NEWT Referral Program: Who wants a hundred bucks?

newt_beyond_telecomPretty much everybody works somewhere right? Well then, this message is pretty much intended for everyone.

NEWT is our sister division servicing Canadian business by providing high quality, cost effective business phone systems and Internet.

They are seriously great at what they do and their customers, from big names like CulliganBullfrog Power and Discount Car & Truck Rental, to smaller businesses like Gallagher’s Bar and Lounge all have one thing in common; they are huge fans of the NEWT products and can’t wait to spout off about them.

So much so that the number one source of new business for NEWT is the result of word-of-mouth referrals. Their customers love to spread the word about NEWT to their associates, vendors and friends because they know how much time, effort and money having a NEWT Managed PBX or NEWT ANA saves them.

Because of that, NEWT decided to give something back to everyone who has helped them grow by introducing the NEWT Referral Program.

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For each new customer that NEWT adds, they are giving them a brand new snappy, flashy, plasticy $100 bill to whoever provided the referral.

Cool right? Well, this program isn’t limited to just NEWT customers, it’s open to anyone, meaning, do you want $100.00?

NEWT_PBX_Nov13It’s super easy. Simply submit a referral for a business you think will benefit from a NEWT product, (and frankly, that’s pretty much every business), and a NEWT Business Services Professional will contact your referral to setup an appointment.  Once they’re signed up, you get the cash. It’s that simple.

Know a business that is dropping its calls? Has an antiquated phone system? Needs better Internet access? Then you know a business that needs NEWT.

Check out the new NEWT referral program HERE.

Canada’s Not the Only Country With “Big Telco” Issues

Comcast-Logo-BlackCanadians know all about the consequences of having the just a few companies dominate the telecommunications marketplace. Limiting the options when it comes to who can provide national services and who can’t limits competition and innovation and leads to price gouging and unfair business practices.

As of last week, it looks like our friends south of the border are heading down the same path.

The New York Time’s Nobel Prize winning economics columnist, Paul Krugman wrote a scathing take-down on a proposed merger in the U.S. that would make Comcast, already the biggest telecommunications company in that country even larger with its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

Here’s the key points:

Last week’s big business news was the announcement that Comcast, a gigantic provider of cable TV and high-speed Internet service, has reached a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable, which is merely huge. If regulators approve the deal, Comcast will be an overwhelmingly dominant player in the business, with around 30 million subscribers.

So let me ask two questions about the proposed deal. First, why would we even think about letting it go through? Second, when and why did we stop worrying about monopoly power?

On the first question, broadband Internet and cable TV are already highly concentrated industries, with a handful of corporations accounting for most of the customers. Once upon a time antitrust authorities, looking at this situation, would probably have been trying to cut Comcast down to size. Letting it expand would have been unthinkable.

Interestingly, one cliché seems to be missing from the boilerplate arguments being deployed on behalf of this deal: I haven’t seen anyone arguing that the deal would promote innovation. Maybe that’s because anyone trying to make that argument would be met with snorts of derision. In fact, a number of experts — like Susan Crawford of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, whose recent book “Captive Audience” bears directly on this case — have argued that the power of giant telecommunication companies has stifled innovation, putting the United States increasingly behind other advanced countries.

wl_save_internetExcept for Canada of course. We are the poster child for how not to run a telecom industry. Due the concentration of customers in three mega-companies, practically every Canadian has a Big Telco story about how they were ripped off, and due to the restrictions in the marketplace, they have few places to turn.

Worldline is one of the few competitors out there who are throwing a wrench into the gears of Big Telco, forcing them to reign in their price gouging and unfair contracts. Yet, too few Canadians know that, a), they have an option in a service like ours, or b) too few have geographical issues that leaves them with only one provider.

The only way to beat these guys is first, government action to take the shackles off and let competition truly thrive. However, until that happens, what will really be a game changes is for more Canadians to simply just say “no” to Big Telco and take their business elsewhere.

Oh, by the way, our number is 1(855) 299-0025.

Calling All Olympians: Worldline Customers call Sochi for Free!

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We’re loving the Olympics here at Worldline and are in awe of how well our team is doing. Since we just happen to be a telecom company, we thought, what can we do to help cheer our athletes on than letting our customers call them for FREE for the duration of the Sochi Games.

