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Verizon To Charge Content Providers $.03 Per SMS

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-there's-no-penny-slot dept.

Cellphones 260

An anonymous reader writes "It appears that Verizon is going to start double-dipping by charging both consumers AND content providers for SMS text messages. Verizon has informed content partners that it will levy a $.03 charge for messages sent to customers, effective November 1. From RCRWireless: 'Countless companies could be affected by the new fee, from players in the booming SMS-search space (4INFO, Google Inc. and ChaCha) to media companies (CNN, ESPN and local outlets) to mobile-couponing startups (Cellfire) to banks and other institutions that use mobile as an extension of customer services.'"

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260 comments

email? (4, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331873)

Did they send an email informing everyone of this?

Re:email? (5, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331895)

If they did, I'm charging them to read it.

Re:email? (4, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331949)

They're doing it to raise money to pay for their defense fund when the lawsuits from those angry security professionals come pourin' in.

Re:email? (4, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332003)

I'll be glad to take your lawsuits, guys! Once we get the new Litigation Surcharge out of the way.

That'll be 99 cents per dollar that you're seeking in damages, plz.

Re:email? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332027)

No, they sent an SMS.

Re:email? (5, Funny)

madhurms (736552) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332115)

More importantly, is it 0.03 dollar or 0.03 cents? :)

I canceled (5, Informative)

dj245 (732906) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332617)

I canceled my Verizon Wireless yesterday (for other reasons). If you want out of your contract with no questions asked, print out This page [verizonwireless.com] and take it in with you to the verizon office. Tell them this is a change to your contract and that you would like to cancel. Ask them to waive the cancel fee. Done. You even get to keep your phone (they told me to sell it on Ebay). This assumes that you were a customer back in April.

Email to Text? (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331887)

Most companies have email to text capability, that I use regularly (much easier than typing, even on a qwerty keypad). How would they extend fee to an incoming email-to-text message? Or will that very convenient service be dropped?

Re:Email to Text? (4, Insightful)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332125)

Ya but dont forget that that e-mail to txt is MORE expensive as you need a data plan. oh and data plans for alltel went up to about $44 a month to match their competitors. Either way the cell companies are gouging us on a service that we already pay for. Check it out:

You pay a service contract fee for a data line.

You pay an extra fee for using that data line to send SMS messages

You pay and extra fee to use that data line to send http, pop, smtp, https traffic

You pay an extra fee on top of that if you want to use that data line to connect a computer

All at fees that are going up exponentially while cost per bit goes down for the company, I would love to see those margins. This is what is going to happen to your internet service soon people.

Re:Email to Text? (4, Informative)

GenP (686381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332293)

Blackberry on T-Mobile, $55/mo for basic voice and unlimited data, no contract. No SMS either, but that's where the unlimited data comes in.

Re:Email to Text? (3, Insightful)

Drathos (1092) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332391)

He's not talking about emailing from your phone. He's talking about sending an email to your phone that gets delivered as a text message. Big difference. There's no data plan involved.

Verizon will send a text message to my phone if someone sends an email to <my number>@vtext.com and happily charge me for it, even if it's spam. There's no way for them to charge the sender.

Re:Email to Text? (1)

skiingyac (262641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332421)

No he means that right now for most carriers you can send an email from the internet to the user's phone number @ their carrier, and they will get an SMS on their phone.

Re:Email to Text? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332203)

Most of the rest of the world doesn't charge to receive SMS, only to send it. The receiver's network charges the sender's network a small amount for each one (although the big networks don't pay anything). The only email to SMS gateways either charge money or are run by the networks themselves. A few tried to be bidirectional - receive SMS messages (and charge the sending network) and then forward them to email, but I don't know of any of these that still survive since people only used them one way.

They have it all wrong (5, Insightful)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331889)

ONLY the sender should be charged for SMS. You can't choose which ones you receive so why should you pay for them?

Re:They have it all wrong (4, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331927)

You seem to be under the misapprehension that Verizon has some sort of policy regarding "fairness".

They also charge you for incoming calls. Even if they're wrong numbers.

Also I hear that 0.02 = 0.0002.

Re:They have it all wrong (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331995)

Are you sure? I know with Sprint you can call the customer service number after the call and get the charges canceled, but most people don't bother because they have an obscene number-of-minutes plan.

