Bank or Credit Union?

The fallout from the banking fee debacle, brought to you by Congressional meddling, corporate greed and social agitation, continues. And credit unions are making their play for your hearts, minds and deposits!

Let’s back up a couple of months. On October 1, new regulations went into effect cutting debit card fees from 44 cents a swipe, to 24 cents. These are the fees charged by the banks to the merchant every time you use your debit card. The banks howled, saying that was a loss of $5 per month, per debit cardholder.

So, big banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo announced new fees targeting the cardholder to make up the lost revenue. And it was the consumers’ turn to howl. Stir in a little Occupy Wall Street to get things really agitated, and somebody came up with Bank Transfer Day.

Bank Transfer Day proposed that on November 5th, we all dump our banks and sign up with a non-profit, no-shareholder credit union. And the credit unions howled – with glee. The result? According to this article, over 650,000 people joined a credit union in the last month, bringing over $4 billion with them.

Also, Bank of America and Wells Fargo announced that they were canceling their proposed fee hikes. But you have to wonder if, similar to the Netflix rate-hike disaster, the damage is already done.

Anyway, this is not an endorsement of credit unions, nor an indictment of banks, but a conversation starter (hopefully.)  What do you think?

Black Friday Thankfulness

A fun chart. Multiply by 1.55 to get Dollars

Here’s a little bit of good news for all you Holiday shoppers here in the States. Imagine reading THIS article in the UK Daily Mail that says the following:

  • An iPod Nano costs $175 in London and $135 in Boston
  • UGG boots: $269 London, $147 Boston
  • Elizabeth Arden 8-hr cream: $39 London, $18 Boston
  • Men’s Ralph Lauren pullover: $185 London, $95 Boston
  • Sesame Street Rockin’ Elmo: $130 London, $62 Boston

What would you do? Would you buy a plane ticket and do your Holiday shopping in the US of A? Due to a relatively weak Dollar, and HUGE UK taxes, thousands of Brits are doing exactly that this year!

So, as you watch the Wal-Mart credit-card swiper start to smoke and throw sparks as it adds up your purchases, take heart…it could be worse!

Huge Holiday Giveaway!

The countdown begins...

Get used to seeing this charming image. We will be posting it every day until December 10, to build awareness for MindField Online’s HUGE holiday giveaway – our biggest ever!

On December 10, 2011 MindField Online will give away a total of $2,500.00 to 23 lucky friends, including:

One $1,000 Grand Prize,

Two $500 Second Prizes, and

Twenty $25 Third Prizes!

How do you qualify for the biggest drawing ever? There are all kinds of ways involving Facebook, Twitter, PayPal,, the MindField Online Blog, Refer-a-Friend, signing up for text messages and more!

For a full rundown of rules and qualifications, head over to the official MindField Online prize page, HERE.  Thanks, and good luck!

Consumer Trust Issues

Monopoly Man Learns to Cope with Our Distrust

Homer Simpson once said, “People can come up with statistics to prove anything, and 14% of people know that.” So, with a grain of salt, let’s look at little statistical snapshot of consumer sentiment.

The question is, which industries do Americans trust these days? You might be surprised that the answer isn’t “none of them.” According to a new survey, the types of companies we trust from LEAST to MOST trusted are:

  • Health Insurance
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Banks
  • Energy
  • Food and Beverage
  • Large Retailers
  • Manufacturers
  • Technology Companies

Other statistical nuggets include the following:

  • 72% think the economy is in the crapper, and 31% think it will get worse.
  • 76% say that top execs earn too much money.
  • 84% don’t like it when companies move jobs overseas to take advantage of lower wages. 74% feel the same way even if it lowers prices of the things we buy.
  • 90% of us think favorably of small businesses.
  • 62% would rather do business with a small local company even if it charged somewhat higher prices.

Does this sound right to you?  Let us know!

Retailers Pushing Social Media for the Holidays

Looks like Facebook is about to have its biggest Holiday season ever, with more retailers jumping into Social Media marketing, and existing marketers pushing even harder than before. And Facebook fans are paying attention:

 44% of consumers plan to use social media sites when holiday shopping, according to a recent survey. Of those who plan to use social media, 57% percent will seek discounts, 51% read reviews and 49% research gift ideas. Internet Retailer

So, which retailers are on the bandwagon, and what are they doing online?

