Working Assets

Working Assets

Working Assets is an American company that offers mobile and long distance phone service and a credit card. Founded in 1985, the company is based in San Francisco, California. It has stated a goal of being socially responsible. The company donates a portion of its fees to nonprofit organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, Planned Parenthood and Amnesty International. Since its founding, Working Assets has raised over $60 million for these organizations. They conduct a yearly poll of customers to determine the allocation of contributions.

In 2007, Working Assets launched a new brand for its mobile and long distance services: CREDO. The Latin word means "belief." Through CREDO services, Working Assets aimed to expand its business to a larger segment of socially conscious consumers that offers services aligned with their beliefs.

CREDO Mobile offers a selection of phones, plans and nationwide, all-digital coverage. CREDO is an MVNO, using the Sprint wireless network to carry calls -- it does not maintain its own wireless network.

CREDO Long Distance offers coupons for free Ben & Jerry's ice cream to new subscribers as incentive for signing on.

Working Assets is also the publisher of the best-selling book "How Would a Patriot Act?" by Glenn Greenwald.

Websites

WorkingForChange

WorkingForChange is a progressive news and opinion Web site maintained by Working Assets. The site features articles from syndicated columnists such as Ellen Goodman, Robert Scheer and Greg Palast. In January 2007 the site started a blog. WorkingForChange is now http://www.credoaction.com.

CREDO Action

CREDO Action, formerly ActForChange, is an online activism site run by Working Assets that allows individuals to speak out on urgent issues to elected officials and other targeted decision-makers. Recent issues featured on the site include opposition to conservative judicial nominees, support for embryonic stem cell research, and opposition to President Bush's use of signing statements. The site also features the [http://act.credomobile.com/campaign/mobile_action CREDO Action Mobile network] , a mobile text activism network where users can sign up to receive alerts on progressive issues, and the [http://www.credoaction.com CREDO blog] .

VolunteerForChange

VolunteerForChange is a program created by Working Assets in order to make volunteering easier for busy people who want to make a difference. It is a Web-based tool for progressive organizations and individuals to manage volunteers online, using customer-generated ratings to guarantee the best possible experience for users.

Environmental activities

Working Assets uses 100% post-consumer recycled paper and soy-based ink for all its paper bills and internal operations, and provides tens of thousands of dollars in tree-planting grants to nonprofit groups each year. Working Assets' San Francisco operations are carbon neutral. The company purchases carbon offsets through Carbonfund.org to reduce its office's climate footprint to zero. Its window envelopes do not use transparent plastic film, but instead leave the window open to facilitate recycling.

Criticism

Credit card

Although the Working Assets credit card is now offered through Bank of America, the product came under criticism when it was issued through the bank MBNA, the top contributor to George W. Bush's 2000 Presidential Campaign. When asked about this, Working Assets' employees have made differing claims. In one letter, it was stated that Working Assets chose MBNA regardless of its political views and entirely for its experience and quality customer service. [Unknown News, [http://www.unknownnews.net/0507-1.html Working Assets works for Bush's biggest backers] , May 7, 2003] In another letter, president Michael Kieschnick stated that Working Assets ended up under MBNA when the company purchased the credit card business of Fleet Bank, which had previously issued the card. Kieschnick said it was not Working Assets' choice to select MBNA and cannot change banks without violating its current contract. MBNA was subsequently purchased by Bank of America. Many environmental groups, including ones who benefit from Working Assets, have active campaigns against Bank of America, citing its funding of more projects that contribute to global warming than any other bank. This may cause a conflict of interest for these charities.

Activism against warrantless wiretapping, and CREDO's network use of a participant

Working Assets has been an active opponent against Warrantless wiretapping by the NSA and has been active in criticizing Verizon and AT&T for collaborating with the NSA to permit these activities. Sprint, the network carrier which CREDO resells service on, is also named as a company which participated in this activity. [http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-02-05-nsa-telecoms_x.htm] While CREDO has voiced opposition against FISA and providing immunity to AT&T and Verizon against lawsuits stemming from the wiretapping controversy, criticism or mention of Sprint is notably absent in its press releases. [http://www.credomobile.com/pressroom/article.aspx?id=26]

ee also

*Socially responsible investing

References

External links

* [http://www.workingassets.com Working Assets]
* [http://www.credolongdistance.com/ CREDO long distance]
* [http://www.credomobile.com/ CREDO Mobile]
* [http://www.workingassets.com/creditcard.cfm Working Assets credit card]
* [http://www.workingassetspublishing.com/ Working Assets publishing]
* [http://www.workingforchange.com Working for Change]
* [http://www.credoaction.com CREDO Action]
* [http://www.volunteerforchange.org Volunteer for Change]
* [http://www.workingassets.com/recipients.cfm Recipients of Working Assets donations]
* [http://www.workingassets.com/humanewireless Humane Wireless]
* [http://www.workingassetswireless.com/amnesty/index.cfm? Amnesty Wireless]

* [http://www.credomobile.com/pressroom/article.aspx?id=26 CREDO Action Press Room]


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