I went to a national high street shop today and attempted to pay with the last of my old pound coins. The cashier refused to accept them stating that the store manager had instructed them not to accept any today. This was at 2pm so the store had been trading for 4 hours in a big shopping centre. I insisted and told them they were breaking the law by refusing to accept legal tender. They eventually allowed me to pay using my pounds (much to my relief as my wages don't clear for a few days). The customer at the neighbouring till also had some old pounds so benefitted from my mini tantrum. I am just wondering DID they have a right to refuse after all? If so why would they? Surely maintaining good customer relations is more important than bagging all their old pound coin a day early?
Yes they do. It's the same as trying to pay with a £50 note for something that costs £1 or a bus ticket with a £20 note. No shop has to accept any notes or coins that they don't want to and the only reason they did is because you embarrassingly kicked off and they wanted to get you out of there quickly.
Today is the final day. I was basing my assertion on what I as told as a student when I worked in a petrol station. I was told that legally we had to accept all coins and notes as long as we were able to make change. I only questioned that today when I was told I couldn't use the coins. BTW for me it felt like a mini tantrum to insist as I am usually very British about making a fuss. In reality is was more a series of stutterers sentence
It was really unreasonable for any shop to refuse to accept old £1 coins today, as there is no issue with them paying them into their own banks (apart from needing to be in different bags, but that has been an issue since the new ones were released).
And why any retail assistant would laugh at a customer who didn't have any other money, wanting to use legal tender to give their shop custom, I don't know.
So yes, they could refuse but we're being unhelpful twats in doing so.
In the UK, legal tender is only for the payment of a debt- so shops are under no obligation to accept and can refuse e.g. £50 notes as a standard policy. If they didn't wish to accept an old style pound today they're within their rights to do so.
Equally, shops can refuse to serve you at all on any grounds that aren't discriminatory.