So we went to the pub. For lunch. Seven of us. Say £20 per head. £100+ quid. Say £50 quid gross for the pub. Colleague goes to order food and drinks and pay at the bar. Apologetic barmaid comes over to explain that their “card machine” is down, so she can only accept cash. Under normal circumstances I would have simply walked out, feeling it wholly inappropriate to reward such a poorly managed establishment and, as a functioning actor in a capitalist economy, done my duty to depress their lunchtime takings.
Here’s what we wanted to say:
This is absurd. This is 2016 not 1916. Your card machine is down? Well, so what! Are you seriously telling me that mein host has no mobile phone number capable of registering for PingIt or PayM? That none of the staff or the pub itself have a PayPal account that I can send the money to? That neither the owners nor managers not contingency planners thought to tuck an iZettle behind the bar to use when the clunky and expensive GPRS terminal fails for one reason or another? This is a joke. Either the person responsible for the finances of this dive should be sued by the shareholders for negligence or I suspect your card machine isn’t broken at all, you’re just keeping the cash off the books to save on the paperwork. Either way, I’ve been thrown out of better places than this, so I’m taking my business elsewhere. Good day to you.
Of course, being English, what we actually said was:
oh sorry, don’t worry about it, we’ll go and get some cash
A helpful barfly explained that there was a free ATM only a couple of minutes walk away, so a scouting party was sent out to forage for cash while we waited back in the comfort of the lounge.
There is absolutely no excuse for not taking electronic payments, even for those eking out a living in the margins of the crumbling ruins of post-Brown Britain.