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Thread: Why are Americans OK with being charged for _receiving_ SMS/MMS?

  1. #1
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    Angry Why are Americans OK with being charged for _receiving_ SMS/MMS?

    In most countries around the world, you are not charged for receiving a text or multimedia message; just sending them. Why are American (and possibly Canadian, if the model works the same there) consumers OK with such a model? I can understand paying for receiving calls here, as you can simply not answer the call & screen them most of the time, but you can't do that with SMS, which can come in any time and doesn't have to be at request.

    You may say 'well there are packages & methods of blocking SMS/MMS, etc', but that's going around the issue here. Why should I have to pay (and at such insanely high rates of 10, 15, & 20 cents PER 160-CHARACTER MESSAGE) to receive these? Consumers elsewhere hav packages too, but they have more value as incoming messages are always free anyway.

    Does anyone else here agree with me or is Howard Forums really that biased towards this rip-off design found only in at the most maybe 5 countries in the world? Has anyone approached people who work for or have a lot of knowledge about how the industry works about this & asked about why we are charged for something that is 100 % out of the users' control?

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    Oh, I definitely agree with you. I'm a heavy texter, so I always use a messaging bundle, but if I ever go over, I can't believe how much the ppm is. If I remember correctly, there is a senator from Wisconsin looking into the rising prices of SMS, so hopefully something comes out of that.

    Also, on a side note, more carriers need to offer an option of buying messaging bundles without a voice plan (and thus payg on voice).

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    Quote Originally Posted by moomanmitch
    Oh, I definitely agree with you. I'm a heavy texter, so I always use a messaging bundle, but if I ever go over, I can't believe how much the ppm is. If I remember correctly, there is a senator from Wisconsin looking into the rising prices of SMS, so hopefully something comes out of that.

    Also, on a side note, more carriers need to offer an option of buying messaging bundles without a voice plan (and thus payg on voice).
    I often wish more people in this country & others with similarly sucky options were more technologically inclined to just use email on their devices & pester their operators to have just two options that cover everything: generic voice & generic data. Anything that doesn't use the standard GSM/UMTS voice network can simply go over the data side. There would be no need for SMS & I doubt we'd even be charged so high for them. I'd be glad to get off a bundle if messages were free to receive & cost maybe 0.01 $ (one cent) to send (honestly, it doesn't even cost that much for the operators to send those to each other, but is a fair price).

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    Maybe because it's been like that forever and it makes so much profit that the operators want to keep it that way. Or maybe the carriers are just draconian.
    Anything not made in China is counterfeit!

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    Angry

    Quote Originally Posted by Nodakawa
    Maybe because it's been like that forever and it makes so much profit that the operators want to keep it that way. Or maybe the carriers are just draconian.
    Perhaps, but that kind of pricing scheme has to be designed for very slow connections/devices like GPRS & with the oldest WAP sites that used less than 1 KB/page due to them being text-only. Many devices today eat megabytes like any other computer. Throw 3G into the mix and having volume-based rates make zero sense. 7.2 Mbps devices could cost as high as 43.95 $ per second to use as a worst-case example (a Canadian going abroad, which seems to cost 0.05 CAD/KB).

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    I only know of one carrier in my area that doesn't charge for incoming messages and that's US Cellular. They don't charge for incoming calls either.

    What I also think of is that the prices of sms and mms have gone up DRAMATICALLY in just the past few years. I can remember back in 05 or 06 verizon was 2 to receive and 10 cents to send.

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    my carrier doesn't charge for incoming texts
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    I agree, the ppm rates are ridiculous, and so is having to pay for receiving texts...it's really a problem since there is a lot of mobile spam too...you shouldn't have to be charged for that!

    I'm a heavy texter too, I got an unlimited SMS bundle, and in the end, it saves me money...

    Not to be OT, but what REALLY is outrageous to me is that Verizon Wireless is charging a 4 cent tax on texts that are sent to their customers from online mobile companies/subscriptions, like Twitter and Facebook...
    so that the 20 cent ppm rate + 4 cents = 24 CENTS per message!

