Is The Big Three telecom ‘Fair for Canada’ campaign working?

Campaign by Bell, Rogers and Telus sparking some backlash

By Mark Gollom, CBC News

BigThreeFor several weeks now, the big three telecommunication firms — Bell, Rogers and Telus — have joined forces and waged a public relations blitz to win the hearts and minds of Canadians.

Their ‘Fair for Canada’ campaign seeks to rally the public to their side and “stand up for fair competition in Canada.” And they warn of the consequences of the federal government giving U.S.-based companies like Verizon Communications an unfair advantage to bid on valuable wireless spectrum.

But some telecom analysts question the effectiveness of the campaign, charging that their message is a tough sell to many wary consumers who have little love for their cellphone providers.

“[The telecom providers] haven’t paid attention to the fact — whether it’s reality or not — that the perception is they’re taking advantage of Canadian customers in the pocketbook and taking liberties with customer service,” said Mark Blevis, a digital public affairs analyst.

“So they haven’t built a relationship with the Canadian public. They’ve now turned to the Canadian public to come to their aid.”

Blevis did some analysis on the online response to the campaign and found that an “overwhelming number of people” have been critical of the campaign. It has given an excuse for those to complain about their providers’ service and many welcome Verizon, hoping a fourth carrier will provide lower prices.

The website and Fair for Canada slogan has been mocked. A few days after the Fair for Canada crusade kicked off, two counter-campaigns called Real Fair For Canada and Four for Canada launched. And a two-minute video showcasing the concerns of Bell, Telus and Rogers employees has been parodied and criticized.

Meanwhile, a poll by Forum Research a found that 57 per cent of Canadians support Verizon entering the Canadian market, and a majority believe its presence will lead to lower rates and better service.

“Canadians have sniffed this one out. They can tell what the big three are trying to do and it’s not going over well,” Blevis said.

“If they had inspired Canadians to protect the Canadian marketplace, that may have worked. Instead what they tried to do is get Canadians to protect them. And by all accounts, Canadians are not prepared to do that for the big three.”

For the full article click HERE

Back-to-School #Moneysavingtips: Grade School & High School

money-saving-tips-for-back-to-schoolWe Canadians will be digging a little deeper into our  pockets during this year’s back-to-school shopping season according to new survey

A Pollara survey, funded by the Bank of Montreal, says Canadians intend to shell out an average of $428 per child on items such as school supplies, clothing and technology as their kids head back to class.

That’s an increase of 18.2 per cent over last year, when parents planned to spend an average of $362 per child.

Of course there are always ways to save, so here’s a list of helpful hints gathered from all over the place to get that number down:

Hold off buying trendier gear like lunch boxes and pencil cases. Kids may love a version they picked up over the summer, but once they start school and see that their friends are all using another kind, they’ll beg you for an upgrade  — and you’ve just doubled your outlay.

Shop end-of-summer sales. Your kids wear short sleeve polo shirts all year long, so wait and hit the big summer sales and snap up that discounted stuff that can be worn well into fall.

Stick to The List. The school’s supply list at the start of a new school year is all you’ll need to go by. Don’t spend money on unlisted items that will probably never get used and probably will be thrown away.

Head to the grocery store for basic supplies. Check weekly circulars for great deals on pens and loose-leaf paper, and get your weekly grocery shopping done at the same time. Buying everything in one place saves time, earns you extra bonus points if you have a loyalty card (and if you don’t, you really should), and saves gas money!

wl_save_internetLet your kids raid the home-office supplies, then personalize them in unique ways. For example, decorate inexpensive plain, white binders with digital photos by creating a collage and inserting the page into the plastic outer cover.

Plan lunch. Food costs are increasing faster than Canadian income, so you have to learn how to optimize your grocery shopping. Use the weekly flyers and make a meal plan for the upcoming week.

…and one more, for you if your kid is the type who loses everything:

Buy bright. Lost school supplies may be a given, but gear that’s hard to miss can stave off the inevitable. Pack all their pencils, erasers, and other goodies into a bright backpack or pencil pouch to keep them from disappearing.

Tomorrow we’ll post some serious #moneysavingtips for your college and university aged kids.


Fongo’s latest release set to turn mobile on its head

fongo_logoFongo’s Mobile Application Used by Hundreds of Thousands of Canadians Just Got Much, Much Better!

Fongo Users Spoke and Fongo Listened – Free Mobile Application Upgrade 3.0 Released

CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO–(Aug. 22, 2013) – Canada’s fastest growing mobile telecommunication company by subscriber, Fongo Inc., is pleased to announce the release of the upgraded version of their hugely popular free smartphone application on both iOS and Android platforms. Already installed in hundreds of thousands of smart phones and devices, Fongo’s apps feature a free Canadian phone number allowing for free local and long distance calling, free voicemail and free call display. It is available in all provinces.

