I am not a big consumer. In fact, I would much rather make due with a semi-functioning item than buy a new one. I once told my wife that if I ever have a mid-life crisis it will not take the form of an affair with a much younger woman or the purchase of a motorcycle. No, my crisis will manifest as a giant giveaway of everything I own. I really do not like stuff because of how buying and owning make me feel. As one of my favorite writers, Peter Matthiessen, once said, “We have outsmarted ourselves, like greedy monkeys, and now we are full of dread.”
One way this aversion to consumerism shows up is my reluctance to wear any item of clothing that has a visible label. My teenage daughter feels it is a bit ridiculous, but I contend that companies should pay the wearer for advertising when we walk around with big labels visible to the world. (Being human, I do allow myself an exception in the case of Converse Chuck Taylor high tops, since I have worn them forever and the circled star logo is invisible when I wear long pants.)
These quick comments are here simply to establish my bona fides as an anti-consumerist. Nobody would ever call me a shill for anything. Having said that, I would like to make a public declaration of adoration for a phone company.
I love CREDO Mobile. They have been my long distance phone company for at least 15 years and I have never once been tempted to leave them. Erica has strayed from Credo a time or two, but each time, they have welcomed her back by buying out her old contract and finding other ways to sweeten the deal. As we have become a 3-phone family, they have adjusted our plan to make sure we are paying the very least we have to while still having unlimited texting and no roaming charges ever. When you call their customer service number, you get to a real person very quickly. Their customer service representatives are empowered to make decisions without checking with a manager or passing the buck in some way. They have never been anything but pleasant and helpful.
Can you say that about your phone company?
As if that weren’t enough, they are a corporation with a huge sense of responsibility. Their mission is to build a for-profit company that works for progressive social change. Since their beginnings in 1985 they have donated over $70 million to progressive causes around the world. Customers get to vote on how to disburse donations each year. Every once in a while we get a coupon with our bill that entitles us to a free pint of Ben and Jerry's.
New York State recently made same-sex marriage legal. Mitt Romney famously said, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Now, if only New York would allow bigamy, so Erica and I could marry Credo…
If you are unhappy with your cell phone company, consider switching to Credo Mobile. They rock.