Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pocket Intros Online Account Viewer, Partners to "Unlock" phones

Looks like Pocket has introduced two relatively cool (though relatively needed) things to their service: online account access and phone migration...

First off, you can now change your plan, your customer information (though not who the phone's "primary owner" is) and check your "Value Pocket" balance on the web. You can even pay your bill via credit card or set up their autopay service. You can also see a breakdown of taxes and fees being charged to your plan (when I looked at a friend's account...a friend who bought the phone from me  when I used to use Pocket...there were about $7.35 in taxes on his $40 plan) and you can buy ringtones and such, though you could do that already from Pocket's media portal that has been up for months now. Really, that's all you need as far as online account managment goes, and it's easy to need for complex bills or multipage call reports; everything's unlimited so it doesn't matter!

Second, Pocket is partnering with the folks at to bring phones from other carriers onto Pocket's network. My guess is that, with the variety of phone models shown on the site, the company is probably not "flashing" the phones to Pocket (read: generic, the last time I checked) software so the only things that will work are voice and text messaging, at least for the most part, but then again I could be wrong and if you've got a perfectly good phone from Verizon, Sprint or whoever else that runs CDMA, that may be all you need. I'm guessing there will be a small fee for the service, plus having to buy your first month of service outright rather than it being included with the phone...the fee I'm guessing will be $10-$30 per phone. I'll get more details on this when I get back to Texas this weekend (yes, I'm finally finished with school!).

These are improvements to be sure...let's see how they impact Pocket's customer base..they now have big competition from CricKet...

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