John called asking about the ads Verizon is poised to put ads on the internet services accessed by its cellphone users.
Dave says the ads will only be there if a consumer wants them.
This seems to defy common sense, unless of course a user can truly opt into receiving the ads and receive a service discount, for instance. Which would be uncharacteristically neat of them.
Our chat with John is inside.
johnnyconsumer: in reference to your verizon ad story: I called them yesterday because I saw the times piece, and they called me back today with a message..the guy said “We’re just exploring it and we’re not REALLY going to do it”
johnnyconsumer: which stinks of bullshit to me
johnnyconsumer: the guy left this bizzare message on my answering machine
benpopken: can you send it to us?
johnnyconsumer: I can try
johnnyconsumer: in the message he says that the customer will have the option to recieve the ads or not
johnnyconsumer: whcih also stinks of bullshit
johnnyconsumer: do you have a link handy to the thing where you can record messages?
johnnyconsumer: the mssage is on an actual answering machine, not vm or anything
benpopken: placing a microphone by the speaker might be the easiest thing to do
johnnyconsumer: I’m downloading audiohijack and I’ll try sticking my ibook near that
johnnyconsumer: the backstory is that I called because I saw the article (Cleverly dumped on possibly the slowest news day of the year, the 26th) and I’m thinking of getting a smartphone so I called sales
johnnyconsumer: and they transferred me..3 times. The guy who left the message was with the “data” department
benpopken: “we just floated the pretend story to see what the backlash would be”
johnnyconsumer: that seems to be the gist of it
johnnyconsumer: is skype still doing that free skypeout thing?
johnnyconsumer: I think I could call into my answering machine and playback and hijack the audio
benpopken: i think free skypeout ended
benpopken: there’s gizmo
benpopken: (Link: http://www.gizmoproject.com/index.html)http://www.gizmoproject.com/index.html
benpopken: i wonder if he’s really talking about optin or optout
benpopken: or if he has any idea
johnnyconsumer: yeah. it sounds like he called marketing, got some talking points and tried to regurgitate them
johnnyconsumer: I’m pretty sure he was just a level 1 rep
benpopken: “sure you can opt out, but then you can’t use verizon for the internet”
johnnyconsumer: or you can pay 10 bucks a month for noads
johnnyconsumer: like, if it was an interstitial per meg of xfer that got me 10% off my data bill I’d be totally down with it
johnnyconsumer: and it sounds like they’ve done some cool things with ads.. like the show your phone at dunkin donuts with this optin ad and get a 99 cent latte
johnnyconsumer: but this stinks of “rates will stay the same/go up and you’ll have to deal with it”
johnnyconsumer: like the movie theatre ads
benpopken: “before you begin surfing, tell us, would you like to receive ads? if not, that’s cool, just ignore this message”
benpopken: what a dumbass
benpopken: execs are saying that they’re going to do ads
benpopken: and he’s saying they’re not
johnnyconsumer: it doesn’t really sound like he got his talking points from marketing right
johnnyconsumer: because what I get from the message is that verizon “may” be “trying” some sort of “test program” with ads what will always be optable
johnnyconsumer: and the times article pretty much said “Hey we’re forcing ads. Cool, huh?”
johnnyconsumer: maybe I’ll call verizon’s marketing and see if I can’t get something less stinking of lies
benpopken: or stinking sweeter
— BEN POPKEN