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Subject: Re: UKNM: Underwriting phone bill
From: Duncan Clubb
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 10:58:23 +0100

Clay Shirky wrote:

> >From the Yank perspective, this whole business of metered calls looks
> not merely daft, but is also a drag on e-commerce, since the sense
> that time online is precious mitigates against the sense of comfort
> needed to get used to shopping.
> Have any ecommerce sites offered to explicitly reimburse customers for
> time spent on their site if they pruchase something? One could either
> do it with a counter (you spent 27 minutes here, so at 4p a minute
> we'll discount your purchase 1 pound 12) or just do like easyJet and
> offer a pound off for web purchases, but tie it explicitly to a
> discount for the metered rate, which would pay for somethig between 25
> and a hundred minutes, depending on the telco charge.

Er, are you serious? You can't actually measure how long anyone looks at a
page - you can only measure the time spent between various clicks within your
site. Using this scheme would encourage people to open up several browsers,
go to several stores, and spend forever going from page to page, dropping the
line every now and again. Besides, almost everything available on the net is
cheaper anyway - there's your discount!

Also, why this hangup with UK v. US - the trade off in both locations is free
ISP or free calls - you can't have both. If someone does come up with a plan
for free ISP and calls, they will have to charge you in another way, anyway -
no such thing as a free lunch (and why should there be?)!

> -clay

Duncan Clubb
e-mail: duncan [dot] clubbatoffworld [dot] net Offworld Industries,
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  Re: UKNM: Underwriting phone bill, Clay Shirky

  UKNM: Underwriting phone bill, Clay Shirky

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