09 September 2005

telecom companies

...and their half-hearted relief efforts. it seems to me that most of these companies are doing only what they can piggyback onto already massive corporate organizational structures. that is, they can ask their employees for money and help their own employees. they can be nice to people when they come to stores looking for a free phone call.

but i don't see anyone going the extra mile. who is donating phones? who is coordinating the donation of minutes and cash to make those phones useful to poor and ultra-mobile refugees?

cingular's efforts, pretty middling on the whole. some phones donated to relief workers, but none to actual refugees. free calling from stores, but who's going to a cingular store right now? probably not a refugee. certainly not a destitute one.

verizon is doing a little bit better -- 10,000 phones to shelters, and lots of pre-paid calling cards. also, verizon's employee matching program is 2-to-1.

sprint, not so good at all. no substantive, affirmative actions, but rather "we will not penalize you if you can't pay your bill" and "here's a button so you can donate to the red cross."

t-mobile, like cingular, is offering free calling from retail locations only. well, duh.