An actual receipt from a student that displays the service fee which is added onto Tapingo transactions.
Collin Anderson/News Editor
The popular food ordering app Tapingo is stealing students’ money through multiple methods of on-campus currency.
At the beginning of this semester, some students started to notice that there was a $0.59 “service fee” being added onto their total while using the app Tapingo. Most students on meal plans shrugged it off and thought that the meal plan would subsidize it. However, that’s when they noticed that, after every time they ordered, the $0.59 would come out of their Sodexo Bucks balance allocated to them at the beginning of every semester.
Excluding buying anything else with Sodexo Bucks and depending on which plan you have, this means your balance would be gone after either 169 or 338 orders. Students with meal plans are not the only ones affected by this.
The school and Sodexo promote how paying with Dining Dollars saves 10% everywhere on campus. This statement is true. However, ordering with Tapingo can negate that fact. To use Tapingo and actually benefit from the 10% discount of Dining Dollars, one would need to purchase something at least $5.90 to actually save money.
It was not always like this. Last year, when Tapingo was first introduced to campus, the service fee was nonexistent. “It used to be free, but now it’s not, no matter when you downloaded the app,” says Spaceflight Operations senior Jaclyn Wiley. Now, a year after implementation, the service fee is here to stay with many not even knowing what is happening to their money.
Tapingo is a great app in theory with the most popular method being used to order Starbucks at peak times. That being said, this service fee being passed off to the students without properly being informed looks bad on Sodexo considering they pushed for the app in recent times. “I think it’s really unfair that the school is making the students pay for a service that the school
is supposedly paying for,” says Wiley.
Fifty-nine cents is not a lot, initially, but can really stack up over time. The hidden fee that students cover with the app should be made apparent by Sodexo and the university. Time is money, but with this app you are better off waiting in line.