Queueing has always been a big part of Singapore’s culture. We queue to be the first to try the Nasi Lemak burger, to see our favourite K-pop idols or even to get our hands on limited edition branded goods.
But if you really hate queuing, then you can now pay someone to do it for you. A new service in Singapore called iQueue offers “professional queuing services”, which are available at practically any time of the day so long as you book a “queuer” 24 hours in advance.
Bookings can be done via the iQueue website, where you will find five different standard queue plans to purchase from. The cheapest plan offers a one-hour queuing service and is priced at $20 while the most expensive plan offers an 18-hour queuing service and is priced at $250. The standard plans exclude the price of item you want to queue for and delivery service.
For example, if you need someone to queue up to an hour at a popular hawker stall, you might want to get to the one-hour plan. But if you need someone to camp in front of the store to purchase concert tickets, you might want to pick the 8-hour plan at $85.
A 40 per cent deposit is required upon purchasing a plan and customers will need to pay the remaining sum after they have received their item, or once the queuing time is up. Unfortunately, paying someone to queue for you does not guarantee that you will get the item you’re seeking.
Say you pay someone to queue for two hours for a pair of shoes that ended up being out of stock. The professional “queuer” will not be responsible if the item is not available. So not only does this mean you had queued for nothing. You had also paid someone to queue for nothing.
In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore on Saturday (16 September), iQueue founders Singaporeans Jeffrey Tan and Zin Nu Aye spoke about how their one-of-a-kind service came to be.
“In such a hectic lifestyle in Singapore, we just want people to be able to relax and not stress over something as simple as queueing,” shared Tan, 27, who also works in the sales industry apart from running iQueue. The business was formed in May, a month after graphic designer Zin, 24, realised she was fed up with having to join long queues to purchase the things she wanted.
“We want iQueue to bring out the customer service and human touch, so we don’t want to be too technical,” added Zin. Since its launch, iQueue has offered the queuing services for concert tickets, sneakers, bak chor mee and even the sensational castella cakes.
But running iQueue hasn’t been an easy feat and the duo have faced many challenges. As Zin and Tan are still learning the demands of their customers and the nature of queues in Singapore, the duo are not able to offer recommendations for the right plans to purchase based on the items their customers want.
“We will never know the queue length, so we cannot give recommendations. If customers end up paying more than the actually need to, it might look like we are cheating them,” said Tan.
The lack of bodies is another challenge the duo face. The business currently has only 10 queue service providers and hopes to expand this number to 50 by the end of the year. These queue service providers are recruited from online sites such as Gumtree and Carousell and each hire is paid on a per job basis.
Service provider Muhammad Syahir, 17, is one of the more active hires, who took on the “unique” job for extra pocket money while taking a break from his studies. “I think this is a unique job and I really enjoy it, I get paid for just using my phone and listening to music,” he joked.
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