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Frustrated visitors sue National Park Service over cashless policies

Started by ZLoth, March 21, 2024, 07:42:33 PM

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oscar

Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMIt's not like the people visiting national parks like Death Valley can't afford to have a credit/debit card with a bank. They probably spent a bunch of money to travel there and rent a room for a couple of nights.

The Internet, or cellphone or other phone service, does not exist in much of Death Valley unless you have an expensive satellite phone. If you're camping out in one of the park's more remote areas (as I've done), and need to make a payment to another camper, cash is king.
my Hot Springs and Highways pages, with links to my roads sites:
http://www.alaskaroads.com/home.html


hotdogPi

Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMMy thought process when someone pays with cash at a (restaurant, grocery store, etc.):

"Dude, what's taking so long...?"
"Oh my god, are they paying with cash? Great, they're counting out a bunch of twenties. Maybe they'll hand it over and count out the change quickly."
"They're taking out more bills? You bought like three items! There's no way you need to pay with three $20 bills!"
"uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh"
"That didn't take so long!"

Really though, credit cards aren't a new invention. You've had like 40 years to get one, why are you still paying with cash? And why make a huge fuss over it?

It's not like the people visiting national parks like Death Valley can't afford to have a credit/debit card with a bank. They probably spent a bunch of money to travel there and rent a room for a couple of nights.

I've found cash to be faster. No waiting for instructions on the pinpad. And no "card declined" issues (those seemed to happen a lot when I worked at the grocery store).
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MA 14,22,40,107,109,117,119,123,126,141,159
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Lowest untraveled: 25 (updated from 14)

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GaryV

Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMMy thought process when someone pays with cash at a (restaurant, grocery store, etc.):

"Dude, what's taking so long...?"
"Oh my god, are they paying with cash? ....

You're probably barely old enough to have been stuck behind a person writing a check for groceries. And they only bring out the checkbook when the clerk tells them the total, and they have to fill out the whole thing.

Rothman

Quote from: TheHighwayMan3561 on March 31, 2024, 03:52:05 AM
Quote from: Scott5114 on March 31, 2024, 01:07:45 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMMy thought process when someone pays with cash at a (restaurant, grocery store, etc.):

"Dude, what's taking so long...?"
"Oh my god, are they paying with cash? Great, they're counting out a bunch of twenties. Maybe they'll hand it over and count out the change quickly."
"They're taking out more bills? You bought like three items! There's no way you need to pay with three $20 bills!"
"uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh"
"That didn't take so long!"

Really though, credit cards aren't a new invention. You've had like 40 years to get one, why are you still paying with cash? And why make a huge fuss over it?

It's not like the people visiting national parks like Death Valley can't afford to have a credit/debit card with a bank. They probably spent a bunch of money to travel there and rent a room for a couple of nights.

I've never had a $20 bill decide that, because I'm out of state or even in a different part of town than normal, it suddenly won't be a form of legal tender anymore until I call someone up on a 1-800 number and beg for the right to spend my own money. I've also never had a $20 bill stop working because the power went out.

As a business owner, I've also never had to pay a fee to accept cash.

I suppose also, if someone steals your cash, the theoretical damage they can do to your finances is far more limited  than if they get your cards.

Pfft.  It's very easy to get charges reversed.  Lost cash is just kaput.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

kkt

Quote from: freebrickproductions on March 31, 2024, 12:35:15 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMReally though, credit cards aren't a new invention. You've had like 40 years to get one, why are you still paying with cash? And why make a huge fuss over it?

Probably wanting to make it hard for companies to track their purchases or something like that. After all, money is fairly anonymous, at least compared to checks or cards...

Not wanted to be tracked can be for legitimate reasons as well.  I don't necessarily want to get on the mailing list of every company I ever buy something from.

kkt

Quote from: GaryV on March 31, 2024, 08:14:02 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMMy thought process when someone pays with cash at a (restaurant, grocery store, etc.):

"Dude, what's taking so long...?"
"Oh my god, are they paying with cash? ....

You're probably barely old enough to have been stuck behind a person writing a check for groceries. And they only bring out the checkbook when the clerk tells them the total, and they have to fill out the whole thing.


You're probably too young to remember when a lot of people used checks at the grocery story.  Almost everyone had everything filled out but the amount before they even got to the cashier.

SectorZ

Quote from: kkt on March 31, 2024, 10:53:24 AM
Quote from: GaryV on March 31, 2024, 08:14:02 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMMy thought process when someone pays with cash at a (restaurant, grocery store, etc.):

"Dude, what's taking so long...?"
"Oh my god, are they paying with cash? ....

