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Cox Pushes Consumer Loyalty in Va.

Cox Communications’ northern Virginia system is launching a consumer-loyalty program that will provide subscribers with $600 in discounts to local merchants.

Under the program, dubbed Cox Advantage, the cable operator will mail out a membership card shaped like a credit card. When a consumer uses the card, the merchant will swipe the card through a reader to "debit" the value of the offer. Each month, the cards, administered by VIPspree, are cleared and new balances are acknowledged with the cards’ next use.

Consumers can log onto the vendor's Web site to check their offers and the monthly value of the card.

Versions of the program are also used by Charter Communications in Reno, Nev.; and Comcast in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Cox is competing in that market with direct-broadcast satellite providers and Verizon Communications, which is deploying its FiOS TV service. Cox noted that it has exclusive rights in the market to the loyalty program.