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Card replacement costs add up at Ohio

Andrew Hudson   ||   Apr 28, 2016  ||   

Accidents happen, it's a fact of life. On campus, one of the most common accidents, however inexplicable, is the misplacement of the campus card. It's the prime reason that campuses charge a fee for card replacement.

In a report from The Post Athens, Ohio University raked in a reported $55,000 in card replacement fees during the fiscal year 2015 -- a figure that is up from $54,000 the year prior. This figure may or may not be significant in the grand scheme of card replacement fees, and it may be worth noting that at the time of these fiscal reports OU boasted a total enrollment of just more than 29,000 students. But nevertheless, this does reiterate the fact that students still, and will continue to, misplace their IDs.

The Post Athens report highlights one case in particular to drive the point home. One sophomore at the university has spent an estimated $150 on what she believes to be some 15 misplaced OU student IDs -- all in just two years. Whether lost in a dorm room, dropped somewhere on campus and not picked up, left on a dining hall tray, or simply lost along with the wallet it's kept in, the fate of the campus card lies with the student it's issued to.

As for the replacement fee, the student goes on to explain that the effort to search for a misplaced ID no longer represents time well spent because she feels the process to get a new campus card is quicker and more convenient.

Lost, stolen or damaged OU student IDs must be replaced at a cost of $10 -- a relatively reasonable fee given the fact that some campuses with technology cards charge upwards of $25 for a new ID. In an email to The Post Athens, OU's director of access, transaction and video services explains that fees collected for card replacement go toward supply costs for cardstock, labor and staffing costs for the Bobcat Depot -- which plays home to OU's campus card office -- as well as general equipment costs.

For students, the incentive to take care of their campus card may be monetary. Another student at OU reported that the Bobcat Cash on her lost ID had been used by other people on more than one occasion. Once to the tune of $40 and about $30 a second time on another lost card.

At OU, per the card office's policies, Bobcat Cash can only be refunded if lost or stolen card are reported to the university within two business days, at which point the cardholder would be responsible for no more than $100 in fraudulent charges. Failure to notify the card office within two days, however, could result in a maximum liability of $500, provided the university can prove it could have prevented the illegal use of the card.

The lesson? One way or another campus card replacement adds up.

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