So, I've had a great experience so far with Smartypig. The concept is good, the money flowing into the account is great, the interface is awesome.
Now to the refinements....
I finished a goal and went to cash out to buy a new iMac through Amazon.com gift certificates.
1) Why can't I redeem these electronically? Not only would i prefer to not waste paper and postage, but once I've reached a goal, i'd like to buy my shiny new Mac right away.
2) So I swallowed the idea i'd have to wait and couldn't wait to check the mail each day. Only to find that the gift certificate was sent via UPS which requires a signature. I work (like most people) so I can't sign for a package when I'm not home. Plus, there was no way for me to send it to another address ahead of time. I thought things were coming regular mail.
So now, I rediverted the package to work, and I'm waiting yet another 2 days. Not how I was envisioning things going. *sigh*
EMPLOYEE0First off, thank you so much for bringing this out for open discussion. Believe me, it makes our job easier and really helps with customer service issues, as well as making the refinements needed to ensure we can make the SmartyPig experience a positive one.
OK, now for question number one: All I can say is that we are currently talking to two of our major retailers about this and want it to happen yesterday. We are instant gratification, green-thinking, type-A personalities who think an electronic code sent via email to you the customer so you could shop right away after reaching your goal HAS to be in the as-soon-as possible future of SmartyPig. That said, because we are small and had up until a few months ago an "unproven" concept, we weren't exactly taken seriously by all the big companies we rely on to make SmartyPig go. Nevertheless, our company, our problem. All I can tell you is that we are definitely working on this.
Question two: This one will be solved when the first one is. But the reason behind UPS is that retailers won't track their cards for us (nor will our strategic partner), so when that envelope goes out the door it is the same as cash. Someone gets a hold of those cards and they can spend away. Using UPS and requiring a signature creates a paper trail that allows us legal recourse from mail thieves and customers who say they didn't get cards but actually did. For right now, it's as smooth as we can make it while protecting your money and our reputation.
We appreciate your interest and your patience. We are working hard everyday to try to perfect this thing we call the PIG. Please shout out to us at any time.
Mike Ferrari, Co-Founder
Thanks for the reply.
I'm very happy to hear the move into electronic gift certificates -- it really makes sense, but I can see how it would take some leverage to get it to happen with all the various retailers. I'm not sure how the 'bonus' dollars exactly work from your strategic partners, but maybe you could generate virtual credit card numbers tied to a retailer (like a lot of CC companies do already).
I think the UPS question could be addressed separately in the meantime. Going through the 'wizard' of closing out the goal, it was clear the gift certificate was being mailed to my address on file, but not the method it was being mailed by. I may have just missed this information somewhere, but I can imagine a lot of people running into similar issues with not realizing the need to be home for the delivery-- especially in the younger demographic which is your audience.