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Topic: USPS related -not PBS Can the USPS refuse to take coins as payment?

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Subject: USPS related -not PBS Can the USPS refuse to take coins as payment?
Date Posted: 3/27/2011 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
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here a question i found on yahoo answers

Can the USPS refuse to take coins as paymentfor a money order?

The clerk and her supervisor turned me away, saying they would not take dollar coins. I insisted it's legal tender, and I had the coins rolled neatly, and they wouldn't budge. The supervisor gave me a line about how they are only able to deposit paper money at the bank. I know a private company can refuse to take coins, but is the USPS considered a private company?
Date Posted: 3/28/2011 12:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
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No idea, but it's an interesting irony.  About the only entity that regularly uses the dollar coins is the post office...their postage machines give dispense them as change.

Date Posted: 3/28/2011 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
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I don't think they legally can. Most post offices have removed their stamp machines, but when they had them, they were one of the only places in the country you would get dollar coins. My mom used to get them all the time and they took them at the post office counter with only minimal grumbling.

Date Posted: 3/28/2011 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
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Oh you can get the dollar coins at other places.  We get them all the time as change at the trolley stations here in San Diego. 

Sorry - I read the above reply at the ONLY not one of the only.   It's legal tender - they have to take it.



Last Edited on: 3/28/11 5:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: dollar coins
Date Posted: 3/28/2011 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,426
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There is a factory here in town that gives dollar coins in the change machine...put in $20, you'll get 20 dollar coins. THEN they show up at KFC for lunch and use 17 for two buffets and drinks.....my manager loved me!!



Last Edited on: 5/8/11 10:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/28/2011 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,860
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I don't know that they have to take coin rolls, though.

 I am sure at a minimum they would have to unroll all the money and count it.

Subject: dollar coins
Date Posted: 3/28/2011 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 127
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New York Subway system gives dollar coins as change.

Date Posted: 3/28/2011 11:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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Most places won't take rolled coin, but I don't know why they wouldn't take loose coin once it was unrolled, its not like they don't collect other coin that needs depositing. They just don't want it rolled.

The USPS is an independent agency of the executive branch. It is not funded by tax-dollars, but it is still a government agency.

Date Posted: 3/29/2011 2:47 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
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My bank doesn't want coins rolled anymore.  They have machines that count the coins so fast and roll them faster than you can blink. It is much easier for them that way. If you bring them in rolled, they just tear them open and throw them in the counter. 

 I've never known anyone to turn down coins for payment. 



Last Edited on: 3/29/11 2:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/29/2011 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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A few coins is not a problem, The questioner sounds like they were trying to spend quite a bit. most rolls are 40-50 coins so that would be 40-50 dollars and we dont know how many rolls they were tring to spend.

The way the PO does their deposit for the night is to run a report to see how much cash is in the drawer, then they "reserve" $100+the change for the next busuness day. so if the report said there was $601.58 dollars in the drawer, they will "reserve" 100.58--in coins and small bills- and deposit $501 dollars in the bank. The clerk CAN NOT hold more than 100.99 in "reserve". The bank deposit is only checks and paper money. they can not deposit coins. all coins are kept in the "reserve" If the OP was spending so much that it would make the "reserve" of coins over  $100.99 then the PO had no choice but to refuse.

I have had to refuse large bills too. I had about $170 in the drawer, $70 of it todays business and 100 for the reserve. someone tried to buy a book of stamps with a hundred. I had the money in the drawer to make change, but I couldn't take the bill because that would take my reserve down so low that I wouldn't have enough for the next days business.

Subject: Making change
Date Posted: 3/29/2011 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
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Those $100 bills can be a pistol!  I have had one person come in at KFC and get the buffet....$6.43 and pay with a $100 bill... $93.57. He was one of first customers of the day...then his two buddys both wanted get a buffet and each pay with a $100 bill. My manager had to send them over to the Holiday station or to a bank...we aren't a bank. Finally the first guy payed for his buddys.

Date Posted: 3/30/2011 1:10 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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A lot of places can't break a $100 bill.  That's why I don't accept them from the bank or cash machine...too much hassle, and it's rude to businesses to ask them to break a 100 for a tiny purchase.

Date Posted: 3/30/2011 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
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I cashiered for a while so I know it can be difficult to make change for a large bill. However, I find a local Subway's policy frustrating: they won't accept anything over a $20. Two of the three people in front of me had paid with $20s, so they had the change in the till. The new $50 and $100 bills have better security features now and what if your bill is over $40? I wonder if they accept cash for catering orders. I think most signs should say "We reserve the right to not accept bills over $20." That way they can make change if available. It's much easier to count one $100 bill than 20 $5 bills at the end of the night.

$1 coins last longer than $1 bills and are cheaper to make (averaging the cost over the time they are used) so it makes sense to use them. The Mint says the public doesn't want to use them, but I think that's leftover from the Susan B Anthony coin days. If they made it policy that banks have to order at least 25% of their dollars in coin form, maybe they'd become more popular due to ubiquity.

