New odd thing at Wal-Mart.

Monocrom

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So, went to Wally World yesterday. Needed a couple of things. But they're not incredibly important. Didn't want to spend a ton of money. And, I already knew they'd have what I precisely wanted. So, I go in there. Get the items. Look for an actual human-being when I need to checkout. Found one! He tells the lady in front "No Cashback."

I'm thinking that's odd. But okay. She leaves the line. Turns out the cashier actually said "No cash." I figure there's an issue with his register. Found another cashier. She tells me the same thing. What the hell?? Wal-Mart doesn't take cash anymore!

I mean, it had been easily over a year since my last visit. But couldn't believe this was true. Cashier, slightly older lady; I struck up a conversation with her since no one else was on her line. Turns out, that particular Wal-Mart has had issues with their software for several WEEKS! Oh, customers were not happy! That might explain why the place was nearly empty of customers as I walked through it. Cashier mentioned that angry customers were taking out their frustrations on her and other cashiers. I understood. Not her fault that Corporate is lazily dragging their heels getting the issue fixed. She mentioned that most customers there prefer paying with cash. (I do too.) Even withdrew money from the ATM because I was making a special trip out there to hit Wal-Mart, and a Mechanic's garage to get a replacement bulb for my car's headlight.

I asked her if maybe this was intentional. A plan by Corporate to secretly see if customers would tolerate an all Cash-less Wal-Mart. In a moment of genuine honesty, she mentioned that personally.... She wasn't sure. That it could be a possibility. But she hoped it wasn't. She just didn't know.

So, anyone else experience this at their local Wal-Mart? Are the registers "down?" Does the software need to be updated or fixed? Has this lasted longer than a day?
 

M@elstrom

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Not Wal-Mart but local Businesses here are declining cash including fast food chains, it used to be illegal to refuse legal tender (clearly legislation has been changed) we've even got Cashless Bank Branches, this is an assault on personal freedom and autonomy 🤕

 

Monocrom

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Good to hear it's not every Wal-Mart.
Though still the possibility that this might be an experiment at a few locations, by Corporate. Really hope I'm wrong on this one. Just seems incredibly odd that money-hungry Wal-Mart Corporate would let one of their Super Wal-Mart stores (the one I went to near Roosevelt Field mall) go WEEKS without correcting a software issue that doesn't allow customers to pay with cash.
 

Dave_H

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Wal-mart and KFC are two outfits I don't go to here, no impact if they don't take cash. During height of COVID some retail outlets did not take cash, based on reducing spread, but reverted in time. I tend to use cash so did not shop at these but do not hold it against them. Cashless may be on the way but trying to jump the gun is not a great idea.

Dave
 

jtr1962

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The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Being a cashless establishment cuts the probability of being robbed and employee theft, however, it opens the door for other evils.
It's not just that. Cash is dirty. Handling it spreads communicable diseases. It also slows down checkout lines, especially when certain denominations of bills or coins run out. Then there's the cost of minting it. I don't know why we're still making pennies and nickels, or why we haven't gone exclusively to coins at least for $1, $5, $10, and $20 denominations. Coins last much longer. I'd even love it if we could return to a gold standard, having higher denomination coins like $50, $100, $500 made of gold or silver.

Cash and checks are both well on their way out. I get 1.5% cash back buying groceries, plus I don't have to carry cash on me. As for checks, the only thing I've been paying by check has been my mother's taxes. That's only because for whatever reason the IRS system to register her (and allow bank transfers for tax payments) rejected her. Don't know why. I'm not about to spend hours on the phone with the IRS trying to fix the problem. In fact, they probably wouldn't even be able to discuss the matter with me. I'd have to send them the paperwork showing I have power-of-attorney. All this would eat up way more time than I spend writing one check each year.

Two really useful changes I'd love to see in retail would be including the sales tax in the price of the item tagged on the shelves, and stopping pricing which ends in 9 or 99. $1.99 instead of $2 isn't fooling anyone anymore, if indeed it ever did. Just round to the nearest dime. That, plus including sales tax in the price, and eliminating coins under a dime, would make cash payments WAY easier.
 

alpg88

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I asked her if maybe this was intentional.
Several years ago few walmarts across usa closed permanently, for allegedly "plumbing issues" well it was no plumbing issue, it was due to stores attempt to unionize, could be same here, first they make it as inconvenient as possible to shop, then close the shop due to unprofitability, since it is a green acres mall, just outside the city, where unions are stronger than anywhere, I would consider it as a good possibility.
 

bigburly912

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It's not just that. Cash is dirty. Handling it spreads communicable diseases.
I promise I don't mean this in the worst way possible but you live in New York City. Everything you touch every single day has been touched by hundreds of people who are carrying diseases. Worst argument ever against cash.
 

idleprocess

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In general, it's been my observation that Wal-Mart customers are more likely to pay with cash than average, thus refusing cash as a matter of policy would be bad for business. In the case of NYC, a friend's experiences there suggested that paying with cash is considerably more common than elsewhere due to local businesses' reluctance to accept credit - thin margins against transaction expenses and a desire to minimize reportable income ... but that was secondhand and years ago thus I'll defer to residents' observations.
 

jtr1962

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In the case of NYC, a friend's experiences there suggested that paying with cash is considerably more common than elsewhere due to local businesses' reluctance to accept credit - thin margins against transaction expenses and a desire to minimize reportable income ... but that was secondhand and years ago thus I'll defer to residents' observations.
Still that way for a lot of businesses. Many Chinese takeouts are still cash only for the reasons you mention. Probably the same with lots of other ethnic food places.
 