You're probably barely old enough to have been stuck behind a person writing a check for groceries. And they only bring out the checkbook when the clerk tells them the total, and they have to fill out the whole thing.


You're probably too young to remember when a lot of people used checks at the grocery story.  Almost everyone had everything filled out but the amount before they even got to the cashier.


Not even just the grocery store. I worked at Walmart from 1996-2001 and so many people wrote checks back then, and that was working in Sporting Goods at a remote register. From the beginning to the end of my time there I could start to see a noticeable drop in check usage, along with gift certificates becoming gift cards at most retailers in that same period. Lots more credit cards compared to cash beginning to end of that period as well.

Walmart had the thing where the register could fill out the whole check itself and the customer just needed to sign it. No one freakin' trusted that to work right despite it never failing on me.

GaryV

Quote from: kkt on March 31, 2024, 10:53:24 AM
Quote from: GaryV on March 31, 2024, 08:14:02 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMMy thought process when someone pays with cash at a (restaurant, grocery store, etc.):

"Dude, what's taking so long...?"
"Oh my god, are they paying with cash? ....

You're probably barely old enough to have been stuck behind a person writing a check for groceries. And they only bring out the checkbook when the clerk tells them the total, and they have to fill out the whole thing.


You're probably too young to remember when a lot of people used checks at the grocery story.  Almost everyone had everything filled out but the amount before they even got to the cashier.


Well that's the first time I've been called too young in a number of years.   :nod:

Yes, I remember most people using checks, and most people having them filled out ahead of time. But there were plenty who weren't that courteous. And many of those people kept using checks long after most of us switched to cards.

1995hoo

Quote from: GaryV on March 31, 2024, 02:09:22 PM
Quote from: kkt on March 31, 2024, 10:53:24 AM
Quote from: GaryV on March 31, 2024, 08:14:02 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMMy thought process when someone pays with cash at a (restaurant, grocery store, etc.):

"Dude, what's taking so long...?"
"Oh my god, are they paying with cash? ....

You're probably barely old enough to have been stuck behind a person writing a check for groceries. And they only bring out the checkbook when the clerk tells them the total, and they have to fill out the whole thing.


You're probably too young to remember when a lot of people used checks at the grocery story.  Almost everyone had everything filled out but the amount before they even got to the cashier.


Well that's the first time I've been called too young in a number of years.  :nod:

Yes, I remember most people using checks, and most people having them filled out ahead of time. But there were plenty who weren't that courteous. And many of those people kept using checks long after most of us switched to cards.


And many of those old ladies (they were almost always old ladies) who waited to take out the checkbook would also fill in the check register before tearing out the check and handing it over.

Then, depending on the store, the cashier would have to ask for some form of ID and record that info on the check.
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
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commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"
—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Rothman

Quote from: kkt on March 31, 2024, 10:53:24 AM
Quote from: GaryV on March 31, 2024, 08:14:02 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMMy thought process when someone pays with cash at a (restaurant, grocery store, etc.):

"Dude, what's taking so long...?"
"Oh my god, are they paying with cash? ....

You're probably barely old enough to have been stuck behind a person writing a check for groceries. And they only bring out the checkbook when the clerk tells them the total, and they have to fill out the whole thing.


You're probably too young to remember when a lot of people used checks at the grocery story.  Almost everyone had everything filled out but the amount before they even got to the cashier.


I am not too young, and that's total b.s.  It was miserable back then.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

Max Rockatansky

About a decade ago we had a rash of older employees trying to float checks on appliance purchases.  They weren't trying to defraud but rather were used to checks taking 7-10 business days to clear at the bank.  I recall doing the same in the early 2000s when I had a refrigerator break down and I had five days until my paycheck (which was then paper due to direct deposit having a fee).

jeffandnicole

Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMMy thought process when someone pays with cash at a (restaurant, grocery store, etc.):

"Dude, what's taking so long...?"
"Oh my god, are they paying with cash? Great, they're counting out a bunch of twenties. Maybe they'll hand it over and count out the change quickly."
"They're taking out more bills? You bought like three items! There's no way you need to pay with three $20 bills!"
"uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh"
"That didn't take so long!"

Really though, credit cards aren't a new invention. You've had like 40 years to get one, why are you still paying with cash? And why make a huge fuss over it?

It's not like the people visiting national parks like Death Valley can't afford to have a credit/debit card with a bank. They probably spent a bunch of money to travel there and rent a room for a couple of nights.

