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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Experiences with Cherry

Cherry is a marketplace which connects car-wash pros with regular people like me who want to get their cars washed. I liked the idea of getting a wash done with a tap of a button on your phone and gave it a try. My first experience was good and I advertised it to my friends, two of whom actually ended up using their services as well. But, let me go through my recent experience here:

I got a groupon coupon but when I tried to redeem the coupon at their website; I got a cryptic error message. I contact their email support and got told that I cannot use it because I had availed another offer on my account before. I ask them to refund the money for the coupon but do not get a response. So, I create another account, apply the coupon and schedule a car-wash. Everything should go smooth now, right?

But no, in a few minutes, they charge my credit card with 20 different $23 transactions. I get calls from the fraud department of my bank account. I try to find a phone number to call Cherry, but Cherry does not have a phone support. I send text messages and emails to them. I am seriously panicking and am about to call my bank to freeze the credit card. In the meanwhile, I also get some SMSs about the car-wash pro not being able to find my car and the wash being cancelled. So, I am left with $460 in credit card bills with no car wash.

 So, I do what any netizen does, I rant about it on Yelp. I also ask them to delete my account and all payment information. At this point, I am thinking about writing a blog-post on all the things a startup like Cherry can do wrong. (Buggy payment software, bad customer support, no phone support, buggy coupon redemption software and unreliable car-wash pros.)

But then I get a pleasant surprise when the CEO of the company, Mr. Travis gives me a call and personally apologizes for the inconvenience. He acknowledges bugs in their payment processing software, steps he has taken in my case and also offers a complimentary car wash to me. He then also discussed with me the changes they are planning to make in their service and tackles my feedback in a positive constructive manner.

In the end, I guess making mistakes and breaking things is ok, as long as you are constantly working to fixing them. And maybe I will try Cherry one more time this weekend. Fingers crossed.

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