  •, and are having a Battle of the Brands on Facebook. Customers vote on their favorite, and the winner will be discounted 30% on Black Friday weekend.
  •  Sears is doing a similar Battle on Facebook, but with weekly winners that will be discounted every weekend.
  •  Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Walgreen’s are publishing a sneak peek of their Black Friday circular on their Facebook page, 2 weeks in advance so you can plan ahead.

And on and on. How about you? Are you a Facebook fan of a big retailer? What are they doing online, and do you “LIKE” it? Let us know!

Older Folks and Online Security

"Where do I slide the card through?"

Now, my 70-year-old mom happens to be one of the most computer-savvy people I know. But I actually knew a guy whose mom was worried that a virus in her PC could also make HER sick!

Older folks are catching up when it comes to the computer, but one thing they still aren’t sure about is the security of online shopping.

The survey found that 77% of consumers 55 and older say they worry about being a victim of online fraud. And 46% say they don’t feel secure that merchants are protecting their safety and security when shopping online. Internet Retailer

Their snot-nosed 18-25 year old kids and grandkids share these concerns, at a slightly lower rate: 62% worry about online fraud, and 27% think retailers aren’t doing enough about it.

The big difference seems to be what happens NEXT. The youngsters research a company more thoroughly, it seems. As a result, while older folks are more worried about fraud, they are also more likely to get ripped off: 46% have gotten scammed at some point, compared to only 35% of the younger folks.

So, caveat emptor*, y’all. And do your research! Do YOU worry about online fraud? Ever been scammed? Let us know!

* “Let the buyer beware.”

Holiday Shopping Goes Mobile!

Half of consumers with mobile phones view their device as a holiday shopping resource for product and sale information, coupons, product reviews, and store information, a new survey finds. And 32% believe their mobile phone is helpful for buying products. Internet Retailer

The stats say that one-third of us have already begun our holiday shopping, and 54% are going to start any minute, here at the beginning of November. Nothing new there. What IS new is the number of us getting more and more comfortable doing our holiday shopping on our mobile devices.  In fact:

  • 70% of consumers who use mobile devices for information and guidance on gift buying say they are likely to consider spending $20 or more on items such as toys, games and electronics via their phones.
  • 40% feel comfortable spending $50 or more on a single holiday gift item using their mobile device.

Consumers at this time of year are on a mission – they have a list and they are ready to buy! So I guess it makes sense that some of the neat-o functions you play with on your phone at other times of the year now suddenly become vital tools in your holiday shopping – locating, researching, comparing and, of course, downloading coupons!

How about you? Will you be using your mobile device as you do combat this holiday season? Let us know!

A Word from Our Fans!

Once again, we have updated the Panelist Reviews page with a fresh batch of enthusiastic comments from MindField Facebook fans like YOU. Lets take a look at them, including this gem from Dianna:

Dianna says: I’m SO loving MindField! If people don’t take advantage of this opportunity then they are really missing out on a chance to make a statement and give their opinion. To my friends, and especially students, moms, etc., it’s a great chance for you all. Join me!

Thanks Dianna (nice smile!) Check out the constantly growing list of satisfied user comments HERE. Thanks fans, see ya next time!

Over One Million Served!

On TV shows it’s a really big deal: a woman walks into a store, sirens blare, balloons fall and a guy rushes out with a big cardboard check. You’re our 1-millionth customer!!

Real life is a little more subtle. In fact, if the Surv-o-Tron 2000® down at MindField Central hadn’t blown a gasket and started leaking coolant, we might not have noticed that the counter had turned over a million.

That’s right, one million survey responses. And who was number 1 million? THIS LADY!

This is Michelle from Maine. As you can see from her Facebook pic, she’s married and has two young kids. And to celebrate this milestone, MindField added FIFTY BUCKS to her payout.

This is just one example of the fun and surprises to be had here at MindField Online Internet Panels. So, thanks Michelle! Everybody else, stay tuned, our big $2500 drawing is just around the corner!