Consumer Payment Card News

New Prepaid Cellular Card

AirTouch Cellular today launched Prepaid Cellular Service, a pay as you go option that allows customers who have been denied cellular service due to past credit, customers who want a defined monthly spending limit or customers who simply want seasonal or temporary service, to have access to cellular for the first time.

“Even though AirTouch Cellular has enjoyed record growth the last several years, we still turned away 30 percent of potential customers because of their credit history, their need for temporary service, or their desire to control cellular costs,” said Scott Hoey, branch manager for AirTouch Cellular’s Omaha market.

“AirTouch Cellular’s Prepaid Cellular service doesn’t require a credit check and there’s no annual contract. Customers can establish service for a day, a month, or a year. By pre-purchasing a fixed amount of service, parents finally can provide the safety and security of cellular to their children without worrying about out-of-control bills,” Hoey said.

To take advantage of Prepaid Cellular service, customers with their own cellular phones simply purchase a $30 AirTouch Prepaid Cellular calling card which is good for up to 30 days. To establish a Prepaid account, customers pay a one-time fee for $40 and must activate each card before use. Cards can be purchased from local AirTouch Cellular retail outlets in the Omaha area including ATS, Finnman Communications, Husker Cellular, Phones Plus and Priority One.

Prepaid Cellular customers can receive up to 35 minutes of local airtime before needing to add minutes to the card or activate a new card. Airtime rates vary for local, long distance and roaming calls. Local rates apply to calls placed within the home zone area. In the Omaha area the home zone encompasses Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties. Additional long distance and roaming rates will apply.

An automated greeting notifies customers of the minutes remaining on their Prepaid accounts prior to connecting calls. In addition, customers can check the status of their Prepaid account by staying on the line for 10-15 seconds after a call has ended and a voice response unit updates them on dollar amount of their account balance and days remaining before the balance expires. In addition, a recording alerts customers when they are approaching their monthly spending limit. Once the prepaid balance has been used, customers have 30 days to activate a new card.

“Prepaid Cellular is another example of AirTouch’s continuing effort to offer customers easy to use services that simplify their lives and help them stay in touch,” Hoey said.

AirTouch Cellular is the brand name for U S WEST NewVector Group Inc. Based in Bellevue, Wash., NewVector has cellular operations in 12 midwestern, western and southwestern states and serves more than two million customers. The company is part of the U S WEST Media Group (NYSE: UMG), which is involved in domestic and international cable and wireless networks, directory publishing and interactive multimedia services.

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