    That's just TOO much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamCatcher68
    I agree, the ppm rates are ridiculous, and so is having to pay for receiving texts...it's really a problem since there is a lot of mobile spam too...you shouldn't have to be charged for that!

    I'm a heavy texter too, I got an unlimited SMS bundle, and in the end, it saves me money...

    Not to be OT, but what REALLY is outrageous to me is that Verizon Wireless is charging a 4 cent tax on texts that are sent to their customers from online mobile companies/subscriptions, like Twitter and Facebook...
    so that the 20 cent ppm rate + 4 cents = 24 CENTS per message!

    That's just TOO much.
    I don't consider that OT at all. That is INSANE! Of course you ask them about it & they say crap like 'well we have packages available', etc but that still doesn't get around the fact that you are still paying for the message.

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    One solution

    First of all, I don't think we are OK with being charged. For years and years on ATTWS, the price for text was a dime to send and free to receive. Thus 10 cents if you will for one two-way exchange. Moving then to Cingular, they (and others) also ripped victims for receiving so now the price was doubled. Then they upped it to 15 cents even though they put the agreed price in writing at 10 cents. Then they upped it to 20. Now we are at 40 cents for a silly little 2-way exchange. While voice minute pricing imploded, text quadrupled (!) and why? It should be enormously profitable at a penny but they are not contented with enormous profit. The Verizon price is even more outrageous.

    My answer, upon the first contract violation and telco insistence on charging more than I agreed to was to terminate and block all text and MMS. On T-mobile2go after they put in an evil charge to receive, I just ceased to use it. And when spam came from Riot Veronica, I called to complain, declaring my unhappiness about paying for spam.

    Of course you are saying that terminating this means of communication is not an answer so I do have a solution. It is called email. Much more than light usage begs for a plan. Fortunately AT&T has $15 unlimited MEdia net, and de-branded S/E phones have a dandy mail tool.

    AT&T killed the golden goose. If they had appropriately dropped the price to a nickel or less (send only) and free to receive we would probably still be using SMS. Going back isn't very likely because I rather enjoy push mail and I don't have any tiny limit on size of messages either!
    Prepaid Rocks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam917
    I don't consider that OT at all. That is INSANE! Of course you ask them about it & they say crap like 'well we have packages available', etc but that still doesn't get around the fact that you are still paying for the message.
    Actually, I read that this 4 cent charge is NOT just ppm, but also applies to those who have message bundles.

    So, say I have unlimited SMS with Verizon, but I get some notifications sent to my phone by Twitter. I wouldn't have to pay the 20 cents because I have unlimited SMS, but I would STILL have to pay 4 cents each for each SMS Twitter sends me.
    now THAT is ridiculous. I couldn't believe it when I read it.

    Most in my family use Verizon, but I switched to T-mobile for the 19.99 unlimited data/SMS/MMS plan for Sidekick. I am feeling glad that I did. I just hope Tmo wouldn't slap us with these awful taxes.

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    My carrier (MTPCS/Cellular One) only charges for receiving. When Verizon and Alltel people hear that they almost always say "well, that only seems fair"

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    I don't think anyone likes it, but they accept and pay for it. If you don't like it, don't use it/pay for it. It shouldn't be governed by any public government either. There shouldn't be regulation on it as it is by NO means necessary to survive. If you don't like it, don't pay for it and don't use it.

    The only real way to voice a message is with your wallet. Refuse to use/pay for it and that's sending your message.

    The bottom line is, no one will do this b/c with messaging packages and the convenience of texting, it IS worth it. We pay for it b/c it's worth it. If it weren't worth it, we wouldn't be using it/paying for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by derekedw
    I don't think anyone likes it, but they accept and pay for it. If you don't like it, don't use it/pay for it. It shouldn't be governed by any public government either. There shouldn't be regulation on it as it is by NO means necessary to survive. If you don't like it, don't pay for it and don't use it.

