Roger Schultz

Massachusetts Will Tax Uber & Lyft, Give Some Of The Money To Taxis

Uber or Lyft will soon be supporting their biggest rivals in the Old Bay State, thanks to a newly signed law regulating the ride-hailing industry. In all, Massachusetts will tack on a $.20/ride fee for these newer companies, with the revenue being divided up between the state, cities, and the taxi industry. [More]

Appeals Court: Municipal Internet Is Great, But States Can Still Restrict Access

Steve

More than a dozen states have laws that either prohibit counties and cities from operating their own broadband internet networks, selling service directly to consumers, or expanding their service behind a prescribed footprint. In 2015, the FCC voted to preempt two of these laws — in Tennessee and North Carolina — but this morning a federal appeals court says the FCC lacks the legal authority to do so. [More]

Former JCPenney CEO Now Hand-Delivering Phones For AT&T

Former JCPenney CEO Now Hand-Delivering Phones For AT&T

The last thing you would expect the former CEO of a major department store to do is deliver mobile phones to customers’ homes, but that’s exactly what a new company from former JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson is doing for AT&T. [More]

Eric Hauser

New Jersey Customers Complain To Utility Board For Hours About Crappy Verizon Service

In recent years, the relationship between Verizon and its legacy, copper-wire, landline-using customers in New Jersey has gotten… well, let’s politely call it “contentious.” Residents of the Garden State and the descendant of Ma Bell have found themselves at odds over everything from pricing to fiber rollout to disintegrating connections. So when the state gave those customers a chance to come out and have their say, well, they said a lot. [More]

Park Ridge Trading Co.

Comcast Decides To Not Charge Early Termination Fees To Flood-Ravaged Stores

Flood waters recently tore through Ellicott City, MD, forcing some businesses to close up shop. One store says Comcast tried to rub salt in this fresh wound by demanding it pay hundreds of dollars to cancel service it can no longer use. [More]

dlayphoto.com

4 Times Apple Shot Itself In The Foot Trying To Reach Streaming TV Deals

Apple revolutionized the music market with the iPod and iTunes, then made traditional cellphones and laptops a thing of the past with the iPhone, yet it’s lagging behind Sony, Dish — and soon AT&T/DirecTV — in introducing a cable-replacement live-TV streaming service. Not for lack of trying. In fact, a new report claims that Apple has been trying too hard and has repeatedly talked its way out of giving cord-cutters an Apple video option. [More]

Consumerist

Comcast’s Still Not Sure There’s Any Money In This Whole “Streaming” Thing

You might have heard that it’s 2016, and streaming your TV via the internet is all the rage. And yet despite being just as susceptible to cord-cutters as anyone (everyone) else, Comcast is still not thinking the whole streaming-TV thing is a moneymaker. [More]

McDonald's

McDonald’s Quarterly Sales Show It Can’t Ride All-Day Breakfast Wave Forever

When McDonald’s finally introduced an all-day breakfast menu in October 2015, the fast food chain quickly began announcing the exciting results of its decision: sales went up for the first time in two years and customers were flocking back to the chain. Fun times can’t last forever, however. [More]

flash.pro

Pay-TV Subscriptions Continue To Drop As Cord-Cutters Do Their Thing

It’s been clear for a few years now that our model of what “TV” actually means is changing. The rise of Netflix, joined later by Hulu and Amazon, made on-demand internet-based viewing a household standard. Then PlayStation Vue, Dish Sling, and other internet-based services and networks started coming online through 2015 and 2016, while cable bills kept climbing. And all that adds up to cord-cutting speeding up and running away with the industry. [More]

Starbucks CEO To Step Back, Concentrate On High-End Coffee Roasteries

Starbucks CEO To Step Back, Concentrate On High-End Coffee Roasteries

A few years ago, Starbucks started a mini-chain of higher-end shops within their regular chain with fancier, “small-batch” coffees in an effort to compete with a new generation of coffee shops. This week, the company’s founder and CEO, Howard Schultz, announced that he’ll be stepping back from day-to-day management of the main business to think about the company’s overall strategy and concentrate on the high-end Reserve business. [More]

HerArt She Loves

FCC To Phone Companies: Offer Free Robocall Blockers To Customers

Even though the Federal Communications Commission has repeatedly said that wireless and landline phone providers are allowed to offer robocall-blocking services to their customers, some carriers have continued to incorrectly insist — and provide misinformation to consumers — that they simply don’t have the authority to deploy this technology. In an effort to make things clear once and for all, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has sent letters to these companies that there are no regulatory roadblocks stopping them from helping their customers stop annoying — often illegal — automated and prerecorded robocalls. [More]

JeepersMedia

Chipotle Sales Still Down: Customers Have Come Back, But Don’t Return As Often

Chipotle Mexican Grill founder and co-CEO Steve Ells told investors, analytsts, and reporters in a conference call late yesterday that the company’s sales recovery “continued at a modest pace” over the last few months. Translation: as polls before this earnings release predicted, customers still aren’t coming back. Comparable store sales are still low, but the company is profitable again, and it has great hopes for its summer rewards program. [More]

thisisbossi

Amazon & Wells Fargo Hope That A Partnership And Discounts Will Entice You Into A Private Student Loan

Pay $99/year — or $10/month — for an Amazon Prime membership and you’ll get a slew of benefits like free two-day shipping on thousands of items, free streaming Prime video access, and more. Soon, college-aged members will also be eligible for a 0.50% interest rate discount on new loans. [More]

YayAdrian

Does Comcast Want To Be Your Mobile Phone Carrier? (Probably, Yeah)

They already dominate in home broadband and in cable TV. But Comcast knows as well as anyone else that your attention is increasingly leaving the living room and going on the road — or at least, split between two screens at once. And if you’re going wireless, well, Comcast wants to meet you there so it can keep taking your money. [More]

dlayphoto.com

Apple May Be Buying Tidal, Blocking Spotify Update

Apple is having a busy week, according to recent reports: Jay-Z’s streaming music service Tidal could be joining Tim Cook and friends in the near future, while another rival service claims the tech company is blocking update to its apps to push people into the arms of Apple Music. [More]

17 Commercial Failures From Brands With Spectacularly Bad Ideas

17 Commercial Failures From Brands With Spectacularly Bad Ideas

While Keurig is surely hoping there will come a day when its failed KOLD soda-making machine is but a misty, sparkling memory, it’s not the first company to reach for the stars, to fly too close to the sun, to try to capture lightning in a bottle… and fail utterly and completely, thereby forever securing a spot in the brand failure hall of fame, never to be forgotten. [More]

Chipotle Will Begin Temporary Loyalty Program, Chiptopia, This Week

Chipotle Will Begin Temporary Loyalty Program, Chiptopia, This Week

Chipotle needs two things: they need customers to start coming in to buy food, and they need those customers to keep coming back. After mailing and texting out free burrito coupons and buy-one-get-one-free offers earlier this year, the company’s newest idea to turn things around is a limited-time loyalty program. [More]

Ron Dauphin

Best Buy Pilot Program Sends Non-Geek Squad Techs To Your House

Tell us if this sounds familiar: Best Buy has a program that will send tech-savvy staffers to your house to troubleshoot issues with your electronics (while also trying to upsell you on new products).  It’s a service model the retailer has been pushing for more than a decade through its Geek Squad and Magnolia brands, but it’s getting yet another makeover in a new pilot program.
[More]