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Best Buy Has Man Arrested for Using $2 Bills 2088

Posted by Zonk
from the buyer-beware dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mike Bolesta of Baltimore thought he would protest Best Buy's not-so-great customer service and pay his bill with 57 $2 bills. For his trouble he got to spend some time in the county lock-up." From the article: "..Bolesta was contacted by the store, and was threated with police action if he did not pay the [installation] fee he was told before did not exist. As a sign of protest, Bolesta decided to pay using only $2 bills, which he has an abundance of because he asks his bank for them specifically. Unfortunately for him, the cashier did not seem to understand that the $2 bill is indeed legal US tender, since the bill itself is not often used. After rudely refusing to take the money, the cashier accepted the bills, only to mark them as though they were conterfeit."
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Best Buy Has Man Arrested for Using $2 Bills

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  • by Alaren (682568) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:23PM (#12182589)

    Wow.

    You know, that a Best Buy would have such an ignorant cashier (who now claims the bills were "smudged" and so "appeared to be counterfeit") does not surprise me in the least. It happens. Lots of people are stupid.

    What scares me (and surprises me a little, though less than it probably should) is that this guy made it all the way to the county lock-up on the suspicions of one cashier (who in all likelihood is little more than an overimaginative freshman from the local community college). Holding the "perp" in temporary custody right there at the store while someone examined the bills would probably have been going too far, but at least it would have been a semi-routine excersize in caution rather than time in a cell.

    IANAL and I don't know what makes for a good wrongful arrest suit, but I hope this guy gets something for his trouble. This kind of paranoia is disturbing enough among the unwashed, paranoid, intellectually barren cannon fodder of America; I would expect the full-fledged adults working in law enforcement to have significantly cooler heads.

    P.S. FP!?

    • by Y0tsuya (659802) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:36PM (#12182721)
      I'm not surprised either. Turnover rate is high and many of them are students working part-time. Once I had a cashier insisting that I present a photo ID along with my photo credit card. I politely pointed out that the whole point of having a photo on my credit card is so that I won't have to show my driver licence, which in my case is the same exact picture. "Store policy," she said, at which point I understood that she's a new trainee and must have felt it's better to be safe than sorry. So I showed my ID and everybody's happy. I guess my point is: try not to confuse the poor cashier.
      • by Winkhorst (743546) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:15PM (#12183107)
        "try not to confuse the poor cashier" Especially when they give you too much change. ;-) I actually argued over that with one once and finally gave up.
        • by thogard (43403) on Friday April 08, 2005 @11:21PM (#12183996) Homepage
          I knew a guy who had the habit of tossing dimes into the open cash draw at places like Mc Donald's. Apparently at the time McD's had a policy where they were much more worried if you had extra cash since it means you ripped off a customer where if you came up short you may be stealing from the company. The result is if your over by $.10 you end up counting and recounting and the manager gets to recount and someone has to fill out forms incase the irate costumer shows up looking for their $.10. He claimed that if you could get a dime in three draws it would waste an hour of a managers time.
          • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Saturday April 09, 2005 @12:28AM (#12184434) Homepage
            Apparently at the time McD's had a policy where they were much more worried if you had extra cash since it means you ripped off a customer
            I worked in the cash office at the local grocery store [heb.com] for several years. (Overall, I wasted six years at that place. Leaving was one of the best things I ever did.)

            There, we generally treated overages and underages the same -- if you're over $5, you got punished just like you would if you were under $5. (Though for an isolated incident, $5 was no big deal.)

            Amounts under $1 were considered OK and not worth any sort of write-up or anything. But even $100 wouldn't mean a lot of extra manager work -- just that we'd double check our counting of the till and that would be that. (The checker, on the other hand, would get in trouble for that much. Not fired, but trouble. They'd have to count their own till (the thing that holds the money) for a while and if their money control didn't improve, they'd get fired eventually.

            I tend to believe that we were more picky about who we hired than the local McDonalds -- certainly, we'd interview people and not hire them, and they'd appear at McDonalds. And we generally hired kids as baggers rather than cashiers, so we got a chance to know them before promoting them. So I'm guessing that McDonalds probably did NOT freak out about a till being $0.10 off, even if it happened every day -- otherwise, they'd be freaking out all the time.