    The only real way to voice a message is with your wallet. Refuse to use/pay for it and that's sending your message.

    The bottom line is, no one will do this b/c with messaging packages and the convenience of texting, it IS worth it. We pay for it b/c it's worth it. If it weren't worth it, we wouldn't be using it/paying for it.

    I agree for the most part... I don't think it's that American people LIKE it... but it's that if you want "nationwide" coverage AND text messaging service, you're sort of "stuck".

    Unlike many other countries, the U.S. does not have carriers that give 100% nationwide coverage. And the largest cellular providers in the U.S. all charge for incoming text. Therefore, if anyone wants the "biggest" coverage area (which is required for mobile voice, messaging, and Internet service to work), then they probably should go with a major carrier (whichever one works in the areas they frequent).

    Whoever doesn't agree with paying for incoming text messages, then he/she is free to either 1) NOT text, 2) use another cellular service to text, 3) use a substitute method to text, or 4) force the top tier cellular providers to change their model.

    #1 is a very viable scenerio if someone doesn't want to receive/send text messages EVER, and there are many people who block text messages on their phone (as you will see in #4, text messaging isn't nearly as popular in the U.S. as it is in other countries around the world). However, if you DO want to text message or receive text messages from anyone, this is not an option.

    #2 is also a possible alternative, but there are several reasons why this is illogical: A) It is inconvenient if you don't want to carry around multiple phones. B) You will need to sign a contract for your second "free incoming text message" cellular carrier, thus you must pay a second entire cellular bill (which will most likely be more money) instead of just a few dollars more with your nationwide carrier. C) If you need "nationwide" service for your text messaging service because you travel a lot, then you will need to subscribe to MULTIPLE "free incoming text message" carriers to gain as much 'nationwide" coverage as possible. This will be significantly more expensive than just adding a few dollars to your existing "nationwide" cellular carrier that charges for incoming text messages. D) You could turn to prepaid cell service for text messages, but even they charge for incoming text messages, and you'd still have an inconvenience problem with multiple handsets.

    #3 may also be a possible alternative. E-mail is a good substitute to text messaging, and many people do use e-mail instead of text messaging now that e-mail capable smartphones are gaining significant popularity. Notebooks with cellular broadband and/or wifi cards are also good substitutes as well. However, not everyone wants to pay their cell phone carrier for data usage (which in many cases is more expensive than a text messaging package), or sign a contract for a wireless cellular broadband card (which is significantly more expensive than a simple text messaging package). Not everyone wants to get a smartphone or lug a laptop around everywhere they go either.

    And #4 isn't a very likely scenerio right now, as 1 person going up against multiple multi-billion dollar companies will most likely lose. It would be nice if every single American united in protest and refused to use any carrier that charges for incoming text messaging, but let's face it... that's not going to happen (see #1-3). And Americans are more used to "free market economy", so as long as there are ample competitors in the marketplace offering ample alternatives, most likely the majority will vote with their "feet" instead of their "voice". And not only that, but since text messaging isn't nearly as popular in the U.S. as it is in other countries around the world (mostly because voice per minute rates are significantly higher in other countries than the U.S... comparatively speaking), most likely the majority of the population won't make a huge fuss about it until it gains in popularity (as it is in the younger generation).
    - Chokaay

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    Quote Originally Posted by chokaay
    ... E-mail is a good substitute to text messaging, and many people do use e-mail instead of text messaging now that e-mail capable smartphones are gaining significant popularity. Notebooks with cellular broadband and/or wifi cards are also good substitutes as well...
    Such notions exemplify users who think that "smart" or "windoze mobile" or "computer" are needed. Of course carriers want you to believe these things because a) hardware costs more and b) service can likely cost more.

    To me, smart is S/E push mail tool working fine on "dumb" phones including W810i, W580i, W610i, and Z750a. No "pda plan" and no QWERTY needed. That my friends is how you "gitter dun" without exorbitant cost.

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