We hate lots of things (and we mean lots), but shopping is easily at the top of our hate list. And we have a special place reserved for greeting card shopping.
It’s a very special form of nightmare walking up and down the aisles at Clitons Cards, where there’s an entire forest’s worth of painted paper on the shelves, yet it remains inexplicably impossible to find a “Happy Birthday Mum” card.
They’ve got “Happy Yom Kippur, Mum” cards, and “Happy Birthday Step Mum Who I’m No Longer Related To Since You Divorced My Dad For The Eighth Time” cards, but nothing as rudimentary as a simple birthday card. God, I hate it.
So Moonpig was quite a lifesaver for us. It’s no more expensive than a high street card shop, and you can create and compose custom cards online and have them sent directly to the recipient within a day.
Now that invaluable, sanity-preserving service has hit the iPhone. A new Moonpig app allows you to put together greetings cards of all kinds and order them right from your iPhone’s screen. A handful of categories are included, such as birthdays, humour, cute and arty, but the inherent customisation of Moonpig cards makes most any of them suitable for any occasion.
You can log into your existing online account, or create a new directly from the device. It’s then a simple matter of choosing the card you want, and entering text into all/any of the layouts inside the card. Many even have customisation on the front of the card, too, allowing you to upload your own images or photos straight from the iPhone, and change names and details to create a very unique and personalised thought-in-an-envelope.
Recipients can be chosen directly from your iPhone contacts app, entered manually, or chosen from the Moonpig address book attached to your account. Dispatch can be set for the next day as a minimum, or scheduled up to a month in advance (bear in mind this is likely to broaden as Christmas approaches). If you’re meeting someone in person, the card can also be sent to yourself with a plain envelope included.
There’s an option to save a few coppers here and there by using pre-paid tokens, bought through the Moonpig site. This is something the card company has been running for a while, offering 20 per cent off for keeping a bit of spare change attached to your account, and those card tokens are available to use through the iPhone app. You still need to go online to add more tokens, but at least any dosh recharging is right there in your iPhone wallet should you have a few cards to drop in the post box.
So if you’re as misanthropic as us when it comes to obligatory card-based gestures of false gratitude, the Moonpig app is a superb alternative to the torture of card shopping in person.