June 20, 2024

Campus vending machines: Here’s how to fix the problem

Capital University has a decent number of vending machines on campus. They serve various snacks and drinks on campus to students and staff. This is convenient because it means that if students need a fast snack or a quick drink, they can quickly and conveniently buy one.

At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. Often, these vending machines can be riddled with issues ranging from the card readers not working properly, to not taking cash– or taking it and not refunding the student when their item is unavailable.

This is an issue that I have personally experienced on campus, but the problem is not unique to the university, as automated systems like this are prone to errors. With this in mind, here is some information that might allow you to better understand the campus vending machines.

There are plenty of potential causes of a broken machine. A machine could be broken because  of abuse from customers, ambient operating conditions such as too much sunlight or dust, lack of preventive maintenance, or even just equipment wearing down overtime.

The soda machines here are owned by G&J Pepsi Bottlers Inc. which explains why only Pepsi products are available on campus. Pepsi distributors are on campus usually twice a week to refill different machines. They are sent refill requests automatically by computer chips inside the vending machines. 

If there’s an issue with a machine, you can call the phone number that is towards the top right corner of each machine and it will connect you with a vending machine repair service where you can request a repair. This is the same for both the machines owned by G&J Pepsi Bottlers Inc. and AVI Foodsystems. The specific provider of service might be different depending on which machine is broken. 

If you want a refund, you can do that through the university’s financial department. Depending on which machine you could receive a cash refund or a Pepsi Voucher. You can use a Pepsi voucher at any store that sells Pepsi products. Market District is probably the best option for students who live on campus and want to redeem Pepsi Vouchers because it is pretty close and they have a decent selection of products. 

The financial department is located in Yochum Hall. You want to reach out to the Executive Administrative Assistant of Business and Finance. At the time of writing this article, that position is held by Robert Flemming who was helpful in providing information for this article.

For college students every penny counts so trying to buy a soda or snack and being denied that can really put a damper on someone’s day. Before this article, this would happen to me and I’d typically just have to kiss that money goodbye but thanks to my research I can now at least get a soda later or even a cash refund if I got a snack. Hopefully this article was helpful in that sense.


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