Fed-up utilities customer protests by paying every penny

11 March 2009

It sounds like exactly the sort of thing Andy would do. In fact, we're going to need compelling evidence that John Almany in Virginia isn't Bitterwallet's Andy Dawson. And if he is, who the hell is sat in front of us drinking pints of continental lager at his desk at 3 in the afternoon?

See, John Almany is a man who doesn't put up with any nonsense from his utility services. If he thinks they're taking his eyes out, he lets them know. So when a rather hefty $350 electric bill arrived from suppliers Bristol Virginia Companies, Almany decided he make his point by paying every penny of it. In pennies. Nearly 30,000 of them, in fact.

Almany and his brother dragged two full duffel bags into a local branch of the company to pay up:

"She seemed shocked and told me, 'We can't take that.' She said we'd have to wrap that up and repeated they couldn't accept it. I asked her if she was refusing my payment and she said she wasn't," Almany said. "They said they didn't have the manpower to count all those pennies and I said as much as BVU is billing its customers, they ought to have all the manpower they need."

Eventually the branch accepted the payment; after two hours, staff had counted out $26. Deciding he'd made his point, Almany buckled and took the rest of the pennies to a coin machine, converting them into cash which he paid in several days later.

Why do we think John Albany is Andy Dawson? Because of this.  The two men share a brain, for crying out loud.

[PilotOnline.com] via [Consumerist]

TOPICS:   Utilities

11 comments

  • Chris
    Of course, in the UK, you can only pay up to 20p in pennies
  • billyoftheknight
    Paid a poll tax bill in pennies in the UK a long time ago. In fact, a lot of people did. Probably where the ruling about paying in pennies came from...
  • spong d.
    not even enough to buy a packet of space invaders, these days!!!
  • chrisg.
    I immediately throw away any copper coins - I'm doing my bit for quantative easing.
  • RC
    Legally the company did not have to accept the pennies. If you google legal tender, there are limits on how many of a single coin can be used to make a payment. There are legal tender limits in the UK and US.
  • youtoo
    Seems it aint legal tender anything under a pound has very low limits. A pound and up your ok. http://www.digitalworldz.co.uk/202453-1-300-fine-paid.html
  • Joff
    What kind of chump really sits there counting out small change when you could either shove it into a coin sorter or simply just weigh it.
  • Sid
    He was still $50 dollars short, dumba$$
  • Martin
    When I was a school kid, our bus service introduced an automated ticket system where you put your coins in, pressed a button, and it sort of photocopied them and printed them on the ticket, so the inspector could count how much you had paid. A 20p fare meant 40 1/2p pieces, which if you put them in slowly to maximise the space between them meant you could get a bus ticket over a metre long. The fun of coins. These days I often pay for newspapers using all my copper change. I know it is not legal tender to pay that way, but the shop has never refused to take them and I am still looking forward to the day I can say that if they do not want my custom I will go elsewhere.
  • James R.
    I once paid my poll tax with sheets of postage stamps - they tried to argue that I couldn't until some bright spark discovered it was legal tender....
  • agaveworm
    I once shoved ha'penny and was disqualified for not using legal tender.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment