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Posts Tagged ‘Verizon’

Will the Public Love Verizon’s Valentine’s Day Phone?

Verizon Today is the first day of February, which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. The public views Valentine’s Day as a symbol of everything that is both right and wrong with our society. Love deserves a day of celebration, but no one should have to choose between buying a bunch of overpriced nicknacks and sleeping on the couch.

Nevertheless, the commercialization of Valentine’s Day is an unstoppable beast, so we all must comes to terms with it on a personal level. There will always be people who embrace holidays with a fervor and passion that requires decorating the banister, dressing the dog in a ridiculously-themed holiday outfit and wearing a gaudy sweater that commemorates the occasion as only an uncle with a steel plate in his head can.

So we can’t blame Verizon for wanting to cash in on the Valentine’s Day bonanza. There will be plenty of people eager to buy the brand’s hot pink Valentine’s Day edition Motorola Droid RAZR M, which comes with a holiday discount for $50. So if hot pink is your thing (or your significant other’s thing), then this is the phone for you this Valentine’s Day.

But is this a step too far?

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Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

T-Mobile Partners with Major League Baseball, Hawks Opening Day Tickets

T-Mobile Major League Baseball PartnershipWhile scrolling through my Twitter feed this morning, the first thing to jump out at this Boston Red Sox fan (Did I just alienate half our readers? Hello? Are you still there?) was a promoted tweet from T-Mobile that read:

Intrigued, I followed the link to a sweepstakes-entrance Facebook page run by T-Mobile, which announces in the wireless provider’s familiar pink, white, and black: “T-Mobile takes the field as the official wireless partner of Major League Baseball.” At first, still in my early morning/longing-for-baseball-season stupor, I just scrolled down to check out the entrance form. A few sips of tea later, the PR-oriented part of my brain kicked in and said, “Wait, what?”

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More Companies Raising Prices

Three more companies have announced that they are raises prices on their goods or services: Starbucks is raising prices by one percent on some items across the Northeast and Sunbelt; Denny’s is raising prices three to five percent this year; and Delta is adding a $3 charge on flights between the U.S. and Europe.

Word of these price hikes started coming out late yesterday, yet it hasn’t been met with the same level of consumer rancor that the Verizon or Bank of America fee proposals did. What gives? We have a few thoughts.

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Verizon Fee Goes Bye-Bye

We wondered how long this would last. Answer: about 24 hours.

That’s how long it took Verizon to back down from its absurd plan to charge wireless customers $2 for each one-time payment made online or over the phone, a.k.a, in Verizon parlance, the “convenience fee.”

The announcement was made in a press release on the Verizon website. According to the statement, they’re dumping the fee following “customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions.” In other words, the company was being skewered on social media and in the press and decided the $2 wasn’t worth the bad buzz and negative business consequences. Sounds very familiar.

According to The Huffington Post, there was online outcry, petitions, and even talk of an FCC investigation. Rather than charging the fee, the company says it will encourage customers to use one of the existing payment options. The fee was meant to go into effect in January.

Verizon Learned Nothing from BofA, Will Charge ‘Convenience Fee’

A leaked memo posted on Engadget reveals Verizon’s plan to start charging customers $2 for each one-time online payment or bill payment over the phone on January 15. Verizon confirms this ridiculous plan. And they’re calling it a “convenience fee.”

Remember the uproar when Bank of America tried to charge $5 for debit card purchases? Apparently, Verizon doesn’t. Ultimately, BofA had to dump the plan because of the backlash and other banks, taking a hint, decided to dump theirs as well.

Both Engadget and CNET suggest alternatives to charging a fee, such as stiffer late fee penalties and (gasp!) a reward for loyal customers who sign up for an automatic bill pay.

Charging people more when they’re recovering from holiday spending during a tough economic period is simply wrong-headed. It’s made even more so when telecom companies were among those on a “most-hated” list published just a couple of months ago. Folks on Twitter and on blogs are already complaining. Moreover, this is happening while service outages are a problem. Let’s see how long this lasts.

Research Finds Women Really Like Gaming Apps

The Sims Social, a new online game, is coming to Facebook.

Research over the past three months conducted by Women at NBCU’s Brand Power Index found that more women than men have at least one gaming app on their smartphone; 75 percent of women versus 67 percent of men. Women be gaming!

Moreover, the research showed that those brands that offered games during that time period saw a spike in their Brand Index score. For instance, Stouffer’s launched a game on Facebook, “Farmer’s Harvest” in Farmville, with promotions and moved up from number 363 to number 303.

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IPad 2: The Postmortem to the Big Reveal

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introducing the latest version of the iPad today in San Francisco. Photo: REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

So after all the hype, the fact is I was all-in even if Apple brought out a dancing monkey and told me it was the new iPad.

Okay, let’s review. It’s thinner, faster, comes in white, and, yes, it’s Verizon-capable. Some tech writers dig itSome writers suspect the minor upgrades – which also includes two cameras – are only the beginning. And it’s the same price point! Other writers…you can’t please them.

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IPad Part Deux: Better…Faster…Stronger?

Is this the new iPad? Image via Business Insider

Pardon my excitement, but Apple‘s big reveal today (at 1pm ET)with the new and improved iPad will have everyone abuzz. Yes, there were the haters when the iPad 1.0 jumped on the scene. But within months we learned this sleek piece of machinery was fun to play with and, dare I say it, special.

So today, Apple will show us what’s next. If you can’t wait any longer, Gizmodo breaks down the details on how they are expanding and potentially improving the iPad. And Business Insider has what could be some leaked photos.

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Amazon Kindle Jumps 216 Spots on NBCU Index

Amazon‘s Kindle has jumped more than 200 spots on the Women at NBCU monthly brand index, which measures the brands most important to women. The October data puts the Kindle at number 170, a huge leap from its previous spot at number 386. The move coincides with the brand’s October campaign, “Buy Once, Read Everywhere,” which introduces new Kindle features. Click the video above for the campaign ad.

Also notable, was Verizon‘s move to number three, attributed to its campaign for the iPad, which became available at Verizon stores last month. AT&T also moved up a spot to number seven because of iPad availability. Taking the top two spots are Walmart and Target, respectively.

Finally, cause marketing made an impact with Hershey’s (which also experienced a Halloween jolt), Toys’ R’ Us, and Walgreens all moving up in a month where they had donations and other charitable programs.