An interesting development: AT&T has ended their A-list September 1st, poof!
For those of you who are not Bill Police clients, the A-list was an AT&T program which allowed for EACH PHONE to have their top 10 numbers called to be added into a program which rated these calls as mobile–to-mobile calls, thereby reducing peak minutes. Because your voice charges are based off peak minutes in your pool, if you reduce your pool you will reduce the access fee you pay. Translation: Mobile-to-mobile minutes reduce your bill.
“While new customers will no longer be able to benefit from having a pool of five or ten numbers (depending on the plan) to call as much as they want, anyone currently using the service will be grandfathered in. Note: As of 9/1/2011 the A-List feature is no longer available to new customers. Existing customers who had A-List on their account prior to 9/1/2011 will be able to keep the feature as long as they stay on a qualifying rate plan, subject to AT&T’s right to discontinue A-List at any time in the future, with notice.”
This is such an interesting phenomenon because it has been a HUGE saver for our customers. We used this for all of our AT&T customers and have saved an average of 30% reduction in peak minutes which averaged between a 2% and 5% savings off our customer’s total invoice. This is a big deal and AT&T is no longer allowing NEW customers to be able to be added to this list. Could it be that it’s not a money maker for AT&T and that they actually offered something that was significant value to their customers and realized they were not capitalizing on it? We think so.
Because, AT&T is now “replacing” the A-list with the option for a subscriber to ADD an additional feature: the $20 unlimited messaging plan. Interesting how this so nicely corresponds to our other blog article, “AT&T is removing the $10 text messaging plan: This means YOU!” This $20 unlimited messaging plan coincidentally includes unlimited Mobile-to-Mobile minutes.
This unlimited messaging plan will now allow for folks who are using their current $5, $10 or $20 text messaging plan to move or convert to the $20 unlimited messaging plan and have unlimited Mobile to Any Mobile minutes. Mobile-to-any Mobile means you can call from any wireless carrier to any other wireless carrier phone and these minutes will be re-rated as mobile-to-mobile calls. For example, you have AT&T and you call your payroll person who has Sprint. These call minutes would usually come out of peak minutes, but with this feature, these minutes could now be re-rated as mobile-to-mobile calls and come out of your peak minute allowance.
Because the average wireless user texts about 534 messages a month (keep in mind, this includes people like teenagers who really up the average by texting 3339 text messages per month – our average enterprise uses approximately 200 messages per month), subscribers will need to increase the amount paid for text messaging plans by either by $5 or $15 per month to get unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes. This is great if the unlimited mobile to mobile minutes justifying the offsetting increase in the text messaging plan but that takes some analysis (by the way, we do that).
Here’s AT&T’s caveat:
With automatic addition at no-cost of AT&T’s Mobile to Any Mobile offer for our wireless customers with an unlimited messaging plan, AT&T A-List is being discontinued for new users. Existing A-List users are not affected. We have seen a very enthusiastic response to the value of Mobile to Any Mobile which lets users with an unlimited messaging plan call any mobile number in America, regardless of the wireless provider.
We are sorry to see the A-list be unavailable for new or non Bill Police customers, those that are on, we’ll keep saving you money even without the $20 unlimited messaging plan. So long A-list.