Ticket Vending Machine Mayhem Coming to a Halt

In May of 2015, metro customers in the New York City area were significantly inconvenienced when a series of outages at MetroCard vending machines made it difficult (and in certain situations downright impossible) to purchase the cards necessary to ride public transportation. The vending machines themselves still technically worked, but they were unable to properly process the payment options that customers needed to actually complete their transaction. Now, other providers are learning from the mistakes of New York City by offering ticket vending machines that are designed to address these types of issues.

In Rhode Island, for example, RIPTA has recently rolled out a series of vending machines in Kennedy Plaza that are designed to both address the issues that many travelers are facing and reduce lines and wait times at ticket windows at the same time. The RIPTA ticket vending machines accept both credit and debit card (but do not currently have a cash option at this time) and issue one day passes, seven day passes and two hour unlimited passes. Though these machines were only recently installed in the plaza, they are already yielding significant performance improvements across the board.

By far, one of the best ways to relieve or even completely eliminate ticket vending machine mayhem involves making sure that these machines are being maintained in the right way. Ticket vending machine maintenance schedules should always include a number of important elements, like offering alternative payment solutions if something is not currently operating in the way that it should be. If the credit card option goes down, for example, users should still be able to pay for their purchases with cash.

Instead of taking a machine offline that needs extensive repairs, substitute equipment should be ready to be swapped in at a moment’s notice. Expert advice should also be sought by the New York City Transit Authority, RIPTA and other organizations employing these machines to help keep down time at a minimum.

The ticket vending machines in Rhode Island are a massive step in the right direction for weary travelers everywhere. Instead of standing in long lines at a ticket window, customers can now purchase transit tickets on their own terms whenever they’d like. The Transit Authority indicated that they will be carefully monitoring the performance of these ticket machines in their current location in Kennedy Plaza and, if they prove to be a success, will soon roll them out in Pawtucket Transit Center and in other locations in the near future.

Source: http://wpri.com/2015/07/02/ripta-launches-ticket-vending-machines/

Ways to Prevent a Vending Machine From Taking Your Money Without Providing a Product

35586453_lAlmost everyone has lost money in a vending machine. You are thirsty or hungry for a snack and put your money in the slot. You may see a little waver of your item in the vending machine shelf, but it doesn’t drop. Your money is gone and you have nothing to show for it.

You may hit or kick the machine hoping to dislodge your item. You frantically push the coin return hoping to get your money back. Still nothing. All this hammering does is possibly damage the machine. There is also a risk that you can be seriously injured if you happen to dislodge the machine and it falls on you. On the other hand, there may be a way to prevent this frustration from happening again.

Advice to Customers

One secret to receiving your product and not losing your money lies in looking carefully at how the items are loaded in the machine before you make your selection. If the location of your item has one spiral, the front right corner of the package should fit in front of the spiral. If there are two spirals, the item should have both front corners in front of the spiral. If the corners are behind the spirals, the item will not get snatched and dropped into the tray.

Advice to Vending Machine Owners

If you are the owner of a vending machine, your customers may kick and hit and damage your machine when they lose their money and do not get their product. Some may even put an “Out of Order” note on the front of the machine which will lose you revenue as other potential customers walk away and do not buy anything.

Proper loading of the vending machine is vital to its functioning. Your employees or independent contractors who are charged with loading the machines must be sure to put the items in properly so the corners are aligned as they should be. If the loader is sloppy and puts the items in at an angle, your customers will lose their money, not get their product, possibly damage your machine and your vending machine business will lose revenue.

A Guide to Properly Stocking Your Vending Machine

23790142_lIn order to ensure your vending machine continues to earn money, stocking it regularly with new and sought after inventory is essential. A key to keeping your vending machine busy and profitable is knowing the proper stocking and maintenance procedures. The following information provides a guide to filling and maintaining your money-making vending machine.

The First Time Inventory

The most important fill is the very first one. The items you stock will either be well-received by the clients, or if there is quite a bit left when you return, you will know it is time to replace some of the items. It is a good idea to ask the owner of the vending machine location for preferred snacks that customers are most likely to purchase. While potato chips are typically popular, the store owner may have some other suggestions you never thought of. People are also more health conscious these days, so keep this in mind when stocking your inventory.

Arranging Your Vending Machine Inventory

It is important that you fill your vending machine with product and plenty of change in the change tubes. If a machine cannot give change, chances are your profits will fall significantly. When you stock your products, you should place smaller, lighter items at the front such as single serve soups, gum, and candy. Next, consider chip trays and then other nut and meat snacks. Also, try to keep most visible your best-selling items.

