Saturday, September 26, 2009

AT&T A List feature

When we made a bunch of contract changes today our AT&T store rep (did a great job btw) reminded me of AT&T's "A List" feature. It was activated about a week ago; it's not clear if it's automatically added to every account or if it's being rolled out and, for now, only available on request.

There's no charge and, I'm told, no contract change.

The A List is a set of numbers that can be dialed without a "per minute" charge. I think they're only available on higher end plans. On our family plan we get 10 numbers.

Since in-network mobile calls are already free you don't want to add those. We added our home number (Qwest), my office phone, and several Google Voice numbers (let's see if AT&T allows those!). If this works I won't even spend minutes when I use GV to call Canada.

Numbers must be within the US, there are a few exclusions but I don't recall them all and I can't retrieve the list. Google Voice wasn't mentioned.

Numbers currently take a day or so to be activated.

Update 9/28: All of my numbers were accepted, including our Google Voice numbers. I think people eligible for this feature also have free calls to AT&T mobile phone subscribers; it this is correct you would want to avoid using up an A List slot this way. I think the system will allow you to add an AT&T mobile phone number to the "A List".

Update 9/28b: See comments. " ... you need to be on a 1400+min/mo family plan or a 900+min/mo individual plan for this to be offered." In other words, this makes for good marketing, but no impact on AT&T's revenues. Admirably diabolic.

It might help with 3-4 phone families, though nowadays young-uns don't talk much anyway -- and AT&T isn't reducing their texting fee!

We are really moving to a flat rate for unlimited voice, and a crazy AT&T revenue stream from texting- a cost structure completely disconnected from bandwidth and infrastructure load. It's a weird wired world these days.


Scott said...

Grrr... you need to be on a 1400+min/mo family plan or a 900+min/mo individual plan for this to be offered.

If I paid for that many minutes, I wouldn't NEED the A List :)

Thanks anyhow!

John Gordon said...

I've really come to enjoy dealing with AT&T. It's good practice for any future interviews I might have with agents of Satan.

This is beautifully calibrated to sound good in marketing, but have very little impact on AT&T's revenues.

I think it is probably useful for families with 4 phones or for business users.