Handymen husbands for rent in Argentina

October 13th, 2008 - 11:34 am ICT by IANS  

Buenos Aires, Oct 13 (IANS) Any woman can get a husband at an hourly rate in Buenos Aires, thanks to a company offering to do the repairs and installations that every home needs, and all “without problems in the bedroom”.Husband for Rent is a successful Argentine company that for 50 pesos ($15.50) an hour will undertake domestic chores for women who don’t have a “handyman” around the house, the Spanish news agency EFE reported.

“Tired of your husband leaving you with all the household upkeep? And you, are you tired of your wife nagging at you to do 1,001 repairs? Stop arguing right now,” the company says on its Web site.

The firm provides its long list of clients, mostly single or divorced women or widows, with a whole catalogue of electrical and electronic repairs, carpentry and plumbing jobs - although the company’s name has caused more than one misunderstanding among potential clients.

“Some don’t get it and have made me insinuations, but I just do my job. Once a woman called at 3 o’clock in the morning to say she needed a man,” the company’s owner, Daniel Alonso, told Efe.

According to the businessman, one of the craziest moments he has had with his company was when a male prostitute sent him an e-mail saying that if he couldn’t cope with all his female clients, “he could help him with the jobs”.

“And once a woman left a message on the answering service saying that “my name is Cristina, I am 56 and need a complete servicing”, Alonso said.

The entrepreneur said that these and similar stories have given Husband for Rent a blacklist of people who are not answered when they call.

The odd anecdotes have been accumulating since 12 years ago, when Daniel, an electronics technician, started the company with his wife, a key figure in its foundation.

“It all began when an elderly neighbour asked my wife if she could borrow her husband. It occurred several times until my wife answered: ‘I’ll rent him to you.’ And so the name of the company was born,” said Alonso, who claims to have 2,000 clients.

The company’s impact was so great that more than one firm wanted to use the same system. “I’ve presented several letters and documents because they have tried to copy my service. I even registered the name so clients wouldn’t mistake our service for someone else’s,” the 56-year-old Alonso said.

“The name is important, but the service is also very good because I do repairs in all sectors. Working in several companies gave me the experience and know-how to do all kinds of repairs,” he said.

Alonso recommends that his clients call him when they have a number of jobs to do, “because the first hour is charged complete but starting with the second hour we start charging by fractions of an hour.”

In his opinion, the possibility of doing several different repairs for a client is one of the secrets of his success, since it turns out to be a good deal for both sides.

“It gives me more hours of work and for the client it’s cheaper than calling an electrician, a plumber and a carpenter individually,” he said.

So the technician can begin repairing a lamp, then go on to plane some doors, install a telephone system and even fix up a piece of furniture that was about to be thrown out.

“Satisfied?” Alonso asks after finishing each job. And he says that most answers are in the affirmative.

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