EghtesadOnline: Local ride-hailing service Snapp entered food delivery industry in July. In a move to promote the service it announced a 50% discount on food orders this weekend.
The so-called discount system, it loves to name “Snapp Food Party”, was on from Saturday noon for four hours, local technology website Webna reported. However, the party went wrong when its servers crashed!
During the past few days, Snapp promoted the Food Party through text messages and banners in major cities including Tehran, claiming that a 50% discount will be offered on “thousands of popular foods”.
On the big day, when users tried to order meals through the website they came across a sign that said the discount would be available only if the orders were put through Snapp Food app. The application repeatedly crashed during the announced period and users were not able to access the service, according to Financial Tribune.
It was found out that none of the foods and restaurants that were eligible for the discount was anywhere close to acceptable quality and none of the famous restaurants that work with Snapp were on the seemingly sham discount list.
Soon after, users took to social media platforms criticizing the company’s weird ways and urged users to boycott Snapp Food. This is not the first time that Snapp’s unusual and unacceptable behavior has upset the people.
An abuse case against a Snapp driver led to public outrage. The company’s business-customer agreement published on its official website includes a strange disclaimer clause. It translates like this: The company is not responsible for the conduct of its drivers.
Boss’s Word Unworthy
In a desperate move aimed at crisis control and mend the business’s marred reputation the company’s managing director Shahram Shahkar rushed to publish an official statement. “Passenger security is on top of Snapp’s agenda. In order to prevent reoccurrence of such incidents we are revising our recruitment system.” The ridiculous disclaimer clause was later removed from its website.
According to the statement, the company will not recruit new drivers until further notice and all present drivers will go through “psychological evaluation tests”. However, during the last week, Tehran residents on several occasions saw Snapp recruiting teams on the capital’s main roads — teams of four to five “representatives” enlisting drivers on the street with absolute disregard for the boss’s promise of evaluation tests.
Snapp has been one of the successful ICT-related businesses in Iran despite strong opposition to its very existence by traditional taxi drivers and unions who simply want the newcomer out of their business. The company claims so far it has registered more than 100 million rides in Tehran and other major cities.
In October South Africa’s MTN agreed to invest about $20 million in Snapp through its local operations — MTN is active in Iran under the brand name MTN-Irancell.
It can be said with a fair degree of certainty that Snapp’s exponential growth has made the company a bit too confident and its bosses have forgotten that there is a high cost to a bad reputation. Repeated cases of misconduct in a highly competitive market like Iran’s online business can easily lead to customers moving in droves to other decent, responsible and professional service providers.