© February 2005
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
Using your cell phone more but enjoying it less? You are not alone.
A report in the February issue of Consumer Reports indicates only
45 percent of cell phone users are very satisfied with their service.
Reasons for the dissatisfaction, according to the magazine, include:
billing mistakes, dropped calls and inability to get a signal at some
locations. Consumers also say the many offerings in addition to basic
voice communications (games, ring tones, data transmission services
and billing plans) are so complicated that it’s impossible to
make comparisons between competing services.
JOB 1: PAYING OFF LOANS
College graduates fresh off campus and beginning their careers have
one big and important job ahead of them: paying off their student
loans. And the bill keeps rising.
A survey of 2002 graduates by Nellie Mae, the student loan company,
shows the average student loan debt for a bachelor’s degree was
$18,900—up 66 percent from five years earlier. Graduates spend
about seven percent of their new incomes to pay back the loans.
As a result, Nellie Mae says 38 percent of graduates are putting off
buying a home (up from 25 percent in 1991) and 21 percent are delaying
having children (up from 12 percent in 1991).
THE VALUE OF ONLINE CATALOGS
For those retailers still not sure how important it is having product
information on a company Web site, findings reported by Forrester
Research say 73 percent of online consumers looked at online catalogs
and 30 percent said they find them valuable.
Online catalogs also work well in conjunction with traditional ones:
25 percent of Internet users polled said they use online catalogs
to easily find products they first saw in a printed catalog.
Online catalogs also reach potential customers that printed catalogs
may not: 35 percent of those surveyed said they flip through an online
catalog even if they’ve never seen the printed version.
The report says shoppers that use online catalogs tend to be slightly
younger, more likely female and generally have broadband Internet
connections at home.
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