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iCat Puts E-Shoppers in Touch With "SomeOne"

iCat Corp. and NETcall Telecom are partnering to allow businesses to connect their Internet commerce site customers to live agents in an effort to improve customer service.

Under terms of the agreement, iCat will offer NETcall's SomeOne service to developers using the iCat Electronic Commerce Suite, the company's Internet catalog software. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

By incorporating SomeOne's HyperPhone Links (HPL)--the telephone equivalent to HyperText Links--within Web sites, end-users can browse, shop, click a button and be automatically connected to the desired merchant, completing their transaction via the telephone.

"Commerce sites are continuing to mature and provide more targeted, valuable information to shoppers," said Craig Danuloff, president and CEO of iCat Corp. "But regardless of the amount and depth of the content on the site, merchants need to provide a comfortable shopping experience, and that often means giving them direct access to a real-live person."

For example, a person browsing the Web for new clothes or a new car can click on a "Call Me" button (HPL) to connect with a live agent or representative of the business.

The SomeOne service also enables customers to make contact via e-mail to verify orders and reservations, or to make changes.

Businesses can become a NETcall SomeOne member for a $40 set-up fee, $3 per month, and a nominal per-minute rate.