June 5, 2011
ALCO-BUDDY Breathalyzer Vending Complaints: Have you had any dealings with the ALCO-BUDDY Vending business opportunity or ALCO-BUDDY breathalyzer vending machines? Please share a comment about your experience – good or bad – below, as well as advice for those considering investing in the breathalyzer vending business.
(Unhappy Franchisee) ALCO-BUDDY breathalyzer vending program seems like a decent opportunity to make a supplemental income while helping (in theory) to reduce the problem of drunk driving.
Alco-Buddy sells breathalyzer machines to opportunity seekers who then place the wall-mounted units in bars, nightclubs, VFW halls, comedy clubs and anywhere else people intoxicate themselves. For an average of $1.00 to $4.00, buzzed patrons can blow into the Alco-Buddy tube and get their blood alcohol level reading. The machines include a disclaimer that the service is for novelty and entertainment purposes only.
It’s not clear whether more money is to be made from responsible drivers who want to check their actual impairment level, or rowdy college students competing to see who can get the drunkest.
Alco-Buddy sells the machines at pricing based on volume, starting with about $1889 for a single machine, $1449 each for 2 machines or more and as low as $999 each for 250 machines or more.
There are not a lot of complaints about Alco-Buddy on the Internet, especially compared to other vending business opportunities. the two types of complaints we’ve found were 1) pricing related and 2) operationally related.
Alco-Buddy machine pricing variations can cause problems.
On the website ivouch.com, a very pissed-off Ronny P. wrote:
I bought a Alco-buddy back on February 4th 2011, I was burned out of $1000, the guy Robert told me that I had to hurry up and buy the machine because they where going to cost more, but in reality they only cost $999 each, I’ve been on at least 10 other sited that have info on franchise businesses and they all say it only cost $999 to start, they called themselves running a March promotion, where you get two machines for the price of one, I paid $$1899 for only one, watch these guys!!! they are out to get you, it is very hard to place the machines yourself, so you will have to pay a locator a fee from $150-300 per machine to place your machine for you, Alco-buddy has a 7 day money back guarantee, so if you decide that it’s no working for you, your pretty much out of the money you spent, they say they have ongoing support, it’s only for the 7 days, after that they treat you like crap…watch out
To their credit, an Alco-Buddy representative responded professionally to the online complaint, but Ronny has a point. If customers buy a single machine for nearly $1900 then see a special for $999 for the same machine, they are going to be pissed even if the special ended. Additionally, there are some big price variations across the Internet.
Recently, a “Brand New Alco-Buddy Breathalyzer. EVERYTHING INCLUDED” sold on eBay for only $400 + $45 shipping. There are currently 10 listed at the fixed “Buy It Now” price of $600 each + $50 shipping.
The Alco-Buddy company itself appears to be selling single machines on Craig’s List for $1499, $400 less than they sold to Ronny.
Alco-Buddy operational complaints.
On the Breathalyzer Secrets Forum, Friday, 22 April 2011, Kevin Melanson wrote:
…I purchased an Alco-buddy and am having some issues with it. After fixing the LCD screen it is not calibrating correctly. It says the user is blowing a .02-.04 when they are not even drinking…
Also on the Breathalyzer Secrets Forum, Jake wrote:
I am about to base ball bat my alco buddies… I spent thousands on 10 machines almost a year ago and they work like crap. Their customer services says someone must be blowing liquid in the sensor and they sell me more sensors. Come to find out that semi conductor sensors do not function in smokey bars or busy bars with alot of cocktails floating aroud. Baiscally, anywhere worth placing a machine is not going to work… If only I can sell the alco craps and get some of my money back so I can by more boozelators I think I can actually have a good business going here.
In Alco-Buddy’s defense, the guys who run the Breathalyzer Secrets website use Alco-Buddy machines in their Good Night Vending business and speak pretty highly of them. If you are thinking of getting in to the breathalyzer vending business you should check out the Breathalyzer Secrets forum and probably pop for their $27 eBook which covers a lot of the practical and legal aspects of the business. Check it out at Breathalyzer Secrets.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE ALCO-BUDDY VENDING OPPORTUNITY OR OTHER BREATHALYZER VENDING MACHINES? PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.