I have a story to tell you. I got a call from one of my location that just have a pop machine.
It is in a located that is out of my usual vending machine business route. It is located in North Vancouver, BC.
The person at the other end of the phone says that the machine is constantly giving out wrong pop and they have to mop the floor on several occasion.
Customer is always right if you are in business.
They are requesting for the pop machine to go to avoid leaking problems and always need to mop the floor on leaky pop machine.
I asked specifically that is the problem and the customer told me that : ‘The coke diet on several occasions came out of the machine empty”
I told them that i will immediately go to the location and take a quick look and rectify the problem immediately.
I arrived at the location and tried to do the usual Vend Motors Test on each column of the pop machine.
The pop came out and there was no problem on the regular pop.
I tested a few times just to be certain so that i won’t be receiving anymore calls.
Indeed, out came a coke die that is half empty.
I inspected the Coke Diet and there was no physical holes, i was in panic mode and i figure that i will dispense all the coke diet and coke zero inside the pop machine one by one.
I was astounded that 70% of the coke diet and coke zero products are actually empty even thou there are no physical holes on the aluminum can.
I decided to remove all Coke Diet related products to stop from happening again.
Thus, i saved this location from my pop machine being removed and will be continuing its service.
I have also checked that all the coke diet products inside the pop machine is already around more than 2 years shelf life and have expired. So this comes to mind that diet products that are more than 1 year should be taken out from pop machines to avoid leaking and empty cans.
I made some research and found some Q & A on some forums and it mentioned from a former Pop Manufacturing employee that :
Pop products undergo a process that they spray a chemical coating to avoid the phosphoric acid to dissolve and eat away the aluminum.
The said chemical coating has a shell life. When the coating wears away the acid inside the pop will eventually evaporate or have some micro holes wherein the contents of the pop will leak
Here is the link to one of the numerous forum that i have researched, link.
I have decided to remove all the slow moving pop inside the pop machine.
I also found out that there are people selling perfectly empty pop cans without any sign of leak or evaporation for $250,000$ at eBay ! I wonder what makes it a novelty.
Here is a link to a ridiculously priced empty pop cans for $250,000 at eBay.
After solving the problem with the case of the empty unopened pop cans, i went to visit my other locations.
I went to my evergreen locations that is constantly hungry for chips and chocolate bars and end up disgusted with problems again.
You know that last week was the transition of summer to fall and everyone was back to work after spending a deserving vacation from all types of work.
I myself was still in a limbo caught in the old world. It glad that i was back here in Vancouver, BC and was hungry for work simply because that i have to pay this vicious cycle of unending bills to pay and credit card debt being piled up.
Self employed folks here in Vancouver, BC are not immune to debts. Most of the self-employed businesses here in Vancouver, BC plays according to seasonality patterns.
During summer some businesses are super strong and if you take a vacation then the opportunity is lost.
Some businesses are unaffected the whole year round. Vending machine business in essence functions 365 days in a year, that only applies in the case if you are diversified just like the landscape here in Vancouver, BC.
My reason for being diversified is that all your locations cannot be concentrated in lets say : school or hotels. It has to be evenly distributed to all sectors of demographics in order for a successful vending machine business. That’s why i was contemplating that you need to have a balance in locations as indicated on my previous article.
I had a slight surge in out of service calls on my vending machine business locations this summer. I guess every summer there are a lot of visitors and tourists visiting Vancouver.
The users simply do not know what will happen to a vending machine if other than a US or Canadian coin is inserted inside the snack and pop machine.
I was even inside a hotel when a tourist came out from their room and was snickering behind my back when i was servicing a combo machine that had an out-of-order sign.
I immediately look back behind and suddenly showed the coin to him before he closed his room. Guess what, it was an over sized south Asian coin that will surely jam the coin mechanism.
Summer is always good for the vending machine business, it’s just that you will encountering problems on visitors, locals that came back from holidays and trying to get rid of their foreign coins.
With this kind of problem it will surely hurt my sales projection and if it occurs a lot then there will be delay on my bills that will not understand what really happened to my coin collection because of a PESO, Rupee, Token, Pence or other coins that would have caused it.
Here are the pictures that i took on my bounty from my jammed snack and pop vending machines.
I’m still in a quest in finding the elixir to acquire boundless energy in servicing vending machines. Maybe on my next holiday trip. He Lol.
Vending machine business is a risk to partake as with any other self-employed business.
This is the only way to experience adrenaline in one’s system and eventually enjoy some benefits like continued destinations and maybe accelerate one’s exposure to the great diversity experience that Vancouver, BC has to offer.