And so here it comes!
The other day at Dig Inn, a just-opened lunch spot on Broadway and 38th Street in Midtown Manhattan, Shania Bryant committed a consumer faux pas. She placed her order for chicken and brown rice and yams, and when she got to the register, she held out a $50 bill.
“Sorry,” the cashier told her. “We don’t take cash.” Not, “We don’t take $50s.” No cash. Period.
“What?” Ms. Bryant asked.
The cashier patiently explained. Credit and debit cards were fine, as was the easy-to-download Dig Inn phone app. But the almighty dollar was powerless.
“I’ve never experienced that before,” said Ms. Bryant, 20, an assistant to a designer. “I guess we’re in new times.”
Why do we always allow ourselves to be pushed around? For the life of me, I cannot understand why we go for this mess time and time again. Why we let some shopkeeper tell us how we are going to pay them. Why we allow ourselves to be prodded into giving up more and more of what few freedoms we have left; the freedom to pay with cash as opposed to an app on a phone or with a credit/debit card.
I guess you’ve forgotten how easy it is for hackers to hack into store point-of-sales transactions since you are now ignoring the fact that there have been massive data breaches at many stores we all shop at; Kmart, JC Penney, Target, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Michael’s, Home Depot and don’t forget Experian’s T-Mobile data breach, UPS and even healthcare companies, banks, government agencies and credit bureaus have been breached as was the case with Anthem, Premera Blue Cross, Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield, UCLA Health System, Excellus Blue Cross, JP Morgan’s customers, Ebay users, 21.5 million people who’d had a government background check, Sony employees were hacked and have we forgotten about the Ashley Madison hack and the list is endless and yet companies are refusing to accept cash payments even after knowing the extent of data breaches at stores and damn near everywhere else.
Have you never guessed why the use of credit/debit cards is touted everywhere? It is because every transaction is recorded, just as our phone calls are recorded and our keystrokes are recorded and our photo is recorded every single time we are out on the street, walking or driving. We are even issued tickets based on a recording of our license plate thanks to red light cameras and speed cameras that are pro-ticket because there have been lawsuits challenging the fact that tickets are issued not because people did anything wrong but because this puts more money into the coffers of the city that is promoting these types of cameras and putting money into the coffers of the companies that make these traffic cameras go off before the light has even turned red. The acceptance of this mass surveillance by us has led to the massive erosion of the few rights we have left, such as the right to pay for our purchases by any means at our disposal; i.e., credit/debit cards, gift cards or cash.
Why is it you have no problem aiding and abetting in the continued deprivation of your rights by patronizing instead of boycotting businesses that tell you how you are going to pay them? How many times do you have to get hacked to understand that you don’t need a credit/debit card or an app to pay for a sandwich? And don’t even think that just because you have a chip on your credit/debit card that you are secure when you make a payment using that method because it is just as ‘hackable’ as the chipless card. Am I suggesting that you walk around with hundreds of dollars on your person at all times? No, but at one point, people did and we never heard of excessive muggings. I have carried stacks of money on me and I have never lost a dime. I have, however, had money stolen from off my credit/debit cards.
Case in point. I was at a restaurant and I paid for my meal with a card and gave the waitress her tip in cash. Now, I am one to check on what is going on with regards to the charges on my cards and so the next day, I called to check on the status of my card. Sure enough, the restaurant had added an additional charge to my card. I went back to the restaurant to inquire and guess what. The waitress did not think that I had tipped her enough and so she added an additional amount and charged it to my card. I decided right then and there that I would never pay for anything at a restaurant with a card, ever again and I have not. If I had paid with cash, could she have added on an additional charge? Absolutely not.
Businesses count on people being too busy or distracted to check on their receipts, the balances on their cards, the transactions on their cards and they are making an additional killing off of us because either our kids are screaming to the rafters or we just got off from work and so we’re in a hurry to get home and get dinner on the table or we’re rushed for another reason. If a business will not accept cash from you, then they don’t deserve your business. It is way past time that you fought back against businesses or corporations telling you how to spend your money, what to spend your money on, where to spend your money, and now they are telling you that you cannot pay for your purchases in cash. I truly hope that you will nip this in the bud before we get any further “into new times” because believe me, you will regret this. If cash was acceptable yesterday, than by God, it should be acceptable today.
This mass surveillance state has gone too far as it is and the sad fact is that payment in the form of cash is about the only holdout left. Those purchases cannot be traced, not unless you have signed up for a store discount card and every single time you make a purchase, in order to get an item on discount, you must first pass that store discount card to the cashier and then make your payment.
Food Lion has an MVP card and there can be no anonymity about it. The store insists that the only way to get their MVP card in order to get store discounted items is to fill out a form on a kiosk and they will mail you the MVP card. Hell! Going to the grocery store now is like going to the Division of Motor Vehicles because nowadays, our licenses are mailed to us and now a half-ass store like Food Lion is insisting that it has the right to gather information about you first in order to mail you a discount card so that you can get ten cents off a bag of potatoes? Where will this end? When we’re all standing at the register paying for our items by having a robot scan our hand for the barcode payment stamp on it?
And what about those of us who don’t use smartphones and so we cannot pay using an app on a non-existent phone? Call me the last of the dinosaurs, but I insist on a landline phone. Those of you who ditched your landline phones for smartphones may think it convenient now, but once when a tornado blew through a town I was living in, the only thing left working was my landline phone. Tell me, how will you power up your smartphone when the electricity is out? How do you call for help? You, with your demand for smartphones and your contempt for landlines have caused those of us with landlines much anguish because word is, companies are going to phase out landlines. So, because you are too stupid to see beyond today and what you think is convenience will doom us all. Those of you who will simply pull out that smartphone and pay for your sandwich with an app because the deli refuses to take cash are dooming us all because we will go down with you.
I have always said, “If I don’t stand for something, I’ll fall for anything!” ‘They’ will have to drag me kicking and screaming into a ‘cashless society’ and apparently, I will be the last holdout, non-conformist, that I am!