Cell phone companies have been talking about offering coupons on mobile phones for years but have mostly left it up to third-party providers like Cellfire to offer the service. Today, T-Mobile jumped in, launching its own digital coupon service.
Called “Green Perks,” T-Mobile’s coupon program is intended to promote the company’s “green” efforts by offering discounts on environmentally conscious products from Method, Jamba Juice, Volcom, Roxy and Quiksilver, according to the press release.
The point of a cell phone coupon is to pull it up on your phone’s screen, show it to the store’s cashier and leave with a discount on your purchase. No printing, no paper necessary — very green, get it?
As a T-Mobile subscriber, I downloaded this myself. Oddly, T-Mobile didn’t create an app for Google Android phones, so G1 users like myself need to go to the phone’s settings and allow “unknown sources” to install non-Android Market applications (scary!). Full instructions are HERE.
Only six coupons showed up for me, including 20 percent off a Volcom V-Co. Logical item at Volcom Brand Stores. That was the only in-store discount. Deals for Roxy, Quiksilver, CatSwell, DogSwell and Method cleaning products were only available through official company Web sites, which defeats the purpose of getting the discount on the phone. No Jamba Juice coupon to be found, by the way.
Still, I like the idea of having coupons on my cell phone. I hate messing with paper ones because you either 1) have to print or cut them out and 2) remember to use them. Now, I just need to remember to use them.
The whole mobile coupon trend news reminds me of a story I wrote in 2006 (see “Other things your cell phone can do“) about, well, other things your cell phone can do. I mentioned Cellfire, a mobile coupon service that is alive and well today, and teaming up with stores like Vons, Payless Shoes and Hollywood Video.
Now, if only those coupons would pop up on my phone’s screen when I neared the store…
Green Perks is free but available only to T-Mobile users with a data plan and must be requested by going to a web site: www.t-mobile.com/mobilize. The software is downloaded to a user’s phone and needs to be launched to see what’s new.
More on mobile coupons from the web: