Former Elite AOL Retainer Interviewed

Former Elite AOL Retainer Interviewed

Tricks an AOL retainer used to keep people from cancelling:

Interview With Former AOL Retention Superstar

At his peak, our interviewee “saved” over 87% of the people who called him up to cancel their account. We’re still working on editing the whole thing, and in fact, have to get on the phone with another consultant in a second here, but we wanted to share this teaser clip with you.

Top Stories of The Week

Scientologists Bullying Man’s Mind. The most pitiful thing is that these guys probably paid a lot of money to learn how to be complete dicks.

T-Mobile Hotspot: Wham, Bam, But No Thanks

Much like beer and hotdogs at the ballpark, airports take advantage of your momentary entrapment to bend you over for the privilege of wi-fi surfing. Against his better judgment, ZDnet’s David Berlind tried to use the airport’s T-Mobile hotspot and access some important and time-sensitive documents from his office. T-Mobile was more than happy to give him a high signal as he completed the transaction, only for the wifi to completely cut out after they charged his credit card. David recorded his call trying to wrest his dollars back from T-Mobile, listen below.

Head On!

We saw this on TV and wanted to snag it. Then we stopped watching TV. Luckily, someone else had the frame of mind to video tape this bizarre commercial for a headache relief stick that you, well, apply directly to forehead.

Consumerist on G4, Small World Podcast

We did a good a whole bunch of media-whoring this week. In addition to CNBC, we also hit up G4′s Attack of the Show to talk about viral marketing.

In Soviet Russia, AllofMp3.com Is Legal!

In Soviet Russia, AllofMp3.com Is Legal!

AllofMp3.com is one of those brilliant sites that I perpetually feel guilty for using, since it really is just too great a value to be legal. Nevertheless, it’s hard to resist buying music by the digital equivalent of the kilo: 99 cents per song feels like a reaming after paying a penny per meg.

Gateway Requires Mailing Address For Free Music Downloads?

Gateway Requires Mailing Address For Free Music Downloads?

You Don’t Own Anything With DRM

You Don’t Own Anything With DRM

One problem with DRM in general is that it is an industry concept that takes-as-read the consumerist fallacy that you don’t actually own things you buy, you just license them. Perhaps this is the natural evolution of consumerism now that products like media are, if not less tangible, at least a bit more ethereal. Still, DRM gives all the power to the companies… and companies prove time and time again that they can’t be trusted.

Real Audio on iPod! – Not Really.

“It plays on iPod!” “You can play it on iPod!” “Put your Real Audio files on your iPod!” Enticed by a dizzying maelstrom of assurances and come ons, Ogilvy PR director John Bell bought an iPod and tried to port his Real Audio collection to his new, glistening white brick. Try as he might, he couldn’t get the Real Audio files to play on his iPod. 92 steps and four hours later, after following tech help from Real Networks and driving to the Apple store, he still can’t get it to play.

RIAA Claims Sales At Six Year Low

RIAA Claims Sales At Six Year Low

Speaking of the RIAA, you may have seen on Friday that they released their 2005 sales figures on Friday, claiming that this was the worst year on record for the music industry. While gleefully bragging that their measures to sue elderly grandmothers and eleven year old girls has “held piracy” in check, the RIAA was quick to warn that little punks like Cassi Hunt were the real villains who had prevented the execs from trading up their Ferraris this year; “the distribution of music through internal networks on college campuses, remained ‘major factors’ in the industry’s declining sales.”

All the Free iTunes Songs You Can Stuff in Your Pants

Get one free song from the iTunes store. Repeat over and over to stock up your library. Get on it now because who knows how long it will last.

SonySuit.com Covers Sony Rootkit Settlement Details

Just in case you purchased a Sony CD “protected” by the rootkit DRM and want to claim your $7.50 worth of mp3s, SonySuit.com has all the available details on registering to take part. We’re still particularly interested in the precedent being set here by Sony: they have gone on record stating that $7.50 is the price of two full albums of digital music. And a few mp3s to have your computer’s security compromised still seems like a pretty crappy deal. But it’s better than nothing and every person taking part in the class action suit is helping send a message to companies trying to implement similarly sleazy DRM schemes. So go check it out, if you’ve still got that Celine Dion receipt in your wallet.