We’ve seen the beauty of America’s messaging concierge Magic in the US. You send a quick message about something you need done, and it will get it done for you. Whether it’s a reservation for a restaurant, or a bit of shopping that needs to be done, Magic claims to be able to do it. And it looks pretty darn amazing.
The problem with it is that since it’s such a service-oriented facility, it has only existed in the US — until now. Another business has surfaced, claiming to be for Singapore what Magic is to America.
Messenger — hosted at Messenger.SG — claims to get you answers to your questions and requests instantly. From looking for movie timings, booking taxis, even vetting homework (move aside, Homework Gods), Messenger wants to do all that for you.
The best thing is that, according to Messenger, they don’t cost anything at all. While they do have channels for donations open, they’re more than happy to work for free to complete the tasks you set out for them — instantly.
And how instant is instant? Well, that remains to be seen. We sent out a message to them at 9.52am, and are still awaiting a response.
According to the FAQ section on their website: “We have messengers to help you fulfill your request. It shouldn’t take more than few hours or so. Ask us earlier to avoid disappointment!”
While it’s too early to say, problems with the US’s Magic has already surfaced, with some people claiming to have experienced less-than-optimal service standards from it. A service as manpower heavy as Magic is bound to have issues like that, and it would be interesting to see how Messenger will fare in Singapore — perhaps a smaller country would mean more efficient service? Who knows.
Hopefully we’ll get an answer soon. I’m really feeling in the mood for some chocolates.
After 3 hours, the people at Messenger finally replied. The invoice that they eventually quoted me was $34.70.
After I gave the thumbs up at 2.10pm, the chocolates eventually reached their destination at 3.00pm.
When I asked them how the delivery charges were calculated, they mentioned that they are engaging third-party delivery services, which means that while Messenger claim to be working for free, we as customers will still be paying for the services in some way. Messenger did mention that they are working towards operating the system themselves, which I hope means either more afforadable delivery prices.
What was more worrying was the price of the Ferrero Rocher. Confused by the price of the box of chocolates ($20.70!), I eventually checked the Redmart website, which quoted $14.95 for the same box. I probably could have raised this to the people at Messenger earlier, but I had been occupied and simply agreed to it. Was this thanks to the delivery services as well? It’s hard to tell.
My Verdict: Much like Magic, the selling point here isn’t having a personal shopper that gets you the best prices, but rather a personal assistant, and thus it is not a service to be frivolously exploited. And despite the steep invoice, I’m still sold. I could see this being pretty amazing for busy folk, who probably have an extra buck to spare and some chores done, like buying concert tickets or collecting laundry. If I’m ever in a tight fix, Messenger will probably be my go-to problem solver.
Just don’t expect to save money from it.