Phones for All Inc., a new prepaid local phone service company, is teaming up with 7-Eleven stores in Florida and Texas. The service is targeted at consumers who fail to qualify for local phone service due to poor credit or lack of U.S. citizenship. To activate the service consumers simply purchase a prepaid local phone card at a nearby 7-Eleven, call a special number for installation and continue to purchase a new card every thirty days to maintain service. Consumers can also purchase a long-distance prepaid phone card at 7-Eleven. Phones for All says 500,000 Texas households and 270,000 Florida households do not have local phone service. 7-Eleven has 288 stores in Texas and 425 in Florida.
There’s now another option for Texas and Florida consumers who can’t qualify for phone service through their local phone company.
Phones for All Inc., a new prepaid local phone service company, provide local phone service to those who can’t get it due to reasons ranging from poor credit to lack of U.S. citizenship. 7-Eleven stores are the exclusive retailer for the phone service card.
“Prepaid local service addresses the needs of a large number of mostly lower-income consumers and recent immigrants because they pay for service before they use it, therefore, credit isn’t an issue,” said Mark Hagen, 7-Eleven’s category manager for phone services. This service is offered in 288 Texas stores and 425 Florida stores operated by The Southland Corporation.
In Texas, more than 500,000 households do not have local phone service. In Florida, more than 270,000 households do not have local phone service.
The Phones For All service is easy to use. Customers first purchase an activation card at a 7-Eleven store. The card has a phone number to call and initiate service. The Phones for All operator records pertinent information such as name and address so that installation can be scheduled with the local phone company. Installation usually occurs within seven to 10 days, and includes the first month of local phone service.
In order to keep the service, customers purchase a prepaid local phone card at a 7-Eleven store every 30 days to “recharge” their local account. The local phone service allows them unlimited local call usage plus access to 800/888 numbers and 911 emergency service. Customers can also purchase long-distance, prepaid phone cards at 7-Eleven and use them on their Phones For All phone line.
“Market tests in Texas have proven that this is a viable business,” said Roberto Sidi, chief executive officer, Phones For All Inc. “Consumers who have signed up for our service have typically become regular customers,” he said. “I think they will find 7-Eleven stores a convenient place to purchase their local phone service cards because they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Phones for All Inc., was developed in 1997 to take advantage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the breakdown of the U.S. telecom monopolies. The company currently has licenses in 32 states (other states pending) to provide prepaid local residential phone service. They are the largest provider in this new telecommunications segment with plans to be nationwide by the end of 1998.
With approximately 17,200 convenience stores worldwide, operations of The Southland Corporation include more than 5,400 corporate and franchised 7-Eleven and other convenience stores in the United States and Canada. In addition, licensees and affiliates operate about 11,800 7-Eleven stores in the U.S., its territories and 18 other countries. 7-Eleven’s home page is located at www.7-eleven.com.