Macy's Policy Against Breaking Bills Results In Loss of Sale

Retailers take note: sticking to your guns on certain store policies may result in a loss of a sale. As one Consumerist reader writes in, Macy’s is out $17 after refusing to make a simple change transaction.

James just needed a $5 bill, but only had two $20s. As he says, he was willing to buy something he needed from Macy’s, if he could also get the change he needed. Not so easy, as he found out.

He writes:

I go into Macy’s to buy some socks, assuming that they’ll give me change for my $20. I needed socks too, so it wasn’t like going to the Walgreens to buy a pack of gum. Anyway, I find a pack of socks for $16. I bring them to the register. My total is $17.56.

I give the cashier my 2 $20s and ask if I can get a $5 back in the change. She tells me it’s against company policy to break bills. I ask her if that applies to paying customers, and she says yes.

I finish my transaction and ask to speak to a manager. He confirmed that they do not break bills. I then returned my purchase, and got a $5 bill back. I used that other $20 to buy socks from Nordstrom’s.

They could have had $17 dollars and two less $5s, but instead they had $0 and one less $5.

Certainly, store policies are in place for a reason, and bending the rules is frowned upon as a matter of consistency. But really? Come on.