I’ve once voiced how much I hated being on the phone, and that I am so relieved and appreciative when there’s an option to take care of business online. Because my dislike of talking on the phone is so strong, I often find myself delaying uninteresting matters, including phone calls to insurance companies, dealing with pesky fee reversals, you name it. In extreme cases, sometimes I put the uninteresting matters off for so long, that they never get done, and then I beat myself up over it. It’s a vicious cycle.
Last week while I was at the House of Miles, I had a chance to sit down for drinks with Mark, who is part of the BoardingArea.com team. He and I were casually talking about ways to improve productivity over a game of bar bingo when he mentioned that our very own Jeanne (of Heels First Travels) swore by a personal assistant “monthly subscription” program called FancyHands that can take care of all of the boring tasks I hate doing.
I was definitely intrigued, so I immediately did research and jumped on the band-wagon. For $45 a month to save hours of my time and sanity, I was instantly drawn in. What’s even better was that I got 50% off of my first month because I was referred by a friend.
The second I got my confirmation email, I wasted no time putting my assistants to “work”.
The first thing I did was have them call several credit card customer service lines to straighten things out and remove some fees that have slipped under the radar.
- There were a few foreign transaction fees on my Club Carlson Visa from when I made charges at the Radisson Blu Aruba (yes, even when the transaction was in US dollars). Result=reversed.
- There was a late fee (oops) on my Chase Ink Plus because I submitted my payment just a few hours after my payment was due. Result=waived.
- I wanted to see the status of my 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles that came as a sign-up bonus with the Citi Executive AAdvantage MasterCard. Result=miles will be sent out May 22.
- I wanted to see where the heck my retention bonus from my Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa was. Result=manually posted.
Next, I had them deal with all of my health insurance nonsense that I have been putting off forever. They were even able to fax in some claim forms for me as well.
The good thing about this service is that it’s done through a system where the FancyHands “assistants” don’t have direct access to your personal credit card information, passwords, or other sensitive materials. When calling about a credit card, they set up nature of the call, patch you in for security verification (after they hang up), and then your solution is taken care of.
The best part of it all is that once you submit your task, they are ON IT immediately, and send you detailed follow ups after the calls for your records.
My “package” is $45 a month, and includes 15 tasks (unused tasks roll over to the next months too). I was able to earn a handful of additional tasks just by doing things such as filling out a more detailed profile, connecting my Facebook account, etc.
Dad is making fun of me saying I am lazy. I, on the other hand, think it is sheer genius. Not only have I outsourced things that have been holding space in my barely-there memory, I also feel like I am fueling my productivity overall. Seriously, look how much time I have saved so far:
Have you tried FancyHands before? If so, I’d love to hear about some of the requests you’ve made.
On the other hand, if you’re interested in giving it a try, a referral link gets you 50% off of your first month. Here’s my link to sign up. When someone uses my link, I get some credits to use on tasks. You may also leave your link in the comments
Oh… and I’ll have to admit…it does sound kind of neat when you get patched into a call and you hear, “Ms. Aucello, I have your personal assistant on the other line, I just wanted to verify that you have my permission to speak with her’… Do You Know Who I Am? ;).