Alltel is a name familiar throughout the United States with a long history in wireless communication. Although recently acquired by Verizon, the company continues to trade under its own name and is celebrating its 25th year in business, and the fifth year of its popular U Prepaid cellphone service. Alltel is renowned for providing coast to coast coverage for subscribers and for its unique advertising character “Chad”. The Alltel U prepaid phone plans are recognized as one of the most flexible amongst the leading prepaid cellphone providers.
The pros of the Alltel U Service
· Exceptionally versatile prepaid phone packages.
· Nationwide coverage with excellent support.
· Part of the country´s largest wireless provider.
The cons of the Alltel U service
· Minimum balance requirement.
· Activation fee and service charges.
· Expensive to use if package minutes are exceeded.
A choice of contract-free options is available to subscribers to suit their phone usage.
“Pay-as-you-go” (or “Pay per Minute”) option
Pay-as-you-go is the simplest and most versatile means of using a prepaid cellphone. There are absolutely no plans or schemes to adhere to – subscribers simply prepay a convenient amount and use their cellphone for making calls and sending text messages whenever they wish. With the Alltel U “Pay per Minute” option, calls are charged at $0.15/minute and there is a standard fee of $0.10 for sending and receiving text messages. It is also possible to send and receive media files (pictures, audio and video) and these transmissions cost $0.25 per item.
“Pay per Day” prepaid option
The Alltel U “Pay per Day” option is a useful, cost-saving extension to the basic pay-as-you-go utility. For a $0.75 access fee (which can be paid online, via the cellphone or by a call to Alltel Customer Service), subscribers are able to make calls from their cellphone for the reduced charge of $0.10/minute and also add a minimum of two additional free features to their phone for the day, with further components available for just $0.25 each. The features available are:-
· Unlimited Night and Weekend calls
· Unlimited Mobile-to-Mobile calls
· Unlimited calls to one Favorite Number
· Unlimited Text Messaging
“Pay per Month” option
The Alltel U “Pay per Month” option has a flexible choice of prepayment schemes, allowing subscribers to choose the cost and level of usage that is anticipated throughout the month.
Pay per Month 200 allows subscribers 200 “anytime” minutes plus 1000 minutes during the evenings (9.00pm to 5.59am) and weekends, with additional minutes beyond the 200 included in the package charged at $0.35/minute. The price of this option is $29.99/month – a “month” being determined as any 31 day period.
Pay per Month 400 is an excellent scheme for subscribers who spend a greater amount of time on the phone, allowing them 400 “anytime” minutes plus 2000 “off-peak” minutes. This package costs $39.99/month with additional minutes charged at $0.15/minute.
Unlimited Talk is a monthly prepayment option for subscribers who frequently use their Alltel cellphones to keep in touch with family, friends and business associates. This $44.99 package includes unlimited talk time to anyone on any network, access to international calls and has the option of adding 300 texts per month for an additional $5.00.
Unlimited Talk and Text is for subscribers who communicate with a higher volume of text messages. This option costs only $54.99 per month and offers unlimited talk, text and media transmission. Access is also available to an international network of more than 200 countries, although additional charges will apply.
Features and fees applicable to all Alltel U prepaid phone plans
All Alltel U plans include long distance domestic calls, a free voicemail facility (airtime charges apply), caller ID and 3 way calling. Monthly full cover plans also include a call waiting feature at no additional cost. Roaming beyond the Alltel network is allowed (at $0.59/minute) and all subscribers have access to a directory assistance service, which has a connection charge of $1.25 plus the airtime used during the call.
Alltel U Customer Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week from your Alltel phone, land line, via the Internet or, during regular business hours, from a number of Alltel retail outlets. Subscribers have the facility to check their balance at any time by dialling *369 and payment options are also available 24/7 by phone, internet or an Alltel customer service agent. Please note that there is an activation fee of $35.00 when first using your Alltel U prepaid service.
Alltel subscribers have to maintain a minimum balance of $20.00, and thereafter have sixty days in which to use minutes purchased within the $20 – $44.99 refill bracket, ninety days if the top up is between $45.00 and $54.99 and, between $55.00 and $99.99 the minutes expire after 180 days. Should subscribers choose to make a onetime refill of $100.00 or more, the minutes are available to use all year!
A web access option is also available through the Alltel Axcess data service, with passes available on a daily ($1.49) or monthly ($5.99) basis and the option to include messaging services, POP email and downloads for just $19.95 per month.
Prepaid Cell Phones.net Rating: Alltel U provides a competitive range of prepaid cellphone packages for occasional cellphone users, subscribers who require flexibility and those with more demanding requirements. If only the costs associated with setting up and maintaining the account were a little lower, Alltel would have received a five star rating for their reliable phone network with comprehensive coverage.