New 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.