Acronym Update 05-28-08

1.  Attention Comcast Customers:   America’s largest cable operator is desperate to keep your business.   They have just opened a customer service / retention call center in Newark, Delaware (not Newark, NJ … there actually is a Newark, DE).   If you are unhappy with your Comcast service, specifically unhappy with the price, call 1-800-COMCAST and choose the option that indicates you want to cancel your service.   Do your homework!!!  You will need to tell them EXACTLY WHAT a competitor is offering you for the same service (Internet, TV, or phone …. or a combination of services).   From what I have read, Comcast has given their retention department the authority to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to retain your business.   Let me know what retention offers you get, so I can share them with others.  If you need any advice on competitors….. e-mail me!!

2.   Do you remember Hydrox cookies?   Younger people may think I am talking about some poison treat made with household cleaners……NOT!!!      Hydrox first hit the market in 1908 and was introduced by the Sunshine Biscuit Co.  For many years Hydrox was a 2nd place rival to National Biscuit Co.’s Oreo Cookie.   National Biscuit was eventually known as Nabisco.   Sunshine eventually became a Kellogg brand and sadly, Hydrox cookies were not produced after 2003.     However, Hydrox aficionados rallied together and presented a petition with over 1,000 names to Kellogg executives.   Take notice:   Hydrox cookies will be back on supermarket shelves in August…..for a limited time only.   The word on the street is that they will be trans-fat free.

3.   As many of my fellow Connecticut residents know, AT&T began offering TV service in selected communities.  The service is called U-Verse and it offers packages and pricing very similar to satellite and cable.   U-Verse data travels over high speed fiber optic phone lines to your nearest “node” (somewhere in your neighborhood) and then over traditional copper phone lines to your home.    This service hasn’t reached very many apartment buildings yet and AT&T is building out the network selectively.    In the 13 states where AT&T is the local phone carrier, it isn’t available in every town.   However, one of the biggest problems so far is the equipment that AT&T installed to make the new service possible.   In each neighborhood where U-Verse becomes available, AT&T must connect a large box called a VRAD to the telephone pole.   Instead of installing these boxes halfway up or at the top of the pole, AT&T initially chose to place them at street level, often blocking access to the sidewalk.  Talk about a bad PR move….   Connecticut’s Public Utility Commission has ruled that AT&T must get approval from property owners past and future that will be affected by the installation of such boxes.     If there is an ugly VRAD sticking out on your sidewalk, contact the CT DPUC and give it the boot or push it up the pole.

** Effective today, The Acronym now takes a neutral position on Yahoo Mail vs. Google’s Gmail.    In all fairness,  Yahoo’s web mail is a time proven, reliable interface and its Address Book is more flexible than Gmail’s.   However, for downloading e-mail from the web in a separate application — a Gmail account or (an address you own), have proven to be better options over time.  For the record, I do about 90% of my business and personal e-mailing on web mail systems. **