Several telecommunications providers are giving US customers free long-distance calls and texts to Japan. AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and TWC are all waiving charges. AT&T is giving 60 minutes of free talk time between the US and Japan until the end of the month. Verizon is offering $0.00/minute rates between the two countries until April 15. Comcast is giving away free calls to voice customers through April 11. Time Warner Cable is giving digital phone customers free calls to Japan through April 15. A helping hand for those looking to connect with a friend, colleague or loved one over in Japan.
Looks like AT&T is rescinding the 1000 free rollover minute offer for some of the people people who tried to jump on it.
You’re a savvy consumer used to pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. So if you were a jobless parent, down to your last $1,000, you could make it work, right? Spent is a new free online “game” that tests to see whether you have what it takes. Put out by the Urban Ministries of Durham, it’s less fun than a sobering dose of reality. I played it and in order to make it through the month I couldn’t let my kid go on field trips and I missed his baseball game in order to take a job helping a neighbor move. Also, I got fired for talking to a union organizer. The gas also got shut off and I drove away from an accident instead of paying the ticket. I had no choice, otherwise I would have gone broke and lost the game.
The latest salvo in the AT&T and Verizon Cola Wars was for Big Blue to bribe all its users into staying with a surprise gift of 1000 bonus rollover minutes. Some users thought the text message announcing the free minutes was some kind of spam or scam – and who could blame them? – but it was definitely sent out by AT&T, as confirmed to Consumerist by AT&T PR. They said, “It’s real – we’ve done this before…it’s a way of thanking our customers.” If you didn’t get the text, some users, even those who weren’t targeted by the initial blast, have reported the free minutes showing up on their account after texting “yes” to 11113020.
Google has jumped into the shopping app fray with “Google Shopper,” which stands out from the crowd by being able to id products by their cover art. The feature works on book, CD, DVD, and video game covers. You can also search by voice, along with the usual barcode scanning, local pricematching and the ability to save items. If you’re a RedLaser fan, this could be a serious contender to replace it on your home screen. The app is free and available on both Android and iOS.
DaysToPay is a handy little site that quickly shows you how long you will have to work in order to buy something. Enter the cost and your hourly wage or yearly salary and it shows you just how much of your sweat is going into that new Xbox Kinect.
After I uploaded my quick n easy excel budget spreadsheet yesterday, Consumerist reader DangerP sent over his to share with everyone. His is pretty cool! In addition to the regular cash flow and recurring billing item tracking, it also has a built-in worksheet for doing a debt snowball, tracking long-term debts, and an overall budget dashboard. Update: new excel file replaced to fix formula issues some people where having.
Back by popular demand after the file on our server got messed up, it’s Consumerist’s easy excel budget spreadsheet! It lets you track your cash flow and expenses, and plan for upcoming purchases and bills. Use it properly and you’ll never overdraft again.
Starting today, Walmart.com is offering free shipping on gift items, including toys and gadgets.
There’s still such a thing as homesteading in America. Here’s 6 cities where they’re giving away free land:
When you’re cruising for a hotspot at a coffee shop, never click on the “Free Public Wifi” wireless network. “Free Public Wifi” is a Windows XP quirk; when a computer can’t find any of its favorite networks it creates a network on-the-fly, but it doesn’t go anywhere. At best, you’ll never connect to the internet. At worst, you could be exposing your computer to hackers.
CVS is doing a deal now where you can get a free flu shot after you spend $30 on qualifying P&G products like Bounty, Tide, and Pampers. Sorry, MA, NY, NJ, HI and Puerto Rico, the offer is not valid in your states. Check your local store for details.
If you’re having trouble accessing those free Kaplan test prep books we told you about a few days ago, make sure to download the iBooks app first. It makes the book download happen all lickity split.
Gmail is rolling out a new service that will let you call phones in the US and Canada for free right from your email.
If you’re in the market for high school or college study guides and you have access to an iDevice from Apple, Kaplan is giving away 90 different titles between now and August 30th through the Apple iBookstore. Sadly, you can’t access the iBookstore on iTunes, so you’ll have to get to it through an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
This Saturday Boston Market is giving away free smoothies at participating stores in a few states.
If you play games on the website Kongregate–its founders say 10 million players stop by every month–then congratulations, you’re about to become GameStop’s new BFF. There’s no word yet on how this will affect the Kongregate community; the site lets people play online games for free, and GameStop says that the its founders will continue to run things for now. If we start seeing offers to pre-order an upcoming online free game, I guess we’ll know the takeover is complete.
Looks like Apple’s Tim Cook meant it when he told shareholders that most programs submitted to the company’s App Store are approved within a week. Just seven days after CEO Steve Jobs promised to put together a program to allow iPhone 4 customers to get a free case, the iPhone 4 Case Program app is now available for download. (Yeah, Apple probably could have come up with a better name for the app, but what do you want for free?)