Pay-as-you-Go converts to Coffee Club when quote paid?

Like so many offices, we have a coffee club at work. For eight bucks, you can drink all the coffee you want for the calendar month. Alternatively, for 25¢ per cup (no refills) you can participate in the pay-as-you-go system.

So the question I’m posing in the poll is this: once someone hits the $8.00 amount via pay-as-you-go during a month, are they entitled to the benefits of the coffee club from that point on?

Assume that the payer is honest, i.e., all of the 25¢ purchases have, in fact, been made in the current calendar month.

Assume that the payer could come and go at any time and thus the desire to pay-as-he-goes. For example, he could pay $8 on the first, and then be send on the road for three weeks. Or not.

Edit: damn it. Quota. Quota. Not quote. :frowning:

If the answer were yes, then nobody should ever pay in advance, right?

No, not at all. If you’re fairly sure that you’re going to drink more than a cup-and-a-half average per workday, certainly you’d pay in advance.

I’m not certain why any coffee drinker who regularly drank enough to hit $8.00 in a month wouldn’t automatically pay in advance.

Given the assumptions I’m forced to assume by the OP, I have no more comments.

Quite right. If you don’t drink 32 cups you are better off. If you drink more, so what, the rest are free.

If you’re on the pay-as-you go plan, you should keep paying even if you go over the amount… mostly because it’s hard to remember just how many cups you’ve had so far and it’s very, very easy to overestimate (ehhh… it’s been about 32, I’ll just stop paying).

That said, it would not bother me at all if (assuming the person is 100% honest and kept good track of the cups) someone stopped paying after they hit the $8 mark. The point is to pay for the supplies and coffee not make a profit, so at that point they’ve presumably payed enough to keep the coffee flowing.

This. If you don’t get the heavy drinkers to subsidize your upfront costs, how will you afford to buy the monthly coffee to begin with?

Either way would be fair, but you should be explicit in the rules.

If it were not for the “could be sent on the road at any moment” clause I would have voted option 2.

One reason for not paying in advance I already mentioned: at any moment almost any one of us could be sent out of town for the rest of the month! You may have paid $8.00 for two cups of coffee.

One reason I was considering it not being a good idea is, the chairperson may see you taking coffee without paying over and over again toward the end of the month, and of course the chairperson would know that you’re not an enrolled member.

As for over estimating, in my particular case it’s not a problem. Literally the only cash I have is for purchasing coffee at work. I need to talk to them about accepting PayPal, I guess, because I’m certain that credit cards are out of the question!

Presumably the main reason is convenience, trying to scrounge around for quarters every time you need coffee is kinda a pain. So I say assuming the payer is sure that they’ve kept good track of their coffee consumption, stopping payment after reaching 8 bucks should be kosher.

It depends on how the $8.00 price is derived. If the $8.00 is an average that takes into account that in some months you will drink more than eight bucks worth of coffee and in some months you will drink less, than by choosing the “pay as you go” and then switching, you are effectively ripping off your coworkers.

One clue would be if “pay by the month” employees regularly switch to “pay as you go” for months that they use annual leave or have a lot of travel scheduled. If they switch back and forth then I would say you are fine.

Eh, this is pretty easily solved. Each month, get a roll of quarters, take out 8 quarters and put them in your purse/pocket. Keep the rest in a desk drawer (locked, if necessary). Each time you get a cup, take a quarter from the roll and put it in the kitty. When the quarters are gone, you’ve paid in your eight bucks. OR your office has a thief in it. Take your pick.

Conversely, at any moment any one of you could come down with the flu or have an accident or have to care for a sick relative and be out for the rest of the month, having drunk only two cups of coffee. Do you pro-rate the money and get a refund? No. $8 is $8, regardless of how much or how little you drink. You pays your money, you takes your chances.

It’s even easier, because I don’t have change at all. It’s a matter of dropping in a dollar, and then remembering to pay again after four cups. Usually by the eighth work day of the month, the eight dollar goal will have been reached.


I didn’t answer the poll, because I don’t know what’s fair without knowing the “wholesale” cost of providing the coffee in the first place.

There’s no “entitled” about it. The coffee club offers two payment systems each month. Someone who chooses one can’t just decide on their own to switch mid-stream to the other (unless the coffee club explicitly offered this third option).

Shockingly, I agree. If the rules (and/or the other participants, depending on how formal this is) say you can switch, then you can switch. If not, then make with the quarters, bub.

You mean 32 quarters, right?

No, a roll of quarters, less 8, would be $8.

Given that the person who pays $8 in advance is taking a risk that they won’t be able to drink 32 cups in the month, those that pay 25 cents per cup should stop paying at a higher point, e.g., $10.

I voted for no. My reason being that if you take the $8.00 deal the people running the coffee stand/club are hoping you drink less then 32 cups, that’s where they make their money. If you drink more then 32 cups they can at least say they got the $8.00 up front and not in quarters.

Switching mid-month (IMHO) isn’t fair to them. They’re hedging against you not hitting 32 cups, it’s not fair if you change your mind half way through. It’s like realizing that your horse is going to win and putting more money on it (I know, not a perfect analogy).

ETA, I just saw Giles’ post and I could see doing something like that, but I think it goes beyond the narrow scope of this thread which is really about the fairness of one specific thing.