Service is fighting a very good fight. It wants to handle all your customer service woes.
The startup, which launched its free app in December, uses a mix of technology and humans to get customers money back for service issues. Or, at the very least, it aims to save you a lot of time emailing and talking to customer service reps.
On Tuesday, Service rolled out a feature called Protect that aims to make it even easier for customers to take advantage of its business proposition. Protect adds a couple of new elements to the app, such as synching with email accounts so it can automatically detect receipts and itineraries. If you’ve had an issue with a receipt or service, one tap can alert Service to look into it.
It’ll also monitor travel and flight itinerary and send a notification if you might be able to get compensated for delays or cancellations.
Service is playing in a crowded, albeit noble, space. Startups like Trim and TrueBill help unearth subscriptions tied to your bank account or credit card to cancel unwanted ones. Pypestream launched a modern-day call center for customers to text with select businesses directly. And, Facebook announced Bots for Messenger in April.
Meanwhile, AirHelp tackles flight compensation directly, but it hinges on a European law that requires passengers to be compensated financially for canceled or overbooked flights (unless there’s an extraordinary circumstance — like weather — involved).
Service, however, wants to step in to help people with domestic flights, not just for flights that originate or arrive in an EU airport.
“While European carriers legally must compensate delayed passengers, U.S.-based carriers aren’t required to but often do so as a gesture of good will,” said Service CEO Michael Schneider.
Service has saved or recovered close to $1 million for its users to date, said Schneider, who noted the company has been successful in “over a dozen claims” regarding flight delays under EU law and has successfully processed thousands of domestic flight delay claims.
Depending on the request, fulfilling it could take anywhere from days (Uber, Amazon) to months (airlines).
Recent fulfilled requests include getting one woman a $25 Amtrak voucher as an apology for buying a $8 salad on the train that was frozen solid at the bottom. The train attendant originally said she couldn’t be refunded because it was partially eaten. Another request example: A couple sought a full refund of $2,200 for their babymoon getaway after finding out it was a destination impacted by the Zika virus.
Service, which has raised $3.6 million in funding, said it turns down 25% of requests — those it doesn’t think are fair or reasonable complaints.