First Coffee for November 2, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for November 2, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Bob Dylan’s Love and Theft. Didn’t get a whole lot of ink when it came out, probably because it was released on September 11, 2001:

Zingo, Inc., a worldwide IP communications service provider is happy with the juice it got from its marketing plan using Yahoo! and Google, Zingo now begins a major marketing plan with MSN.

ZingoTel reported an increase in sales by over 400% , which they attribute to the dollars they sunk in the marketing plan on Google and Yahoo! flogging their $14.95 US/Canada unlimited plan. Going for more glitz, ZingoTel, will be introducing its VoIP service via top rated television show as well as an aggressive “Hollywood” marketing campaign.

ZingoTel most recently announced that its services will be used by the United States Federal Government, which will use an emergency phone system “identical to the systems being offered to the general public,” according to ZingoTel’s consumer department this week.

Roll up, everyone. Virtuas Solutions, LLC, an open source professional services organization, has announced a list of its support offerings surrounding Apache Geronimo’s latest release. With Milestone 5 backing, Virtuas’ strategic migration and educational services for Apache Geronimo will be what company officials are claiming is “the first of its kind” and will “assist companies transitioning to best of breed open source.”

With its capabilities of being able to, in his words, “roll your own” application server, Apache Geronimo M5 offers customizations, according to Jeff Genender Virtuas Practice Leader and Geronimo PMC member: “This allows organizations to choose only those components of the J2EE architecture that they need, not forcing them to implement a full stack.”

From its conception, Apache Geronimo was built to support the assembly of custom open source components. With the release of Milestone 5, two of these assemblies, Jetty and Tomcat, are now J2EE 1.4 certified.

Mercado Software, a vendor of e-commerce search & merchandising products for online retail and B2B organizations, is announcing the release of their new bSMART product for B2B-focused online businesses. BSMART is supposed to help product line, channel, and marketing managers sell online to other businesses and through partners.

Built on Mercado’s Commerce Search & Navigation platform, bSMART provides online businesses with product search and catalog navigation, allowing customers and partners to locate and purchase products.

There’s also a “power buyer” to create custom catalogs for someone who knows specifically what he’s looking for and buys it repeatedly, in accordance with company contracts or with his specific role within the company.

BSMART also provides searching of detailed product catalogs, and lets business users create, schedule, and maintain programs to up-sell, cross-sell, and even down-sell if appropriate.

Amazing when you lend victims of’s terrible customer service a sympathetic ear how much you hear. Lots of comments about how orders were simply ignored, filled months after promised ship-by dates and some of the worst, most uncaring “customer service” this CRM reporter’s ever seen.

Recently this comment from a “Leo Nicholson” was posted on the April First CoffeeSM entry which started the whole thing:

As somebody who’s ordered from them more than 10 times before, and somebody who also sells on eBay and Amazon Marketplace, I’d like to put a different perspective to it. I have received my items in a timely fashion every time, and their prices are generally pretty good. I can’t comment on their customer service because I’ve not needed to use it.

As somebody from England rather than the USA I can’t comment really on shipping policies, though as a seller I can relate to their policies. In England the Royal Mail service refuses to investigate claims of lost packages until 15 working days (21 total days) after the item is sent. The investigation can take a couple of weeks, and after it’s taken place the Royal Mail tell the sender whether the item was actually delivered or not. If it was not delivered the sender receives appropriate compensation. If it wasn’t received it’s up to the sender to report the buyer for mail fraud. Can you guys see that it’s not fair for me to immediately believe the customer and hand them a refund or a new item, without any proof that they’re being truthful? I think it’s unfortunate that people only ever talk about etailers when they’ve screwed up, or else you guys would have a better opinion on this company.

First CoffeeSM must note that people have accused of seeding positive feedback on, but there’s absolutely no reason to suppose Leo’s anything other than what he says he is here. Nevertheless, it is the first positive thing anybody’s posted about in the seven months the post has been up. Then yesterday this answer to Leo was posted:

No, Leo - we would not. I think what you’ve missed is that the company ADMITS they did not send the item, then fails to issue the refund for months after saying they would do so in 3 days. I am not the only person who needed to get my state’s attorney general involved.

I also sell on ebay and have bought on ebay and amazon for seven years. I’ve never cried fraud before. I would like to report that involving the government did finally result in a refund, those interested.

First CoffeeSM is also a veteran of online purchasing of many years’ standing, and has never experienced a company as poor in either order fulfillment or customer service as Such irresponsible online vendors particularly rankle First CoffeeSM because of how they give the rest of the honest, considerate vendors a bad name, it’s not like online ordering is as widely accepted as it could be, as it should be, but with vendors like out there it’s hard to tell people afraid of ordering online why they should trust it. Which is bad for e-commerce overall.

One hopes that some day will stand up and do the right thing by its customers in what standards it has for vendors who sell on its site.

Here’s a good idea: will combine speed-dating with venture funding at its first-ever speedpitching luncheon next week.

The luncheon will feature 10 of Utah’s top entrepreneurs giving five-minute pitches to several groups of three-five accredited angel investors, rotating in a fast-paced, speed-dating style. The luncheon will take place at the Provo Downtown Marriott on Nov. 8, at noon. The fee’s $25 for investors, which includes a sit-down lunch.

Representatives from vSpring Capital, Utah Angels, 0-60 Ventures, Olympus Angels, Blake Capital, Infobase Ventures and others will be in attendance.

Presenting companies include Frog Marketing, LingoTek, NetFundz, RappidMapper Inc., SimpliPhones, WriteExpress and others.

Here’s another one: The Tonight Show’s Jay Leno, in an arrangement with Sprint, now has last night’s monologues and favorite comedy sketches such as “Jaywalking,” “Headlines” and “The Fruitcake Lady” available on mobile. Two new “Tonight Show” features will be added daily and a total of four will be available at all times.

NBC Mobile produces an average of 20-25, 2-4 minute short-form programs daily, including breaking news, original newscasts, original features and in-depth stories produced especially for the mobile phone.

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