SALT LAKE CITY, Utah –
Patrons in the Best Buy in Salt Lake City were surprised recently when the store informed them that were changing their policies on payment, and would no longer be accepting checks for purchases.
“I could’t believe it,” said Mary Hutton, 82, who was there to buy a new washing machine. “They said that they took cash, credit, or debit, but no longer took checks. I was shocked. I still am. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Best Buy, as well as several other retailers, say the answer is simple – it’s 2015, and checks have been a dead payment format for decades.
“Ever since banks started issuing debit cards with every checking account, the only people who have used checks are old women and people who are floating a check because they don’t have the money in their account to cover the purchase yet – or they don’t have it at all, and are committing a crime,” said Best Buy CFO Tim Lorde. “Either way, we have no use for checks.”
Employees of several locations say they are extremely happy that the stores have stopped taking checks, as the process for accepting them is extremely slow, and more often than not, the checks are declined anyway.
“We took checks, and just ran them, essentially, like a debit card,” said Best Buy employee Molly Hamlin. “It would be instantly approved or denied. Of course, people didn’t know that, and they were trying to get something for nothing when they had no cash in their accounts, and they’d get declined – then they’d get mad at me, like it was my fault their broke ass couldn’t afford a new TV. Sorry, but pay in cash or by credit like a normal person.”
Many grocery stores and department stores are also starting to phase out check systems in their stores.
“We really want everyone to just pay, and get the hell out,” said grocery store manager Troy Lippit. “Checks slow everyone down. You can see these old women coming in, every Sunday, buying a gallon of milk and having to write a check while behind them a line of people forms, angrily staring her down wondering why she hasn’t gotten into the next century.”
According to banking professionals, checks should be completely obsolete by 2017, with most stores not accepting them by next year. They will, at that point, only be used to pay rent.