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Same location just boot us and stole from us as well


acvending
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Well, it finally happened. Our Vendstar got booted. It was a Midas. The manager approved it and even signed the agreement but apparently the owner finally came by recently and doesn't want machines in the store. Since I checked the machine 3 weeks ago another guy apparently dropped a machine there but never even got approval from the manager much less the owner. NCCS charity of course. It was one of the real nice metal red and gold triples with removable canisters. I forget  the brand but it wasn't the new XYZ one. He is also booted according to owner.

Oh and to top it off they were stealing from us. The machine was quite empty of product but had little money in it. I knew it wasnt doing well but didn't realize how bad. Upon opening it when I got it home I found pieces of coffee stirers in it mixed with 16.50 in quarters. That was over almost 3 months. Only 3 small pieces of coffee stirers were in there them so I did not understand how they could have stolen so much until I played around with the mechanism using the coffee stirers. Apparently it can be defeated without ever feeding the stirers all the way through. They can be stuck far enough in to disengage the mechanism and them pulled back and it will turn completely so they never have to feed them all the way through but I guess a few musta broke off and went through which explains why I found a few.

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Well I guess you know where to tell all your friends not to take their business to. I might be tempted to write a letter to the editor and point the finger in their direction without mentioning them to avoid slander. Kharma will get them in the end.

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What they are doing is going in through the front and pushing(turning)  for a free vend. It can be done with anything thin and sturdy like metal wire etc.

and it can be done to other machines as well as the vendstars or uturns. Its hard to fight this and once the location knows (workers, because thats who is doing it) your done because they will keep doing it over and over.

If you notice scratch marks or low coins or toothpicks in the body, your being hit. You can try talking to managment but in my experience it dosent work because at that point your machine is a problem to them.  In some locations that are real producers, I narrowed my proportions and just absorbed the theft, it has to be a real money making location though.

Jimbo

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Yea, I had issues with some of my old Uturns and coin mech tampering.  While no mech is 100%, the plastic mechs seem to be the easiest to fool with tooth picks, straws, sticky quarters, card board slugs, game room tokens and Canadian quarters (hey they are worth more than a US quarter now!).  I use only the metal mechs in specific places to minimize the problem.  NW sells a "slug buster" wheel to deal with cardboard "pizza" slugs.   The other problem with plastic mechs is that some people have figured out how to break the the coin wheel and/or pawl and then get unlimited free spins.  Just another reason I only buy NW now.

I agree with Jimbo in that the location managment rarely does anything about it.  But I personally like to bring to their attention any way.

The other funny thing is that I have experienced almost all of the coin mech tampering as well as lock picking in automotive oriented locations.  Had locks literally broken in a Goodyear once.  Had two car dealerships and a car wash spin out a Uturn.  Some times the locks will be tampered with (but not opened) and will damage the lock so that the key no longer works - a real pain since now I have to remove the machine and drill out the lock at home.  Had one machine picked and completely cleaned out in a hotel - they left the machine open just to play with me I guess.  It happened the weekend of  Daytona 500 - wanna bet they were automotive types?

Also watch out for arcade rooms.  Buy a dollar of the tokens and test your machine with them.  The kids with figure out real fast which of your coin mechs will accept them!  Had some kids in an arcade run $80 in tokens through a machine once.   I have to admit that the Beaver mechs have been the most fool proof for me - those Canadians are so smart, ehh!

Jax

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I'm going to apologize beforehand, I'm going to say something that is not popular on this site.  (Read many posts and advice is buy cheap not quality quick ROI ...)

You get what you pay for!

Low cost machines do not have better mechs, they have to cut cost somewhere. That being said it would be nice if all of society had morals. Not the majority but all, they don't so we have to do what we can to protect our business from being robbed by those few.

Beaver mechs are great, they have many anti-theft designs, but they are not invincible. I have replaced four mechs at one location on 4 different service calls. (it is now a game for me) First time could have been mechanical failure (empty $1.00), maybe even the second time (empty, $35.00). But I got smart and replaced it with a Beaver New Generation coin mech (used) It was broken again on my last service some money and most of the product still there. Replaced again with NG mech, they can break the mech but they will not get free vends, and I will not service that one again till Aug or Sept, so if they break it they will have to wait for their snack.

The other way they steal is removing the tops with flat key (screwdriver) and scoop out product, I may have not noticed but someone put the lid back on without checking the orientation of the beaver, easy fix change to barrel locks.

