In the past, CIDNET Customers could purchase Data (by the Megabyte) and Credits in order to conduct video visitations and send messages through CIDNET. Now, customers will only need to buy data in order to use both video visitation and messaging. Credits are no longer available for purchase, and any owned by customers have been automatically converted into data at an equal exchange rate.
How it will Affect You
For those of you who are familiar with how our messaging payment system works, this might take a little getting used to. Instead of every message costing a credit to read and write, the Megabytes (MB) used to transfer your message to the inmate will be subtracted from your data balance.
Here’s an example: if you send a message, 0.3 MB of data will be subtracted from your account. Reading a message sent by an inmate will cost the same amount of data.
TO BE CLEAR: We’re not removing messaging, and we’re definitely not trying to scam you out of the messages you rightfully paid for. Reading and Sending messages will still cost the same as they always have, but from now on, you’ll be buying and using data instead of credits.
Screenshots of Everything that Changed
If you log in to your CIDNET account today and see that the Credit Purchasing fields have disappeared from the Add Data screens, this is why. There is a new section that will help you buy as much data for messaging as you need.
Why it’s Happening
We’ve had a number of customers reach out to us saying that they’d like to transfer their credit balance into data, or their data balance into credits, and we came to the conclusion that it will be better in the long-term to switch all CIDNET services to data-based payment structures.
In addition, we’re planning future updates to CIDNET to allow for picture and video-messaging. For those new services, credits won’t work as the payment structures, so switching now also helps sets the foundation for new and exciting services.
The Exchange Ratio of Credits to Data
For those of you who had purchased credits prior to this change, you might be wondering how much data we’re going to give you in exchange for each credit. That’s a fair question. Every standard message sent through CIDNET requires approximately 0.3 MB of data to reach the other party. So given this information, for every credit we subtract from your account’s credits balance, we’re going to add 0.3 MB to your data balance.
To illustrate this, consider the following example: If you had 30 credits prior to this update, we will exchange those credits for 10 MB of data. That data can then be used for messaging or remote visitations.
The Bottom Line
Credits are a thing of the past. Although they made messaging simple to price and explain, they don’t really fit in with our expanding communications platform. For that reason, we’re removing the ability to purchase credits and exchanging any customer-owned credits for their equivalent value in data (MB).
Messages will now require data in order to be sent and read, and data can be purchased at any time on the CIDNET Public Portal. If you have any questions, please reach out to our support team.
iPhones and Android App Updates
From now on, the CIDNET Public Portal will support video visitation on iPhones. In addition, customers using the Android App will need to update their applications to the latest version (2.0) available on the Google Play Store.