Archive for December 1, 2020

Guest Post: Hisense Canada Has Some Tips for Gifting Electronics

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 1, 2020 by itnerd

Year in and out, home electronics are among the most popular gifts given during the holiday season.

That is especially true in the digital information age. From personal speakers to smart watches to video game systems to new televisions, chances are there is some form of electronics device on most wish lists.

It also helps that electronics are relatively easy to shop for…. If you know what you want to buy. To help ease the process — for both yourself and the intended recipient of the gift — Hisense Canada is offering some advice.

As they say, it is the thought that counts. So here are some things to think about when checking off your list:

  • Beat the Rush — Shop early, especially in this COVID-economy. Shopping early gives you a better chance of finding exactly what you want, will increase the odds that the inventory exists and will make it more likely that it is in your possession before your gift-giving deadline.
  • Gift the Receipt — Do more than just hold on to the receipt; it’s a wise idea to include it as part of the gift. With most electronics, the recipient will need it to register and validate their warranty. And you absolutely want them to register and validate the warranty.
  • Research the Retailer — Doubling down on the bit about the warranty, you want to make sure there actually is one for them to register and validate. Even if you are on the website of a trusted retailer, some of them offer a “Marketplace” where third-party vendors can peddle their wares. And quite often, a deal seen here that is too good to be true, is exactly that. They may be selling a model that is discontinued, refurbished or from another country. And in each of these cases, the manufacturer’s warranty is no longer valid. When you find the item you want to buy, note the product number and cross reference that on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Get the Right Fit — OK, so it’s not like buying a T-Shirt and knowing what will physically fit. But you want a device to fit into the recipient’s lifestyle. For example, if you are looking to get someone a TV to fit into their smart home system, it would be helpful to know what kind of system they are operating. For example, a television equipped with AndroidTV streaming is best suited with Google Home; or you know their current TV stand will fit the footprint of the TV you’re looking at – unless you’re going to gift that, too!
  • Know Your Audience — Or, at least, the person you are giving it to. If they are a die-hard video gamer, make sure the TV has the speed to keep up with their action. If they aren’t overly tech savvy, keep it simple — will that smart watch help their lives, or frustrate them to no end? If they have a small apartment, or are a student in a communal living space, make sure the gift will physically fit in their living space.

For more information, please visit hisense-canada.com.

SkipTheDishes and City of Markham Partner Up To Support Local Restaurants

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 1, 2020 by itnerd

The City of Markham is proud to announce an exciting partnership with SkipTheDishes to help local restaurants weather the second wave of COVID-19 during the holiday season.

From December 2, 2020 to January 2, 2021, restaurants that join SkipTheDishes will pay 0% commission for the first 30 days. In addition, as a way to stimulate consumer demand and generate more orders for local Markham restaurants, SkipTheDishes is offering Markham diners free delivery on every order over $20 that is placed through the app during this one-month promotional period.

By using SkipTheDishes during the crucial holiday season, Markham restaurants will be able to increase sales and find new customers while providing more work opportunities for independently-contracted couriers. The community will be rewarded with $0 delivery fees for supporting local and for doing their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by limiting their exposure to those outside of their households.
  
Since March, SkipTheDishes has supported their restaurant partners by reducing fees and giving back tens of millions of dollars directly to local restaurants. By innovating and differentiating their network and working with partners across Ontario, SkipTheDishes continues to find new ways to engage customers while enabling them to stay safe at home.
 
This partnership with SkipTheDishes is the latest initiative offered by the City of Markham to help local businesses through the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about this partnership and how to participate, visit markham.ca/msbc.
 
Diners can access SkipTheDishes at skipthedishes.com or by downloading the mobile app on the Apple Store or Google Play.

TekSavvy Announces Managed Wi-Fi & Managed Security Offerings

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 1, 2020 by itnerd

TekSavvy has announced the broad availability of their Managed Wi-Fi and Managed Security services. Combining robust security appliances and the 24/7 monitoring capabilities of their Technical Assistance Centre (TAC), TekSavvy takes the headache out of deploying crucial Internet connectivity and security solutions.

