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  • FIRST POST
    • Deastons
    • By Deastons 16th Apr 18, 9:28 PM
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    Deastons
    Can a shopkeeper refuse to give change?
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 18, 9:28 PM
    Can a shopkeeper refuse to give change? 16th Apr 18 at 9:28 PM
    If, displayed very clearly by the till, was a sign saying "We do not give change" could a shop simply take your money and refuse change? I'm guessing not.

    So why do most car park machines not give change? They can give change. The technology exists. But they're obviously programmed to not do so.

    My local car park charges a minimal amount . But the minimum charge for cards is £3.50 (6 hrs parking). And it won't give change when paying cash.

    Seems to me this is an obvious way of stealing people's money.
Page 1
    • mattyprice4004
    • By mattyprice4004 16th Apr 18, 9:36 PM
    • 3,779 Posts
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    mattyprice4004
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 9:36 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 9:36 PM
    The shop sign means they wonít change your £1 for 2x 50ps or a £10 into 10x £1 coins, not that they donít give change for purchases
    • George Michael
    • By George Michael 16th Apr 18, 9:45 PM
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    George Michael
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 9:45 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 9:45 PM
    I've heard it mentioned a few times that shops are not legally required to give change.
    It probably stems from this:

    Legal tender has a very narrow and technical meaning in the settlement of debts. It means that a debtor cannot successfully be sued for non-payment if he pays into court in legal tender. It does not mean that any ordinary transaction has to take place in legal tender or only within the amount denominated by the legislation.

    Both parties to a transaction are free to agree to accept any form of payment whether legal tender or otherwise according to their wishes. In order to comply with the very strict rules governing an actual legal tender transaction it is necessary, for example, to offer the exact amount due because no change can be demanded.
    https://www.royalmint.com/help/trm-faqs/legal-tender-amounts/
    • Deastons
    • By Deastons 16th Apr 18, 10:01 PM
    • 445 Posts
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    Deastons
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:01 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:01 PM
    The shop sign means they wonít change your £1 for 2x 50ps or a £10 into 10x £1 coins, not that they donít give change for purchases
    Originally posted by mattyprice4004
    The shop sign doesn't necessarily exist. It was hypothetical.

    My point is that I doubt it's ok for a shop to simply refuse to give you change when you pay for a service (assuming they have the means to give you change).

    So why can car park machines?
    • waamo
    • By waamo 16th Apr 18, 10:07 PM
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    waamo
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:07 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:07 PM
    There is no law that says shops have to give change. Such a sign would therefore be legal. If you don't like the terms of the contract then don't enter into a contract.
    This space for hire.
    • Deastons
    • By Deastons 16th Apr 18, 10:11 PM
    • 445 Posts
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    Deastons
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:11 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:11 PM
    There is no law that says shops have to give change. Such a sign would therefore be legal. If you don't like the terms of the contract then don't enter into a contract.
    Originally posted by waamo
    So shouldn't the terms be made clear before entering into the contract?

    In the case of parking, shouldn't it say "This car park does not give change" before entering?

    I only became aware of the fact the machine doesn't give change once I'd completed my period of parking. And the lack of change-giving wasn't mentioned on the tariff board I checked shortly after parking.
    Last edited by Deastons; 16-04-2018 at 10:13 PM.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 16th Apr 18, 10:21 PM
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    waamo
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:21 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:21 PM
    The terms of a contract should be clear before entering into it. The more onerous the terms are to one party the more prominent they should be. See Lord Dennings "red hand rule".
    This space for hire.
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 16th Apr 18, 10:26 PM
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    LilElvis
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:26 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:26 PM
    You know what the car park charge is so just be prepared and keep a supply of change in your glove box. Perhaps if they couldn't retain the overpayment from the ill-prepared the car park owner would have to increase the hourly charge for all. Be thankful that it's only £3.50 for 6 hours - that would pay for 1 1/2 hours at my local shopping centre.
    • bris
    • By bris 16th Apr 18, 11:32 PM
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    bris
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 18, 11:32 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 18, 11:32 PM
    Getting change isn't a legal requirement as long as it's clearly stated.


    This is often the case with car parking and buses that state exact change only.


    The shop has the same right, however as post 2 states it just means if you want change of a fiver for the bus forget it.
    • Svein Forkbeard
    • By Svein Forkbeard 17th Apr 18, 8:08 AM
    • 565 Posts
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    Svein Forkbeard
    PM Deaston he normally knows the answer to your questions.
    Last edited by Svein Forkbeard; 17-04-2018 at 8:13 AM.
    • lammy82
    • By lammy82 17th Apr 18, 9:34 AM
    • 397 Posts
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    lammy82
    The question is whether the car park is legally required to advertise that they don't give change before the customer enters (and hence forms the contract to pay for parking).

    I don't think they are.

