Ask A Broadsheet Reader


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Mickey Twopints asks:

Since the Central Bank of Ireland introduced “rounding” of change for cash transactions in shops and supermarkets, I haven’t heard a complaint, nor do I have one to offer. Except, that is, to the signage on display in each branch of one of our favourite German supermarkets.

No mention there of the voluntary nature of the arrangement, the rights of a customer to demand exact change, or of the “policy” of the Central Bank (detailed in their “Rounding – Retailer Guidebook”):

“(the retailer)…could also choose to apply Rounding in a compulsory manner at some part of their store, as long as the customer has some option in that store to get their exact change if they want it.

For example, they could apply compulsory rounding at self serve machines and to direct customers who want exact change to manned tills. In such cases the options should be clearly communicated to the customer with appropriate signage.”

Incompetence or Germanic arrogance? Was sagst du?

30 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

    1. PainKiller

      Are in a currency union. We should care. This rounding wouldn’t wash in Germany.

      this feeds inflation, and we ended up paying for it last time.

  1. Bobaldinho

    It really doesn’t make any difference.
    Sometimes you’ll pay 2-3 cents more, sometimes 2-3 cents less.
    You’ll get over it

  2. The Old Boy

    It would make an awful lot more sense if shops would just round their shelf prices rather than the final figure that appears on the till.

    1. Mikeyfex

      But then each item changes by a max of 2c, rather than the value of the entire transaction changing by a max of 2c. Oh there’d be tears then!

    1. Harry Molloy

      on another note, that chocolate beside the sign is delish, may be the best chocolate out there, certainly at that price

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          Can you recommend a decent one? I do like to bake and struggle to find a decent, reasonably priced chocolate.

  3. han solo's carbonite dream

    i didn’t know this – I will demand my full change now.
    It’s my money not merkels

  4. Custo

    If everything was priced at a multiple of 5c this wouldn’t matter.

    Actually this doesn’t matter anyway.

    1. Cian

      Yay for pointless inflation

      Rounding change does not inflate prices, does not apply to card payments and is unlikely to have any impact on a retailers takings. Rounding prices rather than change would be inflationary, apply to card payments and inevitably be solely in the retailers favour. Nowhere has done it.

  5. medieval knievel

    IIRC, you do not have a right to change; the onus is on the purchaser to provide exact cash amounts. change is given as a courtesy, but obviously retailers who did not give change would not last long.

    1. Kieran NYC


      And the complaint about the sign? Brevity. he’d also be complaining if they posted a long, foot-noted full explanation of the technicalities of the policy. “HAHA LOOK AT THOSE SILLY, DETAILED GERMANS’

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