Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Machine tipping

For service above and beyond the call of duty
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There is an idea on here 'keep the change button' but I propose a more sophisticated and complex system. In a vending machine (thinking specifically of supermarket self-service tills here) the change return tray doubles as the tip tray. So you can leave some change in there and pull the 'tip' lever, depositing said excess change into the bowels of the machine.

Now this change does not accrue to the next customer, or to the location owner, or to the machine owner; rather, it remains the property of the machine. The machine in turn can use it to bribe or tip the people or machines that service it - for example, to ensure it is cleaned more often, or to get itself serviced earlier. Or to get better electricity, or something.

Sooner or later, machines will be bidding online (e.g. refrigerators bidding for electricity, to smooth demand) so let's set up to give them a real advantage. The better machines will draw more tips, and so improve their service, in a virtuous cycle of tippy goodness.

pocmloc, Dec 12 2014

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       Oh...I'm so glad this is not a variant on cow tipping.   

       While I'm in the habit of thanking machines, just on the off chance that they can actually appreciate it, I think you're putting the cart before the horse.   

       Until such time as the machine has a mechanism to use these tips (more memory and decision making capability, communications outlets) then you're just giving some change to the guy who fills the junk food machine, services the self serve checkout, or calibrates the gas pump.
normzone, Dec 12 2014
  

       // then you're just giving some change to the guy who fills the junk food machine, services the self serve checkout, or calibrates the gas pump. //   

       Hmm, maybe that would inspire them to keep it filled and make sure the receipt printer actually is working...
scad mientist, Dec 12 2014
  

       True enough. Like picking up your tips before going off shift.
normzone, Dec 12 2014
  

       //Oh...I'm so glad this is not a variant on cow tipping. //   

       I was rather hoping it was exactly that! There are numerous machines that I would gladly tip (over!)   

       By the way, [+]
csea, Dec 12 2014
  

       //cow tipping// is that a bigger version of fly tipping?
pocmloc, Dec 13 2014
  
      
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