Maintaining Your Vending Machine

It is essential that you visit the vending machine frequently in order to provide needed maintenance. Be sure to check for any operational issues, such as error codes or blinking lights. Most machines provide diagnostic testing to provide you with information regarding overall vending machine operational health.

Also, check the coin mesh and bill collector to ensure they are plugged in and operating properly. If there is an issue you are unable to resolve yourself, you should call a technician. If necessary, the technician will provide you with the following services:

  • Software updates
  • Replacement of parts and components
  • Provide additional troubleshooting

Stocking your vending machine is definitely the bread and butter of your business. What you decide to put in the snack holders determines the amount of profit you can make. If you notice something does not sell well, it is at your discretion to change it and offer something more appealing. Remember, it may not make sense in the beginning to load two trays of chips, but for most vending machines these are top sellers, so you want to make sure you don’t run out. Keeping the tips here in mind will help ensure your vending machine remains profitable.

 

The Importance of and How to Properly Clean Your Coffee Vending Machine

coffeeNot only does the well-being of your office workers rely on the cleanliness of your vending machine, but it’s also required by law that you keep it clean and sanitized. Here’s a closer look at how to keep your vending machine clean.

Perform Maintenance Regularly

First and foremost, to keep your vending machine as clean as possible as well as to reduce the cleaning time, make sure to have it serviced regularly. No matter the products that you are dispensing from your machine, it should be both cleaned and restocked appropriately. An impaired functionality of your machine will only result in reduced professionalism as well as employee complaints.

Use Cleaning Settings

Many of today’s more modern vending machines, especially those that dispense customized beverages, come with their own cleaning settings. For example, a coffee vending machine needs to have its internal mixing bowls cleaning regularly with hot water. By using cleaning settings, you can rest assured that these bowls will be cleaned automatically. Much of the time, the cleaning settings on these machines can be accessed only by authorized individuals. You must make sure the appropriate employees have access to these settings.

Clean the Cooling Fans

Vending machines with fans need to have them dusted at least once a week. For vending machines that are in dusty areas, such as factories, more frequent dusting of these fans may be needed.

Clean the Spillage Tray

The spillage tray is the tray that can be touched by your employees when picking up their coffee or other vending products. This part usually has to be cleaned manually on a daily basis. With basic kitchen cleaner or vinegar, you can wipe down this tray and then reinsert it.

Descale Your Machine

No matter the cleaning features that your vending machine boasts, it is crucial that it be descaled and cleaned according to the amount of traffic that it normally sees. A machine that gets used over 20 times a day should be descaled and cleaned manually at least once a week. For machines that get used more than 100 times a day, daily cleaning may be needed.

The Takeaway

If you’re looking to stock your coffee vending machine, make sure to fill it with any of the delectable tastings offered through VendNet USA:

  • Soluble Vending tea
  • Value Blend Fresh Brew Coffee
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Freeze Dry Coffee
  • French Vanilla Cappuccino
  • Fresh Brew Decaf
  • And many more

 

NYC Metro Card “Fritz-Frenzy”

nyc metroNew York City metro customers woke up to a rather unwelcome surprise a few days ago. Citywide outages for the MetroCard vending machines resulted in quite a few frustrated customers. While the “Sorry, we are unable to process your request right now” screen brought about a horrible start to the day for some New Yorkers, the metro line workers took to social media to keep everyone updated on the situation.

@NYCT Subway posted on Twitter to let customers know what was going on and how they were trying to remedy the credit/debit issue. While there were some less than supportive comments, for the most part it let customers know what was going on and when to expect a solution. By early afternoon the issue was resolved and customers were back on their way. The power of social media is vast and even in this situation it helped keep people informed about what was going on.

However, this payment issue with the vending machines brings up an entirely new issue; proper maintenance may help to prevent these issues in the future.

Proper maintenance for these vending machines would include periodic checks into the software to ensure that everything is running properly. When this type of maintenance is completed, it can help to prevent issues, such as the ones seen on May 11th that affected over 100 vending machines around New York City.

There are quite a few professional vending maintenance services that can be employed to provide this service and ensure everything is working properly, no matter the type of vending machine being operated. These professional services provide:

  • Payment solutions if something is not operating properly
  • Substitute equipment for machines that need extensive repairs
  • Expert advice to ensure the machines have minimal downtime
  • Professional reporting services to let owners know the up and downtime of the machines

Vending machines are now used for a multitude of reasons from the MetroCard refill stations to the typical soft drink dispensers and now even grocery machines. Keeping these machines properly maintained is essential to ensure customers can access the convenience they are looking for.

Also, if issues do arise, vending machine owners should let customers know what is going on and keep them informed by utilizing the power of social media. It is one of the furthest reaching and fastest traveling sources of news and information. Take a cue from @NYCT Subway and ensure your customers are not left in the dark.

