You Must Have Seen It…

You may have done it yourself. One of your friends most likely did it. “It” is the recent Facebook hoax that by cutting and pasting (“No Sharing!”) a BS paragraph will stop Facebook from either (a) charging you money to use FB or (b) dis-allowing FB to use your postings and keeping them your private info (or (c) – Both!)

Or, maybe last week you shared the Macy’s (or Shoprite or whoever) fantastic offer for $100 off a $100 purchase. Wow! What a deal!!

Why do so many people post these things over and over? Because they aren’t thinking about the details. Why not? People are busy. VERY busy. We only have a few minutes to relax and catch up with friends and family (that’s why we’re on FB to begin with! How easy is it to see what cousin Doris is up to!)

We’re busy. We’re running our businesses. We’re helping our kids. We’re running our lives. Here comes the unsolicited advice (hey, it’s my blog.)

One: Stop and smell the roses. And think (to paraphrase “Does anyone remember THINKING?”) Would a legitimate business (especially one that advertises on TV ALL the time) offer a 100% discount? Probably not (it’s not a great business practice) and if they did, they would probably take out a much larger ad in a more selected medium to promote it. If FB was going to charge, it would probably make the TV news (and, since Zuck has all our emails, they would let us know themselves – not through a friends post.)

Two (self-serving ad here – see if you can spot it  smiley-face):  If you’re too busy running your business, hire folks (internally or consultants to help.) Hire an accountant to do your books. Hire a lawyer for legal or HR issues. Hire a marketing firm (*cough cough) for better sales results. Get help so you can concentrate on what YOU do best.

That’s it – rant over. Thanks for reading


It CAN’T Be True, Can It?

So, LinkedIn tells me that this month is the 25th anniversary of the date I started CellCon Consulting. It’s not possible, is it? Has it been 25 years since we started consulting and teaching people on how to use a cell phone? (Get it now? Cell(ular) Con(sulting)??)

In that time, myself, the company and the industry itself has changed more than anyone thought even possible.

In the industry, we were selling “car phones” – the only thing close to a portable was what we called abag phone bag phone or a transportable. No one even thought of the term mobile data. And today, while MVNOs (we called them “resellers”) and carriers (there only used to be 2 in each market — well, some things come back around, I guess) today fight over who gets LTE and what really IS 4G, we all had 1 technology – AMPS. I could program a phone. Hell, I could tell you whose service you had by the NPA-NXX (before there was LNP!). I even had a pushpin map of every cell site in the NY Market!

Us folks at Metro One (then at Cellular One, then Ericsson/GE, then Comcast Cellular, Geotek, etc. etc.) were all on the cutting edge. Hell, we WERE the cutting edge. WE did it first. WE launched new and innovative services (you’re welcome for Voice Mail, Audiotext Services and customizable data apps like Mobile Manifest – that was me and my teams.) And, I’m sorry for the annual contract (yup, that was me too.)

Oh, and as for those bands of merry men and women that I’ve worked with over the years – well, let’s say not only would I pick many of them to work with today (and I do!) but you guys all rocked. From the “drinking Thursdays” in Rochelle Park to the “what the hell is going on here” Geotek days.

As for CellCon, we’ve morphed from just teaching people how to use a cell phone, and how to get dropped-call credits, to a full blown marketing firm. We’ve never strayed from wireless – I guess at this point I’m a true lifer. From the days when the company would do 100 new net adds in a day, to today – when the US penetration rate is over 100%. Just freakin’ unreal.

As for me personally, I’ll leave that for another time and another place. Let’s just say that twenty-five years is a long time and lots of things change. Mostly good  but of course not all. I’m happy running CellCon Consulting and it’s (half) sister companies. I found a vocation that I’m passionate about (sometimes too much), and I’d like to think I’m fairly decent at. Some of you think so too – and I thank you for that very much.

So, please raise a (virtual) glass (or, even better – let’s meet in person!!) and toast to the first 25 of CellCon Consulting. It truly has been a long, strange trip. Here’s to the next 25!

Thank you all,


Paying it Forward

Some of you are probably on Facebook. OK, there are over a billion people on FB, so most of you are probably on Facebook. And, since this post will be on Facebook all of you there are on it.

Right, enough about Facebook – except for this: You may have seen this Pay it Forward post/concept there. Usually, it’s a post on someone’s wall that reads like:

The first 5 people who comment on this status “I’m In” will receive a surprise from me at some point in this calendar year – anything from a book, a ticket, something home-grown or made, a postcard, absolutely any surprise!

So, here’s our little spin on it:

  • We will post this on all our Social Media Sites
  • We will choose 10 people/companies at random
  • We will give you one hour of our time to talk about Marketing, Social Media, Lead Generation  or Operations Optimization (your choice)


All you need to do is comment on the post (wherever you see it). We’ll choose our winner(s) at random times.


