A Devonport couple who were recently refused entry to the Reading Cinema because they offered cash, say they’ll never go back.
Milton Acosta said he and his wife Marilyn wanted some time out to relax.
“There is a lot of stress and mental stress.
“We all feel locked up like in a jail and we were trying to do something to clear up our minds.”
But when they tried to pay cash for their tickets, the attendant refused it.
“We had the exact amount of cash, $24. It was not the case that we could not be given change.
“The only credit card we have is an Amex, but they refused that.
“I always thought that in 2020, cash was still legal tender.
“It seems to be that in this pandemic, companies can make rules to suit themselves.
We had the exact amount of cash, $24. It was not the case that we could not be given change.
Devonport’s Reading Cinema customer Milton Acosta
“Everywhere we have shopped in the past few months, have all accepted cash.”
Mr Acosta said the theatre put a sign up after that which said only the credit cards they wanted.
“They are prepared to lose customers for the sake of stipulating something that makes no sense.”
Reading Cinema Devonport’s manager Gordon Woolley said he wasn’t aware of the incident.
“There’s a sign at the entrance clearly stating we are accepting eftpos only at the moment.
“That’s based on current health guidelines, and that’s to protect customers and staff.
“We accept Masters and Visa credit cards only, but not Amex and Diners Club.”
A Reserve Bank spokesperson said bank notes are legal tender under the Reserve Bank Act.
“Refusal to accept payment in legal tender banknotes and coins is not unlawful.
“As long as a provider of goods and services has made any conditions clear before they enter into a contract or payment agreement they have no obligation to accept any or all legal tender.
“For example, some vending machines and parking meters indicate by signs that they will not accept low denomination coins and some businesses accept only card payments.
“The Bank has, however, noted that all merchants, including any that have stopped accepting cash, must ensure that they accept at least one payment method that is not surcharged, so that customers have the ability to buy goods and services without paying a surcharge.”
In the meantime, Mr and Mrs Acosta will not be going back to the Devonport cinema. “Their arrogant attitude will certainly turn away customers.”