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Switching to Credo

August 23, 2011
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[Part of my series Living in America - Chronicles of a Resident Alien]

Credo ad in Mother Jones magazine

I just switched cell phone accounts from Verizon, a major American service carrier, to Credo, “America’s only progressive phone company.” Yes, you read correctly, and Credo tries hard to live up to this claim by support progressive causes through online petitions and by offering us a chance to stop supporting the big often anti-union corporations. The recent Verizon strike is but one example.

Mother Jones readers will have heard all about Credo from the ads that have been running in the last few quarterly issues. The latest issue’s ad (September-October 2011) asks “Which phone companies gave the most money to these Tea Party politicians?” The answer is that Verizon gave U.S. House and Senate Tea Party caucus members $48,000 in 2010.

AT&T subscribers should also take note. That company gave 10 times that amount (a whopping $426,000) to political whack jobs like Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan. The same issue of MJ contains a profile of Bachman, noting that her message is a strongly right-wing religious one: “America will be restored to its founding glory by a righteous few, and it’s going to take a
fight.”

Bachmann is the self-appointed leader of those “few” and it is frightening to think that any voter would pay her the slightest bit of attention. But she beat out Mitt Romney in a Republican straw poll in Iowa recently and is heading for the New Hampshire primary with a full head of steam. She’s anti-gay, anti-equality, and believes women should stand behind their men not in front of
them just like it says in the Bible. She’s also viciously anti-Obama, anti-taxing the rich, and anti-big government. Add to that the Tea Party’s open stance against universal health care and social security, foreign aid, unions and on it goes.

I’m looking forward to getting my new Credo phone for free with my two-year contract. But more important than that, I’m also going to relish a new ‘long-distance feeling’: no longer feeling guilty every time I make a call through Verizon. I’m also pleased that I can show my support for striking Verizon workers who are threatened with the partial loss of their health care benefits.

True to its mid-1970s roots, MJ is still working to be “a magazine for the rest of us,” as it boasted in those earlier years. Now it looks like we have a phone company cut from that same progressive cloth. As the Credo ads say, it’s “more than a network,” its “a movement.”

Here’s hoping all goes well with my transition from bad-guy phone company to good. I’m also hoping that the big corps don’t crush the newcomer which they surely will try to do whether or not the Republican/Tea Party gets into the White House next November. Now that’s one scary nightmare!

Here’s also hoping we can undermine Verizon’s support of the Tea Party. Without a union for its employees and its dealing with the anti-union Sprint, will Credo be part of the advance party?

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3 Responses to Switching to Credo

  1. RD on September 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Is Credo a unionized company? A few years ago they were not. I used to be a Credo customer but I ended up switching to Cingular (now AT&T) for that reason.

    • Ron Verzuh on September 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      I’ve just been informed by Labour Start correspondents that Credo is not unionized. I am checking it out now and will revise my post once I’ve completed the additional research. Thanks for asking. RV

      I have posted a follow-up article on Credo. It is progressive, it does good movement work…and it does not have any defense contracts. The others do. It is not yet unionized, however, and that is a problem. I have recommended to Credo that they encourage their staff to unionize, and was given no reason to believe that management would interfere if the staff did call in a union. CWA? We will stay with it for a while but there are some practical limitations such as the lack of a Canadian calling plan. One of those is available through Verizon. RV

    • Ron Verzuh on December 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      No, they are not unionized but it’s more complicated than I thought. See later postings for a full account of my adventures with Credo. RV

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