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Wine Kiosks Close and Thirsty Commentary by Dr. S. Paul (Wine in a Kiosk: Can Life Get any Better Than This?)

Dec 26th, 2010 | By | Category: Features, Front Page, Uncategorized

SOURCE Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB Press Release)

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 21, 2010 — In an effort to maintain the highest levels of customer service, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) will temporarily close the Pronto Wine Kiosks statewide to address mechanical and technological issues.

“While customer satisfaction with the six-month old kiosk program remains high, recent problems — such as product not dispensing — require us to take immediate action while we wait for the manufacturer to correct all of the identified issues,” said Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Chairman Patrick J. “PJ” Stapleton. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers and supermarket partners, but felt this temporary closure was critical to the future success of the program.”

The kiosks, currently in 30 supermarkets across the state, will be taken offline at 9 p.m. tonight. Kiosk locations include some Giant® Food Store, Wegmans Food Market, Giant Eagle, The Fresh Grocer and Shop ‘n Save stores.

Simple Brands, the developer of the kiosks, will be working on each machine to correct any identified issues. Once all of the kiosks have been fixed and thoroughly tested, the PLCB, along with its supermarket partners and Simple Brands, will work to reopen the kiosks to once again provide convenience and value to customers statewide.

“We thank our customers and our supermarket partners for their patience and understanding as we work through these technological issues and look forward to reopening the kiosks in early 2011,” Stapleton said.

Stapleton reminded customers that they can find their nearest Wine & Spirits store by visiting, choosing the link “For Consumers,” and then, “Find Store.” All stores will close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
Observation by Sanjay Paul

They had triumphantly covered the UFO sighting. Chicken pot pie. Alien
abduction. Pulitzer-winning stuff!

But now the EJ staff was thirsty. They headed to a supermarket with a
Pronto Wine Kiosk. The thought that they could actually buy wine
without having to go to a store run by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control
Board made them giddy. Finally, they thought, we were becoming more
like Wisconsin, or New Jersey, where people could just walk into a
supermarket and come out with a wine bottle without running into a
state employee.

But–gadzooks!–the kiosks were not working! In response to
unspecified problems, PLCB had decided to shut the machines down. All,
they said, in “an effort to maintain the highest levels of customer

Did the EJ staff know what they missed? If the kiosks were
operational, they would have had to scan a driver’s license and blow
into a breathalyzer. In the meantime, sitting in an undisclosed
location, a PLCB employee would have monitored the video image of the
buyer to make sure it matched the picture on the driver’s license. All
this for a $7.99 merlot!

But PLCB may be on to something here with the kiosk idea (assuming
they can work out the glitches). Why stop with supermarkets? In
Elizabethtown itself, a number of promising locations come to mind:
the public library, the newly-revamped Amtrak station, the corner of
Market and Willow, anywhere on Poplar, the local coffee shop. Ah,
sweet customer service…

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