Managed Wi-Fi provides safe, secure Wi-Fi access that can be deployed across a campus, an office, a café, or a Bed and Breakfast. TekSavvy technicians install business grade hardware to suit the client and the environment. Wi-Fi networks are continuously monitored, while security updates are safely managed by TekSavvy’s 24/7 Technical Assistance Centre. Internet access can be controlled based on site, protocol, or content category. Stakeholders can rest easy knowing the TAC team will be alerted to online threats or system issues whenever they may occur.

TekSavvy Managed Security protects networks at their edge, continuously scanning for vulnerabilities and intrusion attempts. Real-time traffic analysis detects malware and other threats notifying TekSavvy’s TAC technicians to triage and remediate vulnerabilities. Virtual Private Networking (VPN) connecting employees to the office, or branches to each other, secures and protects data from attacks outside your business. Integrated identity-based filtering provides the flexibility to manage access for those that need it and limit access where required. 

TekSavvy provides the technology behind Managed Security and Managed Wi-Fi to enable our partners to focus on their company and their customers.

Nearly Half Of Canadian Small Retailers Are Relying On Support From Their Communities To Survive The Holiday Season: Intuit QuickBooks Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 1, 2020 by itnerd

This holiday season will be unlike any other as Canadian small business owners and consumers face increasing Covid-19 restrictions in recent weeks. And though small businesses are cautiously optimistic that they are better prepared this year (46%), they are faced with hurdles ranging from large retailer competition to cost-cutting consumers.

Intuit QuickBooks Canada has released the results of a holiday sentiment survey, capturing key findings from at least 500 small business owners across the retail and hospitality industries in Canada, and 1,500 consumers to understand holiday shopping trends, and the sentiments of small business owners weathering the holiday season in a pandemic.

Key findings on the sentiment of Canadian small business owners include:

  • Almost half of Canadian small business owners (46%) feel their business is better prepared to survive this holiday season
  • Nearly half of Canadian small business owners (41%) are optimistic about their business and expect an increase in sales during this holiday season, and about a third (32%) expect sales for their business will increase by up to 15% this holiday season, due to COVID-19
  • However, about half of Canadian small business owners (48%) say they need help from the community and customers through the holiday season
  • And nearly half of Canadian small business owners (46%) are worried that larger big box brands will impact the success of their business through the holidays

Despite the cautious optimism of SMBs, there is a disconnect among consumers:

  • Nearly half of Canadian consumers (48%) care more about small businesses and want to do more to help support them
  • However, half of Canadian consumers (50%) will be shopping from large stores for the holidays
  • And only 18% of Canadian consumers will be doing most of their holiday shopping from small businesses while 17% will be spending more to help support small businesses
  • Finally, about a third of Canadian consumers (34%) will be cost-cutting this holiday season, spending less than last year to save money

It’s been a challenging year, and small business owners are feeling the impacts of Covid-19 especially hard. With many parts of the country in, or potentially approaching another lockdown, it’s never been more important for Canadians to show their support. 

You can read the full release here.

CCTS 2019-2020 Annual Report Sees Increase In Wireless Code Breaches

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 1, 2020 by itnerd

It’s that time of year again. The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services has released their 2019-2020 annual report. Here’s the highlights:

  • Consumers filed 15,868 complaints which is a 19% decrease in consumer complaints
  • CCTS continues to successfully resolve nearly 9 out of 10 complaints
  • Complaint frequency by service (highest to lowest): wireless, internet, television, local phone
  • Most common complaints: Billing followed by disclosure issues
  • Wireless Code breaches increased 16% this year

As for the big three telcos:

  • Bell had 37% of disclosure issues, but only saw a 4% YoY increase.
  • Rogers had 13% of disclosure issues, seeing a 39% jump in complaints
  • Telus took 7% of disclosure issues but its YoY change was at 0%

And as for other telcos:

  • Koodo saw a 0% YoY change.
  • Videotron with 7% of disclosure issues and a 54% increase YoY. 
  • Fido saw a 45% jump in YoY disclosure issues, taking 6% of total disclosure issues.

I linked to the report above and it makes for an interesting read.