Re:They have it all wrong (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332067)

I know with Sprint you can call the customer service number after the call and get the charges canceled, but most people don't bother because they have an obscene number-of-minutes plan.

No, most people don't bother with Sprint because Sprint has made it clear that actually calling customer service will get you "fired" from their service [slashdot.org] .

There's a reason Sprint is dead-last in the telecoms industry - I'd rather put up with Verizon (and actually get service!) than even think about trying to deal with Sprint.

Re:They have it all wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332103)

actually, at least with dropped calls its a totally automated system to get credited so its not the type of customers sprint particularly cares about. Unless you're maxing out your dropped call quota each month, and therefore you should ask yourself why you are on sprint at all.

Re:They have it all wrong (4, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332611)

That's a bald faced lie. I've spent countless hours arguing with sprint to even remove the cost of ONE spam text message, let alone wrong numbers. Fuck sprint. I jumped ship the day my contract expired. Good fucking riddance to that garbage company. May they evaporate as the stock market does!!!

Re:They have it all wrong (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332119)

Yes but with incoming calls you can just reject the call.

Re:They have it all wrong (2, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332145)

...Assuming that you already know you don't want the call.
I usually don't find that out until after I pick up.

Re:They have it all wrong (4, Interesting)

svnt (697929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332041)

While we're pony-wishing, I want to be able to choose which companies are charged how much to send me a text message.

Google-411: $0.00
Verizon: $1.50

Re:They have it all wrong (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332607)

It's not a pony wish, it's reasonable and it already is the standard in some countries.

Re:They have it all wrong (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332045)

In the UK there are loads of services where you sign up for information via SMS and pay to receive them. It's a fairly straightforward way of handling billing.

Re:They have it all wrong (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332139)

The operative part of that being, that you sign up for them.

Do you have to pay for any random jackass that wants to send you SMS?

Yes (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332447)

Do you have to pay for any random jackass that wants to send you SMS?

Since you asked.

Re:They have it all wrong (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332143)

Yes, but in that instance you initiated the request.

Re:They have it all wrong (2, Insightful)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332207)

For unsolicited messages, I agree. But what if you're trying to take advantage of a "free" SMS service (like Google)? You're soliciting that SMS response. Why should the content provider pay to respond? They may not be making any money off of that. Making them pay means many of them will simply go away, which I think would be a shame.

But for all of those "sign up to receive SMS spam from us" services, I agree that there ought to be a way to shift some of those costs onto them.

Re:They have it all wrong (2, Interesting)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332405)

How about this plan: Receiver specifies a white list. SMS from a white-listed sender charges the receiver otherwise it charges the sender. Also provide a way for the sender to check if a receiver has them white listed.

With this plan spammers gets charged, but you can pay for any opt-in services you want by white-listing them.

(Yes, I realize how close this is to many e-mail spam prevention proposals. However, I think that since the SMS infrastructure is already doing accounting, this sort of thing might work with SMS where it has failed with e-mail.)

You can choose if your cell provider isn't evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332415)

I have a NET10 prepaid phone, which charges $0.05 per text message. When a text message comes in, I can see who it is from, but I'm only charged if I actually read it. If I simply delete it, I'm not charged at all.

Re:They have it all wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332459)

they already charge for both receiving and sending text messages.

Re:They have it all wrong (1)

Drathos (1092) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332499)

The cell provider industry in the US is all about double-dipping. Pay to send and receive phone calls, text messages, whatever. Receiving anything should not be charged since you have ZERO control over who calls or texts you.

Re:They have it all wrong (1)

iamnotaclown (169747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332509)

Here in Canada two of our three providers started charging 15 cents for every message received. Hooray for deregulation and the open market!

Re:They have it all wrong (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332551)

Verizon is a CELL PHONE PROVIDER. When you make (or receive) a cell phone call you burn minutes whether you made (or received) that call. Cell phone companies have been double-dipping for decades. This BS is no different.

Bloodsuckers, all of them.

Re:They have it all wrong (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332733)

Where do you see that? Not in TFA that I could tell - nor in the image of the notice from Verizon that it contains. It looks like the only time the recipient is not paying is for "free to sender" messages, which ... erm, they're already not paying for and are not much used in the US. These charges are in addition to what the sender is already paying (fractions of a penny) and as far as I can tell, will still cost the recipient the same.

Yay for double-dipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25331903)

Gotta love the fact that even free, and things that should remain free, are now not only charged to the customers, but now to the people who rely so heavily on the power of keeping their customers informed. Only in Soviet America..

Re:Yay for double-dipping (0, Flamebait)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332091)

I think this is a GOOD thing. It costs me a dime to read a text message. My phone has several messages in it right now, and I'm not going to read them; everyone I know knows if they want to talk, call, but I'm not spending twenty cents to read a text message (a dime for the message and a dime for the airtime).

If a business wants to spam me, let them pay for it. But I still won't read it; send me an email.

Now, if I had unlimited airtime and free texting it would be different.

Re:Yay for double-dipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332273)

I think this is a GOOD thing. It costs me a dime to read a text message. My phone has several messages in it right now, and I'm not going to read them; everyone I know knows if they want to talk, call, but I'm not spending twenty cents to read a text message (a dime for the message and a dime for the airtime).

I don't use text messaging, so maybe I'm out of the loop, but I thought you paid to receive a text message not to read it.

Re:Yay for double-dipping (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332301)

On all phones I have ever owned, the SMS is delivered to the phone and you are billed, regardless of whether you read it or not. I can't say for certain that your service is different, but I'd be very surprised if it were.

Re:Yay for double-dipping (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332337)

I'm on a Net-10 "pay as you go" minute phone. It doesn't charge me unless I actually read the message; there is a "meter" on the phone's face that tells you how much airtime you have left.

Re:Yay for double-dipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332569)

Ummm... The message has been delivered to your phone already. This means you've been charged for it, so you may as well read and/or delete it.

Now if you mean MMS (such as a photo or sound) then you can delete them without downloading them if you configure your phone that way. This means you can delete them without getting charged for it. Most phones are configured to download immediately upon receiving the notification, so you've probably already been charged anyway if you didn't change your setting.

They get you coming and going. With AT&T, if you disable Internet access on the phone, you can't download MMS messages, even if you have the unlimited plan. That leaves you exposed to accidental charges if you bump the Internet button by mistake. If you disable text messages completely (so you don't get charged if geniuses send you messages even if you've told them not to) your voice mail indicator won't work when you get a new voice mail. Technical limitation? Nope, they just want to find ways to keep the services turned on. 1 accidental text a month that the user doesn't bother to call in and request removed times thousands of users adds up quickly.

Email-to-SMS Gateways? (2, Interesting)

smclean (521851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331909)

Two Verizon stories in a row, neat.

Does anything prevent content providers from using the email-to-SMS gateways to send messages for free? I know some companies who do this...

It requires the customer to tell you their carrier of course, and you need to have an up-to-date list of email-to-SMS gateway addresses for each carrier, but hey, it's free.

Re:Email-to-SMS Gateways? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332657)

Yes, Verizon will just ban any MTA that sends them more than n messages per month where n is small (say a few thousand).

i used to sms a lot (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331929)

but now everyone i know pretty much can email with their phones. and if not, there's an sms-email gateway, where you type their [phone number]@vzw.net or something like that. of course they have to pay for that, but if they reply, it comes in as a regular email, so you don't have to pay anything

such that i'm thinking of shunning sms use completely

sms is a wonderfully useful little signalling protocol... if it weren't being milked to death. so it will be discarded from general use, killed off by the phone company

Re:i used to sms a lot (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332315)

I recently switched from T-mobile's Sidekick data plan (with unlimited SMS) to AT&T Wireless for the iPhone's data plan which does not include any SMS. After receiving my first SMS spam within 7 days of having the phone, I called and had the charges removed and then told them to disable all SMS.

I really want those carriers to explain to regulators how they feel that they can get away with charging .20/SMS or $5 for 200.

Re:i used to sms a lot (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332643)

Regular mail will be charged for as people move away from SMS.

Obligatory Verizon Math Post (2, Funny)

dfm3 (830843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331935)

So, by Verizon Math, $.03 is equal to $3 dollars, right?

Re:Obligatory Verizon Math Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332435)

No, it's actually 0.03 cents. So in reality it's really only 0.0003 dollars.

Post Office Tax (5, Interesting)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331957)

In the 90's there was an email circulating around claiming that the US Post Office was going to charge a fifteen cent tax on every email sent. I laughed myself silly about people that were actually stupid enough to believe it. If it ever happened, I was sure we could just encode emails so they wouldn't recognize them. Now, that I see people are actually stupid enough to *PAY* fifteen cents to send a message over the same lines on which they speak for free, it's not quite so funny anymore.