Monocrom

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It's not just that. Cash is dirty. Handling it spreads communicable diseases. It also slows down checkout lines, especially when certain denominations of bills or coins run out. Then there's the cost of minting it. I don't know why we're still making pennies and nickels, or why we haven't gone exclusively to coins at least for $1, $5, $10, and $20 denominations. Coins last much longer. I'd even love it if we could return to a gold standard, having higher denomination coins like $50, $100, $500 made of gold or silver.

Cash and checks are both well on their way out. I get 1.5% cash back buying groceries, plus I don't have to carry cash on me. As for checks, the only thing I've been paying by check has been my mother's taxes. That's only because for whatever reason the IRS system to register her (and allow bank transfers for tax payments) rejected her. Don't know why. I'm not about to spend hours on the phone with the IRS trying to fix the problem. In fact, they probably wouldn't even be able to discuss the matter with me. I'd have to send them the paperwork showing I have power-of-attorney. All this would eat up way more time than I spend writing one check each year.

Two really useful changes I'd love to see in retail would be including the sales tax in the price of the item tagged on the shelves, and stopping pricing which ends in 9 or 99. $1.99 instead of $2 isn't fooling anyone anymore, if indeed it ever did. Just round to the nearest dime. That, plus including sales tax in the price, and eliminating coins under a dime, would make cash payments WAY easier.
Thankfully, we're not at the point where this is a big issue concerning spreading diseases through paper money. A bigger slow-down at check-out lanes is repeatedly swiping the same card multiple times. Either due to poor money management skills by the card-holder, or because someone screwed up and didn't authorize their benefits card for that month (Yes, it happens). With cash, you hand that over once per transaction. Get your change and go. Paper money was invented so that folks didn't need to carry around heavy coins in the larger denominations. Let's not return to that. But +1 to returning to the Gold Standard. Inflation wouldn't be so moronically high and out of control in America if we did that.

I'll be honest, I could tell you some horror stories of folks who decided they had no reason to carry cash, and lived to regret that decision. Some of those stories, less horrifying. Like one night at Wal-greens when their systems went down, and all they could take was cash. Out of the numerous folks waiting on the line, guess who was the only one who could pay for his purchases. I make sure to always to have a $20 bill, and a $50 bill on me for emergencies. That also extends to the $100 bill hidden away in my work-bag, and the 1/10th of an ounce junk gold coin too.

Definitely agree with you again, regarding sales tax. Would just make things easier. Round it up! Plus, there's literally nothing you can buy any more that's a penny or 5 cents. Though there could be hidden issues there. Up until mid-1982, all pennies were copper. Demonitize the penny, and folks with massive amounts of such pennies (we're talking warehouses full of 55 gallon drums of pennies) would be able to legally melt them down and flood the market with copper bars. For now, their worth is only face-value as pennies. But the copper content makes each penny worth at least 3 cents. Nickels are about 75% copper. Which is why many preppers are hoarding them. Again, could have some unintended consequences if nickels are demonitized too.
 

Monocrom

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Several years ago few walmarts across usa closed permanently, for allegedly "plumbing issues" well it was no plumbing issue, it was due to stores attempt to unionize, could be same here, first they make it as inconvenient as possible to shop, then close the shop due to unprofitability, since it is a green acres mall, just outside the city, where unions are stronger than anywhere, I would consider it as a good possibility.
An excellent point. Ironically, Wal-Mart budgets a HUGE percentage of its overall yearly profits to fight unionization. If they spent less than half of that allocated money on paying their employees good wages, the employees wouldn't even bother trying to unionize. That's the irony.
 

idleprocess

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Demonitize the penny, and folks with massive amounts of such pennies (we're talking warehouses full of 55 gallon drums of pennies) would be able to legally melt them down and flood the market with copper bars. For now, their worth is only face-value as pennies. But the copper content makes each penny worth at least 3 cents. Nickels are about 75% copper. Which is why many preppers are hoarding them. Again, could have some unintended consequences if nickels are demonitized too.
Eh, pretty sure that despite the specter of currency defacement charges this has been done innumerous times whenever market conditions are favorable.
 

Monocrom

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Eh, pretty sure that despite the specter of currency defacement charges this has been done innumerous times whenever market conditions are favorable.
I'm sure there have been folks who have done it. But there are others who won't risk Federal charges. They'll support and even fund efforts to demonitize the penny. But one of them said it best, even if he can't legally melt them down he's not losing money by holding onto them.
 
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