Target clerk refuses to take coins for transaction

Posted Aug. 18, 2009, at 10:38 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Sisters Abby Lucas and Olivia Worden grabbed their little purses, filled with change collected from doing chores around the house, and headed out the door recently with their mom to go buy some hard-earned toys.

Brewer resident Emily Worden took her daughters, ages 3 and 6, to Target in Bangor. After going up and down the toy aisles searching for the perfect item that fit their limited budgets, the girls selected a $5 toy and a Scooby-Doo movie, also priced at around $5, she said.

“They were pretty proud of being able to pick it out themselves and pay for it for themselves,” the girls’ mother said.

Worden placed the items on the checkout counter along with each of her girl’s purses, separated by a divider, and was counting and stacking the Sacagawea dollars and quarters, when the clerk surprised her by refusing to take the loose coins as payment, she said.

“She looked right at me and said ‘I can’t take that,’” Worden recalled about the attempted July 31 transaction. “I know it’s a pain to pay with change, but they each wanted to pay for their own items.”

Worden said she was so frustrated with the clerk that she just paid for the items herself and left the store. She later filed a complaint through the company’s Web site, but felt dissatisfied with the results.

Wayne Feero, senior team leader at the Bangor Target, said Tuesday evening that the store had received Worden’s complaint and would review the coin policy with all of its cashiers. He said the store does not have a policy against taking loose change, but does have one against taking rolled change because of the possibility of rolls being short.

Worden said she wasn’t sure whether her young daughters understood what had happened until her oldest daughter got on the phone with her aunt just after leaving the store.

“She said, ‘The lady wouldn’t let us pay. Mommy had to pay,’” Worden said recalling her daughter’s conversation.

Worden said her daughters love Target and that they have paid with coins on other shopping sprees at the store without problems.

“This is the first time this has been an issue,” she said. On previous visits, “it’s been a positive experience.”

Worden did get an apology through an e-mail, dated Aug. 14, from “Kelley” in Target Guest Relations that states, “We’re sorry you didn’t receive the type of service you’ve come to expect at Target. We expect our team members to help you in a professional manner. Hearing your comments is very important to us, and I’ve shared them with the Bangor Store Leadership team for further review as well as with Corporate Headquarters.”

When Worden called the Bangor store on Tuesday, she got another apology from a manager.

“He said he was sorry, and if I ever decided to shop there again, to go see him and he will see about giving me a discount,” she said. “At this point, it’s about talking to [my daughters] because they were the customers. It’s not so much me that they need to apologize to.”

nricker@bangordailynews.net

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