Wednesday, December 22, 2010

PA Wine Kiosks Closed Temporarily

Technical difficulties will close the 30 wine kiosks installed statewide by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. The closings could last through the first weeks of the coming year.

The most significant issue with the kiosks is the failure to actually dispense wine after a customer buys it.

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board spokeswoman Stacy Kriedeman says while not all of the kiosks have experienced the malfunctions, all will be closed for several weeks until the developer, Simple Brands, can fix them.

Kriedeman says the closings will also slow the spread of more kiosks across the state. The Liquor Control Board plans to install 70 additional machines next year, but Kriedeman says those plans are being pushed back until all the issues are resolved.

Kriedeman says aside from the mechanical issues, the kiosks have garnered good reviews from consumers. She says the L.C.B. hopes to have them running again sometime in January.

Pennsylvania's Independent State Store Union, which has long criticized the kiosks, says it filed a legal request for records of all the machines' malfunctions December 1. After a legal review kept the union from getting the records, ISSU President David Wanamaker called the kiosk initiative "a deliberate sabotage of the state store system."

He says since the kiosks were implemented with public dollars, the union and the public should have full access to their malfunction reports. "Information concerning the wine vending machine boondoggle warrants further investigation," says Wanamaker.

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