Dec 23, 2013

Has LinkedIn Abandoned CardMunch?

15 Comments · Posted by Robert Ambrogi in General

Earlier this year, I published a post about CardMunch, an app from LinkedIn that I called “the holy grail of business card apps.” Well, not anymore. It seems that many users, including me, are having trouble with the app consistently hanging and crashing, and no one at LinkedIn seems to be doing anything about it.

When it works, CardMunch acts like a business-card scanner, but with a twist. It uses real humans to read and transcribe the cards you upload. Use the app to snap a photo of a business card and upload. A little while later, you get the transcribed info sent back to your phone. You can manage these contacts within the CardMunch app or add them to your iPhone contacts, where you can sync them with Outlook or another contacts manager.

Lately, however, whenever I try to open a contact in CardMunch, the app just hangs. I get that spinning circle that tells me to wait, but no matter how long I wait, the contact never loads.

Recently, I used CardMunch to scan several business cards I’d collected. It accepted the uploads and returned the transcribed contacts to me quickly. However, I could not open any of them within the CardMunch app.

Fortunately, I discovered a workaround. Even though I could not open the contacts in CardMunch, I could still export them. Within CardMunch, I selected “edit” and checked the names on the list of contacts that I wanted to export. I then hit the button, “Save to iPhone,” and the contacts were all saved in my iPhone contacts.

While this is OK as a workaround, it is unacceptable for an app to not function as it should. I thought maybe the problem was mine alone, until I began searching for a solution. Many CardMunch users are reporting the same problem.

In LinkedIn’s help forums, only one person from LinkedIn has responded to numerous posts. That one person said that he happened to stumble on the thread of complaints, but did not work on Cardmunch and knew nothing about its status. He offered to look into it. A few days later, on Nov. 12, he said he hoped to have an answer by the end of the week. So far, he has posted nothing more and neither has anyone else at LinkedIn.

The CardMunch website shows a copyright date of 2011, suggesting that no one has updated it in two years. Meanwhile, there are still humans somewhere who are transcribing these cards. That suggests that someone must be in charge of CardMunch. Now if only someone there would pay attention to all these user complaints and fix whatever is wrong with the app.

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15 comments

  • Rob · December 30, 2013 at 2:07 am

    Everyone may want to write to LinkedIn about the issue to make it a more squeaky wheel. Here is LinkedIn’s Customer Service response to me:

    Thanks for reaching out to me today and I’m sorry to hear you’re having problems with our CardMunch app. What you’ve encountered is a known issue and I’m very sorry for the inconvenience. Our engineering team is working on it but there’s no estimate as to how long that might take. We’ll do our best to keep you posted.

    In the meantime, I’ll gladly help if you have any other questions.

    John
    The CardMunch Team

    Reply

  • krys (@krysfree) · December 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Welp, I chimed in on the squeaky wheel team. I’ve been assessing the alternatives for the last couple of days. And the hanging thing is annoying but I’ll try out the workaround listed above.

    Hey Rob, do you know what John’s last name is?

    -Krys

    Reply

  • Rob · December 31, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Krys,

    Sorry, I don’t know who “John” of “The CardMunch Team” is. Such a generic name with no accountability attached to it in a large organization…

    Rob

    Reply

    • Tom · January 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      I have more bad news… the save contact to iphone doesn’t seem to work either now. This is annoying

      Reply

  • Paul Tibbits · January 15, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Cannot log into CardMunch with my LinkedIn Credentials

    Reply

  • Diane · January 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I have encountered the same problem with CardMunch. I wrote to support in on 1/2 and got the same reply:

    Thanks for contacting us about this. What you’ve encountered is a known issue and I’m very sorry for the inconvenience. Our engineering team is working on it but there’s no estimate as to how long that might take. We’ll do our best to keep you posted.

    In the meantime, I’ll gladly help if you have any other questions.

    Justin
    The CardMunch Team

    On 1/8, I got a response saying the problem was fixed. I wrote back and said it is NOT fixed. They said, sorry, we’ll work on it. What a waste of everyone’s time. It is sad, since it is a great app when it works!

    Reply

  • Creighton Hill · January 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    cardmunch.com appears now to be a parked domain at GoDaddy.com.

    Not sure what is going on. My CardMunch app has not worked for a week. I think they have walked away from it.

    Reply

  • Travis Todd (@travis_todd) · January 29, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Here is an alternative to CardMunch. It also uses human transcription so it is much more accurate than OCR.

    http://www.fullcontact.com/cardreader/

    An Android version of the app will also be available in the coming weeks as well, something that CardMunch didn’t get around to.

    Disclaimer: I work at FullContact

    Reply

  • tina · January 29, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Another alternative is Evernote, which has the same/similar feature – take a picture of the business card and it populates to your contacts.

    Reply

    • Doug philbrick · January 30, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      here is the workaround I just tried it and it works perfectly

      -From the Cardmunch app, click signup for linked-in
      -Your web browser will display the signup page
      -Look for the login link- click and log in with your credentials
      -Go back with the card munch app and log in with your credentials

      Amazingly, this worked for me. I hope it works for others too.

      Reply

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  • Mark · February 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I currently use CamCard for my Android S4. Where I saw a colleague tether LinkedIn details and the posted photo, I wanted it. No luck for Android! And Full Contact Card Reader doesn’t access LinkedIn. I like the Sales force link but still find it limited.
    Does anyone else know of any better tools available?

    Reply

  • Lee Herrin · February 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    I was having the crashing issue (iPhone 4S) and I simply turned my phone off for 30-40 seconds – turned it back on and I am able to use the App again.

    Reply

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    […] been a bad couple of weeks for apps that let you share contact information. Recently, I wrote about problems with CardMunch, the LinkedIn app that uses actual humans to read and transcribe business cards you […]

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  • cris · April 4, 2014 at 9:00 am

    my cardmunch will not file, any suggestions??

    Reply

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