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Those new data-share plans are so complicated — and often infuriating — that AT&T now offers a personalized video to break down your phone bill. Conceding that plan summaries have added up to a lot more than just minutes and a test-message count, AT&T now has an initiative to "simplify your wireless life." This video is a part of that, as a soothing voice accompanied by upbeat background music explains all the ways you owe AT&T money. It kind of painstakingly goes through each section of the paper bill, including how much you paid last cycle, the amount owed, and pretty confusing parts like the "other charges." It ends with an option to roll in automatic bill pay—another way to simplify your wireless life?

While it may sound a little sad that AT&T customers need a video to understand their phone bill, over the last month the test markets liked it. Believe it or not, in this YouTube day and age, 80 percent of recipients watched the video to completion. Though it's hard not to wonder how long that will last. The first-ever credit-card bill might get a thorough read, but the umpteenth one gets a glance. Still, 85 percent of viewers have found it helpful and the carrier claims that phone bill-related customer service calls have declined. Guess if we have to deal with shocking and puzzling statements from our phone companies, it's nice to have them in an easy-on-the-eyes format.  

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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