Re:Post Office Tax (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332757)

If I understand this correctly, this applies to commercial business partners. All that will happen is business partners that no longer find value in the relationship will leave. The analogy would be mass marketers moving from the post office to email (spam).

I do not see how verizon could bill an arbitrary commercial interest to send a message to a customer on it's network. Even if they did identify the interest, there would be no contract established, so even though they could bill, it is unclear if they could collect. it would be more likely that verizon would get sued for mail fraud. It is like the sigs on some of the posts that read 'by reading this post you agree to pay me $10", except that the sig seems to have some basis in what some software vendors consider law.

SMS is a profit center and it seems reasonable to push that profit center by asking partners to pay more. It seems reasonable to the consumer because such commercials interests might keep their lists up to date to make sure they are not sending messages to people who do not want them. The only people it will hurt are the commercial content providers, who may find that the promotional agreement with verizon does not have any value. I decided many years ago that Verizon provided me, the customer, with no value.

Will they be charging AIM too? (1)

Nathanbp (599369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331961)

Will this apply to AIM sent text messages [engadget.com] as well (if not, expect these people to automate it that way)? To send a text message from AIM, just open an IM to +11235551212 (+1, then the phone number without dashes). Or messages sent from Verizon's website [vzw.com] ?

Re:Will they be charging AIM too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332313)

The receiver has to pay for those AIM messages you send. AOL might be getting a cut from them, or maybe they have an SMS gateway, seeing as they're loaded with funds. When I had to set something up like this, the gateway costs were 3-6 cents per message. The project was canceled. It was to work like twitter for [deleted] over two years ago, but the costs would have doomed the project to financial ruin.

Dial-a-plus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332675)

How do you dial "+"?

FINALLY! (3, Insightful)

jskora (1319299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331971)

It seems only fair that the senders of messages should be charged regardless of whether they are content providers or consumers. Why should a peer-to-peer twit be charged more than an ESPN score update?

Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25331973)

The article is currently showing the tag "greed". And maybe it is greed. But what level would be a fair price? A hundred messages for 3 cents? A million messages for 3 cents?

And then there's the question of spam. I'd think that two or three cents is just about the cutoff level where spam and phishing becomes unprofitable.

Just my three cents...

Re:Greed (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332399)

A fair price would be the same as all other data transfers. It's all bits anyway. You should pay the same price for a given number of bits, no matter what protocol you're using.

Re:Greed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332433)

The article is tagged greed because Verizon is charging both the sender and the receiver of the messages. It would be like the post office sending you a monthly bill for every item of mail you receive (whether you requested that mail or not), even though all the mail was paid for with a stamp by the sender.

I am all for sender-pays messages. It puts the onus of payment where it belongs: the party choosing to engage in communication. It can cut down on spam, and it still allows me to receive messages from content providers (the content providers can always charge me for the service).

Just crazy... (5, Informative)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331975)

I never understood the "pay to receive" idea in the first place.

Anyway, in Australia (at least with one of the companies), you have two types of message. The ones that someone sends to you, and they pay for it. Then there are "premium" services (such as weather, news, games whatever), which you pay to request.

Charging to send AND receive? Greedy bastards should be lined up against the wall and shot.

Viva le revolution!

Re:Just crazy... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332253)

Charging to send AND receive? Greedy bastards should be lined up against the wall and shot.

Which is why in the US you've never been charged to receive calls. ... Well, except on cell phones.

Because apparently they're not the same as those old phones, and are so extra-special that you just have to be dinged for receiving calls.

And since you pay for receiving calls, you pay for receiving text messages too, because they're so new and different or something. (Something about boiling a frog?)

It's insane. It's like those people who can't use Word if you change their desktop wallpaper. People in the US are just incapable of applying the same logic that's applied to traditional phones for the past, well, century to mobile phones.

Then again, as the whole load crisis has proved, the US has given up on critical thinking.

Re:Just crazy... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332651)

I still remember a time when you got charged if your cell phone RANG... Not that you answered.. just that it connected at all.

cancel your verizon subscription today (5, Interesting)

blzb (311781) | more than 5 years ago | (#25331981)

so now verizon is charging other people money to *call you*. aren't you alrady paying verizon to have a phone number just so people can call you and send you messages.

you would have to be a real sucker to let verizon charge your friends and associates money to communicate with you, on top of what they are already paying *their* phone company to send the message in the first place.