            Last I heard, 8% of the US population had worked at McDonalds at some point in their life :)

            As for $2 bills, they showed up in the cash office on a regular basis, and I'd snag them (replacing them with 2 $1 bills, of course!) I used them for tips and the like, since they were a bit unusual. Hopefully no waitress thought I was giving her fake money :)

            • by Sancho (17056) on Saturday April 09, 2005 @05:22AM (#12185857) Homepage
              I worked in a small-town movie rental store where we had the owner, one manager, and the slave labor. The slave labor that counted out money was based solely on seniority.

              The policy was $5 over or under and we had to call the manager at home (at 11pm) to come re-count. Neither employee could leave until this was done, and the manager was not known for being speedy.

              Most of the time, for significant overages or underages, the counter would just pocket the money or pay out of pocket to avoid calling the manager. There were lots and lots of $4.90-$4.99 miscounts, which led to the manager making a sting. He intentionally put far too much money in the till at the beginning of the day just to catch the counter in the act. From then on, there were spot-stings, so even if we counted out at $5.01 over or under, we called him.
        • by DoctorFrog (556179) on Friday April 08, 2005 @11:44PM (#12184136)
          I once got a $50 bill back in change when I should have gotten a $20. Not wanting to screw over some poor cashier I tried to Do The Right Thing (tm) and return the money.
          "You've made a small mistake," I said - I swear, that's verbatim what I said, and the verbatim reply I got was
          "NO. I don't make mistakes."
          Being, in some situations, a slow learner, I repeated my assertion; "No, really, there's been a little mistake made." (Note the regression into passive speech - I was really, really trying to avoid assigning blame here.)
          Nope. About six degrees Kelvin comes the reply, "I told you, I don't make mistakes."
          "Fine," I replied, walking away, "at the end of the day, when you're adding up, remember that the mistake you didn't make was a $30 mistake."
          • by rttichnor (708328) on Saturday April 09, 2005 @12:32AM (#12184467)
            there is a scam that starts with the phrase, "You've made a small mistake, you gave me too much money" .

            I was a waiter once. The scam starts out as stated, then the scam escalates by the scammer giving back some money and then saying "I've made a small mistake," . After a few of these 'mistakes' a cashier may be caught off guard, especially if the scammer is very friendly. The victim loses count and then the victim has lost some money.

            I can see why someone may have said what they said, especially if you asserted yourself as being friendly.
            • by DoctorFrog (556179) on Saturday April 09, 2005 @01:06AM (#12184656)
              Sorry, but I was also a waiter once, and a bartender more than once, and a cashier way more than once, and I have no sympathy.
              The fact that a scam can start with those words is a reason to be wary. It is not a reason to shut a person down before they have a chance to explain what the mistake was.
              Many a scam starts out with "Hello" too. Assuming that every conversation which starts with "Hello" is a scam is not only stupid, it's bad business.
              Assuming that your customers are con artists causes you to end conversations which would otherwise have benefitted you - as was the case with my conversation with the Woolworth's cashier.
              I didn't make the assumption that the cashier I encountered was a typical employee, but if she treated others the way she treated me I'd imagine that Woolworth's lost a hell of a lot of business. .. probably far more than they saved by shutting off conversations with conmen who then went on to find other avenues for exploitation.
            • by dmatos (232892) on Saturday April 09, 2005 @02:24AM (#12185050)
              I believe this type of scammer is called a "quick change artist." My mum has a great story about how she got taken for a couple of quid while working retail in London, only to take 10 pounds off the next guy that tried it by talking faster than him.
      • by Morlark (814687) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:26PM (#12183199) Homepage
        'Try not to confuse the poor cashier' is a nice sentiment, and it's all well and good if you're a patient person. But some people are just stubborn, and if they know they're in the right then they won't alter their habits. People should not ever get chucked in a cell just because they're stubborn.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2005 @10:36PM (#12183702)
        I guess my point is: try not to confuse the poor cashier.

        I think I'm going the exact opposite way. I don't buy much at Best Buy anyway but next time I do, I'm stopping by my bank and getting a bunch of $2 bills to do it with.
    • by El Cubano (631386) <roberto.connexer@com> on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:41PM (#12182777) Homepage

      You know, that a Best Buy would have such an ignorant cashier (who now claims the bills were "smudged" and so "appeared to be counterfeit") does not surprise me in the least. It happens. Lots of people are stupid.

      You should try paying in Susan B. Anthony dollars someplace. Even though coins are struck with "One dollar" right on the face, some people insist that they are quarters. Very annoying.

      • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:15PM (#12183108)
        Even though coins are struck with "One dollar" right on the face, some people insist that they are quarters.

        That's because they're shaped almost exactly like quarters. Which is because vending machine industry lobbied the gov't to make them "compatible" with existing vending hardware. Partly because of this, nobody used the damned things and the vending machine industry ended up having to put elaborate and expensive bill readers on many machines.

        When I heard they were going to create a new dollar coin a couple of years ago, I thought: Great, now that they've learned their lesson, they won't put out a coin that is so easily mistaken for another denomination. I was wrong; now the vending machine industry wanted them to make the new coin exactly the same size and weight as the Susan B. to maintain "compatibility"! How stupid can they get? Now nobody uses the new one either.

        IMO, if they would just come out with a nice thick and chunky coin like the British 1 pound coin, one that has a nice feel when you plop it down on a bar and *looks* like it's worth more than other coins, then there would be no problem getting the public to use it. I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to actually happen, though.

      • by _Ludwig (86077) on Friday April 08, 2005 @10:14PM (#12183546) Journal
        Back in college, a local supermarket cashier, when handed a Susan B., asked "What is this, Mexican?" Which was especially surprising since not only had they been around for years but the supermarket adjoined a commuter rail station that had ticket machines that gave them as change; you'd think she would get them all the time.

        Another time at the same supermarket, my friend got carded. The cashier didn't recognize the out-of-state driver's license and got the manager, who examined it for a while before deciding: "MARY-land? No way." He'd never heard of the state of Maryland.

        That said, we should take care to remember that not everyone in low-level retail jobs is that stupid. Don't make people's sucky jobs worse by assuming they're morons.

        • by ameoba (173803) on Friday April 08, 2005 @11:19PM (#12183975)
          Even better than that - a friend of mine, who lives in Washington, was visiting California a few years back and went into a bar and was carded. At the time WA still used printed & laminated cards while CA had switched over to newer cards where the info was actually printed onto a plastic card. The bartender insisted that his ID was fake and proceded to cut it up.

          Fortunately for my friend, a vacationing Washington State Trooper was in the bar and convinced the bartender to pay for the replacement card -and- cover my friend's party's tab for the evening.
    • by Virtual Karma (862416) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:42PM (#12182805) Homepage
      Let all the /.ers unite and protest. Lets not buy from Best Buy. Let the bastards starve. Then all the employees there, including the cashier will have to pose nude for 'PlayBoy Best Buy edition'. I really dig that blonde chick at the store... finally I can get a glimpse ;)
    • by deanj (519759) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:45PM (#12182834)
      You'd be surprised now some cashiers react to money like that. At the grocery store, I saw someone ahead of me try and pay part of their bill with a 50 cent piece, and the cashier handed it back saying "We don't take Canadian money". I gave the lady two quarters for it after trying to convince the cashier it was really a US coin.
      • by fm6 (162816) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:12PM (#12183078) Homepage Journal
        Well, on the one hand, it's been 20 years or so since I've even seen a 50-cent piece. On the other hand, did it even occur to that cashier to look at the coin?

        A sidebar on coins and currency. When I was a kid, you saw a lot of denominations you no longer see, even though they're still officially in circulation. I believe this is mainly due to the domination of retail by big chains, which don't like to deal with more denominations than will fit easily in a standard cash register. (If you run one cash register, dealing with fifty-cent pieces is a small nuisance. If you run millions of them, dealing with fifty-cent pieces subtracts big bucks from your bottom line.) So they put the "odd" denominations in the bank, and never give them out as change. That's why dollar coins will never catch on, unless and until Congress makes room for them by withdrawing dollar bills.

        • by Morlark (814687) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:58PM (#12183433) Homepage
          This comment got me thinking. It seems that US currency has gone through many different changes over the years, and yet it's all still legal tender, resulting in a confusing mish-mash of coins and bills and whatnot. Is there any reason why all this currency is kept as legal tender? Here in the UK, when a new coin is introduced the old one is gradually phased out, with lots of public notices about the change. Then after a while the old coin ceases to be legal tender, although it can still be exchanged at banks. This seems to me to be a far more sensible solution, as it avoids the confusion that can occur when there are many different coins of the same denomination.
    • by Leebert (1694) on Friday April 08, 2005 @10:00PM (#12183439)
      What scares me (and surprises me a little, though less than it probably should) is that this guy made it all the way to the county lock-up on the suspicions of one cashier