Date Posted: 4/1/2011 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,797
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How many rolls of coins did you have?  My husband was a Postmaster as well as carrier and clerk, and he would have simply broken the rolls open.  He knows about reserve and cash retained as he did the paperwork for his office.  You can give those coins to customers as change.  I would love to take them as I collect them.  Hubby just retired a few months ago so unless it has changed dramactically in that time, he should have taken the money.

As far as the Post office being a private business, it is and it isn't.  When it benefits them, say if you are injured on the job, it is a gov't business and you get screwed on your benefits and claim.  If it is for their benefit, like comparing salaries for the managers, it is a private company.  I also worked for them and got injured.  I was treated like scum and they wanted me out.  They eventually got their wish and I applied for disability and got it, thanks to the Lord; the Post Office tried to stop it.  They wanted me fired and gone especially one fellow in particular.  He made my life HELL. 

Seems to me if the Post Office wants to make more money, why turn down revenue?  So what if you had to have some dollar coins around for a while?  Big deal.  I have been a close out clerk.  It is money.  Issue a few to each clerk and ask that they hand them out by the end of that day or week.  Most people are easy going and will take them.  Mention they are great to give to grandkids and to collect.  It all depends on your attitude.  I used to be a window clerk and know what I am talking about.  A smile and a hello can make a big difference.  I worked mail by machine, hand and also worked windows for over 20 years. 

 

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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You can give those coins to customers as change.  I would love to take them as I collect them.   

Most customers despise them and I have seen grown men throw a hissy fit if that was the only change available

 

Issue a few to each clerk and ask that they hand them out by the end of that day or week. 

 

What if your in an office with only one ore 2 clerks. The OP said they were using rolls to buy money orders, that would be hundreds of dollars. If you can only have 100.99 in your drawer at the end of the day, you would have to hand out those 100's of coins by the end of the day--not possible in most cases.

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
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 Sounds like if they can only have 100. some odd cents in the till at the end of the day then they need to change the policy! A sinking ship should not be turning down money!

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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 Sounds like if they can only have 100. some odd cents in the till at the end of the day then they need to change the policy! A sinking ship should not be turning down money!

+1

Revenue should never be turned down by a business for a counting issue, especially a business that is crying that they don't get enough business. Have someone buy out the roll and take it to the bank themselves if someone can't go to the bank to do a deposit at the counter instead of the driveup. Many people have to plan trips to the post office, they don't need their trips there fruitless because of trivial policies like how much change is in a drawer at the end of a day.

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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 The OP said they were buying a money order with rolled dollar coins. money orders range up to $1,000 each . The "revenue" on a $1,000 money order is $1.50 The amount of the money order isn't revenue, just the money order fee. The money order amount belongs to the person the money order is made out to. The post office is just an transfer agent.

 

Have someone buy out the roll and take it to the bank themselves if someone can't go to the bank to do a deposit at the counter instead of the driveup. 

It's not a counter vs. driveup issue. The deposit is not handled by post office employees. We dont run down to the corner bank at the end of the night with the deposit. In my post office, the bank is 74 miles away.  I don't know of too many people who have the descretionary income to be able to buy out rolls and rolls of coins out of the drawer out of their own pocket.

 

 

Sounds like if they can only have 100. some odd cents in the till at the end of the day then they need to change the policy! A sinking ship should not be turning down money! 

 

let's see if I can explain this better. USPS has about 37,000 retail locations. If you figure 2 clerks per location that is 74,000 clerks--that is a lowball figure but I'm trying to average the places with only one clerk and the ones with 10 or more.  If every clerk holds back 100.99 in their drawer, that is $7,473,260 just sitting there, not earning any interest, not paying bills, nothing. now let bump it up to $200.99 that is $14,873,260. That is a huge chunk of change for a trasaction that will only net us less than $2.00.. THAT is not good business. If the money order was 0-$500 the post office would have made $1.10 and if it was $500-$1,000 the revenue would have been $1.50.

IF the post office COULD have reserved more in the drawer and accepted all those coins, they would have to give those coins out as change for a LONG time, and they would loose a lot more than the $1.10-$1.50 they made on this transaction. I have had to give out those coins a change before and like I said before, I had grown men throwing hissy fits about getting coins as change. I have had people cancel the trasaction and leave instead of getting the coins. THAT is not good business.

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2010
Posts: 629
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Many places will not accept 50s or 100s no matter how much they have in the register or how much your purchase is. Although if you get in a bind you can always force the issue.

I had filled my SUV with $45 in gas. Only had a 20 and a 50 on me. The lady refused to take to the 50. At first she said it was that she was not allowed to give change for large bills. So I went back out and gave some young kid another $5 in gas off my pump and came back in. Again explained that I now have $50 in gas and need to pay (no longer require change). Then she told me that they won't take more than a 20. Story short... it got ugly, but as the cop told the lady... "its legal tender, you have to accept it". That woman was trying to have me arrested for stealing gas.... angry

Date Posted: 4/27/2011 1:57 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2006
Posts: 155
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Here is my simple and direct opinion - it was certainly not good CUSTOMER SERVICE regardless of cash retained or anything else.  I thought that was the purpose of the window?? 

 

LOL - At my office you would have had 4 clerks wanting to buy the coins

Bobbi