In a shocking twist, a web service that charged customers a 50 percent markup for monthly quarter deliveries is shutting its doors after only days of operation.
Washboard owner Caleb Brown said in an email to Boston.com that he was informed by the company’s payment processing company that their business model violated their terms of service, forcing the company to close.
“Faced with the chore of finding a payment processor that would accept us (which we actually did) we simply didn’t think it was worth their more tedious set-up process,” Brown wrote. “With our margins being so low (after shipping) we were making money but ultimately didn’t see enough total growth potential.”
Brown said the company shipped out quarters this month to 40 customers, though he acknowledged in an open letter on the company’s website that “nearly 100 percent of the Internet thought Washborad was an absolutely absurd concept.”
“I had a very difficult time convincing people the service was even real but we did have customers that were excited for it,” he adds. “While I do believe Washboard solved a real problem for real people, I didn’t think there was really an opportunity to grow Washboard beyond quarter delivery.”
Brown said he and business partner Shaun Chapman took the media tumble in stride.
“Sean and I had a blast working on Washboard and hearing your reactions good and bad...and they were mostly bad :),” he wrote.
The duo also pocketed about $70 in profits.Caesar can be reached at Christopher.Caesar@globe.com or via Twitter @ChrisCaesar.