      They interviewed this fellow on local radio last week. He said something to the effect of this:

      The police sympathized with him and pretty much knew he was innocent, but they still could not make that judgement call themselves and had to wait for the Secret Service to arrive and verify that they were in fact not counterfiet.
    • by dnoyeb (547705) on Friday April 08, 2005 @10:10PM (#12183506) Homepage Journal
      I was locked up over something like this. The cashier thought I stole my mothers credit card. Which was a legitimate thought since it was reported stolen by my mother. So she decided to keep the credit card AND my drivers license. So I told her to just call the police and settle this now since I couldn't rightfully drive away anyway.

      To make a long story short the officers told me (as I was riding to the station) that in any case always make sure YOU are the one who called the police. They are almost always on the side of the person that placed the call. And yes I got to wear the sporty hand cuffs.
    • by Phil Karn (14620) <(ten.q9ak) (ta) (nrak)> on Friday April 08, 2005 @10:53PM (#12183807) Homepage
      Even scarier is the closing quote from the police spokesman: "It's a sign that we're all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world."

      Excuse me, but how exactly does one equate suspected small-scale counterfeiting with hijacking airliners, flying them into buildings and killing thousands of people?

      If this signifies anything, it's how, in the post-9/11 world, American society has gotten so moronic, brow-beaten and petrified that cops seriously expect us to buy such a flimsy excuse for their Gestapo tactics.

      By the way, I went to grade school in Cockeysville, MD. My parents live only a few miles away. I'll make sure they avoid that particular store.

  • by Greg Wright (104533) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:23PM (#12182591) Journal
    Truthfully, I would find it strange as well. I have not seen a $2 bill
    in a long long time. Same thing with all those $1 coins. However,
    people tend to accept strange coin amounts a lot easier then paper
    money amounts.

    It happens more then you might think. For a funny story about trying
    to use a $2 bill at Taco Bell, check this out:

    http://www.digiserve.com/eescape/closet/silly/2- at -Taco-Bell.html

    However, I see it on the web attributed to at least 3 different
    authors, so I doubt it really happened.
    • Re:It happens a lot (Score:5, Interesting)

      by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:33PM (#12182694)
      It did happen [snopes.com]

      It was first published on the net by Captain Sarcastic who ran alt.captain.sarcastic. It was borrowed by others and attributed to anonymous and other sources. I knew Captain Sarcastic at the time (actually, had known him for years) and he was quite upset about it all.

      I can't prove it happened, but Kurt Koller (AKA Captain Sarcastic) originally wrote it.
    • Re:It happens a lot (Score:5, Interesting)

      by zakezuke (229119) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:56PM (#12182940)
      Truthfully, I would find it strange as well. I have not seen a $2 bill in a long long time. Same thing with all those $1 coins. However, people tend to accept strange coin amounts a lot easier then paper money amounts.

      You tend to see the currency people saved up over the years at times such as these when the gas price doubles. At the local gas station someone filled up their truck with 60 Eisenhower Silver Dollars [maxen.net]. Cash registers don't have a coin slot for dollar coins even though we've had dollar coins for decades. They should have them, but they don't. They are less desirable for stores than Suzie Bs or Sacagaweas. Needless to say they did the polite thing, set them aside, and asked people if they wanted their change in bills or Silver Dollars.

      I kept them around long enough to see if any friends wanted them as I already had 20 of them. Not very rare or valuable, but still a cool thing to have, but eventually gave up and spent them. They got some odd looks, but I never had a problem with anyone taking it.

      What I don't understand is in the past stores had books which listed pictures of legal tender. I know I got odd looks spending one and two Canadian dollar bills in Vancouver, but after looking in their book they decided it was legal tender if a tad dated. These days I imagine one could publish a nice PDF file and have it accessible on the register it self.
  • The Two Dollar Man (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:23PM (#12182597)
    As a sign of protest, Bolesta decided to pay using only $2 bills
    Here is a link [www.gnn.tv] that doesn't require registration.

    Man what a rebel. Two dollar bills, can you believe it!

    I find this whole story hard to swallow, I worked at a grocery store all through high-school and I knew this guy who would pay in $2 bills all the time, I can't say it really bothered me other then there isn't a place in the till to put them.

