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7-Eleven Focuses on Expanding Its 'Speak Out' Prepaid Wireless Offer
Posted: 24-Sep-2004 [Source: 7-Eleven, Inc.]

[7-Eleven offers first pre-paid wireless phone with camera functionality and new 365-day airtime expiration.]

Dallas -- 7-Eleven, Inc. this month becomes the first retailer to offer its customers a prepaid wireless phone with camera photo-ID functionality and FM radio, expanding the 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless(SM) service across the country, while still providing one of the most convenient programs with the lowest domestic prepaid wireless rates in the United States.

Kevin Cooper, 7-Eleven stores retail services category manager, said, "7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless has enhanced the program features in an expanded rollout of the program -- 365-day airtime balance expiration; GSM network coverage; Instant Messaging; FM radio and Photo IDs. Expected in the near future are downloadable games and polyphonic ring tones. Furthermore, customers' airtime balance is shown on the wireless phone screen after every call for added convenience."

The expanded 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless service will use the same single, low rate of 20 cents a minute -- including domestic, long distance and on- network roaming -- to make the program easy to understand for new customers and customers who purchased Speak Out phones (Nokia 2260 and Nokia 3560) in the 14 original 7-Eleven markets launched in April. The same customer service will be provided in Spanish as well as English and includes bi-lingual product information on all collateral materials and in the cell phone product- information guide to make the Speak Out program among the most accessible, customer-friendly wireless services available.

After the initial launch to 14 U.S. 7-Eleven markets, the Speak Out Wireless program is now being offered through 4,411 7-Eleven company-operated and franchised stores in 39 geographic areas (including the original 14).

In addition to purchasing the Nokia 2260 handset and Nokia 3560 handset with color screen (in select stores), customers can purchase either a Nokia 3595 handset with color screen and voice dialing for $49.99 (after the $50 rebate); the Nokia 3100 handset with high-resolution color screen and integrated speakerphone for $84.99 (after the $50 rebate), or the Nokia 3200 handset with high-resolution color screen and built-in camera for $109.99 (after the $50 rebate). And with the Nokia 3200, customers can customize their phone lists with photos taken with the camera and use five different phone cover designs included in the box.

7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless refill cards are available in various dominations ($25, $50, $75 and $100) AND only at participating 7-Eleven stores. When customers add additional minutes within 365 days, unused minutes will carry forward to the new balance, another market-leading feature. The starter package also includes 50 minutes of free nationwide airtime (a $10 value).

The Nokia 3595, Nokia 3100 and Nokia 3200 wireless phones operate on the GSM network to give customers good wireless phone coverage and additional features like Instant Messaging so customers can chat using various online instant messaging programs.

7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless customers can manage their accounts easily with a bi-lingual, automated customer-care system that includes automatic balance notification and the ability to easily add airtime. The service will include all the features that today's wireless consumers have come to expect, such as Voice Mail, Caller ID, Call Waiting, Three-Way Calling, Instant Messaging (at 10 cents per message) and Two-Way Text Messaging (at 10 cents per message). After purchase, the customer can use the wireless phone right out of the box upon inserting the pre-charged battery because each handset comes with a pre-programmed, local number assigned to each phone.

The program also offers cost-effective international calling to more than 200 countries. For example, the per-minute charge for in-network calls to Canada and Mexico is 39 cents a minute, a very competitive price when compared to other prepaid wireless services.

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