Verizon abandons new fees

Public pressure can build quickly in the social media age. Verizon tried to push through a new $2 fee and ended up with a PR nightmare.

Verizon Wireless bowed to a torrent of criticism on Friday and reversed a day-old plan to impose a $2 bill-paying fee that would have applied to only some customers.

The consumer vitriol, which cascaded across Twitter and onto blogs and petitions all around the Web, struck a chord with a company that was clearly not expecting it.

“The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions,” Verizon Wireless said in a statement referring to the reversal.

Everything is changing, as consumers have real power now with social media.

Smartphones and the boom in social games

People love to gamble and they love to play games on their computers and phones. With that the trends will just accelerate on games like poker that can be played in all sorts of settings. Now with new smartphones there are even more ways to play. You can play real games against real people, or just play practice games against a computer so you learn to avoid losing all your cash.

The new rules from the Obama administration announced Friday might make this even more popular, as the new rule suggests that the federal government can only restrict sports betting under the current federal law. This can lead to an explosion of state regulations overseeing and encouraging online play in order to generate tax revenues.

This decision makes sense, as people love playing online casino games. Now with smartphones exploding, imagine how much more time people will spend playing these games. You can play blackjack hands while standing in the line at the grocery store. So get ready for a bunch of new players as people start using their Christmas gadgets!

Mobile games will drive holiday shopping

Poker is fun, and tons of people love to play. Like most games, it was a huge leap forward when we could play them on our computers. Then game better networks and amazing online experiences with these games.

Smart phones have taken all of this to a new level. Now you can play games of every kind everywhere. You can play by yourself or with other people. Add in social networking, and gaming even becomes a new way of communicating with friends – let’s chat while we play a game!

Of course this is going to drive tons of holiday sales, and phones, iPads and other devices fly off the shelves. People of all ages love this stuff, and kids are obsessed with it. Tons of companies are cashing in on mobile gaming as tons of mobile betting apps are downloaded for all sorts of devices.

Stuff like iCoud makes mobile gaming even better. Now you can track your games and scores from multiple Apple devices, from your iPhone to your iPad to your laptop. It’s just amazing.

The growth here is exponential, so expect some huge numbers from the holiday season and the week after Christmas when people downloads apps on the new gadgets they found under the Christmas tree!

Finding fun gifts online

Shoppers went crazy this year on Black Friday as they snapped up deals everywhere. Some stores went so far as to open on Thanksgiving night. But the increases there were matched by the surge in activity on Cyber Monday. Online shopping is now part of the mainstream, as people realize the the selection and prices are amazing.

While deals are great, the best part of the web has to do with variety and uniqueness. You can find so many cool gift ideas with a little bit of research and imagination. Mainstream gift ideas are fine, but think of stuff that is a little different.

Think about stuff like ideas for sexy costumes. Of course this will only apply to certain people on your list, but women in particular love to dress up for parties. Girlfriends also like to dress up for you, so a sexy costume can be an incredible stocking stuffer. You can pick anything from80s costumes to hot Wonder Woman costumes.

If you’re armed with a woman’s size (don’t get this wrong!), then you can find a ton of cool stuff online. Of course you should also get her a romantic gift like maybe jewelry or a watch, and naturally everyone likes gadget gifts this time of year. But a sexy gift like a costume for a party you’re taking her to might end up as her favorite gift! Happy hunting!

Just start searching online and you’ll find plenty of stuff.

Online research is always critical

With the shopping frenzy of the holidays, there are so many deals out there your head will spin thinking about them. Also, your list of items can get ridiculously long.

Does anyone shop blindly today? Do you ever just walk into a store, browse around and buy something? I guess that still happens, particularly with things like clothes, but with gadgets, electronics and bigger stuff like cars, doing research online before you venture into a store or showroom is critical if you want to make a smart purchase. First, you have to get a better idea of what you want to buy, and then you can think about what deals are available so you can save money.

The good thing is that there’s a ton of helpful information out there on gadgets, electronics and cars. You can browse expert reviews and then look for reactions from consumers. Cast a wide net, and if you’re open minded and flexible, you can end up with amazing deals.

If you think about cars, for example, you can use an online used car price guide to arm yourself with information before walking into a car dealership. Now, like I said, flexibility is important. If you’re dead set on a 60s Mustang or a used Porsche 911 , then obviously you will have less leverage. But if you have a variety of potential cars you want, you’ll do much better.

The same applies to electronics. You might not be able to negotiate in the stores, but you’ll see auctions for products. If you’re not married to one product, you will do better with price.