The Dumbest Smart Laundry System Ever

Ten years ago, I wrote this frustrating rundown of trying to refill my laundry card. That was 10 years ago! And the sad thing is very little has changed. We have made some improvements, but the system still has some pretty big flaws in it, and the flaws are brain-snappingly stupid.

Back in November, for reasons nobody can explain, the building replaced the payment boxes on all the laundry machines, making us get new laundry cards and transfer our balance over. They also didn’t feel the need to let us know this detail, so we had to discover it when we went to do laundry. What could possibly go wrong there? But I was excited because maybe now, after 10 years of more and more things having online payment options, maybe Coinomatic would get with the times. They kind of did, but in the stupidest way possible.

So, as that other post said, all our laundry cards have specific ID numbers, and I have since learned that they also have CVV numbers. So, they are uniquely identifiable. You can also set up an account with Washboard, har har, where you can add credit cards to your account with which you can top up your laundry card. Yea! But you still can’t see your balance so you know when to top it up. Boo! And this is the stupidest boo of all. If you go online and use your credit card which you have associated with your uniquely-identifiable laundry card, you still need to physically go down to the laundry room and put your laundry card in the money-topper-upper machine and press buttons to verify the transaction that you have made on your own account with the credit card which you associated with said laundry card. *grits teeth and screams* Whyyyyyyyyy?!

The worst part is when you add money online, the website leads you to believe that money has been successfully added. It doesn’t mention that you still have to verify the money at the machine. So in theory, I could then march downstairs thinking I had new money, and then try and fail to do laundry. Seriously! This is a known function of the system that I have to take the card to the payment booper and boop it. Tell me that little nugget of goodness. The only reason I knew it was a thing was because I was on the phone with the Coinomatic people and was informed of this little wrinkle.

Another thing is even if you do manage to find a page on how to add value to your card, the information is wrong! It claims that you have to go down to the card-topper-upper machine and enter the code you are given. That is not what happens. When you put your card into the machine, you are told that you have a code and would you like to add it now. All you have to do is hit ok. I should be pleasantly surprised by this development. I don’t have to do as much work. But if I didn’t have Aira, I would have tried to enter the code that I didn’t have to, and who knows what might have happened. Please, people, if you’re going to have an arcane system that we must use, at least have the decency to write good instructions.

Also in the list of stupid things that this system does, money that you add at the card-topper-upper machine doesn’t show up on your Washboard transaction history, you know the history that’s supposed to be tied to this uniquely-identifiable laundry card that I have, complete with a login ID and password.

Seriously, Coinomatic, you are soooo cloooose! Just connect the machine in the laundry room with the online stuff, and allow me to see a balance in both places, and you would be golden! Oh, and learn how to return phone calls. I’m still waiting for that call you were going to return from 10 years ago, and I’m waiting for a call you promised me a month ago.

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