Tag Archives: Text messaging

Toss the paper coupons and pick up your smartphone

Mobile coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond

Mobile coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond

I have a refrigerator full of coupons from Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond. It seems these stores send the most coupons, and I hate to be in the store without a discount of some sort. However, it seems that always happens. Whenever I need a coupon, I don’t have one that’s not expired or I forget the savings at home. That’s why I’ve turned to paperless coupons. Now, I just pick up my smartphone and check my text messages to save.

The next time you are at the store, look near the register. Most will tell you to text an odd combination of numbers (5 or 6) to sign up for text message alerts that notify you of savings.

With Bed Bath & Beyond, you get a text message with a link to the latest 20% off coupon. The other benefit is that you can use it more than once. With the paper coupons, they take them. There is still a limit of one coupon per order or purchase, but you still have it for next time.

Some stores also alert you when the coupon expires so you can plan your purchases better to coincide with a deal.

If you get annoyed by the text messages, you can stop the alerts. I don’t think the stores abuse their privilege of having your phone number. I don’t get that many messages and I haven’t seen an increase in my spam texts.

AT&T is teaming up with several retailers to offer a similar service, only you’ll be notified when you are in the area of a store offering a discount. You need to be an AT&T customer, but it’s another sign that paper coupons will soon be replaced by digital ones.

After all, we never leave home without our smartphone. We do leave home without those coupons. Soon, we won’t have to worry about that.

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Say goodbye to spam text messages

I am so tired of my phone buzzing, only to find a text message telling me I can win an iPad or $1,000 cash.  Some even use local phone numbers to make you think it’s a legitimate text from a local business. All I have to do is go to a website and give up all my personal information. I get these texts on my work and personal phone. The good news – there are things you can do about it.

You can forward the text to your carrier by sending it to SPAM or 7726. That way they can investigate where the texts are coming from and help prevent them in the future. To send the message to SPAM, you won’t incur any fees.

 

Keep tabs on when your carrier implements bill shock alerts so you don’t go over your data, text, or voice limits

The government is cracking down on those unexpected charges that appear on cell phone bills for going over your voice, text, or data plan limits. The government estimates one in six cell phone users have experienced what’s known as bill shock. That’s when unexpected charges appear on your bill. Cell phone carriers and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are working to put an end to the shock by next spring. A new chart makes it easy to keep track of what your carrier is in the implementation process.

Starting October 17, 2012, carriers will automatically alert when your usage goes over your plan for at least two of the four types of charges. These include text messages, data, voice and international roaming. The carriers will have until April 17, 2013 to let you know about the other charges.

Some carriers have already started offering you this service for some of the features. You will get an alert when you approach an overage charge, and one when you go over the plan limits. To make it easy to know when your carrier starts the alerts, the FCC started a char that breaks down which carrier is doing what.

T-Mobile is offering the most alerts including voice, data, and international roaming alerts. Automatic alerts are set up, and you can check your minutes, text messages, or data by dialing a code on your phone. To check Whenever Minutes, dial #MIN#. Text messages, you dial #MSG#, and data is #WEB#. To check your balance, due date, or payment history you simply dial #BAL#. If you are a prepaid customer you dial #999#.

AT&T is offering data alerts. You can get a courtesy text or email when you reach 65, 90, or 100-percent of your data usage for the month. You can dial *3282# or *DATA# to get a text message with your usage, or check online or through an app.

According to the FCC chart, Sprint is offering international roaming alerts.

Verizon offers data and international roaming alerts.  There is an online tool that you can check for your limits, or you can dial #MIN or #DATA for the respective information. You can also setup usage controls, but there is a small fee attached.

Forgetful? Free service promises you won’t forget again

Even with a constant reminder on Facebook, I still forget people’s birthdays. For me, lists help me stay on task and remember everything I need to do. Now, there is a feature that allows you to schedule text messages.

Ohdontforget  is a website that allows you to type in your cell phone number, your message, and schedule its delivery by date and time.

If you don’t like the service, and want to remove your cell phone you can do it at a later date.

While the service is free, it appears there may be ads based on the matrix on the website. It’s not like we don’t get ads on apps already.  You can avoid ads by upgrading to the premium version. That costs $4.95 a month or $47.50 a year.

You can also use it to remind your significant other to perform a task. I guess it’s good if you want the text message to arrive at a specific time so you’re sure the to do list item or reminder in the text will be followed through and not forgotten. Other than that, just set yourself a reminder in your calendar on your phone. You can set the time to remind you about an event. Plus, nobody has your cell phone number.

If you want to remind someone else about something at a specific time, I can see this having a use. Then again, do they want a third party that may attach ads to have their cell phone number? All these handy applications that make our life easier also raise privacy concerns even if they say your information is private. How much do we want to give people for the sake of convenience?