When a product breaks down at home, it can ruin the whole week. We provide peace of mind.

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Anyone who has ever had a home electrical appliance break down, in other words all of us, knows what a nerve wracking, frustrating, lengthy, and stressful experience it is.Startup Puls (formerly CellSavers), founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Itai Hirsch and Eyal Ronen, former Israelis now living in the US, wants to solve exactly this problem.The company built an Uber/Airbnb-style online platform that connects the customer to the most appropriate technician. The idea is to make repairing the breakdown simpler, more pleasant, and more worthwhile for both sides. The system current serves hundreds of thousands of customers a month in the US, and it seems that this is only the beginning."Finding a technician by yourself is a long and frustrating process that can ruin your day, and even your week," Hirsch, the company CEO, says. "But this is the customer's default option all over the world, as far as I know. People try their luck on Google, Facebook, and Yelp; ask friends; and waste a great deal of time and energy. Then they have to wait for hours to get the service, guess whether they can trust the person who comes and let him or her into the house, and bargain over the price. We tried to solve all of these difficulties, both technologically and practically, in order to give people peace of mind."In contrast to all this, customers entering the puls.com website select the type of device that needs repair or installation, the type of malfunction, and the desired date for the technician to come, and get a price in advance. The customers then fill in their address and personal particulars. From here, Puls's platform does its part, matching the customer to the technician according to the criteria provided without the customer having to look for someone, just like hailing a taxi through an app.The service works 24/7 on the website (used by 90% of the company's customers) and by telephone, and is currently available in 55 US cities. "We now support thousands of different products," says Hirsch, "including all of the major companies' cellphones, installation service for most types of television sets, and home electrical appliances, such as washing machines and dryers.The system's flexibility comes to the fore in allowing the option of ordering a technician days in advance, or the same day, or even asking that he should arrive within the hour. Hirsch says that Puls comes through in 97% of the cases where customers ask for a technician arrive to within the hour.An unexpected extra? We payPuls is not the first company founded by Hirsch and Ronen. "We're serial entrepreneurs, and we've known each other for 25 years," says Hirsch. "The two previous companies I founded were in air-conditioning repairs and home appliances repairs throughout the US. The first was sold in 2006 and the second in 2011. Eyal's background is in gaming, and this is the fourth company that he has founded."The paths of the partners are nevertheless parting. Ronen, who was CEO up until recently, has decided on a new direction and is leaving Puls. "He is still a large and important shareholder in the company," Hirsch points out, adding that the company is now recruiting executives to take it to the next stage. "We are a growing company, and the board of directors sets very ambitious goals for us. As in the case of many other startups, this probably means that new management will come in that knows how to work on a large scale," he says.Who are your competitors?Hirsch: "Our biggest competition is from small and local repair providers, but their models are outmoded and their customer service isn't the best. The fact that we can free up quality time for people is huge. People don't really need to deal with the question of how to get their home appliances to work, just as they don't think about who will bring them a pizza or which taxi will transport them; these things just happen. And there is still a lot of frustration and fraud in this area."Other than ensuring quick repair, why should a customer whose smartphone stopped working go to you, rather than a laboratory?"Going to a laboratory means getting in a car, driving, looking for parking, and giving my device to a stranger to repair behind a curtain. With us, the service comes to the home or to any place that the customer specifies - work or a café. It takes place in front of the customer and is carried out by a technician whose professional skills we have assessed and whom we have checked for a criminal background, so information leaks from the device are prevented."What are the most common types of calls you receive?"In cellphones, there are many malfunctions involving a broken screen or a device that can't be charged, which means that someone has to come before the battery is used up. During holiday seasons, we see a very steep rise in installing television sets, because there are huge sales in the US, and the smart home sector is also growing very fast every month."What about urgent repairs?"In the US, when the garage doesn't open, you can't get the car out and drive to work. People call us at 6:00 AM for a technician to come and repair the problem at 7:00 AM, so that they can leave by 8:00 AM. In addition, many people have food in their refrigerators worth hundreds and even thousands of dollars, and the speed at which a technician comes is critical. Repairing home electrical appliances in the middle of the night is also a very big segment, and there are also the telephones, of course - many people go out for the evening and break them."How exactly do you price each repair?"Our AI system constantly learns about the types of service, the probability that a given product will break down, and how much its repair will cost. When a customer tells us that his or her iPhone is behaving in a certain way, the system knows what repair is needed, because we have supplied hundreds of thousands like it, and we can price the service fairly and accurately."Are there cases in which you set a price in advance and the repair was more expensive?"It happens very rarely, but even if the technician has to do additional things, we stand behind the price we set. The customer will pay the price we promised, the technician will receive the appropriate payment, and we'll probably absorb the cost. If the user was unable to specify the problem in advance and we couldn't make a commitment to a price, we have developed tools so that the technician can present the pricing alternatives in a way that is convenient for the customer in his or her home. There is still no bargaining with the technician: as soon as the customer agrees on a price, work starts."By Oshrit Gan-ElRead the full story here: https://www.globes.co.il/news/home.aspx?fid=10439

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