Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Wake Up! It’s Hannah (prank) calling

August 8, 2008

miley.jpgOn July 23, Shop Talk wrote about Wal-Mart teaming up with Disney to offer free wake-up calls from Hannah Montana, (a.k.a. Miley Cyrus), as part of its back-to-school marketing push.

Parents can use the service to send their child a wake-up call — as early as 5 am — to get them ready for the new school year.

While some readers wrote to Shop Talk to say the service was a great idea, others told us recently that they found an unusual way to use the service — to send prank wake-up calls to their friends or coworkers at 5 am.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Shannon Frederick said the retailer was not hearing of any widespread issues with the service. She said Wal-Mart has sent more than 80,000 calls as part of the promotion — far more than the 25,000 it sent last year as part of a High School Musical promotion.

Disney spokesman Aaron Hunt also said Disney had not heard of anything about prank calls.

“We haven’t had any feedback and we’ve been watching it closely,”  he said.

Both Wal-Mart and Disney said the service is limited so only five phone calls can be sent from a phone number.

“If we need to make adjustments, we would,” Hunt said. ”If we need to change it to where the earliest call you could get would be 7 am, then maybe that’s something we’d have to take a look at.”

And the wake-up call service is only available through Sept. 15, so the pranksters cannot have their fun forever. 

(Photo: Reuters)

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