Patent Number: 6,167,327

Title: Pricing control system for multi-operation vending machines

Abstract: A pricing control system for multi-operation vending machines, such as those commonly found in laundromat facilities, incorporates an offset price setting field for storing at least one incremental offset price which is added to a pre-established base price in order to set the cost for a respective vending machine operation. In accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the invention, a single offset price is used to increment each of the base prices established for a given vending machine such that the costs associated with each of the operations is incremented an equal amount. In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, multiple offset price amounts are stored and added to predetermined base prices to establish the cost of each of the respective vending machine operations. The price control system is considered to be particularly advantageous when utilized in connection with a debit card charging arrangement and enables facility operators to change the numerous vending machine operation prices by only altering the data stored in the offset price setting field. In addition, the use of the pricing control system of the present invention readily enables penny increment price changes to be implemented in existing vending machine facilities.

Inventors: Broker; John F. (Newton, IA), Ochsner; Douglas A. (Newton, IA)

Assignee: Maytag Corporation

International Classification: G07F 17/20 (20060101); G07F 17/00 (20060101); G07F 7/00 (20060101); G07F 9/02 (20060101); G06C 015/04 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017