NY Times retires Haggler column in Sunday biz section
The Sunday New York Times business section column called The Haggler designed to help consumers with problems with companies has ended, writes David Segal, who wrote the column.
Segal is now stationed in the London bureau.
He writes, “The idea — hardly original — was that those who felt they had been mistreated by a company or business interest could ask for help, and I would intervene. If a company was in the wrong, I tried to persuade it to offer a refund or another apt remedy.
“But on a few occasions, I haggled on my own behalf. That’s largely because the hardest part of writing the column was finding interesting conflicts and bizarre failures. And there weren’t many failures quite as bizarre as the United Parcel Service losing my passport.
To be clear, it wasn’t misplaced. Contradicting the law of conservation of mass, it seemed to disappear. A publicist said that U.P.S. employees had looked everywhere, including inside crannies in the Manhattan facility where the document was last spotted.
“I was peeved about my passport, but I also knew that the episode would make great column fodder. That was life as the Haggler. When a company botched a transaction, I couldn’t help but smell opportunity; those who wrote to me, naturally, were just plain irate, often with good cause.”
Read more here.