University is hard work. Fortunately, our corporate overlords have placed easy access to delicious food and refreshing beverages all over campus. Quenching yourself has never been easier, but how do you know which machine to use?
The nearly twenty vending machines available on campus can be broken down into six different unique machine designs. Choosing a vending machine is a delicate task. They all have different prices, products, and designs. Here’s a guide to getting an authentic snack purchasing experience for the least money and hassle.
‘Vending Direct’ Touchscreen Snack Machine:
Locations: The Link, St Dave’s
This machine is an unnatural, disgusting mess. Half science fiction and half retro, it’s the worst place to acquire snacks on campus.
Vending machines are ideal for loose change. Those coins in your wallet have no real value in the long run, so why not get yourself a delicious Moro Gold before class? Well apparently Vending Direct decided that my peasant money wasn’t good enough for them. After inserting a reasonable $2 exclusively in 10¢ pieces the machine began to malfunction.
Before even hitting the $2.50 target for a disappointing Hershey’s bar, the machine made a weird noise. It then spat half of my money out, but didn’t cancel my sale. I then tried to manually cancel the transaction. It seemed to malfunction again and only gave me half of my remaining funds. After some D.I.Y troubleshooting I finally got my money back.
At this point I was getting strange looks from some people in the hall beside me, although that may have been caused by the sound of a 10¢ coin dropping into the machine twenty times. I decided to give up and use PayWave. However, the stupid machine malfunctioned again, and started displaying the numbers to the right of what I was actually pressing.
After another cancelation, I finally bought my chocolate bar. Receiving the candy was an awkward confusing mess, as these machines feature a pull-down style flap that was completely alien to me. Despite having the largest variety on campus, this machine is bad. Do not use this machine.
Ease of use: 1/5
‘Vending Direct’ Button Snack Machine:
Locations: Business School, Castle, East Lane
This style of machine is perhaps the most authentic of the pack, but not necessarily in a good way. While I do thoroughly enjoy watching my Snickers bar slowly fall from a twisting ring through a scratched pane of glass, I don’t enjoy having my arms crushed by a pressured flap while trying to receive said Snickers bar. The prices are the same as the awful touchscreen model, and I’m not going to pay $2.40 for a Cadbury bar when New World is only a few blocks away.
They do have cool light up buttons though.
Ease of use: 3/5
Coke Six Can Machine
Location: St. Dave’s, Burns, East Lane
When you can only put six different cans inside a vending machine, you would assume that they’d try to diversify the selection a little bit. Nope. Half of the tiny selection is different sugar varieties of coke. Despite this, these machines are incredibly popular. With giant buttons and PayWave it’ll take no time at all to spend $1.50 on a can of coke. It doesn’t do much, but it will support your crippling sugar dependence.
Ease of use: 5/5
Really High Tech Drink Machine
Location: St. Dave’s, The Link, Castle, East Lane, Business School
These new drink machines don’t drop your beverage down with the force of gravity. No no no, it’s 2019; we need robot arms in our vending machines nowadays. This bad boy lets you buy several drinks at once using a complex yet easy-to-use touchscreen interface. Purchasing a beverage from one of these ‘Hydration Stations’ will treat you to a wild display of modern technology. Your beverage will be picked up and delivered to an automated rotating flap that requires minimal bending over to reach. Sadly, the large variety of drinks is spoiled by the high price, and the whole experience feels far too Blade Runner for my liking. The lack of authenticity is evened out by the cool-factor though.
Ease of use: 5/5
‘Bluebird’s the Word’ Snack Machine
This machine is a stock-standard vending machine. The only unique feature here is the “healthier choice” labels underneath the packets of nuts. I can appreciate the logic here, but I don’t go to a vending machine for healthy decisions. I go to spend money on chocolate.
Ease of use: 3/5
That One Really Old Coke Machine
Location: Outside Campus UBS
This vending machine is the real deal. This singular unit features a wonderfully sun-bleached Coca-Cola design from what seems to be the late ‘90s. There is a complete lack of confusing and arm destroying flaps, and a satisfying buzz when you finally put in enough coins to reach a dollar. Don’t be going anywhere near this old gal with an Eftpos card though, as this machine is old school. Hell, it doesn’t even take notes. That’s not an issue when everything only costs a dollar though.
You don’t have to worry about any keypads or product codes; everything is one button. Just pop in your pocket change and you’ll have access to 7 different beverages that will be delivered to you at breakneck speed. This is the quintessential vending machine experience.
Ease of use: 5/5