AAPT unlimited plan faces chop next month

AAPT residential users on the unlimited 24/7 plan have until 10 November to change or cancel their plan as a result of iiNet’s $60 million acquisition of its consumer customer base.

AAPT has confirmed it is in contact with customers by phone and email to notify them of changes, offering a change of plan or cancellation of service without fees. Some subscribers claimed on the Whirlpool user forum they were given until 7 November to change, but a customer service representative for the service provider confirmed the final cutoff date.

"On the 7th of november 2010 the unlimited 24/7 will surely be removed from our plan matrix,” an email delivered to one AAPT customer from the telco reads.

The changes come as a result of iiNet’s resolve to ditch the loss-leading plans with unlimited quota. The acquisition from Telecom New Zealand was finalised last week following an “overwhelming” approval from iiNet shareholders, and chief regulatory officer, Stephen Dalby, told Computerworld Australia the fate of the competitive plans would be revealed this week once the Perth-based ISP had gone over the necessary paperwork.

An iiNet representative confirmed on the Whirlpool user forum that letters had been sent out to eligible customers from 1 October.

However, Dalby said he didn’t expect there to be many affected by the changeover.

“Most customers will just continue on as if nothing has happened,” Dalby said, pointing to the majority of the 113,000 customers that have become a part of iiNet’s business. Though the ISP has mulled implementing AAPT’s white label billing engine, customers are expected to receive the same invoices following acquisition, with no noticeable changes.

“We’re expecting that it’s only the unlimited 24/7 plans that will be affected but until we can do the actual homework on the customer data it’s difficult to know what the numbers might be, how many people might be affected if anything,” he said.

“It’s not like we’re going to cut anyone off or doing anything drastic.”

According to correspondence from AAPT, other unlimited plans previously offered by the service provider - including the unlimited 8-8 plan - will remain available for existing customers.

The residential AAPT website has been amended to show a similar plan matrix currently offered by iiNet, with the most expensive residential plan providing a terabyte of monthly quota for $99.95 per month. Unlike the iiNet terabyte plan, however, the AAPT equivalent does not appear to require bundling with a phone service in order to subscribe.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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