Consumer Confidential: Phone jobs, EBay listings, diabetes drug
Here's your tantalizingly Tuesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:
--We all know more and more people are carrying cellphones. But the flip side is that fewer folk are using old-fashioned land lines. Verizon Communications says it'll cut about 13,000 jobs to cope with the change. This will follow the loss of roughly the same number of jobs last year. I don't know about you, but sacking people at the phone company doesn't seem like the best recipe for improving service.
--EBay wants your business. The online auction king is cutting fees for listings -- even dropping them completely in some cases. The move is intended to woo smaller sellers, not the bigger retailers that have increasingly planted their flag on the site. The new system, which takes effect March 30, will feature 100 free listings per month for items with starting prices of 99 cents or under. That's a whole lot of Beanie Babies.
--As obesity levels soar, the number of people with Type 2 diabetes has kept steady pace, posing a major health risk to society. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug, Victoza, intended to help people cope with the disease. The once-daily injections will help lower blood sugar levels and assist in leading a healthier lifestyle. However, there's a risk of potentially serious side effects, including tumors. So talk with your doctor first.
-- David Lazarus