Costa Coffee backs down in Twitter rammy over Scottish banknotes

The chain faced a backlash on social media. Picture: Michael Gillen.
The chain faced a backlash on social media. Picture: Michael Gillen.
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A UK-wide chain of coffee shops has been forced to reassure customers that it will accept Scottish banknotes following a social media storm.

Costa Coffee faced a backlash from Twitter users north of the Border last night after claims its store in the Kent town of Margate had refused to accept a Scottish note.

The online rammy was kicked-off when one user, @ScotsLindaT, said: “My local store in Margate doesn’t accept Scottish money - the manager says it’s because they bank with the Post Office.”

The official Costa twitter account replied: “Sorry to hear this, I’m afraid our teams are allowed to refuse Scottish notes; this is down to manager’s discretion. Apologies for this.”

That response prompted several people to call for a boycott of the chain.

Marion Scott tweeted: “Simple solution. “Don’t give @CostaCoffee your money. They don’t deserve patronage from Scots if that’s their policy.”

Costa backed down by deleting its original tweet and informing its followers it did accept Scottish bank notes.

“The info was wrong - our bad! Our stores do accept Scottish notes,” it said.

Video: Why Scottish bank notes are not legal tender

Three separate banks - Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale - have the right to issue paper currency north of the Border.

In England and Wales, only the Bank of England has the right to issue notes.

One Edinburgh-based bank insider previously told The Scotsman that meant many businesses in England and Wales are “unfamiliar with Scottish notes” and unsure how to spot fakes, with some opting for blanket bans in response.