By Samantha Read
At some point this year, most students passing by the POD60 lounge were propositioned by an eternally-chipper Dexit representative.
Now, due to complaints from students, they’ve moved on. Ryerson terminated an agreement with Dexit last Friday, uprooting the company’s salesmen from the student lounge on the lower level of the Podium until January.
Although a company representative initially said the trial contract would last until the end of December, John Corallo, director of ancillary services, disagreed. “We have received interest from other student groups who want to use that space,” he explained, adding that it was doubtful Dexit’s contract would be renewed.
Calls to Dexit were not returned before press time. Last March, Dexit-an electronic payment service that replaces cash for cheap purchases-first arrived on campus. Rather than weigh your pants down with handfuls of change, explained its salesmen, you could simply swipe a tag and be on your way.
Those representatives are now doing the same.
Linda Grayson, vice president administration and student affairs, said talks were underway with those involved in the Dexit program over use of the area. “There were issues around the space being used,” she said. Dexit’s mascots and large displays forced student groups and those looking for a place to study to find a better spot.
RyeSAC PresidentDave Maclean said students had expressed concerns to him about the salesmen, something he brought to Grayson’s attention earlier last week. Last year, Dexit officials were apparently thrilled with the campus response to the payment method. “The viability and acceptability of Dexit at Ryerson was clearly established within just a few weeks last March,” said Renah Persofsky, president and CEO of Dexit, in July.
To attract customers, Dexit put $5 for free on tags last year to anyone who signed up for the service, which could be used at on-campus locations like Tim Hortons.
Some students figured out how to score free food for an entire semester, by adopting fake names and signing up for new tags. “It was just another situation where having a fake I.D. paid off,” said one second-year arts student who wished to remain nameless. The honeymoon was soon over, though, as Ryerson cafeteria staff noticed a drop in the tag’s usage.
“Last year they were really popular, for little things like a pop or a muffin,” said one cafeteria employee. “So far, I haven’t noticed them as much; people generally pay with cash.”
This year, Dexit changed its promotional deal and scrapped the $5 giveaway. That may have been part of the problem, Corallo suggested.
“I think they need to re-evaluate their tactics, to see whether they’re successful.”