Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 7th 2017 Contents A36 world
guardian.co.tt Sunday, May 7, 2017
Would you pay
a stranger to
partner for you?
Would you pay someone to break
up with your partner for you?
That's exactly what 28-year-old
Trevor Meyers did.
"I felt like it was easier for someone
else to take care of an awkward sit-
uation like a break-up," says Trevor,
who lives in Canada.
He has used the services of a com-
pany called The Breakup Shop more
than once to end relationships.
You can choose to pay a stranger to
send a text, email or good old-fash-
ioned letter to the person you are
breaking up with. Or they can call
your soon-to-be-ex to tell them it's
"I used The Breakup Shop to end
a couple of short-term things when
things just didn't mesh with the way
I live my life," says Trevor.
"Overall I think they [those bro-
ken-up with] get it---it's pretty sim-
ple. I haven't had to use it often but
I'm glad there is a service for it now."
The Breakup Shop was founded by
Canadian brothers Evan and Macken-
zie Keast in November 2015.
The idea for the site came about
when Mackenzie was "ghosted" by
a woman. This is the term for when
someone disappears from the life of
a person they were previously dating
or in a relationship with.
"She stopped responding to mes-
sages and phone calls, she totally
disappeared. She didn't have the
courage to break up with him herself,"
Within a week, The Breakup Shop
Prices range from ten Canadian dol-
lars (£6) for a text or email, to C$80
for a "Breakup Gift Box"
, which in-
cludes cookies and wine.
While the messages can be per-
sonalised, Evan is keen to stress the
company would never relay anything
"offensive or damaging"
Over the past 18 months, the broth-
ers have ended "hundreds and hun-
dreds" of relationships while also
working full-time jobs in technology
and property development.
Evan acknowledges that some peo-
ple are uncomfortable with the idea
of The Breakup Shop but says times
"We're living in an age of fast com-
munication," he says. "Everything is
sudden and abrupt, it's how the next
Dr Bernie Hogan, a research fel-
low at Oxford University's Internet
Institute, says the process of ending
relationships has evolved in line with
the shifting way they are formed.
"People don't have a context in
common with their partners any-
more. When you meet someone on
the internet or via a dating app, they
aren't friends of friends or colleagues
to whom you are connected. So when
the relationship ends there isn't the
added complexity of mutual friends
to deal with," he says.
This explains how ghosting can
happen, as it's easier to make a clean
So perhaps using a third party to
end a relationship is better than not
officially ending it at all, but Dr Hogan
says it is still very much a "violation
Though paying someone to break
up with your partner may not be to
everyone's taste, it's not the only per-
sonal task that you can pay someone
else to do.
You don't get much more personal
than sending a hand-written letter or
thank you card. In this age of digital
communication, such correspond-
ence is becoming increasingly rare.
Finding the time to write letters or
even having stationery and a stamp
to hand can be tricky. So how about
getting a machine to do it for you?
Sonny Caberwal is chief executive
of Bond, a company that has devel-
oped a machine that can hold a pen
and write. It can even learn your own
style of handwriting.
The average price for a note is
around $5 (£4) and customers can
send in the text to be transcribed from
their computer, tablet or smartphone.
Sonny says customers range from
recently married couples needing
help thanking their guests for wed-
ding gifts, through to business people
who travel too much to make it to the
While this novel use of technology
is decidedly James Bond-esque, the
famous spy isn't actually the inspira-
tion behind the name of the company.
"The whole idea of the company
was about creating beautiful expe-
riences that bond people," says Sonny.
"Our target customers are the peo-
ple that love writing notes but sim-
ply don't have the time to write them
Photo courtesy BBC
Links Archive May 6th 2017 May 8th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page