We've all seen or been a part of a situation involving a vending machine and a stuck piece of candy. The first instinct is to try and get the candy loose ourselves or just move on with our day leaving it for someone else to mess with.

There are a few ways to get your candy-free, and shaking the vending machine is actually one of the less recommended ideas.

Teen boy paying with mobile phone at vending machine
Brian Niles

Why Would You Shake The Machine? 

This has an obvious answer... your overpriced candy or food is stuck, and you need to get in. Or maybe you see some food just hanging there after it was left behind by someone else...
Today I saw some candy hanging from our vending machine. I couldn't just let it sit there... I had to save it.


Oh boy, that is tempting! Free food is always a weakness of mine, but today I learned that it is very much so a bad thing to try and shake a vending machine.

The Vending Machine "Laws"

In short, the answer is yes, you can get in trouble for messing with a vending machine. If it gets out of hand you could also get in trouble for vandalism.

If you do anything to the machine it could be considered vandalism, and at times it has been. Chris Bracher owns machines and said,

If your item gets stuck, its a malfunction and the operator owes you a refund or a replacement product. Contact the operator and let them know. Sometimes they will take down your information and mail you a refund, or, even meet you at the machine if someone is available. Some locations may have a refund box at a reception desk that will take down your name, phone #, and which item you were trying to buy before giving you your money back.

So hey the next time your candy gets stuck, it may be best to just call someone if that food is really stuck. You can learn more about those vandalism charges here.

Ways To Get Your Candy Unstuck

Odds are you won't get the candy unstuck, but the method some have tried is getting it to fall by ordering an item above the stuck cargo.

The next option is the best. talk to the store or business that has the machine, and tell them what happened. You could also call the service number on the machine.

Best of luck getting your candy and remember it isn't illegal to shake a vending machine but it is most likely against the policy of the venue that the machine is located in, and you could face legal trouble.

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