Yesterday, I wrote about how my wife and I use PayTrust to completely automate our household bill payments. Before I could start using PayTrust, I needed to have our bills sent to our new PayTrust PO Box.
I created a spreadsheet listing all the bills we received each month, as well as the ministries we financially support (since they send us receipts in the mail each month and I wanted PayTrust to handle that mail for us). In all, we had about 30 companies that would need to send mail to our new address. We needed to change our address with our doctors, dentists, utility companies, ministries, AAA membership, credit cards, banks, etc.
It was a Friday afternoon, and I decided I would just go down the list and call each one on my spreadsheet. I figured I could get it done in a couple hours if I just powered through it. I started by calling AAA. I needed to change the address for our membership, car insurance, and home owner’s insurance with AAA. The rep I talked to had a hard time with the PO box number (apparently, PayTrust uses a really long PO box number). After a few transfers, some hold time, and quite a bit of frustration on my part, that call took over 45 minutes. I quickly realized I wasn’t going to call all 30 of these companies myself and maintain any sense of sanity.
I decided to use a task-based virtual assistant service called Fancy Hands to change the addresses for us. I signed up for their service that afternoon and created a new task for each company I wanted them to call for me. For each task, I basically wrote “I need you to contact this company and change my mailing address to PO Box…” and gave them the address.
As I finished creating the tasks, it was approaching 3:00 in the afternoon, and I had planned to meet up with a friend. I closed my laptop and enjoyed the next few hours with my friend while I hoped Fancy Hands was calling all my utility companies for me.
I got home later that night to find that almost half of the tasks had been successfully completed (address successfully changed!). Some had notes stating that the companies were closed for the day, but the Fancy Hands assistant would follow up for me on Monday to change our address. The remaining few needed my permission (our banks and credit cards). For those, I messaged Fancy Hands back and told them to patch me into a call on Monday and I’d verbally authorize the change.
I was floored! In the 3 hours that I was hanging out with my buddy, Fancy Hands had called a dozen companies for me and handled the process of changing my mailing address, all with no interaction from me.
Now, I use Fancy Hands for all sorts of random tasks. They even edited this blog article before I posted it.
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