Green Tip of the Week

July 28, 2009

Green TeenBy Carol Politi

This week’s Green Tip on the kajeet phone is:

On the Go?

On the go? Try to limit the paper napkins, plastic silverware and cups. If you are taking a drink like juice or water on the road, carry a reusable mug to minimize the waste.”

Tips by Jenn Savedge, Author of The Green Teen

We are working at eliminating disposable containers of any form at my house.  For the longest time it was just so easy to grab a plastic bag to cover food or to carry a kid’s snack.  And those small applesauce containers seemed indispensable.

But now we are focused on making use of reusable containers and we are working to eliminate plastic bags entirely.  My son’s school pushed us in this direction with its No Waste Wednesday program.  The kids are asked to eliminate any and all waste on that day – and once we started in this direction we simply expanded it to every day of the week.  The applesauce turned out to be a snap  – we now buy it in larger containers and send it to school in smaller reusable containers.  We are saving money while saving the environment – not bad.

What techniques have you found useful in working to eliminate disposables?

by Daniel Neal

The New York Times recently published a fine article on this topic here.

Not every kid needs a cell phone. Parents are, of course, the deciders of that. But a rapidly increasing number of parents are in fact equipping their children with cell phones to improve family logistics, communication and safety.  They may even be helping their children build better and stronger social networks.

One of the things I particularly like about the NYT piece is that it recognizes how widespread kids’ use of cell phones has become, and how we must strive to instill politeness and good matters with our cell phone-using kids (I have two, myself).

We’re proud that kajeet is the only contract-free cell phone service with (free) parental controls.  It is also true, however, that  controls can’t make one’s child act politely.  This requires the setting of good examples, and some effective teaching.  Articles such as this one might just help us do the job.  Perhaps this is a great summer reading assignment?

by Carol Politi

“A Phone For Kids And Moms” is an article by Forbes highlighting our very own Mom Sales Team here at kajeet!  When we found that many of our customers had come to us because they were referred by other customers, and that most of our purchasers are moms, it occured to us that we should be tapping into this moms network more formally.  Since November we have been testing a program where moms that like the kajeet service go out and sell our phones to other moms.  This has worked out well for both kajeet and many of the moms, who are able to provide a highly personalized introduction to kajeet for potential customers through their personal relationships, school and church relationships, and  social networking channels.  Now that we are starting to slowly expand the team, our experienced salespeople will act as mentors to those that are new.  We hope this will help jump start the sales process for the new moms as they will be able to take advantage of the hard work we have done over the past 8 months.

Summer Saleby Carol Politi

Yes, it is mid-July.  Just after graduation and just before the big back to school selling season.

This means it is an opportunity for those that like deals!  We have two handsets on sale right now:

  • kajeet Samsung m300 (certified refurbished) is now available for $19.99.  This is $20 off the regular price of $39.99!
  • kajeet Motorola C290 is now available for $16.99.  This is $8 off the regular price of $24.99!

Tell your friends and colleagues that might be thinking about a phone for their kids for back to school that this is a great time to buy kajeet.  The sale will be ongoing through the end of this weekend (i.e., through Sunday the 19th!).

Texting while Driving

July 13, 2009

By Carol Politi

texting_driving

More and more kajeet customers are getting drivers licenses as it turns out a good number of them are between 15 and 17. Our Qwerty phones and texting package options appeal to parents that want the safety and budgeting features of the kajeet service and along with devices and plans that meet the needs of these older kids.

As a result, I have been drawn into many conversations about texting while driving. (Thanks to BabyCenter for the diagram to the left). An update from the Governors Highway Safety Association many states have recently passed laws that ban or otherwise limit texting while driving. Fourteen states and Washington DC ban text messaging while driving entirely. Nine states ban texting by “novice” drivers.

While this is great progress, many of these laws have little in the way of teeth in that the penalties are limited and police are often limited in their ability to pull someone over for texting (it often must be on conjunction with another penalty).  And most of us want to make sure that our kids are safe in the car regardless of penalties and tickets (though higher penalties and better enforceability might deliver better results).

What can we do to protect our kids (from those they drive with and from themselves)?  Here are some ideas:

1. Demonstrate that texting while driving is unacceptable. Don’t pick up the phone to read your email while at a stop light. Some states obviously think that mature drivers can deal with this kind of juggle but we are most likely sending a message to our kids that staring at a screen while driving is OK. If we do that for 16 years it will become pretty difficult to communicate a different message to our own kids when they turn 16.

2. Talk with your kids about the topic of texting while driving. Point out that accidents happen and people die because they are taking their eyes off the road. Have them read some articles about kids that have injured others or been hurt themselves.

3. Check your kids Account Activity when they go out – and have a conversation with your kids if you discover they might be texting while driving. We could advocate for eliminating text messaging or shutting it off during certain timeframes. And perhaps some kids need us to go that far. However, others might just need continuous reinforcement. We love them and don’t want them to get hurt. kajeet posts Account Activity on the kajeet website in near real-time (it is updated no less than every 15 minutes).

4. Talk with your kids about their friend’s driving, and about how they should deal with friends that persist in texting while driving. This is no less a hazard to them than drinking while driving so we (and they) need to take it seriously. If they are not comfortable driving with someone, discuss how they might avoid it. Jointly come up with a plan for ensuring they have a ride home in case they find they are not comfortable with the driving of any friend for any reason (texting, drinking, etc.).

Vail Christian High School went as far as bringing in a driving simulator to show kids what could happen when they were texting while driving. Nothing beats experience so perhaps this should be a part of all our kid’s driver’s education instruction?

How are you making sure your kids drive safely?  Please comment with your ideas.

Weekend Sale!

July 10, 2009

Moto_C290by Carol Politi

The kajeet Motorola C290 is on sale this weekend.  The phone will be $19.99 until Monday (regular price is $24.99).  Please tell your friends that might be thinking about kajeet for back to school that this is a good time to buy!

The C290 is a black flip phone with a speaker & kajeet parental controls.  It is part of the kajeet certified refurbished program.  Every time we sell a refurbished phone it means we don’t have to produce a new one – much better on both your pocketbook and the environment!

Green TeenBy Carol Politi

Here is the Green Tip published on the phone this week for kajeet subscribers:

“Buy Local.

Do you know where your food comes from and how far it travels to get to your plate?  Evan organic food will cause environmental damage if it is flown from overseas or trucked across the country.  If possible, buy local in-season foods.”

Tips by Jenn Savedge, Author of The Green Teen.

Testing New Plans!

July 2, 2009

By Carol Politi

We have been listening to our customer’s feedback on our rate plans and as a result are testing customer interest in two new plans.  These are not available generally on our website while we are testing; however, we are happy to make them available to any current kajeet customer that might be interested.  Here are the details:

1.  Unlimited Talk N’ Text! We have heard from many parents of older teens that their kids need unlimited talk and text, and have heard from parents that are interested in taking advantage of our service themselves that they would be interested in this offer.

2.  30 Minute Plan – for only $6.99/month!   We have also heard that many customers want a basic starter plan that includes about a minute a day – just enough to call on the way home from the bus stop for those kids walking solo for the first time.  We have packaged this into a $6.99/month plan.

Please feedback and let us know what you think!  As usual, if these plans turn out to be popular with our customers we will work to find a way to incorporate them into our standard rate plan options.

If you already have a kajeet phone (or if you are purchasing a phone through one of our mom sales team consultants), just call kajeet customer care after you activate and they will be happy to put you on one of these plans.

(Plans are being tested through September 30th and customers that select one of these plans can remain on the plan they selected even if we do not make it a standard rate plan option).

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