Problems with ReachNow
I’ve been a ReachNow member since the day it launched. The car share program started here in Seattle and has expanded to Portland and Brooklyn. Owned by BMW Group, it is clear that a ton of money was poured in to ReachNow to get it set up and running.
ReachNow was going strong. In Seattle alone they have 700 vehicles including BMW. I have written a good amount about ReachNow in the past. I actually think they had a great thing going for them.
However, something has gone wrong over the past few months. As an example, here was my experience this past week (if you’d rather just see the problems as bullet points, feel free to scroll to end of this post):
I was heading to the airport so I opened the ReachNow app to reserve a car. I found one a few blocks from my home so I reserved it. However, once it was reserved, the location of the car changed and was now a few miles from my home. I spoke to someone (via Twitter) and apparently it is a known issue.
Hello Alan- We express our sincerest apologies for the experience you had. We wanted to let you know our Technical team and Developers are aware of these issues, and they’re hard at work building a fix for the app as we speak. We are listening to every feedback extensively and I have sent the experience you’ve had with the app to our Product team as well. Thank you so much for your time and patience. If you have any questions, or any more concerns, please reply back or give us a call at 844-732-2466.
My guess is that an old location of the car was propagating in the app.
Upon my return from the trip; I wanted to talk a ReachNow home from the airport. I opened the app as I was leaving the airport but no cars were showing in the app. All car share programs park their cars at the same lot at Seatac Airport so I headed over, knowing I would be able to get a car.
Despite not showing on the app, there were approximately ten ReachNow vehicles in the garage. I went over to one of the cars and unlocked it with the membership card.
When I started the car, after already starting the rental, the gas gauge came on and I was alerted that there was only enough gas to go 17 miles. Unfortunately home is farther than 17 miles from the airport.
I could have stopped the rental and gone to a new car. However, I would be out $6+ (each rental starts with a minimum $1 “Shared Asset Fee” and $5 “Airport Parking Fee” when trip begins or ends at the airport) before even driving one foot.
Annoyed, I decided I would put a bit of gas in the car, enough to get me home. Unlike Zipcar, ReachNow does NOT provide a gas card. So I figured I would need to pay out of pocket and then attempt to get reimbursed.
I wasn’t sure of the procedures of getting reimbursed for the gas, so I called in to the customer service number. It is the same number that you would call if you were in an accident or other rental emergency.
It took me nearly 20 minutes to reach a human.
To boil it down, I encountered the following problems with ReachNow:
- App showing wrong location of cars
- App not showing cars at all
- Cars rentable with empty gas tanks
- Forced to pay for gas out of pocket, then submit receipts to get reimbursed
- Long hold times for customer service
Prior to writing this post, I reached out to ReachNow to talk them about the issues I raised above. Thus far I have not heard back from ReachNow.