Paying With a Plethora of Pennies

A few years ago, my ex-dentist charged me $15 for forwarding my records to my new dentist.  So I responded rationally: I paid the bill, in 1,300 pennies, three quarters, seven dimes and 11 nickles.  I sent the money (well, the change actually), via UPS, and received a shipping receipt a days later.

It’s been in the news that last month, a Utah man tried paying a doctor’s bill a similar way: with 25,000 pennies.  Except he didn’t send them in the mail. He dumped his change on the clinic counter.  From the Desert News:

…[Jason] West produced a large bowl containing about 14 pounds of loose pennies from a black plastic sack and poured it onto the top counter. Some of the coins, he acknowledges, spilled onto the desk below where the receptionist was seated and onto the floor.

“That’s just the nature of pennies,” he said. “They’re round.”

There were people in the waiting room who witnessed the incident, but West maintains that no one appeared to be upset by his actions.

“There was giggles and snickers and outright laughter,” he said.


I thought I was being gutsy by sending a UPS package full of random change to a dentist I didn’t want to deal with anymore.  West is actually in trouble with the law, as the thin-skinned clinic employees called the police on him.

Still? Would my little stunt have been worth the legal hassle?  Probably.  I do envy West, as he got to see the look on their faces as he paid in pennies.  Me? All I got was a lousy UPS receipt.

Published by