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Thread: Does TF charge me a txt if I don't open/read it?

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    Does TF charge me a txt if I don't open/read it?

    Hey guys;
    I have a Moto G7 Optimo Maxx on Tracfone.
    I'm curious about whether TF will charge me a txt unit if I receive but do not open/read the text.
    I use Textra for SMS.

    Thanks for your help

    Ultrarunner

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    Yes, you'll get charged for a text even if you don't open it.

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    It is an industry standard to be charged for text messages sent or received regardless of if its ever actually looked at.

    Just like you get charged per minute and partial minutes are rounded up to the next full minute if on a plan that has talk limits.
    Same thing for data usage.

    (They are essentially charging for the network usage, not what's shown on the device.)
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    The only exception I know of is when the usage is calculated by the phone and not by the network (single bucket Tracfones).
    There was a LG flip phone that would let you read the texts on the outside screen without them being marked as read, and then delete them without reading them on the main screen.
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    huh ? ?

    Quote Originally Posted by taxmantoo View Post
    The only exception I know of is when the usage is calculated by the phone and not by the network (single bucket Tracfones).
    There was a LG flip phone that would let you read the texts on the outside screen without them being marked as read, and then delete them without reading them on the main screen.
    How would that prevent someone for being charged for an incoming message, read or not read by the user ??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serial Port View Post
    How would that prevent someone for being charged for an incoming message, read or not read by the user ??
    In old single bucket Tracfones, the units counter was in the phone itself which were deducted from the minutes or texts used (1/3 of unit). In that specific model, it seems that the counter was hit only if you opened the text message.

    I imagine one could get away with it for a while, but in the long term I imagine TF would notice the discrepancy between what it was actually used and what it was reported by the phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serial Port View Post
    How would that prevent someone for being charged for an incoming message, read or not read by the user ??
    The minutes you buy are stored in the phone's memory.
    The phone deletes 0.3 minutes from the total when you read or send a text message.

    One phone (actually looking back on it I can't remember if it was a Motorola, Samsung, or LG, it was GSM and I didn't have much use for it) would let you preview messages without 'reading' them, and most phones would allow you to delete unread messages without paying for them.

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    I know my grandma's old Verizon prepaid phone would not charge her for unread text message. It is once you read the message, it would charge her. There was even a warning message with her older phone(Samsung Gusto 2), but it is not newer older phone(Samsung Gusto 3).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serial Port View Post
    How would that prevent someone for being charged for an incoming message, read or not read by the user ??
    They just didn't charge until the text was opened. It just worked that way on the phones that dealt in a single bucket of units of airtime. You got an allotment of units, like chips, that were spent according to what you were doing. Like talk was one unit per minute, texts were a fraction of a unit, data was kind of complicated, sometimes by elapsed time. The units ran down by decimal points and were stored only on the phone, not at HQ. If you had to communicate the balance to HQ, it would get encoded and you gave them the code. Later, HQ could ping the phone for the balance, once they figured out how to do it by invisible text. Then you couldn't fake the coded balance by using a code from another phone.

    So Tracfone was apparently forwarding the communications to the phone and charging by its own rules. It also varied by phone model. Each phone had the rules encoded in the firmware, which you could examine. Sometimes roaming was 2X units and sometimes not, by model version. A smartphone can show part of a message on the lock screen. So some flip Tracfones could do something on the outside screen. And some phones had free incoming texts anyway. The phone controlled itself. That was the deal with the custom Tracfone firmware and why the phones couldn't be unlocked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    You got an allotment of units, like chips, that were spent according to what you were doing. Like talk was one unit per minute, texts were a fraction of a unit, data was kind of complicated, sometimes by elapsed time. The units ran down by decimal points and were stored only on the phone, not at HQ.
    Yep, the single bucket phones used Parameter Codes in the firmware for how things got charged. Until fairly late the CSRs could not read any of these codes remotely, and would ask you to put them in to do various things. This was before Chat was available, so it was done on a call from another phone. The charged rates for text and data did very by phone model.

    Some common codes:
    Parameter 30 = *#30
    Parameter 00 = *#00
    Parameter 08 = SMS rate
    Parameter 104 = MMS rate
    Parameter 106 = data rate
    Parameter 17 = Service and Airtime

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    Okay this is I guess a good question but why ask it? What plan do you have that still charges for text messages cause if you do get charged, it time you switched plans because even the Obama phones have unlimited texting & TF technically is who handles those phones as Safelink. If you are using TF the smartphone plans now are unlimited text & minutes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninja_unmatched View Post
    What plan do you have that still charges for text messages cause if you do get charged, it time you switched plans because even the Obama phones have unlimited texting & TF technically is who handles those phones as Safelink. If you are using TF the smartphone plans now are unlimited text & minutes.
    Most TF plans still charge minutes and texts per usage. Although there are Unlimited Plans on TF, not everyone needs it. I use less than 100 talk/text/MB a month, don't want to buy an unlimited plan. Not everyone qualifies for Safelink/Lifeline service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Most TF plans still charge minutes and texts per usage. Although there are Unlimited Plans on TF, not everyone needs it. I use less than 100 talk/text/MB a month, don't want to buy an unlimited plan. Not everyone qualifies for Safelink/Lifeline service.
    How much are you paying for that though?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninja_unmatched View Post
    How much are you paying for that though?
    I usually buy a HSN/QVC bundle which includes a new phone and 1-yr service and 1200-1500 in each talk/text/bucket. That's enough to last me a year. Those bundles are usually around $60 to $100, or $5-$8 per month. If I don't need a new phone, I can buy one of those preloaded SIMs that TF sells on Ebay around $50 (or $29.99 at the moment). That's $2.50-$4 per month. A lot less than the cheapest TF Unlimited Plan which is $20 per month.

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    i'm not concerned about running out of texts. I got 1500 when I bought the phone with the 1yr service. I was only curious.

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