Hippo Video, the kiosk in Ivory Tower that promises “convenient access” to DVD rentals, was out of service fall semester.
Instead, it sat forgotten in a basement corner across from the bustling activity of Pita Pit and Dunkin’ Donuts to the continued annoyance of GW students.
Director of Student Support Services Nancy Haaga said the University became aware that Hippo Video was broken at the beginning of December. After speaking with the owner of Hippo Video, she said a software problem was determined to be the cause of the breakdown.
“The owner acknowledged problems with the machine’s ability to accept credit and debit card payments due to a software problem,” Haaga said, adding that she had received student feedback about the machine’s “inconsistent functioning.”
Haaga said the University worked to fix the machine over winter break, and as of Jan. 10 the machine was up and running.
“I would prefer a functioning system,” said Tim Sisson, a first year graduate student before students left for winter break. “I’ve come to get a few videos here and there and it’s always been broken.”
Student Association Executive Vice President Jason Lifton said the SA has worked closely with GW this semester to bring an acceptable form of video rental to campus.
“Hippo Video’s chronic malfunctioning is not acceptable and we have tried to make GW aware of the issue so that it can be operational for students,” Lifton said.
He added that if Hippo Video continues to break down over the course of the semester, he would like to see the University switch to a Red Box system.
A Red Box is a movie rental system similar to Hippo Video but are located nationwide, and give users the ability to reserve a movie online before picking it up at the box.
This isn’t the first time Hippo Video has run into problems. In 2005, a system glitch caused students to be charged up to $32 a day after returning a rented movie. Students’ money was refunded, but not before some accrued more than $100 in mistaken fees.