Preprogramed cell phone dating service
Cingular's has buttons for preprogrammed phone numbers for Mom and Dad, along with a button for 911 emergencies.Up to 20 additional numbers can also be programmed into the phone.Cingular and Verizon offer entry-level packages that include free mobile-to-mobile calling, as well as free nights and weekends, for and per month, respectively.These services include two phone lines, and additional lines can be added for .99 each.Unlike the family plans offered by the big carriers, Disney Mobile gives parents more power over how and when their children use mobile services."Today's plans from the big carriers don't address parental control issues," said Parry Aftab, executive director of Wired Safety, an advocacy group of Wired Kids for parental control of Web usage.While cell phone penetration rates are high among the U. population as a whole--roughly 69 percent--there is still plenty of opportunity in selling phones to kids.
Disney has created a call control center that can be accessed either on the parents' handsets or from a Web site on a PC to allow parents to set up a monthly allowance of voice minutes, text messages or other services for each child.Parents can also restrict kids from using certain services and designate when other services can be used.In addition, parents can limit which numbers can be dialed as well as restrict certain numbers from ringing on the phone.For one, most parents who'd even consider buying a cell phone for their kids are already customers of one of the big cell phone companies.
It might be easier and more cost-effective for them to wait for new features to be added to their current provider's packages.Parents can also check minutes and usage for each phone in the plan online or from their handsets."We're constantly looking to improve all of our services," Owen said."Disney's offering is more comprehensive, in terms of parental control, than anything else I've seen on the market," said Julie Ask, an analyst at Jupiter Research.