'I will not be bullied': Customer's bizarre rant about Myer's new payment policy

Brooke Rolfe
News Reporter

A customer has taken a passionate stand against Myer in a bizarre rant about the retail giant’s payment policy introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The woman blasted the retailer and announced that she refused to let it “bully” her after staff refused to accept her cash payment on Tuesday under its new policy allowing only contactless payments.

She accused Myer of being “above” the law because there was no overarching stipulation applying to all retailers during the COVID-19 that required every store to refuse cash payments.

“I will not be bullied. I will not be coerced or manipulated. I will not bow down to stores that demand card only. Last I checked cash was still legal tender,” her fiery post to Facebook read.

“Last I checked the government hadn’t given an authority to get your cash to the banks before it was outlawed. Last I checked you still had a right to choose whether you paid cash or card, even if they requested card.”

The woman called on others to boycott Myer over the store not accepting cash payments. Source: AAP

She claimed she tried paying with a $50 note to buy a pair of pyjamas at the Maroochydore store, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, but was refused and left the store.

Her temper erupted after leaving however so she returned to the shop, demanding to speak with the manager, according to her post.

“I asked her why this was the store’s policy when it wasn’t legal or mandatory to demand how something was to be paid. She said that’s come from management and they don’t have the capacity to even take cash at the cash registers anymore,” she wrote.

The woman said she then “called her on it” and told her she was going to “lose a sale then”.

“I will not be bullied, or manipulated to not using cash when I choose to, I’d rather go without. It’s about taking a stand. Standing up for my rights, your rights,” she wrote.

The removal of cash payments were one of many changes made to Myer stores in its effort to protect staff and shoppers from the spread of germs amid the pandemic.

The retailer introduced the policy to reduce the contact points between staff and customers. Source: AAP

The shopper also shared a response she claimed to receive from a Myer employee which explained the cashless policy was introduced to reduce “the number of touch points between people when shopping”.

“This is in accordance with guidance issued by Safe Work Australia. If you are shopping with us and only have cash, please speak to one of our friendly team members who can assist with your options to make a purchase. Thanks for your understanding,” the response read.

Marketing expert from the University of Queensland Professor Gary Mortimer said it was becoming increasingly common for retailers to request payments to be made digitally.

“What we’ve seen over the past decade is a growth of tap-and-go and credit card purchases - there’s been a significant decline in the use of cash,” Prof Mortimer told Yahoo News Australia.

Shopper is part of ‘small minority’

“People are concerned about using cash, withdrawing large volumes of cash, and retailers themselves are a bit concerned about holding cash.”

While the majority of consumers and retailers were more inclined to use digital payments and less cash, Prof Mortimer said there was a small number of people who still preferred to pay with cash.

“They may choose to use cash in order to budget more efficiently - research suggests that if people use cash, they tend to budget better and use less cash,” he said.

There were also multiple businesses that offered customers discounts if they paid for good using cash, like electronic retail giant The Good Guys.

Still, the proportion of retailers and consumers demanding the use of cash grew smaller each year, Prof Mortimer said, adding that COVID-19 had drawn additional attention to the way people used it.

He said the minority of people paying with cash had valid reasons for doing so, but suspected this would do little to slow down the progression towards an entirely digital transaction system.

“I do empathise with the customer, but unfortunately she is part of a very small minority group out of the larger population,” Prof Mortimer said.

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