How Times Have Changed

I started the original CellCon Consulting in the late 1980s. At first, we were consulting people and businesses on how they could use these new things called “cell-phones” (get it- CellCon…), how to get things like “dropped call credits” and what “roaming access numbers” were (and if you know what any of those things are, you’re in an elite club!)

Anyway, we soon branched out and started selling cell phones and accessories. I went to the local bank where I had the corporate account and applied for a merchant account – in order to take credit cards. I was declined, not because I was too young or didn’t have a proper proposal (I did, and the bank VP complimented it.) No, the company was declined because we didn’t have a physical store front. Never did. If someone wanted to buy a phone, we went to them. It was a consultative sale – tell me what you need and want, we made a recommendation and then ordered the phone. We had no inventory.

Anyway, I digress. A bank declined us for having no store front. I told them right then and there that soon people would be buying things from the internet and if they didn’t change their policy they would be left far behind. We did end up getting an account from Novus and were soon in business, selling phones and taking charge cards.

So, why am I telling a story from 25+ years ago? Today, Groupon started a service called Breadcrumb. It’s very similar to Square (which we love) but the rates are a bit cheaper. There’s no exclusive deal with either, so I signed up and will use both.

The signup for Breadcrumb was very similar to that of Square. It took me under 10 minutes and I had a merchant account (OK, now two.) This is how technology changes the world folks. 25 years ago, a bank turned me down in an effort to grow my business. Today, it took about 6 minutes.


Square Rocks

We love Square. For small businesses to take credit cards, they make it easy, have a simple low/flat rate cost and provide fast transfers to your bank. We signed up the day they were announced. So, if you’re already using them, or are thinking about it, here’s some news of interest:

Square Introduces One Monthly Price for Small Businesses

Square is leveling the playing field with first-of-its-kind simple pricing designed for small businesses. Today Square expands its simple pricing for card processing with a monthly price for small businesses which includes 0% processing fee and one flat $275 monthly price, no additional fees, and no contract.

AT&T Chief Regrets Offering Unlimited Data for iPhone

From the NY Times:

When Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, spoke about the state of the wireless industry at a conference this week, he shared some surprisingly frank comments about the iPhone.

If AT&T hadn’t offered unlimited data, it would have been able to get people who used more data to pay up for it, as opposed to having the light data users subsidize the heavy ones, he said.

“My only regret was how we introduced pricing in the beginning, because how did we introduce pricing? Thirty dollars and you get all you can eat,” he said…“And it’s a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital.”

Read the entire article here:

The Game Stop Fiasco

So, Game Stop, a Brick & Mortar (and on-line) game retailer has put it’s collective foot in their collective mouth (and more.) Here’s the synopsis and link:

Basically, Game Stop told it’s managers to open a sealed copy of a new game, which included a code for a free on-line version, and remove the code slips.

Those who opted for a physical copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution were greeted with a pleasant surprise yesterday. Included with the retail game was a code that could be redeemed for a free OnLive copy — unless, of course, the game was purchased at GameStop.

GameSpy reports it heard from multiple GameStop customers complaining about opened games and missing codes. It also heard from an anonymous source claiming to be a GameStop employee showing what appears to be management instructing employees to remove and discard the OnLive codes from all PC copies of the game.

Bad news, right? Who is Game Stop to remove a bonus that the developer decided should be in there? Well, look at the following (dead-on) video from Gary Vaynerchuk. As Gary states, even if GameStop was doing what they thought was right in their corporate minds, they did it the (very) wrong way. Of course, with hindsight being 20/20, GameStop should have (and should have the oomph to) call the developer and tell them they wouldn’t carry the game the way it was packaged.  Give Gary a look-see here:

Your thoughts?

Can you believe this?

A former co-worker of mine, who know lives in Australia told me about this recent “Customer Service” story that happened to her: (emphasis are mine)

“OK so I tried to order from a USA food site, and shipping was $400.00 so I sent a complaint, here was the response:

Dear XXX,

Thank you for your email. We have checked into our site and we were having problems with our shipping quotes. Your items would most certainly not have been that amount to ship. We have thousands of customers in AU that are very happy with our service and would also never pay that amount for shipping. The cost would have been a fraction of that amount.

If you had been more pleasant we could certainly have checked into that excessive quote you got from the site and sorted out our problem. We are well aware of USAfoods and we would prefer if you would continue to shop with them or any other online options you have as we don’t appreciate rudeness. Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you wish.What a pity you choose to be so abrasive.


Paula Greally” (my note: She is the OWNER)

So she admits the problem and then blames the customer?? Can you believe this? In today’s Social Media world, she actually says: Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you wish.

Ok Paula, happy to help! Feel free to comment here or pass along.

BTW, the site is

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