For some of these people, it may not be the affordability, but rather their credit rating sucks. Bad practices when they were younger may have led them to sucky credit, or bad choices in life (cosigning a loan for their kid who then quickly didn't pay the loan on time).  Maybe they use their credit sparingly or not at all.  Some could have a card simply for the hotel deposit then pay in cash upon departure. 

There is a segment of the population that seems to only deal with cash, or would much rather deal with cash.  Contractors seem to often be in this group. I had some trees cut down last year, and paid entirely with cash. 

Quote from: Scott5114 on March 31, 2024, 01:07:45 AMI've never had a $20 bill decide that, because I'm out of state or even in a different part of town than normal, it suddenly won't be a form of legal tender anymore...

But there's a chance that $20 bill is a fake. 

Quote from: Scott5114 on March 31, 2024, 01:07:45 AMI've also never had a $20 bill stop working because the power went out.

Credit Cards can be used when power is out, or even if you're nowhere near a power source. If it's a more personal, person-to-person transaction, credit cards can be used.  In fact, both people don't even need to be present with each other - the buyer can simply Venmo or other app the money to the seller.  Can't do that with cash.

Rothman

Dang...Venmo has entered the chat.  There's another convenience...
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

cl94

Quote from: Rothman on March 31, 2024, 06:31:01 PMDang...Venmo has entered the chat.  There's another convenience...

Venmo and Zelle are amazing. Makes sending a few bucks to family/friends or repaying coworkers super easy. I wish more places accepted those or PayPal as payment, because I have seen it and I love it. No cash or power needed as long as your phone is charged.
Please note: All posts represent my personal opinions and do not represent those of my employer or any of its partner agencies.

Travel Mapping (updated weekly)

formulanone

Quote from: Max Rockatansky on March 29, 2024, 05:53:01 PMI've purchased two cars at dealerships for cash.  I used a cashier check both times.  I'm unclear if they would have accepted a bag of paper money.

Lots of paperwork for buyer and seller to fill out, once the cash (rather than check) gets received over a certain amount. If you're buying a vehicle with $10,000 in greenbacks, you've probably got some explaining to do. And there's not as many sub-$10K vehicles out there anymore.

Seriously, people don't research these kinds of far-flung trip plans ahead of time? Check the Internet in advance? Make a phone call? Yeah, I probably would have been surprised at a cashless policy for a park 15 years ago, but not so much today.

Max Rockatansky

Quote from: formulanone on March 31, 2024, 06:56:22 PM
Quote from: Max Rockatansky on March 29, 2024, 05:53:01 PMI've purchased two cars at dealerships for cash.  I used a cashier check both times.  I'm unclear if they would have accepted a bag of paper money.

Lots of paperwork for buyer and seller to fill out, once the cash (rather than check) gets received over a certain amount. If you're buying a vehicle with $10,000 in greenbacks, you've probably got some explaining to do. And there's not as many sub-$10K vehicles out there anymore.

Seriously, people don't research these kinds of far-flung trip plans ahead of time? Check the Internet in advance? Make a phone call? Yeah, I probably would have been surprised at a cashless policy for a park 15 years ago, but not so much today.

That's just it, if you aren't engaged in anything illegal then there isn't much for the buyer to explain.  Really it is more of a hassle for the business to take cash over other methods of payment.

And yes, a lot of normal folks don't intimately research places they plan on visiting.  Any time there has been a reservation system at a nearby park someone complains about how they "didn't know" online after they got turned away.

cl94

Quote from: formulanone on March 31, 2024, 06:56:22 PMSeriously, people don't research these kinds of far-flung trip plans ahead of time? Check the Internet in advance? Make a phone call? Yeah, I probably would have been surprised at a cashless policy for a park 15 years ago, but not so much today.

And, the thing is that few of these parks are actually 100% cashless if you do your research. Most of these "cashless" parks have a way to purchase admission or other services with cash, often via a third party. Death Valley, for example, clearly advertises that you can pay cash for admission at the businesses inside the park or the USFS visitor center along US 395. The businesses don't have the same requirements for cash transport as the federal government, which makes cash transport much cheaper than if NPS had to do it themselves, while the USFS interagency visitor center in Lone Pine is in a decent-sized settlement with a full set of services.

If there's no way to pay cash, that's one thing. But many of the NPS sites that claim to be "cashless" really aren't.

Quote from: Max Rockatansky on March 31, 2024, 07:06:21 PMThat's just it, if you aren't engaged in anything illegal then there isn't much for the buyer to explain.  Really it is more of a hassle for the business to take cash over other methods of payment.

