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Danish bus companies ordered to change policy on change

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The Local ([email protected])
Danish bus companies ordered to change policy on change
Danish bus drivers can no longer turn you away for trying to pay with a 200-krone note. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Bus drivers in Denmark can no longer refuse entry to passengers who want to pay for their ticket in cash on the basis that they don’t have enough change.

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The national ombudsman for consumers, Forbrugerombudsmanden, on Wednesday issued a ruling that means bus drivers cannot turn away cash-paying passengers if they can’t give them enough change.

That came after reported cases in which, for example, drivers have refused to accept 200-krone notes as payment for a ticket costing 26 kroner.

This was because drivers have, up to now, only accepted payments up to the nearest 100 kroner above the ticket price. In other words, the amount of change a passenger could receive was limited to 100 kroner.

But this amounts to discriminatory treatment of people who choose to pay in cash, the ombudsman said in the ruling.

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Refusal of payment in this way is also in breach of Danish laws relating to the use of cash.

Bus companies must follow the ombudsman ruling and change their policies effective Wednesday, according to the ombudsman statement.

Passengers should, however, be aware that drivers may not be able to give them the correct change, the consumer rights watchdog also noted.

“Cash rules also apply on buses. There are passengers who either want or need to pay with cash and they must not be prevented from taking the bus for this reason. The laws around cash are there to protect them,” the consumer ombudsman, Christina Toftegaard Nielsen, said in the statement.

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