If you cut a check to a Haiti aid group after last year’s earthquake disaster, surely you did so with lofty visions that your money would sit in a bank account, doing absolutely nothing for months on end.
Verizon Wireless now says that the astronomical bills some customers received after making cell phone calls from Haiti shortly after the catastrophic earthquake there last month were due to a computer glitch. According to the Fayetteville Observer, mobile calls placed in Haiti showed up in their system as being placed in Jamaica. Calls from Haiti to the United States should have been free all along, and Spc. James Crawford does not owe Verizon almost $2,000 for phone calls he placed to his pregnant wife back in North Carolina.
If you visited the strip club Marilyn’s on Monroe in Toledo, Ohio, last weekend and paid the cover charge for their “Lap dances for Haiti” evening, congratulations, you helped the club raise nearly $1,000 for a local charity that’s trying to send a container of relief supplies to Haiti. Oddly–as you already know if you attended–there were no actual lap dances because they’re illegal in Ohio. The local charity says they need $5,000 to send the supplies, but luckily two other area strip clubs are staging their own fundraisers later this month.
If you’ve got Hilton Honors points, the hotel chain will let you redeem them as cash donations for Haiti relief efforts. That’s a pretty nice offer, but Oyster Hotel Reviews points out that the hotel chain is only offering $25 in donations for every 10,000 points–an exchange rate that puts the points at a fourth of what they’re usually worth.
If you need an affordable way to reach someone in Haiti for the next two weeks, use Google Voice. The company is making all calls to Haiti temporarily free:
To help those families, we’re offering free calling to Haiti through Google Voice for the next two weeks. To place a call using Google Voice, use the Click2Call button on the website, the Google Voice mobile app, or dial your own Google Voice number and press 2 to place an outbound call.
Here’s a conundrum. Royal Caribbean has private beaches in Haiti only 60 miles from the devastation. The current plan is to use the ships that are docking there to provide shipments of rice, dried beans, powdered milk, water, canned goods and other supplies. They will also be depositing tourists at beaches the NY Daily News describes as, “leased from the government and protected by 12-foot fences and armed guards.”
American Airlines has imposed a baggage embargo on flights to Haiti and the Dominican Republic in order to prevent holdups and make sure everyone’s baggage gets to ride along. Permitted: surfboards and golf clubs. Not permitted: a San Diego volunteer group’s giant bag of medical supplies. Update: some creative packing on the volunteers’ part got things straightened out, and the supplies are en route.
Jeremy received a solicitation from Hilton to donate his points from the chain’s loyalty program, HHonors, to the Red Cross in order to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti. He thinks that this e-mail blast was in poor taste. Do you?
Update 2: Sprint has also announced that it is waiving fees, retroactive to Wednesday. (Thanks to changebumpin!)
Update: MSNBC has updated their article, and they say that AT&T has announced it will waive fees for donations, and apply the exemption retroactively to those who have already donated. (Thanks to Mathew for the heads up.)
A humanitarian aid group en route to Haiti suffered from a scheduling change made by American Airlines and had to pay $450 in hotel bills. American Airlines (AA) refused to offer hotel vouchers in return.