A MARYBOROUGH man was stunned when an Optus phone store refused to accept loose change when he tried to buy a $30 recharge card - but the store said it was its legal right to refuse to accept change if the amount exceeded $5.
Michael Clad, 57, went into Optus in Maryborough's Station Square to buy the recharge card and said he tried to use $1 and $2 coins to complete the purchase.
However Cara Swanney, regional manager at the Optus store, said Mr Clad had nothing higher than 20 cent pieces when he tried to make the purchase and he was politely informed the store did not have the space to keep the change.
Ms Swanney said the Optus store did not refuse Mr Clad service, but told him he would need to exchange the change at a bank or another business before coming back to buy the recharge card.
"We just can't do it," Ms Swanney said.
She said she understood where Mr Clad was coming from, but that didn't change the space issue the store faced.
In the end Mr Clad used a $50 note to make his purchase but he said he was stunned that businesses could turn away legal tender.
"I could understand if it was five and ten cent pieces."
Mr Clad said he would not go back to the Optus store again.
"Not as long as my rear end points to the ground," he said.
He also wondered if the store would have refused his money if he had wanted to buy their most expensive phone in small change.
"They'd soon find space for that," he said.
According to the 1965 Commonwealth Currency Act, in the case of coins of denominations of five, ten, twenty or fifty cents, it is legal tender for a payment of an amount not exceeding $5.
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