    I find it hard to believe that someone has NEVER seen a $2 bill. It's not like they are hard to come across. Surely there must have been another reason for him being arrested...
  • Disgusting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xstonedogx (814876) <xstonedogx@gmail.com> on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:24PM (#12182607)
    For Baltimore County police, said spokesman Bill Toohey, "It's a sign that we're all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world."

    Yeah, potentially counterfeit (as judged by a Best Buy employee!) $2 bills are top on my priority list after 9/11. It's so I can't even sleep at night. Thank god we've got people like "spokesman" Bill Toohey protecting us. I don't know what's scarier: That he'd say something like that, or that there's probably a couple hundred million Americans who would nod their heads in "understanding".

    This story has everything: Evil Best Buy. Stupid and ignorant employees with a bizarre sense of power and no sense of customer service. Questionable law enforcement policies. Idiot using 9/11 as the ultimate cop-out.

    The only problem with the story is that this time the Feds came in and the situation got better.

    Mr. Mike Bolesta, please do not rest until everyone responsible for this debacle is severely reprimanded, fined, or has their employment terminated. They are your oppressors. Rise up against them.
    • 9/11?! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by themoodykid (261964) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:51PM (#12182895) Journal
      Ha, the other day I was taking photographs of things in my neighbourhood on my lunch break. I was just snapping shots of random things and then decided to head back to work. On the way back, two officers approached me and asked for my ID and asked why was taking pictures of the police station. Turns out one of my shots happened to have the police station in the background. Anyway, I asked what the problem was and he said that they had to be extra vigilant in case of a *terrorist attack*. He then proceeded to write down notes on my facial features. He started questioning me about the other pictures I took, too. I stayed calm, but I was pissed off I was being treated like a criminal for doing nothing wrong.

      You know the saddest thing of all? This is all took place in CANADA! I couldn't believe a police officer would be afraid of a terrorist attack on his police station in Canada.
  • 9/11? WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cutriss (262920) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:24PM (#12182608) Homepage
    For Baltimore County police, said spokesman Bill Toohey, "It's a sign that we're all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world."

    WTF DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING???

    I had better not find myself jaywalking next time I go to Otakon, or else I might get shot on sight. You know how those terrorists are always committing minor felonies and misdemeanors...
  • by Illserve (56215) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:25PM (#12182610)
    Americans got too stupid to accept our own currency.

    What's next?

    • by ari_j (90255) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:36PM (#12182730)
      Well, it's not necessarily stupid per se, but there will hopefully be a few lawsuits over this bullshit. False arrest, defamation, etc. And I think Best Buy should be charged criminally with refusing to accept legal US currency, if that's a law anywhere on the books.
    • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:05PM (#12183021) Journal
      When I first arrived in the US I bought some stamps from a vending machine at the post office. It gave me change in the form of dollar coins. I couldn't spend them. People repeatedly told me that they'd never seen them before and couldn't accept them. When I found someone who would accept them they said "you shouldn't spend those, they're worth something". They came out of a vending machine. They're worth exactly what it says on them. I couldn't believe that I, a mere foreigner, seemed to know more about the local currency than the locals.
  • by suso (153703) * on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:27PM (#12182624) Homepage Journal
    Unfortunately for him, the cashier did not seem to understand that the $2 bill is indeed legal US tender

    So the headline should say "BestBuy cashier broke the law".
    • by sweetooth (21075) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:35PM (#12182716) Homepage
      Well not exactly. I believe it is the coinage act of 1967 (76?) that says vendors do _not_ have to take any form of legal tender if they disclose what they _will_ accept up front. If you attempt to pay with legal tender and are declined without them telling you they don't accept that form of payment up front they you are no longer responsible for providing payment. Interpretations of the law vary though.
      • by pavon (30274) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:02PM (#12182998)
        Yeah, you are only required to accept legal tender to pay off a preexisting debt. But this was a preexisting debt.

        He had bought the radio the day before, and the employee then told him that the installation fee was waived because of a mixup, so he went home thinking the transaction was complete. The next day Best Buy called him and told him that if he didn't come in and pay the installation fee they would call the police. So he came in and tried to pay off the pre-existing debt with legal tender. The cashier then called the police because she thought it was fake.

