Important Notice: AT&T Policy Changes

Starting November 1st, AT&T won’t be accepting new campaigns with a $19.99 price point other than for Unlimited Chat services.

Grandfathered Campaigns with a $19.99 price point will not be allowed to continue if the campaign or associated shortcode:

  • Has an AT&T compliance suspension within the last 90 days
  • Fails an audit
  • Is suspended for any reason
  • Exceeds the refund threshold

AT&T will terminate any campaign found in violation with this rule.

Also, they are now requiring the following criteria for chat programs:

Price Point: Chat programs may have one of the following price point scenarios:

  1. Unlimited chat at a defined price point, or
  2. Limited chat for a specified amount per month with no overages

Grandfathered, Chat Programs with “per use purchases” will be terminated if the campaign or associated shortcode:

  • Has an AT&T compliance suspension within the last 90 days
  • Fails an audit
  • Is suspended for any reason
  • Exceeds the refund threshold

Finally, to reduce the off-portal refund rate to 15% by the end of the third quarter 2011, AT&T introduced the following refund threshold timeline:

  • January 3rd 2011 threshold to 20% (reported in January)
  • May 1st 2011 threshold to 18% (reported in June)
  • August 1st threshold to 15% (reported in September)

The refund rate is calculated the following way:

[Gross Mthly Refunds] / [Gross Mthly Sales] = [Mthly Refund Rate (%)]

Here is a list of penalties for content providers that will exceed the refund rate.

Warning This is a warning that a short code is approaching the high refund threshold and provides an opportunity to take early corrective action(s) to stay below the threshold.
Short codes will remain active and allowed to take on new sales.
Watch This is an opportunity to take immediate corrective actions to avoid suspension.
An RCA (root cause analysis) is required explaining the drivers behind the high refund rate and the steps that will be taken to reduce and/or eliminate the high refund.
Short codes will remain active and allowed to take on new sales.
Suspended During the suspension period, the following is strictly prohibited:
New acquisitions including but not limited to one-time purchases or subscriptions.
New and/or incremental billings.
Point customers to an alternate campaign/short code.
Queuing up opt-ins.
Submission of new short codes and/or campaigns by the associated content provider
Suspension Lifted The “suspension” remains in effect until AT&T authorizes a suspension lift.
An RCA is required explaining the drivers behind the high refund rate and the steps taken to reduce and/or eliminate the high refund.
The RCA will be reviewed and, if approved, the aggregator will be notified of the suspension lift.
Upon suspension lift, all failed audits must be resolved, including any escalations found prior to suspension.
Additional Penalties Additional penalties may be assessed (i.e.: longer suspension periods, de-provisioning, etc.) for, but not limited to:
Failure to adhere to this or any other policy set forth by AT&T
Refund rates do not show significant improvement
Multiple violations

contact your account manager or customer services for more information

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