Product: ParcelGenie (iPhone app)
Price: £0.99 to £11.99 (keep an eye on their twitter account though, as they occasionally have promo items at 49p though!)
Age Range: n/a
Manufacturer’s Description: We’ve made sending a real gift as quick and easy as sending a text message. With the ParcelGenie app you can send affordable real prezzies to anyone with a mobile phone and you don’t even need to know their address. The best bit is they’ll find out about the gift instantly.
So you can react to what’s going on in a friend’s world straight away by sending a little gift to say anything from “Hi” or “I love you” to “good luck” or “happy birthday”.
Rating: (4/5 stars)
Review: I love to be able to do random little things in order to make my friends smile, and ParcelGenie caters to that personality quirk brilliantly by making it incredibly easy to send your friends little gifts.
The basic concept is that you use the smartphone app (in my case iPhone, but they also have Windows Phone 7 & Android apps) to pick a present for a friend, then compose a message and enter their mobile number. You can choose from your contact list so you don’t have to know the number off by heart if you already have it in your phone, which is handy. Your friend receives a text to let them know that a friend has sent them a “real gift” with easy peasy instructions to text back their address for delivery. They also get your personal message as a message from your number, which is a nice touch. A day or two later, their mystery parcel arrives in the post and all is revealed!
I have used it a few times now and have always been impressed with the service – the gifts arrive nicely wrapped, well packaged and I have been very pleased with how quickly my friends have received their treats. I even sent out half a dozen gifts on Valentine’s Day and they all arrived the day after being accepted which was very impressive considering how busy they must have been.
The app itself is fairly easy to use and the customer service on twitter is really excellent – they are a great and friendly support team.
A couple of my friends have even sent me pressies and I have loved the excitement of not knowing what was winging its way to me in the postal system after receiving their mysterious texts!
The main problem I have encountered with the system is that my friends sometimes thought that they were spam text messages and so ignored them. The app does let you enter their address after you’ve sent the texts, to “speed up delivery” – but it doesn’t alert you to the fact that they didn’t reply with their address (or if it does, it doesn’t do it within 24 hours which is when I nagged my friends to reply after checking manually!). They do text you when your gift has been accepted by your friend though, which is helpful.
Also, unfortunately, I have started to experience crashing with the latest update on the iPhone app but hopefully this is just a temporary problem which will be fixed soon!
All in all, a fantastic little app to help you put a smile on the faces of those you love. 4 out of 5 stars!
Edit: Since writing the above someone from ParcelGenie has got in touch and asked me to delete & reinstall the app, which seems to have resolved the crashing. My order history reappeared in the app as soon as I entered my phone number in the Settings tab & reverified via text message. Yay!
To get a discount on your first Parcelgenie order, use this invitation code: 1NMM9J 🙂