Rubbish news for impatient people: it appears the London-centric same-day grocery service Etefy has gone under.
That's definitely the impression we're getting from the fact that the website's been deleted:
The social media pages are gone:
And the TrustPilot reviews were overrun by angry ex-employees before being closed:
(Mitsie refers to Mitsie Angela Johnson, currently listed as the only director of Etefy Ltd).
If you weren't familiar with Etefy, it was a grocery delivery company that promised to bring your order within an hour to anywhere in the M25:
Here's how the site looked back in March:
The company did a tonne of advertising in London, including loads of tube ads and branded taxis:
Image: Paul Goldsmith via Flickr CC
The claims on that taxi ad should give you some idea as to why the business didn't work so well. Free delivery, no minimum order, brought within an hour (the "-/+" was added later, it was originally "within 1 hour"): who could make that work?
To highlight quite how ridiculous of a business model this was, someone on Reddit ordered a single can of drink at £1.19 and it was indeed delivered free in 50 minutes.
Previous services in this vein have also failed, including Dispatch, an app that allowed you to request anything you wanted via live chat and have it delivered immediately for around a tenner. If they couldn't make it work while actually charging for delivery, how did Etefy plan to do it for free? It is a mystery.
Also a mystery is what'll happen to all the people who ordered from Etefy when the website was still live but the company was in liquidation. There are lots of them in the TrustPilot reviews. Hopefully they'll be able to claim their money back from their banks.
Gizmodo first got an inkling that something wasn't right at Etefy back in October, when we placed an order that arrived four hours late – not great for a site that says "about an hour." The customer service reps said they didn't have any drivers, then pointed out that they'd updated the website to say "-/+ 1 hour" and therefore we couldn't be too annoyed when it took four times that long.
Sadly, it looks like they weren't able to recover (unless they now get bought out by Sports Direct, of course).
Londoners will have to stick with Amazon Prime Now for their impulse deliveries, because they're the only people who seem to be able to make it work.