26% Of AT&T iPhone Customers Planning To Switch To Verizon

A recent survey done by ChangeWave Research indicates that more than one-in-four, about 26% to be exact, will switch to the new iPhone 4 within 90 days of Verizon releasing the phone later this month.

During the survey, ChangeWave Research also interviewed people from other wireless networks, 15% of T-Mobile and 10% of Sprint said they had plans on switching wireless providers in the next six months. Almost unanimously, AT&T users complained that there wireless coverage was poor or dropped calls, and was thus the reason for there explanation on switching. Since the introduction of the iPhone on AT&T users have not stopped complaining about customer service and coverage problems in their area.

The data also suggests that within the first year of the iPhone’s Verizon launch another 31% of AT&T customers will be switching carriers to the new Verizon iPhone.

AT&T though has one tiny bright spot to be somewhat proud of, their dropped calls reduced from 6% to 4.7%, which is a pretty significant drop, compared to Verizon’s 1.7% of dropped calls. The findings suggest AT&T is now taking concrete steps to try to improve long-standing service issues. It is not doubt that the Verizon iPhone is causing a major shift in the wireless industry, and for the moment all that momentum clearly favors Verizon.

Since the AT&T iPhone launch, all networks fell in shame of AT&T’s shadow, until now. With the upcoming sale of the iPhone 4 on Verizon the wireless revolution may be at a change for the better, we are already seeing predictions from a CDMA iPad to be coming soon as well. This is also wonderful news for any customer of AT&T because more people switching means less traffic on the network and the phone lines will open up and hopefully not drop anymore calls.

Only time can tell now what happens to the Verizon iPhone.

Xero

There should be an image here!If you’re like me, managing your finances isn’t exactly your favorite thing to do. Some of us have developed bad habits in this area and haven’t been as on top of things as we should be. Of course, in these interesting economic times, we’re all basically forced to keep a closer eye on what’s coming in and what’s going out of our bank accounts. Whether you’re keeping track of personal or business finances (or maybe even both), it doesn’t make sense to use complicated desktop software when you can use the easy online accounting system from Xero.

The dashboard provides full visibility into how your financial health is doing with all of the charts and numbers that you need. For businesses, you can keep track of your individual customer contacts to make sure that they’re current with their payments, and full invoicing functionality is included. Real-time reporting is also a part of the service, and your accountants and advisors can login to get the latest information. Like it or not, it’s time to crunch those numbers.

Dell Shipping Faulty Computers

There should be an image here!Dell is not the company that it was in the ’90s. There is really no question of this considering the poor customer service, subpar products provided, and apparent lack of interest in what its customers want.

Then, as if to drive the point further, we see an article like this. Dell allegedly sold faulty computers to a multitude of outlets and customers. It seems that there were faulty capacitors involved and the talk on the street is Dell knew of this all along.

Clearly this is not the kind of PR Dell needs at the moment; it should be interesting to see if it makes like Toyota and deals with this head on or, instead, hides behind excuses. I expect that it will eventually have to deal with this head on.

[Photo above by ammanteufel / CC BY-ND 2.0]

MerchantCircle

Business professional networking is an important yet sometimes neglected aspect of social networking. Business professionals who invest time and energy in tools like LinkedIn can have great results, and these results show that the tools are legitimate and valuable. While the practice of business professionals networking online is nothing new, businesses on their own aren’t always included in the fun. Resources like the Yellow Pages may give you some basic business information, but MerchantCircle makes business listings social.

If you have a business, then it would be worth your time to see what kind of exposure MerchantCircle can give you. As you would expect, all of the basic business information is here, but it’s the social functionality that helps the listings go above and beyond. For example, Facebook integration is present, customers can write reviews, a blog can be created, special coupons can be shared, and so on. As a business owner, you can also share your expertise by responding to questions from potential customers. This enables you to position yourself as a thought leader, which will bring benefits for years to come.