 

Students Find 3 Year Old Drinks on Campus Vending Machines

MTN-Dew-938x535Proper vending machine maintenance is hugely important for a wide range of different reasons. For starters, vending machines are designed to be largely automated – as a result, a worker isn’t necessarily going to be around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to fix issues as they arise. More than that, however, preventative maintenance is also necessary to help make sure that people don’t get ill from the items that they’ve purchased under the assumption of trust and proper vending machine maintenance. Case in point: a student at a university in the United States recently discovered a three year old item in a vending machine on his campus.

Gabby Pearson, a freshman at MTSU, was attempting to purchase a drink in one of the school’s many buildings in between classes. Luckily, she happened to check the expiration date before consumption. Though she was buying the drink in February of 2015, it had actually expired on June 17, 2012. As she took a closer look inside the bottle, she also discovered white mold.

In the case of the three year old soda on MTSU’s campus, the issue was one that was unfortunately preventable. All route representatives should be rotating and checking the contents of these machines at all times to help avoid these types of situations in the future. There are also a number of other preventative maintenance steps that should be taken to help keep these solutions running as efficiently as possible at all times.

An inventory of all parts should be kept, for example, to help make sure that technicians can repair any problem that arises with a vending machine without returning to their shop. Maintenance records should also be carefully kept to help clue people in on common and reoccurring issues, maintenance schedules and more. Vending machine officials should also practice regular communication so that everyone on a particular route is always up to date on when the contents of a machine were last refreshed, when the machine was last serviced and more moving forward.

Vending machine maintenance isn’t only important to help keep things running as smoothly as possible – it’s also a way to help make sure that people aren’t getting sick from the items that they’re buying. By keeping just a few key things in mind and following a few best practices, you can help keep your vending machines safe for anyone who puts their trust in them on a daily basis.

Despite Reports of Fraud, Apple Pay is Coming to 100,000 Coca-Cola Machines

apple-pay-604

Currently, Coca-Cola accepts Apple Pay at more than 40,000 vending machines across the U.S. However, the company plans to expand the number of vending machines accepting Apple Pay to 100,000 by the end of 2015. Unfortunately, the horror stories of fraud within Apple Pay have left many people cautious about the use of near-field communications (NSF) devices in such machines. Reports of fraud in Apple Pay have left many wondering how fraud can be prevented when using the innovative payment option. However, the greatest error lies at the fault of bank verification processes and poor vending machine maintenance.

Banks and Apple Pay Verification

According to Micah Singleton of the Verge, Apple Pay data encryption has not yet been breached. However, bank verification methods are lacking in protecting personal information. In most cases, a bank will use a customer call as a verification method for the addition of a new credit or debit card to Apple Pay through ‘green and yellow” verification processes. During the initial phase of verification, or the “green path,” the bank receives and transmits personal identifying information about that person’s transaction history and other purchases. Afterwards, the bank calls the phone asking for the customer to provide the four numbers of his or her social security number. Unfortunately, the last four digits of a social security number are easily accessible to criminals who have stolen someone’s identity. As a result, the card gets added to a new Apple Pay account, and the information is taken. However, the use of Apple Pay at vending machines requires another level of security.

Importance of Proper Vending Machine Maintenance

Vending machines are usually located in unmonitored or “hidden” areas, and thieves have a notorious history of breaking into them. The NFC device within the machine allows for a new type of break in: a digital break in. In order to ensure thieves have not installed software or are accessing information gathered by the machine, vending machine manufacturers must create and adhere to a strict maintenance schedule. For example, the NFC device could be used to transmit credit card numbers to a nearby hacker; however, a diagnostic scan of the device would identify and remove such malware. Furthermore, vending machine parts, especially the NFC device, may need to be completely replaced as an added security.

As society moves towards a highly-integrated, digital world, the presence of criminals will only continue to grow. However, Coca-Cola’s decision to expand the use of Apple Pay in vending machines stands as testament to the security features of their machines and Apple Pay. Before placing blame on vending machine manufacturers or Apple for fraud, banks must improve their verification methods, and vending machine manufacturers must ensure machine maintenance schedules do not falter.

Photo Source: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/innovation/100-000-coke-vending-machines-in-north-america-will-accept-apple-pay-by-year-end

Our Conlux Bill Validator, Service Centers and Finance Options

Vending machine owner operators understand that their machine is their 24/7 storefront. They rely on these machines to be up and running 100 percent of the time to serve every customer, every time, no matter the denomination in the customer’s pocket. No one wants to lose out on a sale because their machine will only accept one denomination or worse yet, because the bill validator is out of service. When considering vending machine parts, particularly currency validators, the Conlux Bill Validator should be at the top of your list.