Both these locations have access to tools, one a garage the other a hardware store (building supply). Young people with time on their hands during breaks need some entertainment. (both are break-rooms)

I do not blame people for trying to see if it can be done(curiosity), its the continuation of the theft that bothers me. In another post I had told the story of my staff emptying a canister on a u-turn, boy did that cost them.

Grumpy

 

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Seems to me that if a customer is going to steal then I don't want their business. I've only had one location with a slight problem- they tried to get into the back of a triple but were unable to. I told the owner I was taking the machine out and told him why. He got very red in the face and said to everyone in the shop that anyone caught stealing or damaging the machine would get fired. No more problems after that. I think its better to pull the machine and find another location at the first hint of trouble.

 

Regards,

Philo

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I think the VS is the easiest to defeat using something as simple as coffee stirers or similar item. Cardboard slugs can also defeat a VS.

If you look at back posts, you will find lots of VS owners complaining about how somebody figured out how to get free product from them.  They are notorious for being bad.  I know it doesn't help you now, but maybe in the future you'll decide against a VS in favor of something more stable.  Maybe new readers will see this and rethink their plans for buying that cheap VS on ebay.
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25cent_smile wrote:

So, did you fire them Grumpy? IMO, someone who steals a .25 piece of candy will steal me blind if I let them.

Bryan

25cent, in general I agree with your statement but.

NO, I did not fire them.

It started as a curiosity thing, one person figured out if you jiggle the handle back and forth it would free vend one product at a time. He showed another and another ... So one brainiac decided to do it all night long and emptied the canister into a bowl, which he shared with other staff (about 5). To them this was a lark. After all he is the boss and RICH too. (not but that is how they think)

In this business I have about 30 employees, an example needs to be set, but firing does not fix these type of problems as other thieves just figure they were dumb to be caught.

So I give out a school bursary, bonuses and it was raise time too. I punished all 30 employees, no exceptions and canceled everything for six months. I also pointed out the reason why and who the culprits were. Peer pressure is a better solution, now everybody knows that if I find anyone screwing me that they will all pay for the error. There will be no passive participation in errors of judgment in the future or since.

Does this mean if you steal from me I won't fire you. No! But I do not apply the same remedy's all the time. I look at each situation and decide from there, people do make judgment errors and sometimes they can be corrected and other times it just a waste of your time trying.

Grumpy

I guess I should add that it was the u-turn with a plastic mech, also the person who sold it to me had warned if everything was not aligned 100% this would happen. I set it up so it was able to happen.

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I know that the VS's suck. My partner bought a few assorted machines without telling me when we first started this business without doing his homework. Coincidently the VS this thread relates to was part of that purchase. See my old posts for more on this story. I'd never have bought plastic machines, though I do like the removable canisters. The rest of our VS's were from a route we acquired for a steal. Again see my earlier posts for more on that story :-)

dperry wrote:

I think the VS is the easiest to defeat using something as simple as coffee stirers or similar item. Cardboard slugs can also defeat a VS.

If you look at back posts, you will find lots of VS owners complaining about how somebody figured out how to get free product from them.  They are notorious for being bad.  I know it doesn't help you now, but maybe in the future you'll decide against a VS in favor of something more stable.  Maybe new readers will see this and rethink their plans for buying that cheap VS on ebay.
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I know that the VS's suck. My partner bought a few assorted machines without telling me when we first started this business without doing his homework. Coincidently the VS this thread relates to was part of that purchase. See my old posts for more on this story. I'd never have bought plastic machines, though I do like the removable canisters. The rest of our VS's were from a route we acquired for a steal. Again see my earlier posts for more on that story :-)

After the day I had today, I would seriously consider buying cheap machines.  Out of 26 stops for today, I had lost 3 machines.  That brings my total to 4 lost machines for the month.  It will cost me $320 to replace the lost machines.  If I'm going to lose machines at this rate, I may want to buy the cheapest machines I can find!
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2 locations closed their doors without calling me to pick up the machines.  I am working to try to get those back. 

One machine was stolen from a location during business hours.  The owner assumed that the guy that took it worked for me.  The only thing that made him think twice about it was that the guy didn't give him is cut.  So he thought something was wrong but wan't sure. 

Earlier this month, somebody broke into a location when it was closed, and busted up my machine to get the money. All I got back was the stand, lid and base.  No globe nor mech nor wheel was left for me to get back.

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