Vending Machine rip off

So today I went to the Easter Show and came across some vending machines with water, coke etc. I used pay pass and got my water, with the display saying my card would be debited $3.50. I just checked and saw a transaction for $6.00
I rang Coke but the helpline is Monday-Friday until 7pm. Anyone else been caught like this.


  • +23

    Easter Show - the rip off begins when you walk through the gate.

    • So true!

      Besides water or drinks.

      For a long time, i always believe that everything that is specifically for a particular festival / a special day is a RIP OFF!

      Retailers can charge double, triple of the normal price of a item, people still buy it. Interesting..

      A person with a voice from a similar retail industry.

  • +6

    I was shocked the first time I saw this as well. It is actually normal for the vending machines.

    It should only be showing as a Pending transaction $6.00 but later when it is processed and cleared, you will only be charged the correct price of $3.50 on your statement.

    • +1

      ^ This.

      Pretty normal I used to go to Uni and use my card (non- paypass) and it initially charged a pending 6 bucks then cleared to the correct amount.

  • Oh, OK. Thanks for the info.
    So, what do you get 5% back on from ING?
    $6 or $3.50.

    • +2

      The $3.50 of course, the purchase cost. But you would have saved more not going or at least not buying from a vending machine. (I usually take to work a Preppie Max can that's been in my fridge, in a foam sleeve.) But I suppose if you have kids…

  • +1

    This is strange. And interesting. I would like to hear the explanation for this.

    • +8

      This is because, as the product selection happens only after the card has been validated, the machine uses the price of the most expensive product in stock at the time of authorising the card. Once the product is selected and dispensed, the machine sends in the settlement with the correct amount. My guess is, the most expensive product stocked by the machine you used was $6 and hence the authorisation for $6 against your card.

  • If you get charged more than $3.50, ring the number again in office hours, & they'll take your postal address & send you a voucher. Thats what I did.

  • +2

    You didn't bring your own lunch and drink? You do know the Easter Show is now a massive cash grab in 2013 right?

    • +1

      its nice to get a cold drink though, I think the fast food at the show is not very nice except the cheese on stick & lemonade which is something different, the pizzas/kebabs/chicken/chips/hotdogs etc are usually awful bland and dried out. i like to get some of the things in the woolies dome, the fruit/cheese packs at the bottom of the fruit display are reasonably cheap and the grilled cheese sandwichs they had last year for $2, coffee for $2. the samples and deals you can get in there are also usually better value and more healthier like yoghurt, olives, sushi rolls. get some drinks and snacks in the showbags too. i dont like carrying things around so i buy brunch before entering then get a pepsi or coke or moove backpack when i get there for drinks and the bag.

    • I don't understand why no one actually uses competitively priced food/drink amongst the rip offs, surely everyone would flock to you rather than robbingmeblindburgers

      • +1

        So you've never me the Carnie Mafia?

  • +4

    The one day a year I spend at the show I know I am going to be ripped off. I had the chip on a stick for $5, which was not too bad. The latest craze, the Dino rib was a rip off for $10 and I wouldn't get I again.

  • +5

    Who buys the food and drinks at the show, it is crap, low quality and dried out rip off. Just grab the samples from woolworths dome and pack a backpack with drink and snacks from home.

  • Milkshake $7!!!!!!

  • On a slightly different topic, a SVA vending machine at work ate my $2.20 but didn't dispense a chocolate bar. I called their hotline after hours and left a message. A few days later the operator refilled the machine and sent me an SMS about the refund but I wasn't at work. I told him to leave the money with my supervisors but he never responded. The vending machines have malfunctioned on numerous occasions and my colleagues are so fed up that someone recently put a sign up saying 'it steals money'. I can't be bothered reporting this matter again because its such a minuscule amount but it irks me that they keep ripping us off.

    • +4

      i got ripped off twice on the same machine at a club i reported it and the guy just gave 1 packet of chips to the manager at the bar for me. the manager said it was constantly doing. they know and they dont care because they are still getting their money and not having to come out to fill it up all the time. it cost me money to call them to report it and i was still out 1 packet. i got some out of order stickers and put it over the coin slot :) after not getting any money for weeks they decided to fix the machine. they are usually privately owned so the manager couldnt do anything about it he was happy with me coz he was sick of people complaining to him.

    • Had opposite thing at my old job, I left a note with security that our machine ate my 5 dollars, a few days later got my 5 dollars back. I assume the dude did a count when he came to refill.

  • +2

    Out of order stickers over the coin slot is a great idea. I'm going to try that at work next time the vending machine decides to play up. Putting a stop to their cash flow will make these unscrupulous operators get off their backsides and fix the machines properly.

  • It happened to me before at a vending machine in Brisbane.
    The $6 is some sort of safety for them (?) and will be refunded in a month or so… Nowhere was that mentioned so I was kind of pissed :/

    • Yeah same happened to me. Pretty angry :-(

  • same thing with moomba in melb earlier this month.

    'free' festival…
    only thing free is the band/music

    you want a bottle water its $4.50/coke same
    at least jam donuts were reasonable.

    dont get me started on game/ride costs aswell.

    feel sorry for families.
    when i was a kid in the 90's our parents used to be able to take us without breaking the bank.

  • this happened to me when i bought a bottle of water in Sydney Airport. I was quite unhappy at that time, However they adjusted the charge within a week time.
    I guess, vending machine does not have sophisticated system, so it will preauthorise you card with the maximum price in the vending machine and adjusted later.

  • So eventually a transaction from Coke Amatil showed up on my regular transaction page, but even though they only billed me $3.50 I didn't get the normal 5% off from ING. Plus the original debit for $6 is still sitting in my pending list.

    • The 5% off is only on Paywave transactions under $100.

      • It was under $100. OP maybe a stupid question but did you wave the card or swipe it? The rebate is only for waving it.

  • I used pay pass. Tap and go. I know one thing, I will never use a card at one of those machines again. It was the novelty aspect that got me in. Now despite charging the $3.50 to my account the other $6 amount is still sitting in pending so really I am out $9.50 at the moment.

  • I was at Melb airport and needed a water. I didn't bring all my cards with me as I was going overseas so no QuickTap card but I did have my credit card and $20 (minimum was $10 note). There was other water but it was same price ($2) but not cold as in vending machines. I used my card and it said $5 at the start but then I would be debited $2, my online banking account says $5 pending. Hope it turns to $2 soon otherwise I'll be phoning Coca Cola!

    • Got charged only $2 =D

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