METHODS, SYSTEMS, AND PRODUCTS FOR PURCHASING PRE-PAID SERVICES
NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT PROTECTION
A portion of this disclosure and its figures contain material subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, but otherwise reserves all copyrights whatsoever.
This application generally relates to data processing and, more particularly, to activation of prepaid services.
Purchasing prepaid services can be cumbersome. Many people purchase prepaid calling minutes, prepaid Intemetaccess services, and/or prepaid service units. When the prepaid service has a nearly zero balance, more credit must be purchased and applied to the account. A prepaid wireless customer, for example, commonly purchases a prepaid card from a merchant’s retail location. The customer then uses his or her wireless phone to call an activation number. The customer then responds to Interactive Voice Response (IVR) prompts and enters a personal identification number (PIN) from the prepaid card. This manually-input infonnation associates the customer’s wireless phone to the prepaid account. This conventional activation process provides, at best, a mediocre customer experience. Moreover, customers frequently make errors when manually entering activation information. What is needed, then, are methods, systems, and products that reduce the need for manual entry of activation information, thus reducing the potential for error and improving the customer’s experience.
The aforementioned problems, and other problems, are reduced, according to exemplary embodiments, using methods, systems, and products that automate the purchase of prepaid services. When a customer desires to purchase prepaid services, exemplary embodiments automate that activation process. Exemplary embodiments automatically collect and associate a prepaid service number and a device number. The service number may be any alphanumeric identifier or code that uniquely identifies the prepaid service. The device number is likewise any alphanumeric identifier or code that uniquely identifies the customer’s requesting communications device. Exemplary embodiments thus automatically identify both the prepaid service and the customer’s comrnunications device, thus relieving the customer of any need for further activation. The user need not enter a PIN or dial into an IVR interface to complete activation. Exemplary embodiments thus operate on the user’s behalf and greatly simplify the activation process.
The exemplary embodiments describe a method for purchasing prepaid services. A request to purchase a prepaid service is received. The request includes a service number that uniquely identifies the prepaid service and a device number that uniquely identifies a requesting device. The service number and the device number are communicated for activation, and a verification message is received indicating the prepaid service has been successfully activated.
In another of the embodiments, a system is disclosed for purchasing prepaid services. An activation application is stored in memory, and a processor communicates with the memory. The processor receives a request to purchase a pre
paid service, the request comprising a service number that uniquely identifies the prepaid service and a device number that uniquely identifies a requesting device. The processor communicates the service number and the device number for activation. The processor receives a verification message that the prepaid service has been successfully activated.
In yet another embodiment, a computer program product is also disclosed for purchasing prepaid services. The computer program product stores computer code for receiving a request to purchase a prepaid service. The request comprises a service number that uniquely identifies the prepaid service and a device number that uniquely identifies a requesting device. The service number and the device number are communicated for activation, and a verification message is received indicating the prepaid service has been successfully activated.
Other systems, methods, and/or computer program products according to the exemplary embodiments will be or become apparent to one with ordinary skill in the art upon review of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, and/or computer program products be included within this description, be within the scope of the claims, and be protected by the accompanying claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the exemplary embodiments are better understood when the following Detailed Description is read with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a simplified schematic illustrating a network enviromnent in which exemplary embodiments may be implemented;
FIG. 2 is a more detailed schematic illustrating the user’s communications device 20, according to more exemplary embodiments;
FIG. 3 is another detailed schematic illustrating prepaid activation, according to more exemplary embodiments;
FIG. 4 is another detailed schematic illustrating prepaid activation, according to even more exemplary embodiments;
FIG. 5 is a schematic illustrating a process for purchasing and activating prepaid services, according to still more exemplary embodiments; and
FIG. 6 depicts other possible operating enviromnents, according to more exemplary embodiments.
The exemplary embodiments will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings. The exemplary embodiments may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. These embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those of ordinary skill in the art. Moreover, all statements herein reciting embodiments, as well as specific examples thereof, are intended to encompass both structural and functional equivalents thereof. Additionally, it is intended that such equivalents include both currently known equivalents as well as equivalents developed in the future (i.e., any elements developed that perfonn the sa1ne function, regardless of structure).
Thus, for example, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that the diagrams, schematics, illustra