Boycotts Archive

April 29, 2008 @ 13:26

Gizmo Isn't Worth My Time, Or Yours

I received an email from Gizmo today. Gizmo5 is a wanna be replacement for Skype that, to be honest, doesn't work nearly as reliably as Skype. I still receive email from them because I signed up to use their service many months ago when Vinny and I were having trouble with Skype during our podcasts. We ended up sticking with Skype, and I haven't really given much more thought to Gizmo. To be honest, I didn't like their service before I received this email. Every call I placed with their service had low quality, and it took several attempts to place the calls in the first place.

Click the image to view it full size.

According to their email, if I install Gizmo5 on my phone or my computer, I can vote 25 times for my favorite American Idol contestant with just one call through Gizmo. Is it me, or are they admitting to gaming the American Idol voting system? If you or I use our phones to call, we register just one vote. How does Gizmo get 25 votes in to the system with just one call? That sounds a little bit fishy to me.

More importantly, however, is the fact that they are actively recruiting international calls, which are prohibited by American Idol. They are actively endorsing cheating while promoting their product.

Do you live outside the United States? Now you can vote too. The show blocks international calls, but by using Gizmo5 your calls will go through and your votes will be counted!

Not only are they gaming the voting system on American Idol, but they are trying to engage international viewers to use Gizmo5 to place their votes and bypass the fact that such calls are prohibited by American Idol. I wonder how the producers of American Idol will view this? I think it's pretty sad when the only way you can promote your product is to encourage people to use it in an unethical way.

While I find it very natural for any company to try and attach themselves to the American Idol popularity train, I also find it disgusting that they are trying to do so by breaking the rules and encouraging people to cheat while doing so.

It's clear they are trying to appeal to the international market by giving international users a reason to try their service. It's also clear where they stand on ethics as a company, and I'm certainly not going to lose any sleep while boycotting Gizmo.

[Crossposted at The Alligator Pit]

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Technorati Tags: Gizmo, American Idol, international

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April 9, 2008 @ 22:41

Absolut Chorradas

Absolut must have received an awful lot of phone calls. Too bad those phone calls couldn't spur them to tell the truth.

The Absolut vodka company apologized Saturday for an ad campaign depicting the southwestern U.S. as part of Mexico amid angry calls for a boycott by U.S. consumers.

The campaign, which promotes ideal scenarios under the slogan "In an Absolut World," showed a 1830s-era map when Mexico included California, Texas and other southwestern states. Mexico still resents losing that territory in the 1848 Mexican-American War and the fight for Texas independence.

"In no way was it meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues," Absolut said in a statement left on its consumer inquiry phone line.

The ad wasn't meant to offend? Uh, right. It was meant to build national pride in Mexico. We get it.

The ad didn't advocate the altering of the border? Uh, right. That must be why they didn't change the lines on the map.

The ad didn't lend support to any anti-American sentiment? Uh, right. That's why their original statement said the ad was "relevant" to Mexicans who love the idea of reclaiming the land that the Americans stole.

They're going to have to purchase a heck of a lot of lipovox if they think they can smooth this one out.

Absolut hasn't said a word since Saturday. Are they hoping this just goes away? It will go away eventually, along with their sales. Asta la vista.

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Technorati Tags: Absolut, vodka, Mexico, boycott

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April 5, 2008 @ 23:54

Absolut Redraws The Map

Apparently, Absolut has an idea what they think North America should look like.

I don't know what they were thinking, but they knew exactly what they were doing.

"Mexicans talk about how the Americans stole their land, so this is their way of reclaiming it. It’s very relevant and the Mexicans will love the idea."

So there you have it. They are playing to the Mexican people with a subject that appeals to their national pride. Well… They must be very desperate for sales in Mexico, and they must also think that the sales in Mexico clearly outweigh the sales here in the United States. Because I know a number of vodka drinkers that won't be drinking Absolut again after seeing that ad.

[Special thanks to Vinny for the heads up on this.]

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Technorati Tags: Absolut, vodka, ad, Americas

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June 11, 2007 @ 22:12

I Think XM Radio Is Harassing Me

On May 15th, I cancelled my account. Later that same day, I unsubscribed from the 'XM Signal' newsletter and XM email alerts. About a week later, I received another newsletter, so I unsubscribed again.

Today, I got yet another email from XM. What the hell is wrong with those people? What part of remove my email address from your pathetic server, didn't they get the first two times?

They are obviously banking on people returning now that Opie and Anthony are coming back on Friday.

Attention O&A Fans,

There's so much speculation on the blogs and fan sites about O&A's return that we thought we'd take a minute to give you the facts directly.

This schedule will repeat until Friday morning at 6:00 a.m., because, as previously announced, Opie and Anthony will be back on XM live at 6:00 a.m. ET on Friday, June 15th. And the Virus channel's normal programming schedule will resume.

Do I care that they are back on XM? No, not in the slightest.

While I think it's great that Opie & Anthony are returning to satellite radio, I cannot, and will not, support XM Radio. Why would I support a company that chose to censor a show that was advertised as "uncensored comedy"? How do I know that management won't turn around and suspend them again in the future?

And what's with the email? How many times do I have to try and unsubscribe before I'm allowed to charge XM $12.95 for the first one, and $6.95 for each additional email I receive? How can I make them understand that when I unsubscribed the first two times, I was serious?

I don't want their email and I don't want their service. No thank you, I can think of better things to spend my money on these days.

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May 17, 2007 @ 12:12

Have You Cancelled Your XM Radio?

As you may know, thousands of Opie and Anthony fans have cancelled their XM Radio subscriptions. Just in case you weren't sure who to call, check out

Show XM Satellite Radio that you will not stand for these business tactics and censorship. Call XM and cancel your subscription TODAY. At the VERY least, call and request a refund of this month's subscription. If they refuse, threaten to cancel your subscription. But don't just threaten it, do it. Cancel only via telephone, and be sure to tell them exactly why you are canceling.

Here are some numbers to call:

1-800-967-2346 (1-800-XM-RADIO)
1-800-998-7900 (to speak to a live person)
202-380-4000 (a direct number to XM's corporate executive offices)

It may take a while, as they are experiencing an extremely high volume of calls (their recording will tell you it's because of people activating their new XM radios, but we all know the truth).

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