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The Walt Disney Co. said it will launch a family-friendly mobile phone service in June that will enable parents to monitor and manage how their children are using their cell phones. Disney, which announced the service at the CTIA Wireless 2006 tradeshow in Las Vegas, said the service would go beyond family wireless plans focusing on sharing minutes. The Disney plan will offer tools to let parents "teach kids responsible use" while still including features younger users demand, such as camera phones and text messaging.
My Wife and I bought two phones for our sons, and used the online feature to restrict phone numbers and minutes each was able to use. They could only call my wife or me (work and cell numbers) and each other. What Disney does not tell you is that if the phone is set to roam, which is the default upon delivery, these features do not work. We discovered this, when the phones where turned off after only one month of ownership, due to a bill of $1086. Our sons discovered that they could call whomever as long as the phone was set to roam (the default). Thus incureing overage charges and roaming charges. Keep in mind that the phones never left our city. The entire time my wife and I thought Disney was a wonderful thing since now we could get them a Cell phone to keep in touch with us, and we could keep in touch with them, when away from the house or when scheduling pickups at their schools. Disney does not seem to have the network in place to support the features that they are selling. The features only work if you stay on their network, and you set this feature on the phone (again...roaming is set by default upon delivery).