WeChat Secretary Will Solve All Your Problems

You might have already heard of WeSecretary, the recently-launched service that helps foreigners find whatever they need in Beijing. The idea is simple: add “we-secretary” on WeChat, tell the real live human on the other end what you need, they find it for you, and you pay a 10 percent commission charge. My friends and I had cause to try WeSecretary last week, and it was great.

We’d planned a weekend camping trip to Yunmengshan, but our usual driver was unavailable. We needed to find private transportation large enough to fit 11 people plus equipment and only had a few days to do it.

One person suggested WeSecretary, which he’d heard about through one of the expat magazines. He added them on WeChat, explained what we needed, and got a quote for a van within ten minutes. The concierge was friendly, prompt, and spoke good English.

The only hiccup was that she originally quoted us the wrong price, thinking we needed a van for a day trip rather than an overnight camping trip. However, she made up for the mistake by charging us a lower commission fee. After the price was agreed on, my friend paid the commission charge through WeChat Wallet and got the driver’s mobile number.

The van itself was smaller than our usual ride, so we had to do some creative re-arranging of the seats in order to fit 11 people, backpacks, tents, ground mats, and sleeping bags. But considering the short notice and how easy the overall process was, we were impressed by WeChat Secretary’s services.

On WeSecretary’s website, the company says it can also help expats “buy stuff on Taobao, get an Alipay account, book an ayi on demand, have water delivered, find a repairman,” and more. Accepted payment methods include WeChat Wallet, credit card, Alipay, bank transfer, and even Bitcoin.

To contact them, just scan the QR code on their website or email service@wesecretary.com.

This article first appeared on our sister website, beijingkids.

Photos: Wuxi City Guide, Sijia Chen

Comments

What a stupid service..... every expat living here have a Chinese friend/coworker able to help with this stuff.

Yes, but not every expat wants to use their Chinese friends/coworkers as personal servants. Speaking personally, I hate depending on friends to help me with stuff like this, since it feels like I'm just using my friends for my own personal benefit... like the only reason we're friends is so they can do stuff for me.

This app kind of fits in with the Western love of independence and self-reliance. Yeah, sure--you're depending on an app, but at least you didn't have to go bug a friend with every simple question you have...

Doubt wisely; in strange way / To stand inquiring right is not to stray; / To sleep, or run wrong, is. (Donne, Satire III)

^ good points, britomart

 

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I had used we-secretsry several times. Usually good service, but today they ordered rolls I needed for a Thanksgiving dinner, and bakery knew nothing about it. I was specific about the Tous les Jours on the south side of subway. They refuse to refund my money because the wrong bakery still wants me to pick it up 230 rmb. Ordered an air purifier a week ago and it is stuck somewhere in China. Won't give me my money back for that. This has cost me 700 rmb, so save your money and have a Chinese friend make your calls for you. They did not answer phone when I called from bakery (too early for them it was a 7:30 pick up). They blamed me for not getting back to them when I was in school kitchen making Thankings dinner for 70 students.

With NO bread. Do not recommend, will never recommend.

to me this business model is very counter-intuitive, but maybe it has something to do with me being a little bit uptight sometimes.

I'd only let people who are really careful to details or who have special knowledge in a field to take part in what i can do by myself.

but how much does it cost to have someone who is as much careful and knowledgeable as you do to help you anytime you need it?

on the other hand, it doesn't take that much effort for a foreigner to know the 101s like ordering a pizza.

this service is also a little bit anachronic. this is an age of the internet. tremendous amount of information is being shared on the internet freely. this wechat secretary thing could do some good if it's the 80s or 90s where you'd be in despair because there's absolutely no way for you to figure out what's the chinese for aspirin or your chinese isn't good enough to talk with a traveling agent over the phone for booking your flight back home, or a van for a trip to the great wall, etc.

but that sounds like living in a cave. it's all digital now and it's so easy to do it yourself. so what's the point of using a wechat secretary? because you are a terrible human being or you've never been to school?

I'm David and I run WeSecretary.

Kate requested we place an order for her at the "Tous Les Jours at Dawanglu subway" (exact quote). We contacted the metro-level store and worked through her order with the staff. The process involved a considerable amount of back-and-forth with both Kate and the bakery staff and cost her less than the price of a cup of coffee.

At 9:30 the following morning Tous Les Jours informed us Kate had not picked up her order. We contacted Kate to remind her about this and did not hear back until eight hours later at which point we disovered she had gone to an entirely different store that was not even on the same level as the metro. Her statement that she had specified the one on "the south side of the subway" is a total fabrication as she well knows.

We credit Kate's honesty in admitting that she did not call us during normal office hours to tell us about her problem. Nor did she take the few seconds needed to flag the problem on wechat. Had Kate reached out, or responded to our own attempts to contact her we could easily have arranged delivery of her missed pickup. Instead, she contacted us when it was far too late to deal with her problem with a threat to smear our reputation online if we did not refund the money paid to the bakery.

Readers are welcome to decide the merits of the case on their own.

Hey man. Whoever you are, you need to stop or quit this stupid business as soon as possible.

Quote:
The process involved a considerable amount of back-and-forth with both Kate and the bakery staff and cost her less than the price of a cup of coffee.

Let's say "a considerable amount of back-and-forth" means an hour and "less than the price of a cup of coffee" costs her 15 kuai.

You may have 1-2 workers working behind the scene. Let's assume one.

So what quality of human labor is worth of 15 kuai/hour? As far as I know, a McDonalds' shift worker earns 10-15kuai/hour.

So either your place hires a bunch of McD shift worker level operators, or your business model is not profitable at all.

The sole reason you can have your little business running is you got investement from a stupid investor, but the fad is gonna end soon, and you'd better be prepared for it.

Excuse me, but you left out the part that I was in the school cafeteria cooking lunch for 70 students out near the air port for Thanksgiving lunch we teachers made and GAVE our students. They did not confirm the right Tour les Jours, and to say it cost me less than a cup of coffee when you charged me 230 ¥ rmb.

I had given up on you, and went from lunch to teach class from 1-4, so no I did not see your message earlier.

Your pompous attitude toward customer service proves my point. Blame the client, when unknown to me or YOU that there was more than one Tours bakery at Dawanglu Subway. Since you have been such an ass, I am demanding my 230¥ back. You have 5 days to return it to my wewallet or I start talking to appropriate departments. Hope all your employees are legal and your license in order.

I was at the bakery at 7:30 am, called the phone number given to collect bread, and no one answered. "We weren't open yet". You said. You have just screwed yourself in the ex-pat community. How Chinese of you. You want Western Monet, better learn Western customer service, and Zi am serious about wanting my money back. I had a witness with me at the bakery at 7:30.

I can't comment on the situation listed above, but FWIW I've used WeSecretary a few times for exactly the reasons outlined by Britomart. It's not that I can't call around, find a driver, get a handyman, order tickets, but if I can save the time and hassle for a reasonable fee, why not? Each time I've used them -- for tickets, for reservations, etc. -- I've received good service. This isn't to wade into the fracas above, but that's my personal experience.

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