    In a shop, at the moment you hand over a tenner for your £2.13 purchase, there is an implied assumption that the shopkeeper will give change. He's not legally required to do so, but if the shopkeeper is unable or unwilling to, he needs to make it clear before accepting your "overpayment". Verbally, probably. A prominent sign might work but probably wouldn't hold up in court.

    When you form a contract by entering and parking your car, you are not actually handing over any money at that point. You're liable for the cost of the parking and you should know how much money you owe the car park.

    The reason the machines don't give change is usually because that makes the machines more expensive to buy and maintain, and requires them to be continually topped up with change. It's more than simply changing the machine's settings.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 17th Apr 18, 10:18 AM
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    eddddy
    If the signs at the car park entrance don't mention 'change giving' (or to use the more formal term "the signs are silent on change giving"), it would be a case of "What would a reasonable person expect?"

    For example...

    Would a reasonable person expect the payment machines to give change, and see no need to check?

    Would a reasonable person park then check whether the payment machines give change? And if not, leave the car park within the grace period.
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 17th Apr 18, 11:34 AM
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    NBLondon
    And the lack of change-giving wasn't mentioned on the tariff board I checked shortly after parking.
    Originally posted by Deastons
    I guess this would be the key point if you challenged them in court... I personally wouldn't expect a car park machine to give change (I keep some silver in the car just in case) but I would expect the tariff board or the machine itself to state "No Change Given" to give you the option of not accepting the implied contract. Newer pay-on-exit ones often take cards as well so I don't know if that would be a get out because it was an alternative.
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    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 17th Apr 18, 12:09 PM
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    shaun from Africa
    The majority of car park payment machines near to where I live don't need to give change or don't need to state that no change is given as all of the payment inserted counts towards the time you can stay.

    If for example they are 70p for an hour and you put in £1, the expiry time on the printed ticket would be 1hr & 25min from when you paid.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 17th Apr 18, 2:56 PM
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    unholyangel
    There is no law that says shops have to give change. Such a sign would therefore be legal. If you don't like the terms of the contract then don't enter into a contract.
    Originally posted by waamo
    While theres no law that expressly states it, that happening would go against the rules of contract law and contract formation where the acceptance needs to exactly match the terms of the offer.

    Theres also the various laws around unfair or misleading trading practices to consider.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 17th Apr 18, 5:36 PM
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    zagfles
    While theres no law that expressly states it, that happening would go against the rules of contract law and contract formation where the acceptance needs to exactly match the terms of the offer.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    That would imply the customer must provide the exact amount.
    Theres also the various laws around unfair or misleading trading practices to consider.
    What about shops that refuse £50 notes? Even for something costing £50?
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 17th Apr 18, 5:43 PM
    • 13,645 Posts
    • 11,625 Thanks
    zagfles
    The majority of car park payment machines near to where I live don't need to give change or don't need to state that no change is given as all of the payment inserted counts towards the time you can stay.

    If for example they are 70p for an hour and you put in £1, the expiry time on the printed ticket would be 1hr & 25min from when you paid.
    Originally posted by shaun from Africa
    Car parks and even parking meters round here don't seem to work that way. You can only buy discreet chunks of time, eg typically you can only buy 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours etc. If it's £1.10 an hour and you put in £2, you'll only get one hour.

    Parking meters are the same except they use smaller chunks eg 15 or 30 minutes.
    • powerful_Rogue
    • By powerful_Rogue 17th Apr 18, 5:50 PM
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    powerful_Rogue


    In fact, a postage stamp is legal tender. A busdriver would have to accept that as currency.
    • OlliesDad
    • By OlliesDad 17th Apr 18, 7:33 PM
    • 1,779 Posts
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    OlliesDad


    In fact, a postage stamp is legal tender. A busdriver would have to accept that as currency.
    Originally posted by powerful_Rogue
    Two points:

    a) a bus driver is free to reject your custom - there is no debt if he doesn't accept you on his bus so he would not have to accept any legal tender.

    b) I dont think you are right regarding stamps http://blog.royalmint.com/are-stamps-legal-tender/
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 17th Apr 18, 7:50 PM
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    unholyangel
    That would imply the customer must provide the exact amount. What about shops that refuse £50 notes? Even for something costing £50?
    Originally posted by zagfles
    No it doesn't. They (for example) are offering to buy the product at £2.99 - they then offer to pay for it by using a £10 note. The two are separate.

    As for refusing notes, thats a whole different scenario because the shopkeeper isn't changing the price of anything.


    As for the discussion around legal tender...it is basically a defence in english law if you are sued for non-payment of debt, that you offered to pay in legal tender. It does not govern the rules of what currency or notes must be used for ordinary transactions. A retailer could opt to only be paid in brass buttons if they so wished, just it would be a silly business decision not to accept the currency widely used in the country you're operating.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
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