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Account Balance and Segments

Introduction to account balance and how it ties up with segments.

Last updated on September 22, 2022

What is Account Balance?

Account Balance is a monetary amount that’s been added to Avochato. Account balance is used when sending and receiving messages (SMS & MMS) and phone calls in Avochato.

Who can see the Account Balance?

Users in the permission level of Owner and Manager can view the Account Balance and Billing information.

  • Owners can view the account balance on the top of the dashboard at all times
  • Managers can view the account balance by going to Billing Information
  • Members do not have access to view the account balance or Billing information

Does my Account Balance expire?

No. Your account balance does not expire.

What if I run out of balance?

When the account balance is running low, the owner of the Avochato account will receive email notifications. Ensure you never run out of balance with the optional auto-top up feature. We strongly recommend the owner of the Avochato account to update the Billing - Subscription Details section with “Auto-fill: ON”. If there is no Account Balance, messages will not be sent or received.

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How do I use Account Balance?

The account balance is updated in real-time when a message is sent or received. Avochato calculates the number of segments in the message (length of a message sent or received) and the pass through carrier fees. (Carrier fees are set by T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, etc.) The balance deducted equals the cost of segments used plus pass-through carrier fees. Read more about segment rates and carrier fees here.

 

Example Scenario:

I have a standard monthly plan with Avochato. I used my inbox with a 10 digit long code number to send a broadcast that was 120 characters  (1 segment) to 100 contacts. My standard monthly segment rate is $0.03 per segment.

  • 50 of my messages were to contacts with Verizon - carrier fee of $0.0025 per message
  • 50 of my messages were to contacts with AT&T - carrier fee of $0.002 per message
 

Breakdown:

Account balance used for segments: $3.00  (100 segments * $0.03 segment rate)

Account balance used for Verizon carrier fees: $0.125 (50 segments * $0.0025 carrier fee)

Account balance used for AT&T carrier fees: $0.10 (50 segments * $0.002 carrier fee)

Total account balance used for my 100 contact broadcast = $3.225

 

What is a Segment?

A segment consists of one SMS message sent or received between one contact with less than 160 standard english characters. When a message is longer than 160 characters, this is referred to as a multi-part message as it contains multiple messages. The total SMS limit then becomes 153 characters per ‘part’ as the 7 characters are used up by invisible headers and footers which denote which part of the message is being sent. Please see table below for reference.

 
1 - 160 characters
1 segment
161 - 306 characters
2 segment
307 - 459 characters
3 segment
460 - 612 characters
4 segment
613 - 765 characters
5 segment
766 - 918 characters
6 segment

It's important to note that even if an SMS is greater than 1 segment, it is still sent and received as one message.

What about special characters?

1 segment consists of 160 characters, only if all characters are considered "Standard." When an SMS message includes at least 1 "Special Character", the character counter drops to 70. Special characters include emojis, accents, and non-alphanumeric characters.

What about attachments?

MMS attachments like photos or gifs add an extra segment onto your message regardless of length. MMS attachments must be below 500kb to send.

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