BetaEasy

In this social media environment, your users expect to be heard. Before all of this craziness began, people were sort of afraid to communicate with companies, but now anyone can do it through Twitter, a blog, and so on. The tables have turned and the users are in charge, which is a fact that is going straight to all of our heads. With that said, pretty much everyone will tell you that it’s important to listen to your users, and that’s very good advice. Whether you’re looking to involve your users in a beta test or just want customer feedback on what you’re doing, BetaEasy has a service that can help.

BetaEasy has options that work with Web sites and desktop applications. The feedback portion in particular makes it easy for anyone and everyone to speak their mind. Users can request features, vote on other submitted features, submit bug info, and make general comments. These discussions are threaded, so a real conversation can take place among a group of people. Once you have the feedback, you’ll just need to implement what works, which is sometimes easier said than done.

FTC To BlueHippo: You Have Duped 35,000 Consumers And That Is Enough!

I originally wrote about BlueHippo and the allegations that were brought against the company back on July 16, 2007 [here] and again on June 5, 2009 [here] when BlueHippo was fined $5 million dollars by the FTC. But now the FTC is filing new charges against BlueHippo, which includes the fact that some 35,000 consumers have been duped by BlueHippo into believing the company was a legitimate business. The charges, which can be read in a court filing by the FTC, linked below, make some  starling revelations about how BlueHippo functions.

The court document states:

Declaring “BlueHippo to the Rescue,” defendants BlueHippo Funding, LLC, BlueHippo Capital, LLC (collectively, “BlueHippo”) and their owner Joseph K. Rensin (together with BlueHippo, “Contempt Defendants”) aggressively market BlueHippo as a company in the business of financing computers to credit-challenged consumers. In reality, BlueHippo is in no such business. In fact, in the year following entry of this Court’s Stipulated Final Judgment and Order for a Permanent Injunction (“Order”), BlueHippo financed – at most – a single computer to the over 35,000 consumers who had contracted with BlueHippo in time to receive computers by year’s end.

Ironically, while BlueHippo failed to finance computers for these duped consumers – those same consumers financed BlueHippo with more than $15 million in payments. Contempt Defendants not only lie about the nature of BlueHippo’s business, but also about when and whether consumers would receive merchandise once consumers meet all of their onerous conditions.

Moreover, adding insult to injury, consumers desperate to get out of Contempt Defendants’ money pit find that Blue Hippo’s “store credit” refund policy contains onerous conditions that were not disclosed when they placed their orders. Contempt Defendant’s failure to disclose these conditions to any of the company’s more than 61,000 post-Order customers, who in total paid BlueHippo more than $21 million, also violates the Order.

If these allegations are true, one would hope that the FTC would be able to seize all of the assets of the company and pay back the money to the victims of this scam.

Have you ordered a computer from BlueHippo? If so what has your experience been? Are these allegations true?

Comments welcome.

Complete filing by the FTC against BlurHippo in .pdf format

Timetonote

If you’re involved in a business, then you’re almost definitely talking to people on a continual basis. For a lot of people, their job description means that they can basically talk on the phone with or send e-mails to a variety of people for the entire day, but communicating with them is just the beginning of what needs to be done. Whether you’re talking to customers, vendors, or anyone else for that matter, it’s important to record the details so that at any moment you or anyone else in your company can see the history of your communication with them. CRM (customer relationship management) software is ideal for this, and Timetonote puts the power of CRM in your hands.

If you’re not currently using some sort of CRM solution, then you know how crazy things can get when you’re trying to track down details in multiple e-mail messages, etc. The truth of the matter is that you will save time if you use Timetonote. When your entire team is involved, you can see recent history, find out who has talked to who, discover what was said, see upcoming tasks, and so on. Since Timetonote is totally free and the developers promise that this will continue to be true forever, you really have no excuse to not try managing information in this way.

Qwest Wireless Customers – Get Another Plan

Qwest is giving their wireless customers 60 days to find another carrier. According to a press release the company states that their current customers can switch over to Verizon and keep some of their perks. However, their company also offers some other suggestions on their web site which include the following information:

Qwest will discontinue all Qwest Wireless service on Oct. 31, 2009.

· There is no early termination fee when disconnecting Qwest Wireless service.

