Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kudos to Credo

Working Assets, the friendly do-gooder phone company that sends you Ben & Jerry ice cream coupons for your business, has evolved its wireless franchise into Credo Mobile, a do-gooder cellular offshoot.  Naturally, I'm intrigued.   At the risk of sounding like an ad for Credo, allow me to divulge what I've learned thus far.  

First of all, they're making an irresistible offer: switch to them from your current cell carrier and they'll pay your early termination fee, up to $200.  Then they'll send you a new phone for free. AND you can keep your current phone number. They also have a free recycling program to deal with your old phone. Hot diggity!  And of course, the biggest bonus of switching to them is that 1% of your bill goes to good causes and progressive nonprofits.  

1% might not be a lot, but it's way more than all the other guys will give you.  And from what I could tell on the Credo website, the same plan I have at Verizon is actually cheaper at Credo, so I'm paying less and donating more.  Cool.  I do wonder, though, if Credo does well for itself going forward, will the 1% perhaps increase to, say, 2% some day?  Or 5%?  I'd very much like to see that.  

I would also like to see them encourage people to use their phones longer than the standard 2-years that people do now.... it's such a waste to get rid of a perfectly good phone after only two years, just to upgrade to new unnecessary bells and whistles or a sleeker style.  So I sincerely hope that in their effort to be progressive, Credo points out to its customers that if your phone isn't broken, it doesn't hurt to hold on to it as long as you can for the good of the planet.  

I'd also love to see them address how cell phones are made and what goes in to them.   I'm not sure if there is a way to avoid the need for Coltan in new cell phones, but you should know that mining Coltan is a serious threat primates in western Africa according to the Worldwatch Institute.  I first learned about this problem at a talk by Jane Goodall videographer, Bill Wallauer that I attended a few months ago, and Bill convinced me that this is a huge problem.  If anyone is in a position to address this problem, it's Credo. Rather, if there's anyone that gives me hope about addressing this problem, it's Credo.  

In both of the mailings I've received about Credo (one via mail directly from Credo and the other via email from Co-op America) they called out AT&T for being particularly bad for having links to Dick Cheney and his cohorts.  Well I have Verizon, and there was no mention of how Verizon stacks up.  Does anybody know anything to good or bad about them?  I've got some research to do.  


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