Fongo works by routing calls over the user’s Wi-Fi or data connection, eliminating the need for expensive voice minutes. Fongo users have reported saving between $10 and $80 a month on their mobile bills by eliminating the costs for domestic, long distance, local airtime minutes, and voicemail fees.

Fongo 3.0 was developed utilizing the input from Canadians coast-to-coast who are currently using the application. Their feedback inspired a complete reworking of the design, augmenting the existing rich feature set while adding new custom settings, producing a simple, intuitive user-friendly mobile experience.

Upgrades Include:

  • New UI eliminates the need for a home screen
  • Dial pad on launch
  • Social media inspired left-side menu configuration
  • Full voicemail and text message lists

fongo_on_iphoneFongo 3.0 also coincides with a network augment and upgrade to prepare for the next tier of growth. In conjunction with the development path for Fongo 3.0, the company is planning a Q4 international release, bringing Fongo’s free mobile telephony to markets worldwide.

“With the phenomenal adoption numbers experienced here in Canada, we feel the international market will be very excited to have access to the Fongo services.” said Fongo President and CEO Jody Schnarr.

“Not only will this latest version of Fongo continue to save Canadians hundreds of dollars on their mobile bills, the ease of use and clean look should drive growth exponentially.”

Fongo chief architect Joe Preiditsch said, “We listened to our users, and we used that to redesign and rebuild the app. Their feedback was invaluable and already we are hearing from them on our Facebook page how great an experience they are having using Fongo.”

About Fongo Inc.

Fongo Inc. is a next generation digital communication platform that delivers the end of voice costs for smartphones in Canada. Fongo’s application works on any iPhone or Android based phone or device. Users receive a new Canadian telephone number, free long distance calling to most Canadian cities, unlimited airtime, voice mail, caller ID and many more free features. The Fongo voice platform is supported with a sophisticated ad media delivery platform and in-house intellectual property that ensures a content rich user experience while potentially saving the user hundreds of dollars per year on voice costs. Fongo enjoys privileged access to Fibernetics, a Canadian CLEC that owns and operates its own coast-to-coast network in Canada. For more information visit:

Worldline CMO John Stix Looks Forward to Working with Verizon

John Stix

John Stix – CMO

Interviewed on CBC, John Stix, who also is the CMO of Fongo, our affiliated mobile company,explains in detail why he not only isn’t against an American company like Verizon coming into Canada, he sees it as a great opportunity.

He believes that more competition in the Canadian wireless market will be beneficial because the big three telecommunications providers are needlessly overcharging wireless consumers.

Further, from a business perspective, he looks forward to working with a new provider in providing data only plans for mobile customers, something the Big Three won’t even consider.

“We are really excited about a new entrant coming in. We’ve been in negotiation and talks with the Incumbents but again they put this brick wall up. They don’t want the competition.”

Listen to the entire interview HERE.

We’re Hiring! If you’re into marketing, have we got a job for you…

ErinA great opportunity to join one of the fastest growing telecoms in Canada

As you probably know, Worldline has a sister division catering to businesses called NEWT™.

NEWT™ is currently experiencing exponential growth delivering affordable high-tech voice and data solutions to companies across the country. Due to this rapid growth we’re all having trouble keeping up with the demand. Erin Wagner, who had the role previously just accepted a sales opportunity with NEWT™, so we need someone to fill her shoes.

It’s a terrific opportunity, in a great company that is going places fast, so if you’re got the marketing chops, have we got a job for you…

The Role

We are looking for a new member for the marketing team.  Fibernetics will fill your time with a wide variety of responsibilities so your desire for variety, creativity, and spontaneity in a role will be met.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • A thorough understanding of the B2B sales cycle from lead generation to sales conversion, preferably in the telecommunications marketplace.
  • A B2B market analytical skill set to provide insights into current marketing programs and to assist in the development of future projects.
  • Experience in executing B2B marketing campaigns – and the production of reports, ongoing metrics, scoring and post-analysis.
  • Experience working with and supporting an outside sales team
  • Education in Sales and/or Marketing is considered an asset

Desired Skills & Experience

Personal Qualifications:

  • Strong communication skills both oral and written.
  • Comfortable with CMS for Hubspot, Salesforce etc.
  • Enjoys fun on the job
  • Comfortable in  client facing role
  • Collaborative in nature

Company Description

We are one of Canada’s fastest growing telecommunications companies and one of Waterloo Region’s start-up success stories. We were also one of the top five finalists for the Junior Achievement Business of the Year Award in 2012. Our rapid success enables us to continually grow our team in order to support our wide range of services. As a result we have many new career opportunities and are always looking for talented people just like you!

We offer a high energy, professional yet casual work environment with the opportunity to make a difference every day. It’s an environment where everyone’s contribution is valued and rewarded. We take pride in our ability to have fun and celebrate our successes together. In return, we are looking for people who are creative and passionate about their work. Successful employees have an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for technology. If we are describing you, then consider becoming a part of the Fibernetics team!