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May 2, 2013

Moocho…will it last?

by lrb7an

For those of you who do not know, Moocho is a way to connect your phone to your credit card in order to facilitate easy payment in participating stores and restaurants.  It is currently on a couple of college campuses, including UVA.  There is a Moocho app for smartphones, as well as a way to text and pay for those of us who do not have smartphones.

I am one of those text and payers, and I have never had trouble using my phone to pay.  However, one of my friends has a smartphone, and when he went to Subway to cash in on a $1 sub deal, he tried to pay with his smart phone, but the 4S signal was not strong enough for his transaction to go through.  The cashier let him get the sandwich anyway but jotted down his telephone number in order to complete the transaction later.  I wonder how long Moocho’s business model will last if app payments cause, rather than reduce, inconvenience for employees.

Payments via cell phone are not flawless either.  Sometimes, Moocho dollars are not properly credited to a user’s account.  Or even after a user encourages a friend to join Moocho through word of mouth, the user does not get the promised Moocho dollars credited.  When this happens, a user can call up customer service, which is based out of the Midwest.  

One thing I will say is, despite Moocho’s imperfections, its customer service is extraordinary.  In addition to properly crediting a user’s account, Moocho will oftentimes give the user additional dollars that can be spend anywhere.  Customer service representatives can appease customers and even increase their level of satisfaction to above pre-mistake levels.  But multiple errors may erode Moocho’s brand equity in the long run, which is why I wonder how long the company will last.

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