Here’s A Bunch Of Stuff Companies Promised This Year, But Will They Keep Their Word?

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Each year companies make promises to consumers about the future. Those guarantees range from pledges to only use humanely raised animals for their food products to vows that they won’t sue federal agencies – as long as they get what they want. Of course, there were likely numerous promises made last year that companies didn’t keep, but right now, we’re looking to the future. So, without further ado here are some of the things we should look out for in 2015.

Give Me What I Want And I’ll Promise You This

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AT&T Promises Better Wireless Broadband To Rural Customers After DirecTV Merger AT&T, which is involved in one of the year’s proposed mega-mergers, tried to appeal to rural consumers by promising 15Mbps wireless broadband if they supported the company’s merger with DirecTV.

Will They, Or Won’t They? Verizon Doesn’t Even Know The contentious battle over net neutrality has spurred more than one promise from Verizon. First the company made it clear it would sue to block the FCC from enacting tougher laws, then just a few weeks later it said a lawsuit wasn’t necessary, you know, if the FCC doesn’t reclassify broadband.

AT&T Promises: Kill Net Neutrality And You’ll Pay Less For Internet In yet another wireless company’s attempt to kill stricter net neutrally rules, AT&T essentially promised that if the rules remain weak, it would allow consumer to pay less for internet.

Protecting The Environment

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Fresh And Natural At Panera? Back in June, Panera Bread made a pledge to customers that it would cease using all artificial food additives in its meals by 2016 in order to be more appealing to millennials.

Drug Companies Say They Won’t Sell Antibiotics For Non-Medical Use In Animals After the FDA issued a pretty-please stop using antibiotics in farm animals back in December 2013, 25 of the 26 drug companies signed off on the voluntary measures. But most of those measure won’t actually make a difference, advocacy groups say.

Wendy’s Goes Crate-Free With Pork Back in February, Wendy’s joined the list of companies that promised to stop buying from suppliers that use controversial gestation crates. Wendy’s commitment aims to end the practice by 2022.

Kellogg Commits To Environmentally Friendly Oil Kellogg promised in February that it would only buy palm oil from companies that are environmentally friendly, ensuring consumers that the next time they bite into a Pop-Tart or Eggo Waffle they know they aren’t contributing to the destruction of the rain forest.

Promises Of Equality

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Walmart CEO Promises To Eventually Raise Wages For Lowest-Paid WorkersIn 2014, Walmart employees continued their quest to receive wages that are above the federal minimum wage. In October, the company’s CEO made a vague pledge to eventually increase workers’ pay. And just last week, employees at 1,434 got word the company would raise base pay, but only because it’s being forced to by states introducing minimum wage hikes.

Gap Promises To Get Around To Increasing Worker Pay Back in February, Gap pledged to begin gradually increasing its lowest wage tier to $10/hour. The company says all workers can expect the increase in about two years.

Barneys Says It Will Stop Racially Profiling Customers Upscale department store Barney agreed to pay the state of New York $525,000 this year to end allegations that it treated customers unfairly based on their race. As part of the settlement, the company vowed to makeover it’s alleged racial profiling tactics.

Securing Consumers’ Lives

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After Mega-Breaches Visa, MasterCard Promise Better Cards Following a sting of high-profile data breaches in 2014, top credit card companies Visa and MasterCard swore they would end swipe-and-sing cards in favor of chip-and-PIN cards by next year.

Apple: We Promise Not To Let Your Naked Photos Leak Anymore Although Apple maintains that the mass theft and publication of hundreds of revealing photos of female celebrities wasn’t an actual breach, the company’s CEO promised to add safeguards to reduce the likelihood of another embarrassing moment.

We Promise To Actually Do Our Jobs

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Yelp Swears It Doesn’t Manipulate Reviews, But It Could… A federal court ruled in September that online review site Yelp was free to shuffle positive and negative reviews around however it pleased. Despite the ruling the company promises that it won’t do so as punishment for businesses that don’t buy ads from the site.

McDonald’s Vows To Give No-BullS*** Answers –  McDonald’s kicked off a campaign in October that aimed to give consumers straight-forward answers to all of their burning Golden Arch-related questions. Only time will tell how forth-coming Ronald can be.

It’s All About The Ads Four Loko, the alcoholic malt beverage that was once highly scrutinized for mixing caffeine and booze and for allegedly marketing to minors, returned to the scene this year making promises to be more responsible about its advertising.

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