|Move Over Siri, WunWun Gets Stuff Done|
|by TINA TRINH (@TinaTrinhNYC)||Feb 6, 2013, 7:14 PM|
Sometimes it feels as if there just aren't enough hours in the day. For those times, WunWun is a godsend. An iPhone app that assigns people to do your random tasks, WunWun is like having a personal assistant on demand. The app's name stands for "What you need, when you need," and the on-demand element is central to its purpose.
Similar to Uber, an on-demand car service, or the former Urban Fetch, which delivered food and other goods, founder Lee Hnetinka created a service to take care of virtually any errand that could be assigned to another person.
The result is a very cool app that despite a few kinks, delivers practically anything to your doorstep and helps get items off that ever-growing to-do list.
"We're creating something that hasn't existed yet, your on-demand helper," Hnetinka told ABC News.
Right now, though, WunWun is available only to those in New York City.
Put to the Test After downloading the app and entering your address and billing information, request a service or task such as "picking up groceries" or "walking the dog." Set a deadline, and one of WunWun's employees will text, email or call you to confirm the request. WunWun's services are available 24/7, so in theory, if you have a hankering for jelly beans at 3 a.m., someone will track them down and get them to you.
I was getting ready to move into a new apartment, so I requested that 10 medium-size moving boxes be purchased at the cheapest price possible and delivered to my place. It was 7 p.m., and I was stuck at work with a few more hours to go. I specified that the boxes needed to be delivered between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., when I knew I'd be home. Immediately after my request went through, I received a text from WunWun acknowledging it, and soon after, another text saying that a "helper" had been assigned to my task.
Chanel was my helper, and she communicated her progress to me via text and email to make sure she was buying the right size boxes. At 10:20 p.m., she showed up at my door, smiling, with boxes in tow. The entire task was almost too easy, and it's hard not to see how one could become addicted to the convenience of WunWun.
Worth the Cost?
Still, while the costs of using WunWun seem reasonable, you should figure out whether your task is worth it. WunWun categorizes requests as either a delivery or service. For deliveries (such as my moving boxes), users are charged a flat $15 fee, plus the cost of items purchased and a credit card surcharge fee. My boxes ended up costing $37.14 (bought from a local Staples store). Along with the $15 flat rate and $1.11 credit card fee, the grand total came to $53.25. Not bad, especially when all I had to do to was interact with my iPhone.
For such services as having a shelf hung or getting your dog walked, the rate is $2 for every five minutes plus the cost of the supplies necessary to complete that service. Requests made between 9:01 p.m. and 8:59 a.m. cost a bit more, $2.50 for every five minutes of service, or a $20 flat fee for deliveries.
The startup is two months old, and only launched recently -- again, only in New York. And it's not without a few glitches.
I received conflicting messages during my task request. At one point I was told that a helper had been assigned but then nine minutes later WunWun said the service was overbooked and to try back again soon. The latter message was sent after Chanel had already texted from her own phone to say that she had started on the task. A day after the transaction was processed, I had to reach out to WunWun to get a copy of the receipt.
It remains to be seen how well WunWun does as more and more New Yorkers discover it. As of now, WunWun's network of helpers consists of only 28 people (including the employees), and it hasn't outsourced its work to other businesses or vendors.
"We have the feet on the street, we have the people that do the requests. These people are not trying to find other people to do it," said Hnetinka. He said that the startup's priority is getting additional helpers onboard. Currently, WunWun enlists local residents who may be looking to make some extra cash, whether they be stay-at-home dads or freelance videographers like Chanel.
In the long run, the company hopes to build up a network of on-demand helpers who have specialized skills, such as plumbing or pet care.
In the meantime, finding someone to help plan your boyfriend's -- or girlfriend's -- birthday party or do your laundry just got much easier.