Why Choose the Conlux Bill Validator?

conlux 2Simplicity and flexibility are the hallmarks of the CV1000 Conlux Bill Validator. You can choose to accept bills from $1 to $20 at the push of a button while the validator remains conveniently installed in the vending machine. Programming updates are available with the use of a BPM (bill programming module) right in the field. The Conlux is simple to operate and highly reliable.

Features of the CV1000 Conlux Bill Validator:

  • Accepts bills from $1 to $20 at a 95 percent acceptance rate
  • Acceptance sensors utilize optical technology and boast dual pellet sensing
  • Accepts four different coupon options, including a secure low-cost option, which will allow you to market to a wider customer audience
  • Designed to clear the latest LCD screens on vending machines
  • Cashbox comes in 300 and 500 note capacities with dual side entries to allow easy access to the cashbox
  • Eliminate service calls for jammed bill acceptors

Servicing and Financing Your Conlux

Reduce your vending machine repair costs with our two year warranty on each Conlux Bill Validator. Our service centers are conveniently located throughout the United States. We provide a rapid response should you be in need of warranty or repair services. Upgrading to Conlux Bill Validators? Check out our easy financing option online for orders of 50 or more bill validators.

Innovative Hot, Fresh Fries From a Vending Machine

friesClose your eyes and imagine the deliciousness of a fresh, hot, salty French fry. Where are you?  In a drive through?  In a nice sit down restaurant?  At a vending machine?

French fries have become synonymous with American fast food chains, but in western Australia one company is out to change that, delivering hot, fresh fries from a vending machine. Though called “chips” in Australia, the concept is the same, hot fries delivered at the touch of a button upon demand no matter the time of night or day.

Perth business man Peter Malone heads the Hot Chips Company. His revolutionary design relied on vending machine parts that were only recently available. His machine relies on a robotic arm to scoop the chips after they are fried in a 10-litre vat of rice bran oil inside the machine, which has the added benefit of being cholesterol free.

The risk of food poisoning is very low due to the fact that “potatoes are very much an inert product,” according to Malone. The challenge in creating the right size and shape of chip was greater. According to Stephen Bendotti, director of Bendotti Exporters and WA Chips, the final product would need to be “the perfect size and shape so that it doesn’t get lodged in the machine.”

At this point, Malone has two vending machines in use for the public, one at a service station in Adelaide and the other at Ibis Budget airport hotel in Perth. Malone has his eye on expansion with plans to have 5,000 machines in operation by 2017 in service stations throughout Australia. Malone also has plans to eventually expand his business worldwide. He believes marketing would take care of itself. According to Malone, chips are “popular worldwide. We don’t need to go and tell people that a chip is something they should eat.”

No matter the problem, there are vending machine solutions for every issue, including the need for hot fries even if the local drive through is closed.

The #1 Spot for Your Coffee Vending Machine Product Refills

Coffee_time_(2410222127)Having a coffee vending machine in your business is one of the best ways to keep customers and clients happy at all times. You never have to worry about which employee forgot to brew another cup of coffee, for example, or how long a particular pot has been sitting out. At any given moment, someone is only seconds away from the type of fresh, hot and delicious coffee that will keep them propelled throughout the day.

After you purchase your drink vending machine, however, there are a few key things to keep in mind. For starters, you’ll have to purchase product refills on a regular basis to help keep the machine stocked as often as possible. Additionally, even the best designed machines will eventually develop issues and parts will sometimes need to be replaced. When you find yourself in those types of situations, there is only one online source that you need to remember: VendNet USA.

VendNet USA: The #1 Spot for Your Coffee Vending Machine Product Refills

Instead of trying to source all of the products you need through multiple distributors (and paying hugely inflated prices as a result), you can get everything you want and more through VendNet USA. The site offers a huge variety of different coffees, teas and other delicious hot beverages that will keep everyone as happy as possible at all times. The site offers great products like gourmet hot chocolate, soluble vending tea, premium fresh brew coffee and more. Everything that you could ever need is all conveniently located under one roof.

Ordering Your Items

Purchasing coffee vending machine refills, vending machine parts and other items on the VendNet USA site is a straightforward experience that will only take a few quick moments of your time. First, if you know the specific type of refill you’d like to purchase or the part you’d like to browse, you can enter its name or SKU into the “Search” box on the upper right corner of the screen. Once you locate the listing for the item you’re looking for, you need only to click the “Add to Cart” button to begin the checkout process.

If you’re looking for vending machine parts but aren’t quite sure where to start, you can use the “Parts Price List” hyperlink at the top of the screen. You can also click the “Search Catalog” button to gain access to more advanced search options that will help make finding specific items easier than ever before.

To browse our extensive collection of coffee vending machine product refills, click here.