Re:cancel your verizon subscription today (3, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332341)

so now verizon is charging other people money to *call you*. aren't you alrady paying verizon to have a phone number just so people can call you and send you messages.

I don't how this differs from the way the real world works.

Verizon is a Las Vegas hotel room. Blackjack may be included, but the hookers and gratuities to both the bellhop and the hookers aren't.

With email on your phone so common (2, Insightful)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332039)

With email on your phone so common, why would you even want SMS and all it's limitations and cost?

Re:With email on your phone so common (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332247)

I dont have a full data plan yet, so email would be more expensive. As the rates for SMS keep going up, pretty soon the extra $45 for the data plan will be a cost saving feature for me.

Oh, I happen to be looking for a new cell company, and this makes it a lot easier for me to not chose verizon as my next carrier.

Re:With email on your phone so common (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332735)

That's pretty much what happened with me and my friend. My contract expired and I picked up a smartphone plan with unlimited data & sms. With unlimited SMS i hardly ever use more than 200 of my 1000 minutes a month. For less than $70/mo. I also find I use gmail/email/gchat a lot more as an integrated communication solution. $45 is about the top end for a data plan these days. It seems expensive, but being able to use your phone whenever you like without any inhibitions really makes the value shine.

Re:With email on your phone so common (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332457)

Because with most companies (say verizon) you need a data plan to send emails. If you don't have a data plan, the fees rack up incredibly fast.

The thing I don't get is, I have a samsung SCH-i760 and my data plan is $40 a month.. blackberry data plans are only something like $20, at most $30. Why? They are both unlimited plans on the same service. People with blackberries are more likely to download/upload more data.... ?

And if you don't have a data plan, the fees are crazy. Just 4 or 5 megs of downloads will put you over $40.. and with the $40 plan I had one month pulled down 150+megs.

Now is that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332049)

$.03 or .03c :)

Another example of US telcos acting dumb on SMS (3, Insightful)

99luftballon (838486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332063)

What is it with US telcos and SMS. SMS was an accidental hit in Europe; an engineering tool that people discovered and used free. Now the telcos over there have modest charges for sending it and rake in billions each year. But in the US first they tried to charge for sending and receiving, then massively increased the cost and now this. What is it US telcos have against SMS, I genuinely don't understand?

Re:Another example of US telcos acting dumb on SMS (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332211)

nothing, they just charge as much as people will let them get away with. like every other company.

0.03 dollars or cents? (0, Redundant)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332069)

And this a joke on top of $0.20 each way for texts right now.

Timing is suspect (3, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332107)

I know I need to loosen my tinfoil hat, but the article specifically mentions the Obama campaign's reliance on SMS as an organizational tool. I think it's safe to say that Verizon and its little friends are big fans of the current surveillance-friendly administration, seeing as how the W administration just gave the telcos the world's largest "Get Out Of Jail Free" card with their little "retroactive immunity" bill.

Verizon couldn't have waited until December? Or November 15? Or November 5? No, they flip the switch just in time to make it more difficult for tech-savvy candidates (largely Democratic, hmmm) to send "don't 4get 2 vote!" reminders to their followers. Obama won't have any problems -- he could likely afford the "Free-2-End-User" service -- but smaller campaigns might have to drop their SMS reminder plans completely.

Of course, I'm suspicious of the way gas prices suddenly drop in October of years divisible by 4, too. :)

Re:Timing is suspect (5, Insightful)

xant (99438) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332191)

I think it's safe to say that Verizon and its little friends are big fans of the current surveillance-friendly administration, seeing as how the W administration just gave the telcos the world's largest "Get Out Of Jail Free" card with their little "retroactive immunity" bill.

*sigh* Obama voted for it. (I'm voting for him anyway.)

Of course, I'm suspicious of the way gas prices suddenly drop in October of years divisible by 4, too. :)

They drop every October. Every September, too. People drive more in the summer.

Re:Timing is suspect (3, Funny)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332335)

Hey Pal! Stop posting facts to counteract Slashdot's Messiah Worship / conspiracy theory groove thing!

