We have had a couple of people ask us why they’re not seeing much of Fenix on social media or why we haven’t posted updates on the site. Well, there’s a number of reasons we pulled back on our marketing presence, but the biggest one is we have been dealing with several bugs with our reservation system that have caused poor customer experiences.
One solution was to move to a different payment processor, we already had Square set up for the business for other purposes, which made it the obvious choice. However, in testing with Square, we found that it wasn’t compatible with a plugin we were using for our reservations. The plugin creates two orders for each reservation, one for the deposit, and one for the future installation. This functioned correctly with PayPal, but in testing with Square, we found customers would be double-billed. Definitely not acceptable! If I were in a customer’s shoes and placed a $150 reservation, only to find out that I had been charged $300, I would be irate! So we had to once again back out and take a new approach.
We ended up having to re-build all of our “product” listings without the double-order plugin, and re-test with Square. And finally, after weeks of trying to get this functioning properly, and having to back out of several changes and trying again, we’re confident that we’re functional again.
During all of this, we made the very difficult choice to apply the brakes to our marketing efforts. It was much more important to us that we have a good customer experience than it was to drive reservation numbers hard and fast. This meant that we wouldn’t be putting out new content or sharing in new channels during these issues. We continued staying active in places where we saw discussions about Fenix, as we didn’t want to become completely absent. But in those forums we also made a point of being up front about these issues, hoping customers would be willing to deal with them if they chose to come aboard.
We believe we’re past these persistent bugs, but are keeping a watchful eye on reservations to ensure we see several customers move through the system without issues. Once we’re confident that all is in working order, you’ll see us get quite a bit more noisy! In fact we’ve been working on some new content in new channels that we believe will do a better job of explaining just how the Fenix Battery as a Service model works. I’m excited to see how people react to this new content and looking forward to getting it out there very soon.
Thank you all for your patience, and we look forward to doing our part in keeping great cars on the road longer, and showing the world that there is a new way to manage the challenge of expensive batteries in electric vehicles!
Founder and “Chief Evangelist Officer” of Fēnix Power