A devastated schoolgirl was reduced to tears after a mean shopkeeper refused to sell her a chocolate bar – because she tried to pay for it with 1p and 2p coins.
Seven-year-old Paige Schaerer decided to raid her piggy bank after saving up her pocket money so that she could treat herself to a 60p Bounty bar.
But when she went to buy the snack from Summerbank Stores, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., shop owner Robel Kifle turned the youngster away saying he was “too busy” to count the money.
He told the confused schoolgirl it was “impractical” to accept that much money in coppers and it was “impossible” to count it all out.
Paige’s angry mum Debbie, 40, said her shocked daughter ran home in flood of tears and has now vowed to stop using their local shop.
She said: “I am so angry that we were refused and I think it is shocking.
“Paige couldn’t understand what she had done wrong and it made me angry to see her so upset.
“It was heartbreaking to see her little face when the shopkeeper refused to take the money.
“And she was confused because she couldn’t understand it.
“We give them a lot of custom but I won’t be going back in there after this.
“It is all money at the end of the day and I don’t think it is right to refuse us the sale.”
Paige had been collecting the pennies in a special money box for weeks and decided to dip into it for a treat when she went to the shop on Tuesday afternoon.
Telesales worker Debbie added: “You try to teach your kids the importance of savings and Paige was really excited to take the money out and spend it on sweets.
“But as soon as she got the coppers out to pay the man behind the counter pulled a face and refused to take them.
“It was the exact change so I don’t see what his problem is.”
Paige added: “I like to buy sweeties all the time with the pennies that I save.
“And I felt cross because I couldn’t buy my Bounty.”
But Mr Kifle defended his decision to refuse Paige’s handfuls of change.
He said: “I can’t take only coppers because we have to bring in a mix of coins.
“I don’t mind the children buying 1p sweets with their change but it is impossible to count out all that change when you are busy.
“If you have so much change you could take it to the supermarket and get it changed before you spend it.”
The amended 1971 Coinage Act states that ‘gold’ coins – £1 and £2 coins – can be used to settle a bill of any amount.
The law clearly states that you can settle a bill costing up to 20p with 1p or 2p coins; up to £5 in 5p or 10p coins, with £10 the limit for 20p and 50p coins.