Verizon Wireless unveiled Usage Controls, the most recent addition to its portfolio of tools for customers to manage their own wireless experience. Usage Controls is an easy-to-use online service providing customers the ability to better manage and control how they use their wireless phones, as well as how their children or others on a “family share” or multiple-line account use their phones.
The new service expands and enhances features first introduced last year with Parental Controls, including content filters. Since 2006, Verizon Wireless has also provided customers with ratings for the content found on its V CAST service, and www.vtext.com offers a number of choices to manage or personalize text messaging options.
“We hear from our customers – especially the ones who are paying the bills – that they like to be aware of how their wireless service is being used. Usage Controls are a simple way to take control of all the mobile phones on your account,” said Mike Lanman, chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless.
About Usage Controls
With Usage Controls, customers can stay on top of voice and data usage levels, helping avoid any unexpected charges or overages. Usage Controls will also help parents comfortably and confidently provide wireless service for their children, by managing what content they are viewing or understanding if they are accruing additional costs.
Usage Controls are accessed through the My Verizon Web site and customers can change or update their settings under the My Services tab. With the service, customers can:
* Set thresholds for voice minutes;
* Set specific limits for text, picture, instant and video messaging as part of pay-as-you-go or message bundle plans;
* Set time of day restrictions for data use and messaging;
* Create lists of “trusted” and “blocked” numbers (calls to 911 will always be allowed to connect); and
* Employ content filters.
Usage Controls are available for a $4.99 monthly subscription for each line. Customers must have a Nationwide Calling Plan – either Family Share or single line – to take advantage of Usage Controls.
Parents can also add Chaperone® 2.0 to their accounts for $9.99 per line per month. Chaperone 2.0, together with Usage Controls, offers a full family security solution that provides assurance as to where children are and what services they are using. Chaperone 2.0 provides all the same features parents have come to rely on, along with enhancements including:
* The ability to locate multiple Chaperone Child devices at the same time;
* Family SMS Messaging that allows a text message to be sent to one or more Chaperone Child phones from the Chaperone Parent application or Chaperone Web site;
* Changes to the Child Zone® settings, allowing parents to add time and date settings or multiple children per Child Zone;
* Integration with VZ Navigator(SM), allowing parents with VZ Navigator subscriptions to receive turn-by-turn directions to their child’s location; and
* An improved Chaperone Web site that’s easier to use.