A CompUSA cashier summoned her manager and a security guard when Bud tried to pay for his purchases with cash. The promise of 40% discounts drew Bud to the Boisie, Idaho store, but he settled for a 10% discount on an iMac and several accessories.
I start counting out hundred dollar bills and the clerk goes nuts! “Sir, we don’t accept cash for this kind of purchase! You must use a credit card!” she says at the top of her lungs. (I see her also hit a button on the phone at the same time.)
Instantly a man shows up, clearly the manager from his nametag and the rent-a-cop security guy. Both tell me the same thing, “NO CASH! You have to pay with a credit card!”
CompUSA’s corporate office defended the manager, saying that each store is free to set its own policies.
The manager’s actions are legal. 31 U.S.C. 5103 says that cash is legal tender for all debts, public and private. Creditors can’t refuse cash. CompUSA can.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they should.
I got a call back from a guy at CompUSA corporate, apologizing for what happened. He said that he would make sure that I was taken care of properly and that cash would be no problem. I told him I would think about it and call him back.
So I called the store to see if the items I wanted were in stock, after I asked the guy about them he said, “I know who you are, your the guy that wanted to pay cash. My district manager & corporate called me and read me the riot act over this. Thanks for getting me in trouble!”
He then hung up on me!
And you wondered why they were going out of business.