Scratch pad – what are we missing?

The front of the latest Main Square car park pay machines became heavily scratched very quickly.  What’s more it was obvious that the scratches were deliberate.  We think the theory is that, if a coin is rejected by the machine, rubbing the it on something solid will make it work the second time around.  We’ve watched people do this.  We’ve also seen some people lick their coin first…..

The damage to the machines has got so bad that the machine operator recently stuck ‘Scratch Pads’ onto them for people to use.  We took a photo of a machine soon afterwards, when its scratch pad was still shiny and new (you can just about see a security camera reflected in it).  But the second of our photos was taken a few days later, when the scratch pad had already been in the wars.

The thing is, we can’t imagine that scratching with a coin – let-alone licking it – would make any practical difference to whether it’s accepted by the pay machine.  So what are we missing?

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