Announced earlier today on AT&T’s Innovation Space blog, the wireless service provider is launching a video service that’s designed to explain specific charges on a monthly billing statement. Called the AT&T Wireless Video Bill, the video is automatically generated at the end of a billing period and includes voice narration to increase understanding of new charges on a bill. Within a sample video bill, AT&T subscribers will find the total amount owed for the month, the upcoming due date for the next payment and details about the previous payment issued to AT&T.
AT&T subscribers will also find information about monthly recurring fees as well as line-item details about data overage fees, the one-time fee tacked onto a bill when a new mobile phone is activated as well as fees related to late payments or changes in the service plan.
In addition, AT&T is using the video platform to encourage people to sign up for automated payments instead of waiting for a bill to arrive to issue a monthly payment to AT&T. The wireless company plans to send the video bill to new AT&T customers during the first two months in addition to sending it to current customers that make any changes to their service plan.
AT&T hasn’t rolled out the video bill nationwide yet, but is currently testing the new feature with several thousand customers located in the Mountain Time zone. In order to gauge the usefulness of the video bill, AT&T surveyed a segment of the audience receiving the video bill. According to the respondents, eighty-five percent of the subscriber base found the video bill to be helpful and approximately four out of five customers watched the entire three minute video to completion. In the area where the video bills are being distributed, AT&T has noticed a significant drop in the number of calls placed to customer service. These types of calls usually involve customers asking questions about new charges on a bill.
Based off the success of the video bill in the Mountain Time zone, AT&T is planning to push the service to all subscribers in the United States by early 2013. AT&T is the first wireless service provider to launch an automatic video bill service. However, AT&T already rolled out video bills to DSL, Digital TV and home phone users during late May 2012. Very similar to the wireless video bill, customers can understand the breakdown of monthly charges within a bundled package of AT&T services.
For instance, the U-verse TV portion of the video bill outlines the television package as well as any discount applied due to an ongoing promotion. It also lists video-on-demand charges, extra premium movie packages like HBO or Showtime as well as fees for high definition channels and extra receivers for multiple televisions within the home. If a customer adds a premium movie package in the middle of the billing period, the video bill will explain what segment of the previous month the customer is being charged for in the next bill. The video bill will also explain similar changes to the Internet package if a customer chooses to increase or decrease the speed of the connection by signing up for a new package.