Renting To The Stars, And The Non-Stars, Too: That's Where [The] Action Is.

Cellular Sales & Marketing; Feb. 1993

Dolly Parton is one of his customers. So is Paul McCartney. When members of the Saudi Royal Family visited the US, they rented 17 cellular phones—and ran up a $21,000 bill in just three weeks. Mikhail Gorbachev and his entourage used the service, too. So did Nelson Mandela.

"I actually managed to see a Paul McCartney concert as a result of renting him a phone," says Lee Dorfman, president of Action Cellular Rent a Phone Inc. Action's press kit includes a photo of now-VP Al Gore on the campaign trail talking on An Action Cellular portable phone. "Nobody in the Republican Party rented from us," Dorfman said. "We approached the Republicans, but they must not have felt that cellular phones were essential to the campaign. The Democrats rented about 95 phones." He declined to comment on whether the rental statistic had any impact on the outcome of the election.

But you don't have to be a superstar or a celebrity to rent from Action. The vast majority of the 4-year-old company's clients are regular business people. Action is exclusively into rentals; it does not sell phones. The customer or one of Action's dealers calls its 800 number and arrange the rental. Action ships the phone for next-day delivery via DHL. In a pinch, it will even arrange for same-day delivery.

"We can provide leads to dealers for sales; in return, dealers call us when they need rental phones," Dorfman said. "Dealers usually cannot offer a phone [for sale] with less than a 6-month commitment. Now, with our assistance, they no longer have to turn down customers who want a phone for a shorter period of time." Dealers also earn a referral fee.

"The cellular rental industry is growing," Dorfman said, "and we intend to provide expanded services to carriers and dealers throughout the country."

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