Poundland staff are under investigation after refusing to accept £1 from a disabled boy who had saved his pocket money to be able to buy a toy.
Eleven year old Liam Townsend went to the till along with his legal guardian Claire Townsend, handing over one 50p coin, and the rest was made up of 1p and 2p coins which he had saved up. But staff refused to accept the change, leaving the boy confused and distressed about why he could not spend his pocket money.
The retailer has now said sorry to the boy after he was told that they would not accept his money at the Wiltshire shop. After the incident, the store supervisor agreed to take the money, but said that company policy said they shouldn’t take so much change.
Mrs Townsend said she felt it was important for Liam to gain life skills and she often took him out to spend his own money, which he saved up, encouraging him to make the transaction at the till himself.
She was so angry at what had happened that she phoned the High Street giant’s customer services team. She was then told to go back to the store to discuss what had happened with the store manager, who apologised.
She said that Liam did find life much more complicated than many and the incident had been disgraceful, particularly when he found the world to be a very confusing place anyway. Mrs Townsend said she would have understood what happened if Liam was trying to spend £5 or £6 worth of pennies, but he had simply tried to pay with 50p worth of small change and was only buying one thing. “Money is money,” she added.
Poundland has now apologised for what happened, saying that it does accept payment in a variety of formats, including small change.