Published on July 23rd, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
(UPDATED) How We Helped Fix SOCAR-2-YOU, And Now It’s Less Appealing!
If you’ve been following my post-MCO travel experiences, you’ll know that I’ve used both GoCar and SOCAR to go back and forth between Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur. I was particularly impressed by the ‘SOCAR-2-YOU’ service. So impressed that I used it twice. Turns out I was using it wrong and shouldn’t have been so impressed!
Here’s what I got wrong.
Apparently their ‘SOCAR-2-YOU’ Service isn’t meant for interstate travel! But here’s the odd part, I had no problem using that service to travel from JB to KL twice. I wasn’t deliberately trying to trick the app or anything. In fact, after I found out it wasn’t supposed to work, I immediately screen captured my process to show proof that it could be done easily. Here are the steps involved in text, and I’ve also attached a video below of my screen capture.
Open the app. It’s not the most stable app, so you may have to try this a couple of times even if you’re sitting right next to your WiFi router and have a decent enough smartphone.
When you see the annoying pop-up banner for a ‘FREE CAR DELIVERY AND PICKUP’, oblige them and hit ‘BOOK SOCAR-2-YOU NOW!’.
Go to Johor Bahru and look for an eligible spot within the blue borders. Press ‘Pickup’ on the little flag that’s floating.
For drop-off location, use map search or manually type in OR select from your history the eligible KL/PJ location. Again, if you’re using map search, just find a location within the blue borders and you should be good.
Set your pickup and drop off times and dates.
Select a Car.
Confirm and make payment.
Here’s the video, censored and mildly edited to protect private addresses.
We did this TWICE. The first time, I managed to talk to the people who dropped the car off initially. And I mentioned that I was sending the car back to KL. The second time, I didn’t see or speak to anyone. The car was parked there ahead of time so I didn’t have the opportunity. But I also felt that the app should have been designed in a way to let them know that the final drop off location was different from the pickup location, even if it wasn’t interstate.
Anyway, the second time I dropped it off in KL, I got a phone call about 2 hours after ending my trip. I had ended my trip a little ahead of schedule anyway.
The guy on the other end of the line seemed borderline rude when he informed me that I was not supposed to use SOCAR-2-YOU for interstate travel. I told him, quite frankly, that this was an issue the he should bring up with the coders and not me. He then told me not to do it again. It was very infuriating at the time. I mean, I paid for the service. I used the service as their own platform seemed to intend. And then I got talked down to for a problem that SOCAR themselves failed to see?
If anything, I was expecting a couple of promo codes for doing the work of their developers!
So I did the millennial thing and ranted on my own personal Instagram Stories (for all my friends to see), tagging SOCAR.my, of course. Here was their response:
Props to whoever’s manning their Instagram page for responding well. I mean, it would have been nice to get a follow up*, but I was relatively satisfied with their response, as promo code-free as it was.
Anyway, I checked back earlier this week if SOCAR-2-YOU could still be used for interstate travel and this is the message I got:
I guess there’s one less reason to use SOCAR! In fact, I hear GoCar’s got this new ‘Free-Floating’ service with interstate travel enabled. I might go check that out for my next trip, but it seems pretty convoluted.
*I got a phone call from a SOCAR Malaysia representative at around 1.20pm, 27 July 2020. They clarified that it was indeed a bug and apologised for the way it was handled.