· Qwest Wireless phone numbers are portable. Customers who switch to a new service provider, prior to Oct. 31, 2009, will be able to transfer their wireless phone numbers to the new service provider.

· Qwest is an authorized agent for Verizon Wireless. Qwest Wireless customers who select Verizon Wireless as their provider can take advantage of combined billing and exclusive handset offers from Verizon Wireless.

· In September and October, when Qwest Wireless customers who have not changed wireless service providers make a call, they will be routed to a live Qwest service representative, who will remind customers that Qwest is discontinuing Qwest Wireless service and a new service provider needs to be selected. Once the customer service communication is complete, calls will be connected as dialed.

It seems that Quest is just posting this reminder to those Qwest customers that haven’t made the switch to Verizon. If you fall into this category you may wish to make the switch before the deadline.

Source

Microsoft Will Provide Windows 7 Testers A Copy – But There Is A Catch

Originally Microsoft had decided that those who received an invitation to beta test Windows 7, would not be getting a free copy of Windows 7. But there were so many angry complaints that Microsoft has changed their mind. But there is a catch. Only those who were invited to test the new Windows will receive a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate.

On the Windows Blog it states that:

To show our appreciation, members of the invitation-only Windows 7 Technical Beta Program will be eligible for a free, final copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. For more information on how to take advantage of this, refer to Paul’s post in the .Beta_Program newsgroup for details.

Further details are forth coming.

Comments as always are welcome.

Source.

Magic Jack – A Recession Winner

Magic Jack seems to be on a roll and the roll could make the folks at Magic Jack over $100 Million this year. So what makes Magic Jack so attractive? How about local and long distance calls for as little as $20 a year. Who is buying Magic Jack? Will according to a recent article it is the older people who are trying to save a few bucks.

The company is selling about 9,000 to 10,000 MagicJacks a day, according to Borislow, and customers are using about 500 million minutes a month. The company will do more than $100 million in sales this year, Borislow says, and is cash-flow positive.

Who’s buying MagicJacks? Many older people, so far, especially in retiree or seasonal-living states like California and Florida. (The company’s average customer is over age 50.) And about 20% of its customers are overseas — ex-pats or foreigners who want to make cheap calls with America.

But Magic Jack has a few other tricks up their sleeves:

But MagicJack is working on cool, new tech, too: A wireless base station for your home called a “femtocell” that lets you use your GSM cellphone — perhaps even Apple’s iPhone — with MagicJack’s service. The company also promises that number portability — get your current number to work with MagicJack — is coming this year.

There is another interesting point on how Magic Jack makes their money. The folks at Magic Jack get their numbers for free while others have to buy them. When a customer from another phone company calls a Magic Jack client, Magic Jack gets to bill the other company. Nice.

Comments welcome.

Source.

Yahoo Fires First Shot Across Google’s Bow

Remember Yahoo? They are the original company that started the entire search thing on the Internet. They are also the company that Microsoft threatens to buy weekly. Now with a new CEO at the helm they are now getting serious and have decided to become a leader once again. But is it too late? I believe so.

Yahoo is kind of like Dell, GM, Chrysler and others that have lost their way. Their new CEO says that:

So today I’m rolling out a new management structure that I believe will make Yahoo! a lot faster on its feet. For us working at Yahoo!, it means everything gets simpler. We’ll be able to make speedier decisions, the notorious silos are gone, and we have a renewed focus on the customer. For you using Yahoo! every day, it will better enable us to deliver products that make you say, “Wow.”

I always love those ‘focus on the customer’ statements. That is what it is all about. So why do companies need to pay someone millions to find this out?

I think the shot that Yahoo is firing is from the Titanic. Using the ‘WOW’ word is a no-no after looking at what has happened to Vista.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source.

Zopim

Do you care about your community and customers? You should. Many businesses treat their customers as a group and don’t consider the individuals within that group, but they should be making an effort to connect with each person in some way. One of the best ways to do this is to simply respond to them when they contact you. You can turn someone into a fan for life by just doing that. For a visitor or customer, there’s nothing more infuriating than when their messages are ignored. Therefore, you should be trying to make your company as accessible as possible. Zopim offers a chat bar that can be embedded on your Web site so that visitors can chat with you directly.

