"It's A Matter Of Principle" – M'sians Debate If Customers Should Accept 5 Sen Shortchange

"Why do I have to absorb the loss of five sen when you're the one without the change?" questioned a customer.

Cover image via Fdaus Ahmad (Facebook) & Malaysia Dateline

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A Malaysian has taken to Facebook to share his opinion on a pretty common phenomenon that happens in the country, where businesses round down five sen change to return to customers

Taking to his account on 28 September, Facebook user Fdaus Ahmad recounted that he went to buy some coffee at a coffee shop that amounted to RM11.75.

When he handed over RM12 in cash, the cashier told him, "Sorry abang, we don't have any five sen coins" and returned 20 sen and the receipt to the customer.

The cashier should have returned 25 sen, which means Fdaus had received five sen less than expected.

Fdaus said it may be normal for many others to not care about the five sen and accept the shortchange.

However, he did mind.

"If you don't have five sen, shouldn't you give me 30 sen back instead of 20 sen? Why do I have to absorb the loss of five sen when you're the one without the change?" he asked the cashier.

Fdaus said the cashier was shocked that he actually asked about the change, and opened the cash register to give him another 10 sen, to which he smiled and said thank you.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Freepik

The Facebook user explained that he asked for the change, not because he was trying to be fussy, or seemingly give the cashier a hard time, but because it is a customer's right

"It's not about the value of five sen, 50 sen, or even RM50, but it's about the principle between a buyer and a seller," Fdaus said.

"Imagine if I paid RM11.70 for something that costs RM11.75, and then I try to tell the cashier 'Sorry dik, I don't have five sen'. How would you feel?"

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Malaysia Dateline

The customer's Facebook post went viral, garnering over 17,000 likes and 6,800 shares, with netizens divided over the issue

Many agreed with Fdaus and said it is a consumer's right to be given the proper amount of change, and thus the businesses' responsibility to always return it and bear the losses if they did not have enough change.

"I agree with you. This always happens to me too. The companies here shouldn't take this issue lightly and prepare the right amount of money," said a Facebook user.

Image via Facebook

Another commented, "If that happens to dozens of customers every day, they gain! The bosses should actually prepare enough five sen coins for the cashier. If they can't, they should change the prices."

"If it's like this, the customer will always bear the loss, while the store earns. This is not merely about counting five sen."

Image via Facebook

Another agreed: "Many netizens do not understand, this is not about counting five sen. The issue here is that businesses use prices with small change, then when they do not have it, the customers are the ones who bear it. The businesses will always try not to lose a single sen if they can. How is that fair?"

Image via Facebook

However, some still opined that customers should be forgiving as, in the end, the small amount of change comes from the cashiers' pockets and not from the businesses

A Facebook user said, "If it's me, I'll always forgive it because my son used to be a cashier. The problem always rises when the machine's calculations are right, but when he counts the money manually, there will always be short of RM2 or RM3. All shops are like this. And with his small pay, he has to bear that, even though it's not his fault."

"If we make things easier for people, Allah will make things easier for us. I've never gone hungry doing so."

Image via Facebook

"I used to be a cashier. Only had a RM900 salary at the time and stayed in Shah Alam. Even if it's only short by five sen, my boss will count it and take the difference from my pay," someone else commented.

Image via Facebook

You can read Fdaus' full Facebook post here.

If your cashier said, "Sorry lah, boss. No five sen", what would you do? Let us know in the comments!

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