Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is Alltel the Future of Prepaid...and More?

We have been combing the notices from the FCC, ATN, Alltel and others trying to find a few morsels of what's coming from the "new" Alltel, also known as, 'That part of Alltel sold to ATN.' One of the findings is that Alltel's "U" prepaid brand is no where to be found, but now there is an interesting selection of 6 Alltel prepaid plans being offered:

  • Unlimited Talk
  • Unlimited Talk & Text
  • Pay Per Minute
  • Pay Per Day
  • Pay Per Month 200
  • Pay per Month 400

This collection of plans seems to include the features of every prepaid offered by other carriers. With the Pay Per Month plans they can even complete with the best of the no-contract carriers. This is the kind of thinking that has made Alltel stand out among carriers, and why we have long recommended them in markets where they are available. Will this happen with Prepaid?

Could this affect the rest of us? The same management team that created features like "My Circle", and other ideas copied by other carriers, are in place with the Alltel-from-ATN network. So, even though the number of people served by the "new" Alltel is drastically less than the old, this downsized carrier may still be influential in coming up with more creative ideas.

Some customers trying to sign up with Alltel are being forwarded to Verizon Wireless who cannot set up any Alltel services. These callers are being identified by their phone number as living in Verizon markets, and the trick around that is to hide your Caller ID by pressing "*67" before you call Alltel's customer service (800-ALLTEL-1).

Then there's that group of Alltel users who will be absorbed into AT&T. Some are thrilled at the prospect, others, not so much. It gives us this additional level of confusion that keeps us all in the guessing game. Help me, Chad!


Anonymous said...

Actually, dialing *67 before calling a toll-free number has absolutely no effect. Your number comes through.

Oz Andrews said...

I know what you're thinking, your Caller ID is passed through when you call an "800" number, which is true. However, when you enter *67, the decision-making program in Alltel's call system is "fooled" into not knowing where you are calling from. If the agent wants to see your Caller ID, and his terminal supports it, your number will show.

This is our experience from Qwest calling areas 100% of the time: Without *67 you get Verizon, with *67 you get Alltel.