ADVANCED INFO Service will expand the number of its traditional call-value top-up channels and encourage subscribers to refill call value online in its effort to depend less on 7-Eleven convenience stores for distribution of its prepaid refill cards.
CP All stopped ordering AIS prepaid cards in October, pending the completion of renegotiations for a new revenue rate AIS will have to pay to CP All for selling its One-2-Call refill cards at 7-Eleven convenience stores.
Pratthana Leelapanang, AIS acting chief marketing officer, said recently that AIS had devised several solutions to address the problem.
First, it will expand the number of its existing AIS Buddy shops based on the nationwide concept “one amphur, one AIS Buddy shop”.
Currently there are 800 AIS Buddy shops, which is a small booth in front of shops where customers buy AIS SIM cards, prepaid refill cards and handsets, and pay service bills.
AIS will also encourage subscribers to refill call value via mobile and website channels. The online channels will gradually replace the traditional shops regarding call-value top-ups. The traditional shops will soon be places where users can learn about new mobile phone models and new technology and services.
AIS will also upgrade 250 Telewiz shops under the AIS franchising system in provincial towns to be AIS customer service shops within two years. The shops will also be places where customers can learn about new technology and services as part of the move to educate customers to use online services, such as the call-value top-ups.
Currently there are 120 AIS shops and 436 Telewiz shops nationwide. At present, Telewiz shops focus on selling the refill prepaid cards, bill payments, and handset sales. In the next step, the telecom giant will upgrade the remaining Telewiz shops in rural areas to be AIS shops.
There are around 9,000 7-Eleven stores nationwide. AIS customers can also pick up One-2-Call refill cards at outlets such as AIS customer-service shops, Telewiz outlets, Family Mart stores, post offices and B2S bookstores around the country. These various sales channels add up to more 10,000 outlets.
Mobile phones can also be topped up at the 40,000 automated teller machines of 11 banks nationwide and via AIS’s mobile-banking service, mPay.