MinuteWatcher Successfully Launches the First Free Cell Phone Monitoring Service

Share Article

Three weeks after its successful launch as a free service, MinuteWatcher adds support for two additional carriers: Telus Mobility (Canada) and SunCom Wireless (USA). Company co-founder Peter Stevens discusses the launch, privacy, and other issues around MinuteWatcher.

Who's afraid of the big bad cell phone bill? A lot of people, apparently. A quarter of MinuteWatcher's visitors on the first day signed up for the free service and started receiving semiweekly alerts about their cell phone usage.

“Three cheers for a free new service... MinuteWatcher seems like a no-brainer," wrote engadgetmobile.com."Hey, that's pretty freakin' handy!" concluded cellphones.ca. "Thank you for getting a version up for Telus so quickly," wrote "Capital_Expert", a Canadian blog user.

"The response has been wonderful," said Peter Stevens, Co-Founder and Chief Architect. “Wireless overage fees really can double a person's monthly phone bill. Many users were thrilled about MinuteWatcher and that it's free. Privacy issues were a hotter topic than expected, so we had to ensure that customers understand how our privacy policy protects them."

MinuteWatcher is receiving much help and support from its customers. "One guy found a bug in our forecasts. Another found various typos. Several are helping us enhance the service for their needs," explained Mr Stevens. "This support is essential to make MinuteWatcher more useful to more people."

"We have received requests for carriers in 4 countries. Although some cannot be supported for technical reasons, we are working on the rest and hope to have them available soon."

Regional carriers are an attractive alternative for many customers. Their plans offer more minutes for lower fees than the national carriers, but the extra costs for roaming and other services make it important for customers to monitor their usage.

Effective immediately, MinuteWatcher now supports Telus Mobility in Canada and SunCom Wireless in the Southeast USA. Telus and SunCom join the 6 carriers in the USA (Cingular/AT&T, Nextel/Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon) and Orange Switzerland (in Beta test), bringing the total to 9 carriers.

"We encountered both euphoria and disbelief that the service is free. Privacy emerged quickly as a major customer concern. 'Will my data be sold?' 'Will new costs be packed into my phone bill?' 'How can we trust MinuteWatcher?'”

MinuteWatcher is an advertiser supported service. "Our original objective was to be a paid service. Everyone said, 'great idea!', but nobody signed up. Now people sign up willingly. I think people are suspicious of monthly fees, particularly in this age of $4.00/month ring tones and phone bill packing. The ad supported model works well for us and for our customers."

"Trust is a big issue on the Internet," observes Mr Stevens. "How does an Internet start-up earn customer trust? While there is no one perfect answer, we strive to:

“One, listen to our customers, through direct feedback and by reading the blogs.

“Two, respond promptly and in the interest of the customer.

“Three, behave in a trustworthy fashion. We keep confidential data confidential and we do not collect data that we don’t need.

“'What goes around comes around'. If MinuteWatcher were to violate our users’ trust, they would vote with their feet and tell the world on their blogs."

MinuteWatcher LLC is an independent company, not affiliated with any carrier. MinuteWatcher sells ad space in its reports to its customers, but does not sell customer data. MinuteWatcher has a privacy policy worthy of the name (http://www.minutewatcher.com/Subscribe/privacy.php), which spells out what the customer can expect from MinuteWatcher.

"Our business depends on our customer's trust. We intend to keep their trust by behaving honorably."

About MinuteWatcher LLC

MinuteWatcher was formed in 2004 by veterans of the computer and cell phone industries, after being frustrated with outrageous cell phone bills. The goal is to provide everyone with the tools to get control of their phone bills and remove the worry about that end-of-the-month shock.

About the MinuteWatcher Service

MinuteWatcher puts customers in control of their usage. MinuteWatcher monitors unbilled cell phone usage and sends out regular reports with actual and forecast usage. Customers can take action according to their needs.

Although many carriers make consumption information available on line, none send out the information automatically nor do they issue forecasts. The information is there, but is not always easy to get, so most people don't see it.

MinuteWatcher is perfect for students, families or small companies, anyone who needs to keep control of their costs. MinuteWatcher takes the worry out of the cell phone.

MinuteWatcher supports national and regional carriers, including Cingular (AT&T Wireless), Sprint (Nextel), SunCom Wireless, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless in the USA, and Telus Mobility in Canada and Orange in Switzerland.

As a free service, MinuteWatcher makes cell phone cost control easily available to everyone.


Peter Stevens, co-Founder

MinuteWatcher LLC



# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Peter Stevens