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Category Archives: Marketing

FTC Says AT&T Has Misled Millions of Consumers with ‘Unlimited’ Data Promises

News release: “The Federal Trade Commission filed a federal court complaint against AT&T Mobility, LLC, charging that the company has misled millions of its smartphone customers by charging them for “unlimited” data plans while reducing their data speeds, in some cases by nearly 90 percent. The FTC’s complaint alleges that the company failed to adequately disclose to its customers on unlimited data plansthat, if they reach a certain amount of data use in a given billing cycle, AT&T reduces – or “throttles” – their data speeds to the point that many common mobile phone applications – like web browsing, GPS navigation and watching streaming video –  become difficult or nearly impossible to use “AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited.” According to the FTC’s complaint, AT&T’s marketing materials emphasized the “unlimited” amount of data that would be available to consumers who signed up for its unlimited plans. The complaint alleges that, even as unlimited plan consumers renewed their contracts, the company still failed to inform them of the throttling program. When customers canceled their contracts after being throttled, AT&T charged those customers early termination fees, which typically amount to hundreds of dollars.”

New GAO Reports – USPS Changes to Operations

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: Information on Recent Changes to Delivery Standards, Operations, and Performance, GAO-14-828R: Published: Sep 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2014: “Since 2012, USPS has instituted several initiatives aimed at reducing expenses in its mail delivery and processing networks as part of broader efforts to address its fiscal challenges and move toward financial viability. TheseContinue Reading

How Facebook Is Changing the Way Its Users Consume Journalism

NYT – Ravi Somaiya: “Many of the people who read this article will do so because Greg Marra, 26, a Facebook engineer, calculated that it was the kind of thing they might enjoy. Mr. Marra’s team designs the code that drives Facebook’s News Feed – the stream of updates, photographs, videos and stories that users see.Continue Reading

Big Data, Dumpster Diving and the New Ethics of Waste Management

New York Times: “Rubicon, based in Atlanta, isn’t in the business of hauling waste. It doesn’t own a single truck or landfill. Rather, companies hire it as a kind of waste consultant. It begins by holding an online bidding process for its clients’ waste contracts, fostering competition among waste management businesses and bringing down theirContinue Reading

Two New CRS Reports on Ebola

The Ebola Outbreak: Select Legal Issues, CRS Legal Sidebar, October 6, 2014: “On August 8th, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The recent arrival in the United States of several health care workers who contracted the disease, combined with the firstContinue Reading

Talk with Me, Not at Me: Playing to Win with Social Media

Accenture, From Welcome to the Switching Economy: “Consumers everywhere have a wealth of information at their fingertips, giving them more control than ever regarding who gets their business. They know they have choices and switch providers when frustrated with their experiences. The result is the emergence of what Accenture calls the Switching Economy: the $5.9Continue Reading

Publishers Gave Away over 120 Million Books During World War II

And, in the process, they created a nation of readers, Yoni Applebaum, The Atlantic: “In 1943, in the middle of the Second World War, America’s book publishers took an audacious gamble. They decided to sell the armed forces cheap paperbacks, shipped to units scattered around the globe. Instead of printing only the books soldiers andContinue Reading

New on LLRX – Tech goals for solo and small-firm lawyers

Via LLRX.com – Tech goals for solo and small-firm lawyers – Nicole Black review the highlights of results of two legal technology surveys about lawyers’ plans to use legal technology in their law practices. They offer a glimpse into the businesses of solo and small firm lawyers and provide indications of their assessments of the value that different typesContinue Reading

Comparing Google Consumer Surveys to Existing Probability and Non-Probability Based Internet Surveys

“This study compares the responses of a probability based Internet panel, a non-probability based Internet panel and Google Consumer Surveys against several media consumption and health benchmarks. The Consumer Surveys results were found to be more accurate than both the probability and non-probability based Internet panels in three separate measures: average absolute error (distance fromContinue Reading

CRS – Telemarketing Regulation: National and State Do Not Call Registries

Telemarketing Regulation: National and State Do Not Call Registries. Kathleen Ann Ruane, Legislative Attorney. August 14, 2014 “Today, it is axiomatic that telemarketers in the United States generally are not permitted to place outgoing telemarketing calls to phone numbers on the national do not call list, unless an exception applies. This was not always the case, however. TheContinue Reading

Facebook launches cross-device reporting for Facebook ads

The Hill – ‘Facebook is giving advertisers new information about how users notice and act on ads as they move between their computers, smartphones and tablets. In a post on Wednesday, Facebook said that it would begin allowing companies that advertise on the social media site “to see for the first time how people are moving between devicesContinue Reading

CDD Files Complaint on U.S./EU Safe Harbor for Data Privacy at FTC

Filing Reveals Failure of U.S. Agreement to Protect European Privacy – “The key framework that is supposed to protect EU citizens’ privacy when their data is collected by U.S. companies—known as the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor—is failing to provide them the safeguards that were promised, according to a complaint filed today by a leading U.S. consumer privacyContinue Reading