Mvest laun­dry app will hang you out to dry

Mail & Guardian - - News -

Fol­low­ing ANC spokesper­son Pule Mabe’s as­ser­tion that the Mvest Clean app is like an Uber of a laun­dry pickup and de­liv­ery ser­vice, the Mail & Guardian asked a tech jour­nal­ist to review the app.

The app is avail­able on iPhone and An­droid. It is free to down­load but peo­ple must reg­is­ter first, with an email ad­dress, cell­phone num­ber and lo­ca­tion.

It’s an on-de­mand ser­vice yet the app does not pro­vide ba­sic in­for­ma­tion such as a list of laun­dro­mats by lo­ca­tion or prices.

Cus­tomers can send an or­der, us­ing any lo­ca­tion fed through Google Maps. But the only pickup time is be­tween 8am and 10am.

There’s a pay­ment op­tion — ei­ther a credit card or your Mvest ac­count. The last step is an op­tion to edit or con­firm the or­der.

The only feed­back a cus­tomer gets is an au­to­mated re­ply from the com­pany con­firm­ing the or­der. The email ad­dress used to con­firm the or­der ap­pears to be from the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of SovTech Prod­uct Labs, Andrew Chouler.

The app has ba­sic menu op­tions, with a pro­file page hid­den un­der set­tings. But it lacks key com­po­nents of an on-de­mand ser­vice, which gives the im­pres­sion that the app was aban­doned half­way through its de­vel­op­ment.

Af­ter ask­ing for a pickup at 10am the next day, there was no fur­ther com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Mvest, or from a laun­dro­mat nearby, which would have re­ceived our or­der.

But none of this mat­ters. The com­pany does not ex­ist.

Mvest says it of­fers ser­vices “through­out South Africa”.

Yet the lo­ca­tion tab lists a sin­gle lo­ca­tion for Mvest in South Africa, an of­fice at a shop­ping cen­tre in Sun­ninghill, Jo­han­nes­burg. When we called the com­pany at this lo­ca­tion — Sun­ninghill Laun­dro­mat & Dry Clean­ers — they did not know about Mvest. The pre­vi­ous com­pany at that lo­ca­tion was called Pressed In Time, a well-es­tab­lished laun­dry fran­chise.

Fur­ther­more, a visit to the web­site on the Chrome browser warns that the site is not se­cure, and that credit card or other sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion should not be en­tered. The web­site does not have prices listed.

The site states “we be­lieve in cre­at­ing jobs” but ap­pears to con­fuse a ven­dor with a cus­tomer, and only of­fers ap­pli­ca­tion forms for those in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a fran­chisee. The app does not sup­port ven­dor ap­pli­ca­tions.

We rec­om­mend that you do not in­stall this app.

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