Avoiding Customer Hate, Protecting Customer Data, Giving Customers Cheaper Smartphone Charges, Automotive CRM

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Avoiding Customer Hate, Protecting Customer Data, Giving Customers Cheaper Smartphone Charges, Automotive CRM

Amdocs, a provider of telecommunications services, recently posted a blog that is more imaginative and interesting than most industry-generated blogs – gotta love any blog starting a post with “Imagine receiving a bill for $18,000 dollars.”

No, it’s not Rewrite John Lennon Day,  that really happened to one retiree in Dover, Mass., after a promotional no-limit data plan expired without warning.

Due to a new agreement between US carriers and the Federal Communications Commission, however, “mobile subscribers nearing their monthly limit for voice, text or data services will now receive an alert when they are in danger of being charged extra.”

Which does rather take the sport out of it, but we suppose, on balance, it’s a giant leap for mankind and all that.

Politicians pandering to their P.R. by jumping on such legislation, which helps 0.0003 percent of all Americans but looks like you’re taking A Firm Stand on An Important Social Problem, know their stuff: According to data released from CTIA, the American wireless industry association, there are now more wireless customer connections in the US (327.6 million) than people (315.5 million), the blog reports, adding that “as the number of connected devices grows, customers need to feel confident that their multiple devices won’t lead them down the track of financial ruin through unexpected charges.”

Read more here.

PCI and information security experts are warning that “due to an increasing number of payment card breaches within both the merchant and service provider industries, organizations are now receiving increased pressure from acquirers and card brands to become PCI DSS compliant.”

The purpose of PCI DSS is to ensure that confidential cardholder data is always secure, which, of course, is what you want -- “the Payment Card Industry Security Standard (PCI DSS) Program specifies 12 requirements and uses a best-practice approach for securing sensitive information,” IT Governance company officials say.

And there’s a ready-made market for this. Spending money on compliance doesn’t equal compliance, as many companies find out ruefully. According to Verizon's recent 2011 report on PCI compliance cited by IT Governance officials, 79 percent of the organizations assessed were not PCI compliant, while 90 percent of organizations that were hit with a data breach were not PCI compliant.

Read more here.

From the wonderfully-named site Guyism -- “What Guys Need,” and whatever guys need it’s certainly not this latest travesty from Volkswagen -- comes news that a new Broadband.com company, Republic Wireless, can cut the monthly costs of your smartphone by up to 75 percent.

Can they? So they say. Guyism reports that they use a technology called Unlicensed Mobile Access, which connects to public, open Wi-Fi networks and uses VoIP, “and when that’s not available, switching to GSM networks (thinkSprint or T-Mobile).”

As Forbes reported, “Republic, a division of Broadband.com, is expected to launch its hybrid cellular voice and VoIP service on November 8 and offer unlimited talk, text and data for a low monthly fee, with no contract required and no termination fees. The plan is also touted as truly ‘unlimited’ with no bandwidth caps.”

Great. Clever. How can it be so cheap? Company officials say it’s because they don’t invest in huge data networks -- “it’s seconded to Sprint for roaming,” Guyism says -- as well as using Wi-Fi when available.

It’s a nifty-enough idea, even as Guyism counts off the possible roadblocks -- 802.22 systems aren’t going to be up and running for a while, and “relying on other people’s networks, which may often be locked.”

Read more here.

According to the Q3 2011 HD Advertising Trends Report issued by Extreme Reach, a provider of HD video advertising services, regional auto dealerships and retailers are lagging when it comes to regional HD advertising.

“Most regional TV advertisers are likely aware of the advantages of advertising in HD, but they may not be apprised of the favorable market conditions and recent advancements that make HD campaigns more cost-effective and as easy to execute as SD,” the report found.

And when they say “lagging,” they mean it: Local auto dealerships, the study found, deliver “fewer than six percent of their commercials in HD despite national automotive brands being among the top adopters of HDTV advertising.”

Read more here.

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