With mobile phones and carrier long distance plans, the average consumer might not have much need for a calling card. But that doesn’t mean companies offering such products are exempt from scrutiny from federal regulators. As such, the Federal Communications Commission today announced a $30 million settlement with six companies over deceptive marking of prepaid calling cards. [More]
Likely thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and the way they facilitate on-the-fly email and instant messaging — as well as widespread social network use — text messaging is no longer the growth cottage industry it once was. According to researchers, adults sent and received a median average of 10 texts per day this spring, the same figure as last spring. The previous fall, the median average was five per day.
What do you do when you’ve got $8 billion burning a hole in your pocket? If you’re Microsoft, you head to the corner store and pick yourself up a Skype. A report says the software giant is on the verge of completing a mega-deal to turn itself into a more formidable player in online video communication.
“Chad Bradley” likes to write letters to companies. Unlike a normal crank, however, his letters are filled with complaints about surreal or nonsensical things, or they offer useless ideas for product improvements. (To the makers of Connect 4, for example, he suggests a new game called Connect 1.) The letters are entertaining enough on their own, but what’s even better is sometimes the companies write back.
It looks like American Express is still in the throes of its “risk management” craziness and closing accounts without visible reason. Did Chris, who was just left stranded while on a business trip, shop at the wrong store? Did he fail an internal financial review that nobody told him about? Whatever the reason, it’s a good example of why you should have more than one credit account when traveling, so you don’t have to rely on the whims of any single faceless corporation.
If your company is in the habit of using a “donotreply.com” address in the “From” field of its emails, you might want to forward your IT department this entry from the Washington Post’s “Security Fix” blog—when customers don’t pay attention and reply to a “donotreply.com” email address, it goes to Chet Faliszek, a programmer in Seattle who registered the domain seven years ago.
With the exception of extreme cases… Faliszek says he long ago stopped trying to alert companies about the e-mails he was receiving. It’s just not worth it: Faliszek said he is constantly threatened with lawsuits from companies who for one reason or another have a difficult time grasping why he is in possession of their internal documents and e-mails.