Students may be overcharges for vending machine items

Posted on 21 April 2015 by admin

Credit or debit swipes could result in a double charge

 

By: CHRISTIAN HARGASvending machines
Staff Writer

 

Students could potentially be charged twice when paying by debit or credit card with the Coke vending machines at any of the four STLCC campuses. According to Christy Hart with Forest Park Auxiliary Services, double charging has been an issue in the past.

“Yes, people have complained about this before,” said Hart. “Other folks have said this is their way of ensuring they receive their $1.50.”

Hart said when she called Coke to address the situation they told her the extra charge drops off the customer’s bank statement.

“It is bad for us as consumers to not pay attention to what happens after the charge,” Hart said. “Coke tells me that it is not their practice to intentionally do that [double charge] with the vending machines. They may take $3.00 from you, but that is a pending charge. However, what they actually take from you is a $1.50.”

Hart said she has not been able to see anyone’s bank statements to prove if they have actually been double charged.

“That is what I need, a number of bank statements to verify whether or not a consumer has been double charged by the vending machine and whether or not it is truthful,” Hart said.

Hart said she does not know if their technology has outpaced what they are actually able to do, but this is an issue that needs to be pursued.

“For those who may not happen to have cash, they are more willing to open themselves up to using their debt cards, for their own convenience; we all want to use our debt cards everywhere,” Hart said. “The way technology and the way people handle their money is changing frequently.”

Hart said she does not think students are overreacting, yet she understands this is something that needs to stop.

“What I would really like to do is to pursue this. I would like it to stop, for people to not have to worry about the possibility of getting double charged. However, unless people come to me with proof or verification that this has happened to them, I cannot substantiate it,” Hart said.

Hart said she would contact the district’s sales representative and mention how this has become a topic of discussion around the STLCC campuses. She said she is not sure if Coca Cola knows this is happening or they do not view it as a problem.

“My feeling is at the community college, everybody lives in a different world when it comes to money; some use cash while others may use debit cards. Consumers, who live on a stricter budget, could be affected greater than those who have more money and it can be pretty disturbing,” Hart said.

 

  • regina

    I go to UMSL and it doesn’t matter if I use a coke machine or a snack machine I get doubled charged. The machine takes it as credit.

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