by Mike Masnick

Maybe The Carriers Won't Up Their Ad Spend

Last week, we linked to a Washington Post article saying that the wireless carriers were pumping up their ad spending to deal with number portability day. Now, the NY Times (who wouldn't miss a chance to tweak their southern rivals) is saying the expected increase in carrier advertising may be overblown - though, partly because they're already spending so much on advertising that they can't fathom a reason to spend any more. Still, from the quotes in the article, all the carriers are pretty guarded about their plans, and can be expected to respond to how the others act. Cingular is the only one who has clearly stated plans to run ads directly speaking to the issue of number portability. In the meantime, just about every carrier has been boosting their direct marketing efforts trying to get current customers to sign long term contracts. On this topic, my first hand experience will give you a very obvious negotiating tactic: the more you hesitate to agree to their offer, the more they'll offer you. In my case, just asking for details of an offer meant the offer improved. Three times during the course of a single phone call a simple question - not pushing for lower prices - resulted in them sweetening the offer. Think some carriers are feeling a bit desperate?

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