This instant communication is especially pleasing to your visitors. The chat bar is not intrusive at all, and you can route the messages to your IM client so that they’re easy to keep track of an respond to. Additionally, you can also have other people from the company get involved in the conversations. Far from being just a communication tool, Zopim even offers detailed analytics about who’s visiting your site. Try it out and see how your visitors react.

CrowdSound

Are you listening to your customers, users, or visitors? If you’re not, then your offering may not be around for very long. For many years, the standard in business has been to talk to your customers as a whole without actually listening to them collectively or as individuals. This just doesn’t fly anymore. Social media has made it much easier for businesses to actually communicate with their customers, but not everyone has accepted this new reality. With a little work in this area, customers can be kept happy and products can be greatly improved due to the feedback that is received from users. CrowdSound is a great first step for companies interested in finding out what their customers have to say.

No matter who you are, as long as you’re building something for people, CrowdSound will prove to be useful for you. By using their widget, your community can make suggestions and vote them up or down together. Their comments shed even more light on the suggestions, and you can even specify the status of them to show that you really are listening. The service becomes more useful with a paid account, but the free version will get you started.

Earthlink Wants Dial-Up Customers Only

Earthlink is going back to basics. The company has tried several failed ventures involving broadband and now has decided to start gathering dial-up customers. It seems that Earthlink has a plan to buy customers from other ISP’s who don’t want dial-up since it is not as lucrative as broadband. But will this work?

According to this article, here is what Earthlink plans:

Plagued by an eroding customer base, EarthLink has managed to stay afloat — and even turn a profit in the first quarter after losing $135 million in 2007 — by slashing its work force in half and abandoning two failed ventures. Now, it’s crunch time. CEO Rolla Huff is banking the company’s future on the very thing that has caused trouble in the first place: dial-up.

Hello?

Huff has been saying for months he is serious. He has argued that he can’t stop losing customers to broadband but what he can do is buy dial-up subscribers from other companies that don’t want them and build a critical mass.

It’s unclear whether that strategy will work.

“The old core Internet service provider business that was central to EarthLink and AOL is really fading away and drying up,” said Lydia Leong, an analyst for Gartner, an information technology research company in Stamford, Conn. “They are a company with declining fare and declining brand equity.”

Interesting. While the world switches to broadband, Earthlink wants to go backwards and use dial-up customers to try and stop its decline. What next. American Airlines bringing back the steam locomotive? :-)

What do you think? Is Earthlink on the right track? Or are they dreaming the dream?

Comments welcome.

Source.

What A Boring Day – Yawn!

I consider a boring day for myself  is when I struggle to find something to write about. The technology news today revolvers mainly around the release of Apple’s new 3G iphone. I read a few dozen articles which complained about activation problems. There was also many complaints about those not being able to update their firmware on their older iPhones. Apple was blamed for slow servers.

Then there was a story about the iTune servers being down as well. I am sure if this has anything to do with activating a 3G phone.  But it does seem that this was lumped in with other problems Apple and AT&T were having. Which makes me believe they were related. Just a guess.

Other related articles stated that peoples iPhone were now iBricks. One person mentioned their firmware upgrade did not work properly and now they couldn’t use their phone. A large numer,  six million,  was used to describe the iBrick problem. I guess that means that six million people can’t use their iBricks? alias iPhones?

We also have film at 11pm which shows some pretty pissed off customers Talk about insults. One person in the crowd wanted to know if the Apple servers were running Vista?

One story even states that the Apple 3G iPhone is a ‘activation apocalypse’. Strong words there pilgrim.

So overall I guess I am glade to have had such a boring day. Seems that the folks at Apple and AT&T might be jealous of my day. :-)

Source: activation apocalypse

Source: Videos of mad customers.

Source: iPhones turn into iBricks

Source: iTune Servers Go Down

Source:  Apple & Att Activation Problems.