BEDMINSTER — Bell Atlantic Mobile customers now have the ability to view their account and pay their wireless phone bills online, an emerging trend with consumers.
Bell Atlantic Mobile is one of the few carriers in the wireless industry to offer customers a comprehensive array of automated services, with no human intervention. Last year, the company was the first to launch a fully-automated Internet store. From the comfort of home, any time of day or night, customers can purchase service online, activate service, shop for phones and accessories, view current promotions, view their account balance, see answers to a host of commonly-asked questions and copies of service terms and conditions -- and now receive and pay their bill.
Bill payment via the Internet is a new and growing trend, in step with the exploding popularity of e-commerce in general. According to New York- based research firm Jupiter Communications, 15 million households will pay bills online by 2002, a huge jump from only three million households this year.
With Bell Atlantic Mobile's newest service, customers can sign up for one of two options for viewing and paying their bill online at www.bam.com:
- Customers can choose to view their monthly bill statements, including the back-up call data, via the company's web site, and still receive a paper copy in the mail for payment. At any time, customers can access their most recent bill, as well as up to six months of past online bills so that they can readily see their usage patterns and charges over a period of time. The site also will display a list of frequently asked billing questions and a primer on how to read their bill.
- Customers who opt to pay online will be notified by e-mail each month when their new bill is available to view. To pay, customers go to the online billing site and submit their electronic payment, which will be directly debited from their specified checking account.
To ensure customer privacy, Bell Atlantic Mobile uses a secure connection --using SSL (Secure Socket Layer), a widely-used mechanism by electronic commerce Web sites -- to transmit customer information. This provides a private secured communication between the browser and Bell Atlantic Mobile's Web server.
A leader in e-commerce within the wireless industry, Bell Atlantic Mobile opened the industry's first fully automated Online Store in September 1998. More than a fancy e-mail system like some other sites, the electronic store ties directly into the same strong "back office" systems as the company's network of "physical" Communications Stores and other distribution channels. The addition of e-commerce benefits both customers and the company. Customers benefit from the convenience of a simple, secure online experience without human intervention. Bell Atlantic Mobile benefits from the low-cost and broad reach of interacting with customers over the Internet.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East and systems in the Southwest, covering 180,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.6 million customers and 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community service program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL) is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.