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Mvest laundry app will hang you out to dry

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.

READ MORE: Mabe’s fingers in many pies

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.

READ MORE: Mabe disputes M&G tender deal front page

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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Nafisa Akabor
Nafisa Akabor

Nafisa Akabor is a freelance technology journalist.

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