Thursday, October 30, 2003

As colorful new $20 bills circulate around the nation, more consumers are finding out that the notes do not work on automated payment machines like those found in self-service checkout counters at grocery stores.

THE FIRST CALLS STARTED coming into the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing two days ago, frustrating government officials who had worked to overcome the vending machine problems that followed the 1998 redesign of the bill.

This time the problem seems to plague mostly automated payment machines - a relatively recent arrival in the industry, the bureau said.

“We learned from our lack of outreach last time, and we really made an effort to reach out to thousands of business industries and associations so they can start working with their customers and members,” said Dawn Haley, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

When the colorful $20 bill was officially introduced into circulation Oct. 9, the first purchase made with it was stamps from a vending machine at a Washington, D.C., post office.

The ceremonial purchase was no accident.

“The postal service wasn’t ready last time too - so we worked really hard with them,” Haley said. “We definitely wanted to showcase the fact the U.S. Postal Service was ready.”

Okay, so the gov't spent $30 million to promote this fucking thing, but somehow the vending machine people didn't hear about it, huh?

Kids, this is a stupid, stupid country.

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