"We'd like readers to send in their complaints about specific transactions that have gone haywire: outrageous cell phone bills, airline ticket trouble, car rental nightmares — you get the idea," the NYT said in a tiny story published on Tuesday. "The Haggler will then call the company, get to the bottom of what happened, and, with any luck, right a wrong."
The NYT has mentioned only two rules:
Your run in needs to be recent and not so awful that it calls for lawyer or a police officer.
Keep it brief -- three or four sentences ought to do it — profanity-free and avoid the all caps key because IT MAKES YOU SEEM CRAZY."We'll run your letter, or parts of it," the NYT says, "and then describe the Haggler's efforts to win justice for all."
Sounds great, right? The powerful NYT solving your battles with Time Warner Cable about that defective remote, getting you a refund from JetBlue for that cancelled flight...you get the idea. It's a tried-and-true ratings grabber on television, and the NYT clearly hopes that The Haggler will become a part of the paper's newly-interactive, reader-friendly approach.
But there's just one pesky problem: "The Haggler" is not the right name. A "haggler," as we all know, is someone who does battle with a seller over price. And this column is clearly not about haggling.
Here are the dictionary definitions of "haggle" that we found at dictionary.com:
1. To bargain in a petty, quibbling and often contentious manner: They spent hours haggling over the price of fish.
2. To wrangle, dispute, or cavil: The senators haggled interminably over the proposed bill.
We like the idea of the column. It sounds like fun and we applaud the NYT for not being all stuffy and pretentious about a offering a public service to consumers.
But we feel it necessary to call out the NYT on this misnamed enterprise. Back to the boards, guys. There's a better name out there.
It takes hours to come up with the perfect name; trust us, we know. This website isn't called grayladydown.com. for a reason.