WITS students who have lost money trying to load their student card accounts at Icam machines on campus have voiced their discontent with Icam’s “poor service” when dealing with complaints.

Students say even though the new digital Icam machines installed on campus at the beginning of the year are easier to use, they often get jammed and cost them lots of money because they only load notes.

Bevin Dorkin, a final year BA student, said when he tried to load R20 into his account at the machine close to the Matrix on Saturday, the machine “swallowed” his money and then stopped working. He said a while after the machine jammed the screen displayed a message which stated that “An e-mail will be sent to notify the Icam office.”

When Dorkin went to the Icam office in Senate House to report the matter, he was told to write his student and cellphone numbers on a blank piece of paper given to him.

“It’s been almost a week now and I have not been contacted by Icam. I am angry that I had to lose my money in this manner. What if I had put a R200 note into that machine?

“It’s plain to see that Icam has a mediocre attitude towards complaints and this leaves me wondering how much money a day they make when machines get jammed,” he said.

Tshepo Dikgale, a 3rd year quantity surveying student, usually loads his card for making photocopies.

“I have never used that machine [again] since it chowed my R10. Even the guys who were in line behind me waiting to use the machine, lost their money.

“These new notes-only machines are a disadvantage because I can’t load less than R10 even though I just want to make one or two photocopies,” he said.

Icam manager, Giles Watermeyer said the system being used “can only work with notes.”

“I admit that we have been struggling with service delivery. We are hiring more staff to deal with queries more effectively. We are improving the system to make sure that we can do proper tracking, tracing and communication… The object is to have a three day turnaround time for students to know that the money is ready to collect at the office…” said Watermeyer.

Mpho Lekitlane, 3rd year organisational psychology student, said: “I was able to receive my R10 back from the Icam office last year, but I found the system very bureaucratic.

“If they had a system for students to forward their queries online, then it would be more efficient.”