announced Wednesday a new incentive program for Kmart retail store and online customers: The more you buy, the more hours and months of service you get of Internet access.
Essentially changing the definition of ‘free’ Internet service, BlueLight’s new Internet strategy launches March 1 and includes two tiers of service and a series of special offers through the BlueLight Rewards program.
Bluelight.com offers online access to Macintosh users.
The new service plan will include two types of service — 12 hours a month under the Basic Free Internet Service plan, or 100 hours per month for the US$9.95 BlueLight Premier Internet Service. “With the average American spending 11.25 hours a month on the Internet (Veronis Suhler survey, 2001), the tiers meet the needs of all users, from the casual Web surfer to the serious Internet fan,” a company statement said.
In addition, BlueLight users will receive bonus offers when they shop at the BlueLight.com Web site. Users who purchase any item at BlueLight.com will receive one month of free Internet access. In addition, shoppers will be able to earn more free months for every $50 spent before tax and shipping, per individual order over $100, for a maximum of six free months.
All offers are available to U.S. residents only.
All current subscribers to BlueLight’s ISP will have the opportunity to be automatically enrolled in the BlueLight Basic Free Internet Service at launch. They can then choose to upgrade to the BlueLight Premier Internet Service.
Kmart was locking out its online users who spent more than 25 hours online per month. “This was not a move to go back on a promise to customers,” Dave Karraker, director of communications, told MacCentral. “We have an obligation to all our users to make sure we can adequately accommodate them online.”
Karraker said the move was to control a small minority of heavy Internet users that were accounting for almost 50 percent of the services total bandwidth costs.
“Bluelight.com was always meant for our Kmart customers,” Karraker commented. “We’re always going to have a free service in one form or fashion, but our service is primarily for those who want to shop and buy products from our site. It is not for the heavy Internet surfers, the porn downloaders or the online gamers.”
BlueLight’s ISP is supported by a nationwide network of local dial-up access providers, including AT&T, Level 3, PSINet, StarNet, Telia Internet and WorldNet. BlueLight’s coverage area includes more than 2,000 cities and towns across the country.