How It Works
We write made-to-order email or similar medium messages to help you with embarrassing, precarious, delicate, confusing, awkward or sticky interactions with people. We charge a flat rate of $20US per message.
You fill out our request submission form to give us the information we need and pay us. We receive the request and accept it or decline it. If declined, we refund you immediately. If accepted, we write your message and send it to you via a plain text email. It can then be copied and pasted into your messaging platform of choice.
We get back to you within 72 hours at most. Usually it’s a lot shorter than that.
We send you a plain text email. This means it has no special formatting and displays in your default font. It contains the text of the message we wrote for you and an email subject line if requested. You must copy and paste the message part into a new message to your recipient. If you opted to include all pertinent information in your request submission, this message will be ready to send, but if you decided to keep private identifying information such as your and the recipient’s names, you’ll have to fill that in yourself.
We do it this way because copying and pasting the text is the method that makes it easiest to keep the use of our service inconspicuous. If you’re sending an email, this way it will have whatever default formatting, headers, and signature your emails usually have, if any.
To be clear, do not just forward the email we send you to your recipient, and don’t hit forward and then try to edit it down to a normal looking email. You must copy and paste.
- PC: Click and drag to select the text you want to copy. Press Ctrl + C. Open a new message to your recipient, click in the main message field, and press Ctrl + V.
- Mac: Click and drag to select the text you want to copy. Press Command + C. Open a new message to your recipient, click in the main message field, and press Command + V.
- iOs: Tap and drag to select the text you want to copy. Tap ‘Copy.’ Open a new message to your recipient. Tap and hold in the main message field. Press ‘Paste.’
- Android: Tap and drag to select the text you want to copy. Tap and hold on the selected text. Select ‘Copy.’ Open a new message to your recipient. Tap and hold in the main message field. Press ‘Paste.’
No, we don’t do this. We would have to charge much more. We need you to give us all the information we need to write your message in your request form. We don’t typically ask for additional information.
If you’re not satisfied, please reply to the email that contained your delivered message and tell us what you’d like us to change or how you feel we misinterpreted your request. We will go through this process at most twice with you for each message request, at which time we will consider the request resolved. Because we spend time delivering a service to you that can’t be returned to us, we do not refund payments on accepted requests under any circumstances.
Message Style & Content
No, we don’t go there. Doing it well is a lot of work, which we’d have to charge for accordingly, and we honestly don’t think offering this would improve the quality of our service. It’s fine; the recipient will probably just think you’re making an effort or perhaps got some help – both of which are true, and shouldn’t embarrass you. We do keep fancy vocabulary and sentence structures to a minimum in most cases. We try to keep our diction pretty simple and clear, but thoughtful enough to not feel generic or impersonal.
We carefully evaluate your request and use our judgment to decide how long the message we write will be. Many requests fall in the realm of 1-2 paragraphs at 80-150 words each. Some are shorter and very few are longer. If we decide to write a short message, it’s not because we’re being lazy or don’t care. It’s because in our analysis of the situation, that was the best choice.
There are times when a rambling and quirky email is great, but odds are that when you’re coming to us, it’s not one of those times. We usually shoot for direct and on the plainspoken side without being terse. We’ll be as detailed and multipointed as the situation warrants, but going beyond that threshold is the definition of bad email etiquette, and we won’t do it. Demonstrating brevity and leaving conversational room for the person you’re writing to are powerful tools. They’re key to making sure that what is there gets read and considered.
Finally, a large part of what we do is evaluating what you’ve told us you’re struggling with and making some detached judgments on what’s actually most likely to lead to a positive outcome. You may be experiencing a churning inner world of turmoil and we may decide what’s really needed is a simple, even-handed gesture. That kind of message might feel short given everything you’re thinking and feeling, but it’s often very appropriate, and at the very least it’s hard to go too wrong with.
We can’t and won’t tell you how to feel. We do analyze what you’ve told us about your situation and your thoughts, feelings, and goals, and distill it down into a message that seems like the most honest, helpful and appropriate possible.
No, unless you’ve decided to keep pertinent information such as person or place names anonymous. If so we use brackets to show where something needs to be filled in, e.g. Dear [Recipient].
English only for both requests and messages at this time. We write in American spelling, grammar, and vocabulary because we’re American and would do a bad job faking it otherwise.
Good question, big topic.
The short answer is we think that thoughtful and measured use of our service can be empowering and beneficial, but that it also has potential for misuse or overuse.
For better or for worse, and whatever one’s take on the societal backstory is, we live in a world where people can find themselves stuck, unable, or badly positioned trying to navigate a tricky communication. We believe there’s no harm in offering an alternative to staying stuck, giving up, or doing it badly.
