Business: Vending Machine: Payment
'Keep the change' button   (+8)  [vote for, against]
On can machines

Damnit. The next can machine that pisses me off is going to get a punch in the throat. All I want is a refreshing can of fizzy drink, but no! it wants the 'correct change only'. Where else in the entire glorious world of commerce do you need the correct bloody change? Now look, if I really want a drink, I'll be the judge of how much I'm willing to pay for it thank-you-oh-so-very-much. I've got a pocket full of pound coins here. Keep the other forty pence I really don't care.

To this end I propose an optional keep the change button on can machines, only usable when the machine cannot make the correct change. In a nice world this money would be discounted from the cost of the next drink bought by whomever, or sent into some kind of internal charity box. In this world the machine maker's profit line would increase.
-- Zircon, Jan 09 2003

Vend-O-Shred. http://www.halfbake...m/idea/Vend-o-shred
No real connection to the idea, just an excuse to bring this comedy idea up again. [sild, Oct 17 2004]

You are totally right here. My theory is that it's all a cunning conspiracy by those corporate fat cats. I believe that they deliberately make the machine keep the change; I don't even think that the damn change button's connected to anything!
-- talen, Jan 09 2003

That don't make sense [talen].
-- sild, Jan 09 2003

Like disjointed typing there. Sorry.
-- talen, Jan 09 2003

[talen]: I think the idea is to allow the machine to keep the change when the denomination of money minus the price of the product is greater than the change the machine can currently give. (Or its change giving thingy is just broken) The machine refuses to vend unless the customer has a way to say "keep the change". [Zircon] proposes to _allow_ the machine to keep the change in order to receive the product at a higher price when necessary.
-- half, Jan 09 2003

Eventually any machine is going to run out of change when presented with a continuous stream of pound coins, dollar bills, ten birr notes etc. At this point (in UK at least) what happens is; a little light comes on next to a sign that reads 'use correct change only please'. On more sophisticated machines (i.e. not at my uni) this message is displayed on a little screen.
-- Zircon, Jan 09 2003

Pretty much the same kind of thing in the U.S.

[waugs]: It's not an "exact change only" machine. It's a temporary mode of operation.
-- half, Jan 09 2003

Maybe the machine should have a "gamble" button as well. If you have to overpay, you can do two things: 1. press the "donate" button and give the extra to a charity (press "hot chocolate" to give to the dog's home, press "tea" to give to food aid charities, etc.), or 2. press "gamble". All the lights on the machine flash wildly for a couple of seconds, and you either then (a) lose your overpayment, or (b) get all your money back. the chances are exactly evens (by law).

In the long run, it would even out for the vending machine company, so it wouldn't cost anything.
-- 8th of 7, Jan 09 2003

Companies don't do long runs, 8th, I fear. It's like telling a PR exec about market fundamentals. Such talk brings on the blue screen of doom.

I'd go for the 'gamble' button when selecting my beverage. In fact, a whole beverage-dispensing one armed bandit would have massive synergy. Positive feedback for the AA / GA crowd.
-- General Washington, Jan 09 2003

random, halfbakery