappointed to hear that you had a poor experience at our Glen Waverley store, we adhere to the RBA Legal Tender.”

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