It is probably true that we got to this point due to a whole lot of factors that have warped our sense of self, community, and authentic social interaction, and replaced them with commodified, mediagenic imitations. It’s also true that the ultimate, society-level solution to these problems is not a service like ours, is probably more like the opposite, and probably involves a deep and critical look at how we’re living our lives and the choices we’re making as a civilization.
The catch is that we all have to live in the social era we’re in, too, and it’s basically a shitshow. We don’t want to be anyone’s Plan A, but sometimes you just need to move things forward. We strive to do our work compassionately and in a manner befitting a better world, so that maybe our clients need us less and not more.
There are also situations in life where you got roped in to a messy situation you never asked for and just don’t have the time, energy, or language skills to deal with. You want to move on but you need to have some difficult interaction with someone first that you don’t want to blow off. We can help make that problem go away.
Using our service when you feel flat-out unequipped or unable to write a message that needs writing is taking responsibility for your own life. The idea that every problem needs to be solved by hardening up and being more self-sufficient is a neat and tidy one, but leads to as much pathology in the world as anything. Implicit in that idea is that if a person just can’t do it by themselves they deserve whatever they get, which in our case usually is some combination of feeling stuck, ashamed, alienated, anxious, depressed, or awkward. We think the world needs less of that.
Maybe a little. But, the overwhelming pattern with requests we get is that as an outsider looking in, it’s pretty clear what needs to be said, difficult though it may be, and from there it’s only a matter of putting together the language to say it. Usually it’s the emotions that come with being caught up in the situation that are making it hard to parse out what to say, even though this can be impossible to see in the moment.
No, but we are good at discerning what’s nobody else’s business and strategically omitting it.
We always reserve the right, but the main reasons are if, at our discretion, we decide:
- We can’t help due to lack of clarity of the request or any other reason.
- The request is asking for something unethical, see below.
All declined requests are fully refunded within 72 hours of submission.
We will not shame, coerce, oppress, threaten, slander, or insult anyone. We will not use language or ideas that enact or condone sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, body shaming, bullying, or religious intolerance. We handle sex and romance with an eye towards positivity, honesty, empowerment, and consent, and will not enact or condone controlling, demeaning, entitled, or manipulative language or behavior. Basically we want to help people be good to each other.
No, we never do this.
Only our staff. Unless legally required we won’t disclose anything to anyone, including information from your request, the message we write you, and your identity. We will not reference this material, anonymously or otherwise, in any social media, media relations, or promotional material. This material will never be featured on our site as a sample.
No, we don’t run promotional emails or keep or sell email lists. We feel just because you patronize a business doesn’t mean that business should see themselves as being in an arms race for your attention forever. It makes us look askance at businesses that do it to us. We’re here as a tool when you need us and we’re willing to rely on good service to get you to remember us.
Yes, but what we won’t do is go to the site or app to read a recipient’s profile. Anything you want us to know about them and the situation has to be in your request submission form, which we do carefully read all of.
Because most of the time it’s a useful heuristic for the low-level social dynamics at hand. But, we don’t read too much into it, and we don’t pigeonhole people or relationships based on it.
Typically by a naked offer of accountability, free of any hubris or agenda, more so the worse the situation is. If you’re contacting someone to apologize for doing something that seriously violated their rights or boundaries, we’re not going to put anything in there that could be seen as an oblique justification for your behavior. But if you’re apologizing for screwing up their important dinner plans because your toddler was fresh out of clean shirts plus you had a panic attack, then it might be appropriate to touch on the mitigating circumstances.
We’re happy to write this kind of message but we’ll give you a tip for free: if at all possible and prudent to the situation, you’re almost always better off and more likely to be successful if you keep it short, light, and reasonably direct. Perhaps try to find a way, if you want to and can, to show a creative, thoughtful, and restrained deeper glimmer or suggestion of yourself and your feelings, but don’t go further than that if you’re messaging them cold, and feel free to skip it. Be confident. Being asked on a date or having interest expressed in a respectful and friendly way is something that available people don’t tend to be offended or put off by, but being bombarded with pent-up emotions is.
Even if it’s someone you know well and your feelings are deep and intense, there’s nothing to be gained by being florid about it. They’ll either be interested or they won’t be. They’ll almost certainly already know which. Hearing in exquisite detail how bad you have it for them is highly unlikely to be the factor that makes them give it a shot, but it sure can make things weird.
So in brief we recommend playing it pretty cool at first by keeping the message short and simple. Most of the time such messages commissioned from us will reflect that. There are times when spilling your guts a little more can be appropriate, but it takes some significant mitigating factors.
No, we don’t write this kind of message, and will decline and refund any such request we get. Move on, seriously.
For the most part, yes. Please do tell us all you can about it in your request submission form.
This is a tricky topic, to say the least. In no way do we believe we’re writing from some kind of neutral cultural baseline. At the end of the day though, we’re good at listening to what you tell us and deriving a message that’s faithful in spirit.
Usually, yes. We pretty much expect it.