My apartment complex suddenly became #12.25 cheaper per month.
Earlier this year they, for some reason, switched from the perfectly functional coin-operated washing machines to a new smart card-based system. So, rather than me having to throw some quarters in a cup each each evening to use later on, now I have to walk to the office and replenish a stupid card.
The day before thanksgiving, I had a crapload of laundry to do and didn’t get home from work until after the office closed. No problem, since the machine is still accessible. I walk in, put my card in the machine so I can put some money on it, and up comes this fantastic message: “Your card is mute.”
So, I guess that means two things: 1) I won’t be able to add any money to the card, and 2) The machine won’t be able to figure out how much money I already had on there (since smartcards store that information on the card, as opposed to a credit card which stores it centrally and uses the magnetic strip to look up your balance). Great.
Just for shits, I took the “mute” card down to the laundry room. The card reader trys to read the card, and gives me the message “reading card…”. That message typically goes away, and the machine prompts me to spend the $1.25. In this case though, that message didn’t go away. It just sat there “reading”. I closed the lid of the washer, and the water comes on.
So I put in a load, and the same magic works on the dryer. The problem is that after I’m done, the card reader is still stuck in that “reading…” state. I unplug and re-plug in the machine, and the thing reboots back to normal. I swipe the card again, the machine enters that funky state, and I do another load.
I guess this laundry technology isn’t so bad after all.