AUBG Card System: What Is the Problem?
The AUBG One Card System has been creating problems for students and staff since the end of the Spring 2015 semester. Several cases of wrong transactions of money from student cards have been registered at the Hungry Griffin restaurant and cafe in the ABF Student Center.
Olga Draganova, AUBG Dining Services Manager, explained the issue in the following way: you are in the ABF cafeteria and you buy lunch for, let’s say, 4 levs. The cashier rings your card, gives you a receipt, and you are good to go. Sometimes, however, the system might charge you for somebody else’s lunch.
It can happen very rarely that you see a different amount on your receipt. Let’s say, it shows 10 levs, although your lunch cost only 4 levs.
According to Draganova, the system sometimes makes mistakes and charges one card two times. So if you bought food for 4 levs and then somebody after you bought something for 6 levs, it can happen that the system has charged you for your lunch and for the lunch of the person after you.
This is what happened in the few cases of wrong transactions because of a defect in the AUBG card system. In most situations the problem was spotted right away and the cashiers were able to subtract the amount from the card that didn’t pay and transfer the money to the card that paid twice.
If the mistake is found later, however, there is no way to reimburse the lost money because it is not possible to know who was the second person on the line. In such situations, the ladies from Dining Services have agreed to repay the lost money from their own pockets.
“If we can’t find the person who has received ‘free lunch’ we sacrifice our coffees and give the money to the students just so that they are satisfied,” Draganova said.
The problem with the card system occurred for the first time in May 2015, a few months after a new version of the One Card System was installed.
According to Rosen Tsvetkov, the Administrative Computing Manager at the Office of Communication and Computing (OCC), the contract AUBG has signed with the company-producer of the card system “obliges the company to provide the institution with any new version.”
At that time Draganova informed OCC about the issue. However, it was difficult to pinpoint the moment when the defects appeared because the problem was not consistent and happened rarely. It was the end of the semester when most students left, and the problem – with them.
“There are no students, so no cards, no transactions, and no defects,” Draganova said.
Since no solution was found, another problem appeared during the Fall 2015 Orientation Week when the Residents Assistants were not able to use their cards. For a few days the 70 levs every RA received for their work during Orientation Week couldn’t be utilized because of an error in the card system. Frustrated, some of the RAs complained to the Residence Life and Housing Office.
“They said they would take into consideration our appeal and would make sure that the same problem will not occur during next Orientation Week,” Katalina Dimitrova, a Resident Assistant in Skaptopara 2, said.
In late October, the OCC team installed a new version of the One Card System. Due to the update, students were unable to use their cards in the cafes in ABF and Skaptopara 1. An A4 paper sign informed students that “… cards will not be used during the Fall Break.”
“We were playing cards in Skapto 1 lobby when I went to buy a bottle of water,” Lyuba Popova, a fourth-year student, said. “I was so thirsty but didn’t have any cash with me. I started asking my friends for stotinki.”
The newest version did not solve the issue, however, and for the period October – November, the cashiers at the Hungry Griffin have spotted six wrong transactions. The sums have been reimbursed immediately after and the receipts of the transactions have been kept aside at the register since then.
“The company has found where the defect comes from and soon will provide us with a corrected version,” Tsvetkov said.
Until this happens, the cashiers have been instructed to check “every single card.”
For the ladies working at the canteen’s register this task sometimes becomes tedious, especially during peak hours. For them, however, what is important is the satisfaction of the students.
“Some of the students find it weird that we stare at their cards but there is no other way,” said Ilonka Gosheva, one of the cashiers.
“I have noticed that the cashiers are looking at my card after sliding it but I know they are always precise,” Desislava Nikolova, a third-year student, said.