Hilton Head, SC (PRWEB) January 12, 2008
Rcent calculations done by Minute-Watch.com show that if the average family took their cell phone overage charges and invested them in a standard index mutual fund (yielding 10.65%) for 22 years, they would have over $19,500 - enough to send a child to many state colleges for two years. MinuteWatch helps users avoid this steady financial drain by monitoring cell phone accounts and sending out alerts if a family member is about to exceed their plan's allotment.
All of the major cell phone carriers provide ways to check minute and data usage online. Most users however, don't have the time or discipline to check their accounts constantly, and eventually get stuck with a horrendous phone bill.
MinuteWatch founder Will Ragan worked in the wireless industry while finishing up an MBA. Will said, "I spent a lot of my day working through problems surrounding overage charges. Sometimes I would see lower income families get hit with a thousand dollars in overage penalties and have to choose between the rent and their cell phone bill. Frequently their credit would end up ruined and it just tore your heart out to see that and not have the power to fix it."
Back in the days of the Internet boom, Will founded Armor Communications, one of the first national Internet providers to offer server side filtering to protect families from inappropriate content on the web.
"My experience with Internet technologies allowed me to see a solution that your average wireless rep wouldn't see. I worked with programmers to develop a technology that automatically checks usage and sends an alert if the user is on track to go over. It's a really simple concept, but it saves the average person a ton of money. After half of the users in our test campaign purchased an annual subscription, I knew we needed to go ahead and launch this nationwide."
Businesses need MinuteWatch as well, according to Ragan: "Most of my small to medium business clients just didn't have the time to monitor their monthly bills, much less their daily usage. I would see phones being passed from employee to employee, and often a heavy user would end up on a low rate plan incurring overage while the next user would have way too many minutes. Minute-Watch.com automates the entire monitoring and optimization process for businesses. At $2 a month for an entire wireless account, it's really a no-brainer."
Complaints by consumers about overage charges have exceeded all other complaints in the industry including poor reception. However, with as much as 50% of wireless carrier's revenue derived from overage and underage (being on too high a plan out of fear of overage), overage penalties may be very slow to go away. Ragan said, "I'm not going to be satisfied until every man and woman in America feels safe to open the family cell phone bill again. We've got some truly amazing services rolling out in the first and second quarters, and I feel confident we're really going to make a huge positive impact."