This is the other thing. The government does not care what you are buying as long as it isn't illegal. If they really cared, they have ways of tracking other than credit cards. And it is increasingly expensive for businesses to take cash, as more shoppers move to card payments and the costs for handling cash have not decreased.
Please note: All posts represent my personal opinions and do not represent those of my employer or any of its partner agencies.

Travel Mapping (updated weekly)

kalvado

Quote from: cl94 on March 31, 2024, 06:45:05 PM
Quote from: Rothman on March 31, 2024, 06:31:01 PMDang...Venmo has entered the chat.  There's another convenience...

Venmo and Zelle are amazing. Makes sending a few bucks to family/friends or repaying coworkers super easy. I wish more places accepted those or PayPal as payment, because I have seen it and I love it. No cash or power needed as long as your phone is charged.
Russian  Fast Transfer System is a few light years ahead though.

kalvado

Quote from: cl94 on March 31, 2024, 07:21:48 PM
Quote from: formulanone on March 31, 2024, 06:56:22 PMSeriously, people don't research these kinds of far-flung trip plans ahead of time? Check the Internet in advance? Make a phone call? Yeah, I probably would have been surprised at a cashless policy for a park 15 years ago, but not so much today.

And, the thing is that few of these parks are actually 100% cashless if you do your research. Most of these "cashless" parks have a way to purchase admission or other services with cash, often via a third party. Death Valley, for example, clearly advertises that you can pay cash for admission at the businesses inside the park or the USFS visitor center along US 395. The businesses don't have the same requirements for cash transport as the federal government, which makes cash transport much cheaper than if NPS had to do it themselves, while the USFS interagency visitor center in Lone Pine is in a decent-sized settlement with a full set of services.

If there's no way to pay cash, that's one thing. But many of the NPS sites that claim to be "cashless" really aren't.

Quote from: Max Rockatansky on March 31, 2024, 07:06:21 PMThat's just it, if you aren't engaged in anything illegal then there isn't much for the buyer to explain.  Really it is more of a hassle for the business to take cash over other methods of payment.

This is the other thing. The government does not care what you are buying as long as it isn't illegal. If they really cared, they have ways of tracking other than credit cards. And it is increasingly expensive for businesses to take cash, as more shoppers move to card payments and the costs for handling cash have not decreased.
Meanwhile NY state requires businesses applying surcharge to card transactions post card price as a separate one, not as "x% surcharge"

cl94

Quote from: oscar on March 31, 2024, 06:33:02 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMIt's not like the people visiting national parks like Death Valley can't afford to have a credit/debit card with a bank. They probably spent a bunch of money to travel there and rent a room for a couple of nights.

The Internet, or cellphone or other phone service, does not exist in much of Death Valley unless you have an expensive satellite phone. If you're camping out in one of the park's more remote areas (as I've done), and need to make a payment to another camper, cash is king.

Most of the park has card-only pay stations now. I don't know how they do it in places with no/minimal service, but they do. It helps that the park outside of the geographic Death Valley's watershed is generally fee-free these days.
Please note: All posts represent my personal opinions and do not represent those of my employer or any of its partner agencies.

Travel Mapping (updated weekly)

Max Rockatansky

Quote from: cl94 on March 31, 2024, 08:17:47 PM
Quote from: oscar on March 31, 2024, 06:33:02 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMIt's not like the people visiting national parks like Death Valley can't afford to have a credit/debit card with a bank. They probably spent a bunch of money to travel there and rent a room for a couple of nights.

The Internet, or cellphone or other phone service, does not exist in much of Death Valley unless you have an expensive satellite phone. If you're camping out in one of the park's more remote areas (as I've done), and need to make a payment to another camper, cash is king.

Most of the park has card-only pay stations now. I don't know how they do it in places with no/minimal service, but they do. It helps that the park outside of the geographic Death Valley's watershed is generally fee-free these days.

I believe you are supposed to pay for everything at one of the boundary pay stations (including camping). 

jeffandnicole

Quote from: formulanone on March 31, 2024, 06:56:22 PM
Quote from: Max Rockatansky on March 29, 2024, 05:53:01 PMI've purchased two cars at dealerships for cash.  I used a cashier check both times.  I'm unclear if they would have accepted a bag of paper money.

Lots of paperwork for buyer and seller to fill out, once the cash (rather than check) gets received over a certain amount. If you're buying a vehicle with $10,000 in greenbacks, you've probably got some explaining to do. And there's not as many sub-$10K vehicles out there anymore.

