No, this is a serious question. MeUndies, a monthly undergarment e-commerce start-up that also sells t-shirts and socks, is crowdfunding the development of a video chat customer service feature. Why are they crowdfunding, you ask? Well, astutely, they’re making sure this is a feature anyone would even want, before they go ahead and launch it.
TechCrunch reports that the company is looking to raise a mere $30,000 to convert the usual text box — where customers are used to chatting blindly with customer service reps — into a live video function. It sounds weird, but it kind of makes sense for the site, which is slick-looking, middleman-free, trying to offer an elevated product at a lower price point, and trying to do that for its customers every month. We suppose if you’re committed to buying a thing a month from anyone, even something as simple as boxers, you might want to talk to someone about getting the right stuff, first. Once you make a purchase with MeUndies, you’re automatically enrolled in their monthly club model. Like other monthly product membership sites, you can opt out, but you have to actually remember to do it, before you’re charged and sent a new item.
Back to the proposed video function. Obviously underwear sales and video chat could get weird, so if the company reaches its fundraising goal and launches video consulting, there will be some kind of mode in place for blocking anyone misusing the service. But let’s say MeUndies does launch this and their customers embrace it (and use it as it’s intended). The success would bode well for eventual widespread video chat customer service; in particular, it would make a lot of sense for luxury e-commerce. Most people wouldn’t mind getting to talk to someone, face to face, at say, Net-a-Porter, before investing in a $2500 handbag they haven’t actually held or seen in person. We hope MeUndies launches this, partly as a general video customer service incubator.
Another question, somewhat unrelated. Do you buy underwear in regularly monthly shipments? Do you know anyone who does? We love high-end, middleman-free garments made in the U.S., the cornerstones of MeUndies business, but we’re not sure if we need new undies/socks/t-shirts every month, with or without a face to face consultation. Either way, feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments.