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WIN facilitates UK's first SMS support service for the AA


http://www.winplc.com



WIN, the UK's biggest supplier of third party wireless services, today
announces a deal with the Automobile Association (AA), part of Centrica
Plc, to facilitate SMS support services for its customers. The new
range of wireless applications has been put in place to cut costs and
improve its existing customer services through effective use of mobile
technology.



As an enhancement to its roadside assistance service, AA members will
now receive text updates informing them of when they can expect patrol
to arrive. This is the first service of its kind to operate in the UK.




The new service is set to cut costs at call centre level, reducing the
time spent by staff dealing with update enquiries. Once an assistance
call is logged by call centre staff, an SMS message is sent to the
customer's mobile phone letting them know that a patrol is on the way.
To provide further reassurance, further text updates are sent
periodically.




Using WIN's SMS technology platform, the AA has also been able to add
value to its existing customer service provision, by adding further
functionality to its existing online Travelwatch facility. Users are
currently able to log their route at www.theAA.com and obtain travel
alerts on that route via email. From today, customers will also be able
to choose to receive their alert in the form of a text message. This
message can be set to arrive before the customer sets off, thus ensuring
that the motorist is not using the phone while driving.





Peter Norman, Co Founder and Commercial Director, WIN, said: "It is
always fantastic to work on a "first". WIN are very excited to have
been instrumental in both the development and delivery of this
innovative service from the AA. Business today is all about customer
service and when you are stuck on the hard shoulder of a busy motorway
in the pouring rain, an SMS message can provide both the information and
reassurance you need to make the experience more bearable."




Peter Tyer, AA Director of Road Services, says: "Already we've had very
positive feedback from our members, who generally like the idea of
receiving text messages. This is another way that we can use the current
technology available to improve service to our members."





Ends




All press enquiries:



Midnight Communications (Business and trade media enquiries)



Zoë Harley/Kirstie Young
Tel: 01273 666200
Email: WIN@midnight.co.uk




Wireless Information Network (All other enquiries)


Katie Hollier
Tel: 01494 750 500
Email: KatieHollier@winplc.com




Automobile Association



Nicola Atkinson
Press Officer
Tel: 01753 492290
Email: nicola.atkinson@theaa.com




Notes to Editors


About WIN



WIN, a private limited company, was founded in 1989. WIN has spent the
last twelve years innovating and supplying mobile communications and has
developed a reputation for being the fastest, most reliable developer of
wireless applications in the industry.




WIN counts the following organisations as successful users of its
wireless solutions platforms: BT Cellnet, News International, Granada,
Diageo and Dixons.




Wireless Information Network to Provide SMS Support to AA Customer's


The product range can be divided into three sections:


* Marketing Channel


- Permission based wireless marketing campaigns undertaken.

- Bulk messaging, Mobile voting, Competitions, Sponsored content


* Revenue Generating


WIN develops products to act as a channel to sell content into the
marketplace.
Football results, Jokes, Horoscopes, Share prices, Celebrity Voicemail,
Weather



* Organisation Efficiency


- Customers can be sent time critical information direct to their phones.

- Employees can be sent the latest industry news

- Managers can keep employees updated on important internal developments

- Emails can be filtered and forwarded as text messages



WIN currently employs 50 people at its offices in High Wycombe in the UK
and is currently developing its position as a leading European provider
of cross-network wireless solutions.





About the Automobile Association

The Automobile Association is the UK's largest motoring organisation
with nearly 12 million members. Its patrol force of 3,600 patrols
attends approximately 4.2 million breakdowns a year, but the AA's
support for its members stretches far beyond the range of breakdown
services. It represents the views and interests of all road users,
working the with Government, police and road safety organisations, and
established the AA Foundation for Road Safety Research in 1996. It is a
major provider of motor and home insurance and financial services, is
the UK's largest travel publisher, and runs the second-largest driving
school in the UK - the only one to use fully-qualified instructors.




The website for the Automobile Association, (www.theaa.com) offers many
of the benefits of AA membership to anyone with access to the internet.
Launched in January 2001, the site's aim is to provide visitors with an
unrivalled travel and motoring guide by offering comprehensive and up to
the minute information. By drawing upon the industry-leading expertise
and authority of the AA, the site is able to offer a very broad range of
services - from hotels to route planning and insurance - in a
straightforward and easy to use format.


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