What's there to explain? Some people have, or hoard, cash. At a car dealership, if they take cash for a car, there's no specialized paperwork for the customer or dealership to fill out. Especially on their busier days at busier dealerships, the volume of cars being sold and the down payments being made, will easily be over $10k. It's a simple form for the dealership's accountants to fill out, if they're even required to. Registration, sales taxes and other documents are more involved.

Wanna see cash in action? Go to a casino.  Thousands of dollars being handed over back and forth like pocket change. Scott can attest to this.

cl94

Quote from: Max Rockatansky on March 31, 2024, 08:21:03 PM
Quote from: cl94 on March 31, 2024, 08:17:47 PM
Quote from: oscar on March 31, 2024, 06:33:02 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMIt's not like the people visiting national parks like Death Valley can't afford to have a credit/debit card with a bank. They probably spent a bunch of money to travel there and rent a room for a couple of nights.

The Internet, or cellphone or other phone service, does not exist in much of Death Valley unless you have an expensive satellite phone. If you're camping out in one of the park's more remote areas (as I've done), and need to make a payment to another camper, cash is king.

Most of the park has card-only pay stations now. I don't know how they do it in places with no/minimal service, but they do. It helps that the park outside of the geographic Death Valley's watershed is generally fee-free these days.

I believe you are supposed to pay for everything at one of the boundary pay stations (including camping). 

The semi-developed campgrounds that charge, you pay with card at the campground. The more remote ones do not charge a fee. Everything else, yeah, you're supposed to pay at the boundary of the fee area or pay with cash at a business in/near the park. And I stress "fee area" because Panamint Valley is outside of said fee area.
Please note: All posts represent my personal opinions and do not represent those of my employer or any of its partner agencies.

Travel Mapping (updated weekly)

Scott5114

Quote from: jeffandnicole on March 31, 2024, 03:41:01 PM
Quote from: Scott5114 on March 31, 2024, 01:07:45 AMI've never had a $20 bill decide that, because I'm out of state or even in a different part of town than normal, it suddenly won't be a form of legal tender anymore...

But there's a chance that $20 bill is a fake. 

I have spotted a fake $20 from 10 feet away.

Quote from: jeffandnicole on March 31, 2024, 03:41:01 PM
Quote from: Scott5114 on March 31, 2024, 01:07:45 AMI've also never had a $20 bill stop working because the power went out.

Credit Cards can be used when power is out, or even if you're nowhere near a power source. If it's a more personal, person-to-person transaction, credit cards can be used.  In fact, both people don't even need to be present with each other - the buyer can simply Venmo or other app the money to the seller.  Can't do that with cash.

They can be used. In practice, they aren't—you just get a cashier standing there with a sad look on their face saying the credit card machine is down.

If I absolutely need to buy something, I make sure I have cash with me even if I intend to use a card. Doing otherwise invites trouble—what are you going to do if you need gas in Tonopah and your credit card isn't working?
uncontrollable freak sardine salad chef

oscar

Quote from: cl94 on March 31, 2024, 08:17:47 PM
Quote from: oscar on March 31, 2024, 06:33:02 AM
Quote from: noelbotevera on March 31, 2024, 12:08:22 AMIt's not like the people visiting national parks like Death Valley can't afford to have a credit/debit card with a bank. They probably spent a bunch of money to travel there and rent a room for a couple of nights.

The Internet, or cellphone or other phone service, does not exist in much of Death Valley unless you have an expensive satellite phone. If you're camping out in one of the park's more remote areas (as I've done), and need to make a payment to another camper, cash is king.

Most of the park has card-only pay stations now. I don't know how they do it in places with no/minimal service, but they do. It helps that the park outside of the geographic Death Valley's watershed is generally fee-free these days.

Emphasis on the part of my quote "payment to another camper". Camping itself at informal campgrounds is fee-free (you're supposed to use a pay station for admission to the entire national park, but if you use an entrance without a fee station, the rangers don't check on that). But, for example, there is a community expectation where I've camped that you'll bring supplies needed for the campground such as hand sanitizer for the pit toilets, or exactly the right kind of fertilizer for the lawn. Where your contribution doesn't meet the need, cash or check to the unofficial management can help them meet the need next time they return to civilization. Ditto for other inter-camper transactions, such as supplying fuel to someone who might otherwise be unable to reach the nearest gas station.
my Hot Springs and Highways pages, with links to my roads sites:
http://www.alaskaroads.com/home.html



Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.