        So employees of this store broke the law at least once during the transaction. The manager should definitely be sued, and the staff sacked.
        • by pete6677 (681676) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:58PM (#12183430)
          Best Buy would have no reason whatsoever to call the police in a case like that. If they give you something free, you leave the store, and they later want you to pay, too bad for them. Merchants threatening to call the police in order to collect a debt is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Act, which may apply here. There's something else this guy could sue for. When will people realize, Best Buy will keep doing shit like this because people let them. They will continue to stuff money in Best Buy cash registers no matter how poorly they are treated. Yes, it is possible to avoid them, I haven't shopped there in 3 years and I've bought plenty of electronics in that time.
  • by NotFamous (827147) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:31PM (#12182678) Homepage Journal
    Strangely, as the man was being escorted out of the store, the clerk was heard to say, "Would you like a service contract with that..."
  • by writermike (57327) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:32PM (#12182687)
    Good thing he didn't pay with Susan B. Anthony dollars.

    The poor bastard may have been sent to Death Row!
  • by fsh (751959) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:33PM (#12182689)
    Try using $2 bills at a strip club.

    They don't call the cops, they just beat the crap out of you. Then they trash your car.

    Not that I know from, er, personal experience.
  • by t_allardyce (48447) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:34PM (#12182707) Journal
    It seems like the police and other institutions in America love to use their 'free' 24 hour arrest period as a kind of on the spot punishment for anyone they don't like. they can be either held on something specific like suspicion of fraud or just for that old catch-all 'disorderly conduct'. I would imagine stores like best buy also like to use this for annoying customers - just call up and claim something arrestable is going on and who are the cops going to believe, some guy, or a reputable store? Was it even fucking necessary to handcuff this guy? i thought cuffs were only for uncooperative people and maybe transporting? There can't be much in the way of compensation if you get locked up for absolutely nothing, and in some cases people get more than 24 hours without lawyers! So just remember, if you come accross a bad cop, they can have you for a day for so much as walking funny or, and lets face it this is the real reason, paying a bill with to many small notes - don't give me that "we didn't know $2 bills wer legal and the ink looked dodgy", they were just pissed off because he was playing with them - the $2 and running ink was just a ticket for them to call the cops.
  • by Chmarr (18662) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:35PM (#12182715)
    I almost exclusively pay with $2 bills. I go to the back every few weeks and get about $400 worth, and just pay for most things with them, or a credit card if the value's quite high?

    Why? Mostly, for the expression I get from the counter staff:

    "Two dollar bills? Cool! Oh... damn, where do I put them in the till?"

    Sometimes they go into the clerk's pocket, after being replaced with more 'common' bills :)
  • On top of that... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:35PM (#12182719) Journal
    He was asked to come back to the store and pay the installation charge on the stereo he originally wanted, which was recommended in the first place, when this unit would not fit and a more expensive model was installed instead (he paid the difference). The store reneged on a verbal agreement that they would not charge him for installation because of the mixup.
  • In Good Company (Score:5, Informative)

    by markus (2264) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:38PM (#12182752) Homepage
    Wozniak got in trouble for paying with $2 bills, too. Although, his story is a little funnier: http://www.woz.org/letters/general/78.html [woz.org]
  • by hvacigar (872871) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:42PM (#12182800)
    but during a radio program I was listening to, it was reported that the $2 bills were sequentially numbered and that the anti-counterfeit ink smeared on one of the bills. If this is true, then it may not be so far fetched that the police would have been contacted. Does this justify an immediate arrest in handcuffs? No, but if true, it does lend some light to why Best Buy would have acted the way they did, and it would give them one hell of a defense against a defimation suit.
  • by stuffman64 (208233) <stuffman.gmail@com> on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:44PM (#12182823) Homepage
    Like the guy in TFA, I ask for $2 bills all the time from the bank when I cash my paycheck. The bank is more than happy to give them to me, citing that they are a waste of space for other more common bills.

    The first round of fun comes when the teller gives me the money- usually tellers count money very fast, but when they get to the $2 bills, they slow down significanty (it's funny to me, at least). Next comes when you try to spend them at Wal-Mart. Here are my favorite examples:

    1) The cashier asks me to pay with "regular" money, as she somehow didn't realize $2 bills are legal tender.

    2) Another cashier asks me if they are fake. When I tell her no, they are in fact real, she questions me again, and turns on her blinky-light to signal the manager to come over. The manager tells her they can accept them, but asks me not to use them next time. The manager leaves, and the cashier is confused as to where they put the bills, as there is no slot for them. She puts them with the $20s, instead of under the drawer like she should (probably because they both had "2"s on them).

