Can't haggle, won't haggle? Yanks solve it with Solvate
Solvate is an online service that relieves you of all the mundane administration involved in day-to-day business, whether you're a big company or one-man band - ordering business cards, creating Powerpoint presentations, travel planning and so on. You tell Solvate what you want, and Solvate sets to work its team of skilled professionals / shaved monkeys in a cellar to satisfy your request. Of course there's a price to pay - anywhere between $25 - $40 an hour for most of the low-key tasks, billed per five minute block.
One of the more interesting services Solvate offers is available to business and individuals - "customer service haggling". Effectively Solvate acts as your agent, bartering to get you a better deal because you're not confident enough or don't have enough hours in the day to stick it to The Man:
"When you're on hold or negotiating with customer service, that's 20 minutes of your day you can't get back. From optimizing cell phone plans to making your case for a refund on a canceled vacation, we are prepared with the diligence, perseverance and right tone to follow up and get you the best possible result."
Solvate is a US company, which perhaps explains why they're counting on a degree of apathy to drive sales, and maybe why they don't realise they sound like a wallpaper paste. But what sort of business uses the service? Larger companies employ enough staff to dredge through the minutiae, and smaller companies would surely want to tackle all but the more specialist jobs themselves to keep costs down?
The haggling service, though - that's something every Bitterwallet reader can relate to. Is it a service you would pay a third party for, or do the British derive far too much enjoyment from complaining themselves?