F**K You????

So I’m sitting here in the world-wide HQ of CellCon Consulting, when a call from Waxahachie, TX comes in (214-903-4410) so I answer. It’s obviously a telemarketer call setter telling me my Google results are low and the information is incorrect. Of course, this is bull, because results are based on what people are searching for. But let’s play on.

She transfers me to a “Google Specialist” who tells me my Google Trust Score is way too low and he’s going to fix it. Of course, we come to the question “Well, I see you’re listed as a ‘miscellanous business’ – what is it that you do?

OK – point one – if you’re going to pitch me your services, and especially if they’re web based, look up my damn site first.

Anyway I tell him we’re a marketing firm – and a Google Partner.

“Oh….” he says “OK… I’ve fixed it now” (as I hear him typing.) I say “Great! Please tell me where I can see my Google Trust Score” “It’s ok, I’ve fixed it.” “No, please show me” – he hangs  up.

Here’s the kicker. My web-form notification comes in. I have a new lead. From Mr “F88k you” and “f88k you” company (and yes, it was spelled out.)

Now here’s what Mr. Google Specialist doesn’t know. My system not only records the form information submitted, but also the IP address.

So, I’ve written and tweeted the company (it’s called egumball) and it’s CEO (John Bauer) to ask why his reps are so foul mouthed.  Let’s see if he responds.


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,


It’s Fixed… Oh, no it’s not

So, if you’ve read my last rant on the USPS, you already know the backstory. On 12/31 I received a call back from their Consumer Affairs problem who assured me all would be fine and dandy going forward.

And look, I’m not calling out the entire USPS. I’m sure there are (somewhere) some people who take their job and responsibilities seriously. They do great work each day and never get credit. I truly believe they’re out there.

It’s just none of the last dozen or so that I’ve had contact with.

So, if you haven’t guessed, that “promise” of fine and dandy… that took less than 1 day to go belly-up. Yup – on the very next mail delivery day (1/2/14), CellCon received mail at the old address. (Oh, and half of my town of West Orange didn’t receive ANY mail yesterday. I’m guessing  it may be snow related, but: (a) half of the town DID get mail, and it seems quite random which houses did and didn’t… and (b) there’s this

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

I mean, c’mon – snow is the FIRST ONE LISTED… and this wasn’t 20″… it was about 8″ near me.

Guess a lot has changed since 2001, huh USPS?

#epicCustomerServiceFail – again

Let’s tell your customers “You Don’t Care”

In July, I filled out 2 change of address forms – one for me and one for the business. To this date I STILL get mail at the old house, and now, to add on, Monica is getting mail at MY house (no forms ever filled out for that.)

I’ve called. I’ve emailed. I’ve written real letters. Each time the response is “I’ll tell the carrier”

Today I went down to the Post Office in person. I wanted to speak to a delivery supervisor. I was told all of the following:

1) She’s busy
2) Our phones are down
3) Which one? There are multiple ones here today.
4) Lakesha (sp?) is the only one here today… and finally.. (and I swear this is true too)
5) “She know’s your here… she doesn’t care.”

Excuse me? YOU DON’T CARE???? You better F’in care, lady…

So, Lakesha – delivery supervisor for West Orange – at the Orange Post Office, (and Ms. Virginia Faulcon, Postmaster) here’s where social media comes into play. I ask my readers to like/share this post and the corresponding Facebook post. Help me spread the word.

“You Don’t Care” ????

Is Instagram/Facbook Insane?

So, as you may know Facebook bought Instagram a while back for $1 Billion. Yesterday, they posted a new T&C:

”You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Uh, no. Not even close. I’m not using Instagram anymore until they retract this. I’m not a pro photographer (although I have sold some shots) but I’m sure as hell not going to let Facebook (or anyone else) use my pix for profit without any compensation.

What say you?

(more details here)


You writes about the good, you writes about the bad!

So, a while ago, I wrote about the excellent Customer Service that former NY Met Art Shamsky provided when a signed picture I ordered came with a minor issue.

So, now it’s time for really bad Customer Service.

About two months ago, I deposited some funds into a bank who’s name I won’t mention (but their initials are TD and the last word is Bank.) I did this with the express intent to transfer those funds into ING Bank. Why? Because ING is paying 10X the interest that TD is.

So, after the funds are transferred, TD calls me and tells me they need to cancel my account. Why? Because all I’ve done is transfer the funds to another bank. When I call to explain, the CS Rep admits to me that he does the same thing(!) and that he will try to cancel the cancellation.

But, alas, he cannot and 1 week later TD sends me a bank check (via Overnight UPS) – closes my account and that’s that.


I admit the accounts I had there were nothing more than emergency type funds, plus I originally opened them because of the benefits TD had (and are now phasing out) like no-cost ATM use, even overseas, the ability to purchase a Visa Gift Card at no cost, etc. So I’m not that upset that I won’t be using them anymore.

But – the fact that they terminated me because my ‘recent activity’ was to transfer money away from them and into their competition is a bit silly. “HEY! You want to play with them? Go ahead but you can’t play with us anymore!”

Oh, and TD… want to keep your customers? Stop paying 1/10 the interest rate of other banks.