    3) Yet another cashier questions their validity about a week later. He says there are no slots for 2s in the drawer, so he can't take them. I tell him there are no slots for 50s and 100s either, which for some reason upsets him. There goes the blinky light, and over comes the manager. She recognizes me from last week, and asks why I continue to "make trouble." I tell her that $2 bills are legal tender, blah blah blah, yet she insists that I only do it to cause problems (well, she kinda has a point there... but I like $2 bills because they are prime, like $5 dollar bills). Basically, she told me I was not welcome to shop there if I continued to try to use $2 bills there. I called the Wal-Mart customer service number, left a complaint, and suprisingly, was rewarded with a $20 gift card. I later received a letter stating that the manager has been contacted, and there is no reason whatsoever that I shouldn't be allowed to spend $2 bills there. So now, every time I go, I make sure I use at least one of them. ;)
    • by x136 (513282) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:36PM (#12183284) Homepage
      1) The cashier asks me to pay with "regular" money, as she somehow didn't realize $2 bills are legal tender.
      At this point, you should apologize, take the $2 bills back, and pay your remaining debt in Susan B. Anthony dollars. ;)
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:43PM (#12183316) Homepage
      You are my friend!

      I also do something like this. a local gas station has signs everywher that they do not accept $50.00 and $100 dollar bills.

      Guess what. when I goto fill the RV I use them exclusively. The change I get back is usually 5-6 bucks. so it is not inconviencing them. I forced them to call the cops 3 times in 2 years as in Michigan refusing legal tender payment marks a debt paid in full, so that gas I paid is free if they refuse my money.

      every time the cop shows up, after a few minutes of them trying to convince me to pay with something else, they take my large bills, I say thank you and "see you all next week/month!"...

      Guess what, the signs stating they do not accept 50's and 100's is gone... I guess I ned to find another gas station to torment.
  • by WarmBoota (675361) on Friday April 08, 2005 @08:52PM (#12182901) Homepage

    I suggest that concerned Slashdotter's everywhere protest this by stocking up on $2 bills. On a chosen day (how about a new-release Tuesday?), each individual should attempt to purchase an agreed upon CD (perhaps Britney Spears) and pay for it with the $2 bills.

    If the purchase actually succeeds, the purchaser should immediately go to the return desk and return the CD unopened for cash. Consider this a bonus protest against the RIAA.

  • by Kula (70198) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:12PM (#12183079)
    Kinda reminds me of a math teacher I had back in Junior High.

    What's the least number of coins needed to make 45 cents? My answer was 2, a quarter and a 20-cent piece. She thought I was just being my normal sarcastic self, until I brought the coin in the next day.

    That was pretty fun. We didn't make 'em for long (1875-1878), but we made 'em.
  • by Piquan (49943) on Friday April 08, 2005 @09:48PM (#12183363)

    The article says that he used to give kids $2 bills as lunch money. It's an uncommon item, and the kids thought it was neat. A source of some amusement.

    Now his son doesn't want to take them, because of the trouble it caused. What's the lesson? Straying from the norm gets you in trouble. A little uniqueness used to be a source of amusement, now it's a source of fear. I feel sad about this.

    It reminds me of the Harry Chapin song, "Flowers Are Red".

  • Where's the fun (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blonde rser (253047) on Friday April 08, 2005 @11:05PM (#12183882) Homepage
    Maybe it's just me but I don't get it. Where's the fun in paying with $2 bills? It seems the only reason to do that is you can force others into a conflict where you will be proven right in the end. I understand confronting people and then being proven right. But egging others into a conflict? That just seems wheeny.

    Not only do I not get the humour but I get the outrage even less. Why do people get mad when they spend two dollar bills and the seller doesn't recognize it as legal tender. By very nature of the fact that the spender is going out of his way to get two dollar bills he has to recognize that they are rarely used and many don't know they exist. Don't you give up your right to be outraged by people questioning your actions when you've chosen actions just so that they would raise questions?

    If you enjoy creating conflict with these kinds of stunts then fine. I mean I still don't get it but your fun doesn't seem to harm anyone. But if you're going to get angry when people respond to the bait that you are laying out for them then why do it? And I certainly don't think there's any reason to have empathy for you if you do get exactly the responce you were hoping for.

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