A Portland woman says a grocery store wouldn’t let her buy groceries because she tried to pay for them with $32 worth of quarters.
That's 128 quarters (a little more than a pound and a half of change).
When the local KATU news teams decided to interview her, said she was "too embarrassed to show her face or use her real name," but agreed because she "wanted people to hear her story."
“We had nothing to feed our children with,” the woman claims. “So we broke out the change.”
She brought $32 in quarters to Save-a-Lot in Southeast Portland, picked out her groceries and, according to the report, she waited until the register was cleared out so she wouldn't hold up the line
“And when I went up, I told them, you know ‘I have change. Sorry, it’s hard times right now.’ And they go, 'well we can only accept $5,'" Jean said to the KATU.
“It’s money,” she added. “Money’s money.”
The clerk refused the 1.6 pounds change and told her that they could only accept up to $5 dollars.
Watch the KATU news report:
After that store refused, the woman went to another local store, Fred Meyer, where, instead of flat-out refusing her change, the manager tried to get her to use the store's Coinstar.
For those who have never used a Coinstar, they charge a fee of nearly 10 percent. It's not exactly a money saver.
When the woman started to cry and said she couldn't afford it, another customer at the store offered to buy her change from her. To avoid a bad scene, the store manager finally decided to just pay the Coinstar fee and let her convert her change.
Since the incident, the stores have been put into "damage control" mode.
"We apologize for the inconvenience the customer experienced at the store," said Fred Meyer Public Affairs Director Melinda Merrill. "Receiving change for a payment is a rare occurrence. Fred Meyer stores do accept change as payment and we will work with our store directors and management teams to ensure they know this."
Save-a-Lot External Communications Manager Chon Tomlin apologized as well.
"We deeply apologize for the misunderstanding that occurred recently at our SE Foster location. As a corporate policy, we accept all forms of payment, except for American Express. There is no maximum limit on cash payments, specifically those involving coins of any type," Tomlin said.
Still, the woman felt embarrassed and incredulous towards the stores.
“If the government issues you the money, they should take it,” said Jean.