I have two Visible lines-- one that's on Party Pay with friends, and one that was on Party Pay with strangers.
When I signed up with strangers I specifically looked for a party that only had one slot available. My thinking was that it would assure me of maximum, immediate savings.
I SHOULD have signed up with a party that had THREE available slots-- and here's why:
It was obvious that my stranger party of 3 were people who knew each other. They all had the same area code and probably decided on the group name, together. I was the random stranger that filled out the group.
I'm guessing that they must have found another friend who wanted to join their party so-- unbeknownst to me-- they all dropped out of the party we were in, and presumably created a new party with the four of them.
Unfortunately, for me, they did this on the very day that my Visible payment was due. I had checked my party pay the day before my bill was due, but not the actual day that my bill was due.
If I had joined a party with 3 random strangers it's much less likely that all 3 would elect to drop out at the same time.
In the future I will encourage people to sign up for parties with 3 open slots rather than 1 or 2, to reduce the risk of a surprise.
There is some logic in this but then again if you have a stable family or group of 3 you are not going to get 1 dropping out randomly. It will be most likely all or nothing. So in a way it can be less disruptive with less frequent drop outs. Either way at the end of the day you are facing risk of people leaving without warning. But I find party pay to be the best and safest implementation of a group discount available for those of us wanting one line only.
Message to Visible if they monitor this Forum:
Please implement this feature. A text msg or email msg to the remaining members after someone leaves a party. Should be easy to implement. It will bring many more subscribers to your service.
One thing to note is that the system only sends an email when someone cancels service I believe. If they port out then you get no email. I guess going from Chelle's experience, if someone leaves a group to join another you don't get an email either. Not very good system.
The Party Pay system may be like a lot of other special offers: they're targeted at those most likely to depend on a discount to sign up, or those most likely to encourage others to sign up.
Sprint's 'Free Year' was a case of similar marketing approach: although well known in cellphone forums, it was pretty much invisible to normal users. Making it available to everyone, would have cannibalized the group that would have signed up anyway at normal pricing. Limiting it to insiders/enthusiasts likely gains numbers that wouldn't have subscribed otherwise.
Regardless, I think it would be great if Visible was more consistent about notification-- and I like the idea of allowing a departing member to send a proactive warning to other group members. Of course, some departing members wouldn't do that even if it was easy and didn't require sharing any personal contact info.
Does anyone know if the system set up to allow requests for payment assistance from other group members has a custom field that could be used to add a 'heads up' to a planned exit? Or does it just trigger a standardized message?
Problem would be solved if Visible'd do away with maximum of 4 can be in your group. Just allow as many people to join as possible in the party so long as you have at least 4 in party, you'll get a discounted rate.
P.S. That's just my observation. I don't have Visible as my service provider.