There are no tricks. Nothing special you have to do. Just call using the Sochi area code and that call will be credited on your next bill.

We invite you to with our athletes the best in their quest for Gold, Silver and Bronze in Sochi Russia – Go Canada Go!

Oh, and if you are not a Worldline Bundle customer, this is just part of the service you will come to expect once you join up. For more details on the Worldline Bundle, please go HERE.

Wordline Comes Clean About Their Customer’s Information

Michael_GeistMichael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. He is also Canada’s premier writer on the telecommunications industry.

Last month he wrote a provocative column called Why Canada’s Telecom Companies Should Come Clean About Customer Information

Here’s a brief excerpt:

I wrote a column arguing that Canada’s telecom companies should come clean about their disclosures of customer information. That column was in response to a public letter from leading civil liberties groups and academics sent to Canada’s leading telecom companies asking them to shed new light into their data retention and sharing policies…to address the lack of transparency regarding how and when Canadians’ personal information may be disclosed without their knowledge to law enforcement or intelligence agencies.

Concerns with telecom secrecy has become particularly pronounced in recent months as a steady stream of revelations that have painted a picture of ubiquitous surveillance that captures “all the signals all the time”, sweeping up billions of phone calls, texts, emails, and Internet activity with dragnet-style efficiency.

Canada’s role in the surveillance activities remains a bit of mystery, yet there is little doubt that Canadian telecom and Internet companies play an important part as intermediaries that access, retain, and possibly disclose information about their subscribers’ activities.

Good points there, and we agree. The telecommunications industry must become more transparent.

So, we’ll go first. Here’s what we here at Worldline disclose.

I asked our CTO Francisco Dominguez to spell out in the simplest terms what we do and don’t do when it comes to our customers data and information. It turns out, we don’t do much, and when we do disclose any information it’s under very specific circumstances with very strict guidelines:

According to Francisco, for telephone numbers, if a law enforcement agency (LEA) requests information and indicates it’s an imminent threat to life  we collect the law enforcement agency contact  details (badge/name/dept/LEA name/contact number) and confirm the LEA through a call back mechanism, then we provide address details for the subscriber limited to:

 First-name Last-name, address, city, postal code, alternate phone numbers

If a law enforcement agency requests information and does not indicate an imminent threat to life we require a warrant.

Once a warrant is received we provide the details outlined in the warrant only.

So, for the record, that’s our disclosure policy. Contact information only, and only when it’s a matter of life or death, or if we are presented with a warrant. As Michael wrote, “Canadian telecom and Internet companies play an important part as intermediaries that access, retain, and possibly disclose information about their subscribers’ activities.”

Very true, and we don’t play that game.

Tech for Good: 54 Hours to Change the World

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What happens when you get the best and brightest young up and comers together with business leaders and innovators, like John Stix from Fibernetics? It turns out, some pretty cool stuff!

At the end of January, 100 plus of Canada’s top young entrepreneurs, mentors and advisers crammed themselves into a downtown corporate office at Startup Weekend Toronto and brainstormed, innovated and created with the goal of coming up with tech oriented products and services. A competition, it had the following parameters:

  1. Business Model – Customer Validation and acquisition strategy, Revenue model, Partnerships defined, Rollout strategy
  2. Technical – Is there a functional prototype (e.g.in the case of an app, did they build one)?
  3. Design – UX, Graphic design, Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? What key insights were gathered over the weekend to go in the chosen creative direction?
  4. Social Value Proposition– What is the depth of the anticipated social impact for customers? What is the potential for the product/service to achieve a positive social impact at significant scale? Are there clear metrics and goals for measuring social impact over time? To what degree have social impact assumptions have validated?
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John Stix mentoring

Boiled down, what they were after was, in just 54 hours, creating something that would change the world for the better.

They did,

And the winners were:

3rd Place

GivePlay | An online platform in the making for athletes and recreational players to easily find sport venues that fit their needs.

2nd Place

Spritely A Concierge service to preserve independence for senior citizens and improve their mental health.

1st Place

BuddyBench  An online platform that move universities and colleges from mental health awareness to mental wellness. While other counselling services may offer 24/7 and anonymous access, BuddyBench removes the barriers of inconvenient and intimidating counselling.

We’ll be following their progress as they bring these innovative ideas to market. Thanks to all who participated, and John can’t wait for the next group of brilliant young minds set on changing the world for the better.

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