Need a concierge? AskSunday has one around the clock
AskSunday puts personal assistants on standby to perform your research and other tasks.
Can't afford a personal secretary? It doesn't take much to outsource your life, at least for a few errands. Ask Sunday (also here) promises to answer your pressing questions by phone or e-mail in about an hour through its agents.
The New York City-based service asks for a monthly fee upfront of between $29 for 30 incidents or $49 for 50 requests. With that out of the way, you can share your passwords for services including Zipcar and Amazon, just in case your questions might involve renting a car or buying a book. You'll also fill out details for contacts as well as preferred airlines and hotels, complete with their rewards plans if relevant.
I started with an easy question via e-mail: which hotels in San Francisco offer Wi-Fi in their lobbies, not just in the rooms? I received a confirmation note within 10 minutes. I didn't request a rush job of 60 minutes or less, so I prepared to wait up to 72 hours. But within less than two hours, an AskSunday agent from New York e-mailed me a list of 10 hotels, addresses and phone numbers included, where I could chill in the lobby with a laptop. One entry warned of a weak signal, saving me from stomping over there. I'm not sure if that's an exhaustive or fully accurate list, but it looked like a great start. There was more information than I asked for, such as exact prices for the seven hotels that make you pay for wireless Internet.
However, having been raised by the maxim that if you want to do something right, then do it yourself, I recommend that you choose your questions wisely. How many things can you really not answer yourself in between an hour to 72 hours through some clever Googling? And if you need to change a dental appointment, for instance, it takes probably takes more time for you to send an e-mail to AskSunday and wait for a reply than it would to pick up the phone and call the doctor.
Still, this seems like a great service for a busy parent or businessperson juggling too much to handle so much minutia themselves. DoMyStuff, by contrast, will handle in-person errands as well. AskSunday's parent company Sunday LLC, only does that in the Big Apple. It charges additionally by the hour to provide tech support, travel bookings, and other services. There will likely be many more customized personal assistant services cropping up in the future, providing new gigs for those who want to moonlight as digital researchers.