Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Is not giving change illegal?

I got my car washed yesterday, mostly in an attempt to get rid of the bird crap crusted on the front of the car from the Santa Barbara trip. (Note to self: while parking under a tree might seem like a good idea at the marina, it’s really just a roosting place for gulls.)

Sunset Shell Car Wash - (Sunset & Wilton)

Since there was a line, I sat at the little input system long enough to really look at it this time.

The price of all washes ends in 99 cents. I pay at the pump with my gas purchase, so I just input my little code and go. But if you decide to purchase the wash here you have the choice of inputting only 1 or 5 dollar bills or quarters ... in any combination. Now I’m no math whiz but I can tell that there is no way to put in $6.99 with those as your sources. Not only that, the machine will not give change and doesn’t take cards of any kind.

So if you want to pay cash right there, let’s call it a one penny convenience fee. (I think the more convenient thing to do is to price the washes at $7.00, $8.00, $9.00 and $10.00 and have a clear conscience about your pinching of pennies.)

Oh, and the bird poop ... not really gone.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:29 am     Curious News

  1. I’m not sure conscience is the deciding factor when a $6.99 wash will get many more customers than a $7.00 one will.

    They have one of these by me, too. I’m sure if you bitch enough the poor person inside the glass booth selling sodas and chips and stuff whose life it is to suffer the indignities of the general public will slip a penny under the slot so you pay the advertised price.

    I’ve heard hammers and chisels eliminate bird droppings (poop).

    Comment by Russ on 8/12/08 at 5:53 pm


  2. Hi,

    I live in Korea.I arrived, and spent my American money on a bottle of water that was selling for ninety-nine cents. I expected to receive a cent back, but did not. I thought, it may be that the cashier knows his drawer well enough to realize that he is short.

    I then realized by another purchase that the penny is not a currency used in Korea. Up to four cents difference will not yield you the correct change. Nickels are the smallest denomination of American money used in Korea.

    After a while, I have lost the sense of hate I associate with skyhigh revenue that I think the Koreas are making. Their currency is just as volatile as the money I had thought they must be stealing supposedly under the table with some unfounded reason.

    The U.S. has been talking about doing the same thing, and getting rid of the penny. With copper in high demand across the ocean in China, it would be smart to smelt it and sell it as copper wire.

    Don’t worry about it.

    Yours truly,


    Comment by Eugene on 9/27/08 at 6:12 am


  3. I realize this is old, but pennies are made of zinc, not copper.  They are only copper coated.

    Comment by Larrybud on 2/11/12 at 8:29 am


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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.