Sheeple (0, Offtopic)

GWLlosa (800011) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332573)

People say things like "I disagree with candidate X, but I'm voting for him anyway." Just out of curiosity, what exactly would the Republicrats have to do to actually lose your vote? Start a war? Wreck the economy? Oh wait...

Re:Sheeple (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332623)

People say things like "I disagree with candidate X, but I'm voting for him anyway." Just out of curiosity, what exactly would the Republicrats have to do to actually lose your vote? Start a war? Wreck the economy? Oh wait.../quote News flash...Obama is a democrat. So if he is voting for Obama no matter what, the Republicans never had a chance to loose the guy. You cant loose something you never had.

Re:Timing is suspect (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332561)

Verizon couldn't have waited until December? Or November 15? Or November 5? No, they flip the switch just in time to make it more difficult for tech-savvy candidates (largely Democratic, hmmm) to send "don't 4get 2 vote!"

The letter states that it will still be free to non profit organizations. Of course, the presidency is a FOR-profit organization but that is neither here nor there.

Re:Timing is suspect (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332587)

Right like either campaign can not afford it. Obama just spend almost 1 million on a 30 min tv spot. I doubt the $.03 is going to kill any one. Besides do you not think this effects both campaigns.

Re:Timing is suspect (1)

TRex1993 (1135915) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332721)

I

Of course, I'm suspicious of the way gas prices suddenly drop in October of years divisible by 4, too. :)

Oil is now under $78 a barrel (down from a high of just over $147), yet the national average for a gallon of unleaded is $3.35 (down from the $4.11 peak). You call this dropping??

What next? (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332113)

This is an outrage! If we let this continue eventually they'll charge both content providers and consumers for internet bandwidth.

If We're Really Lucky... (1)

repetty (260322) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332121)

If we're really lucky, this will destroy the SMS market completely and SMS will become only a quaint memory, like CB radios.

--Richard

Brilliant! (1)

RsJtSu (569959) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332149)

So who's account is this going to benefit? Sounds like another "Golden Parachute" for someone.
"Well its really genius, see the Innotech software complies thousands of transactions a day that get rounded off. Well this just puts those fractions into an account and its so small no one will notice."

Bite the hand that feeds them (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332195)

Everyone knows that SMS is a cash cow for the telcos.

In fact, some content providers, occasionally compared to massive primates, have a reputation for approaching telcos offering partnerships to provide data notice over SMS services through them (emai alerts, weather, stock, etc.) in exchange for a slice of the revenue pie from the receiving customer.

Furthermore, mapping a MSISDN (phone number) to carrier, and thus the internet-facing SMS Gateway, is a paid service that third paries provide -- content providers ALREADY pay to figure out which gateway to use to send an SMS to your phone. Of course this information is cached, but when a customer ports their number to a new carrior, until that cache expires, some of their notifications might get lost.

*shrug* vote with your feet (4, Interesting)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332209)

As a consumer, there are a number of carriers available. If you don't like Verizon's policies, just switch to one of the other US providers like AT&T/Sprint/T-Mobile. But this fee seems designed to soak service providers to Verizon's customers. They are much more likely to bend over and do some yodeling rather than forego the ability to sell things (or display ads/information) to Verizon customers.

Just another in the long series of customer unfriendly business decisions made by Verizon's management.

Cheers,

Re:*shrug* vote with your feet (3, Informative)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332503)

Unfortunately 'voting with your feet' doesn't work in these instances as all the major players follow suit soon after.

We don't need no steenkin' Net Neutrality (1)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332239)

Phone companies would never rearrange pricing structures on hugely popular services just to wring more money from other companies that use them! I mean, look at SMS!

Anyway...even if they did, the "free market" would correct it...right?

I can't wait until I have "Premium" Internet with all those "High Definition" websites - it'll be sooooo much better. The phone company promised!

Re:We don't need no steenkin' Net Neutrality (1)

schwaang (667808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332347)

Exactly -- it's like they're channelling Ed Whitacre's "they're my pipes, you'll have to pay to reach my customers!" argument [arstechnica.com] :

How do you think they're going to get to customers? Through a broadband pipe. Cable companies have them. We have them. Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain't going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there's going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they're using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?

Verizon and Math (0, Redundant)

this great guy (922511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332279)

Sooo do they mean .03 cents or .03 dollars ?

I for one (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25332281)

welcome our $.03 per SMS overlords.

the only reason to agree (2, Insightful)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332323)

The only reason I would agree with this model, and with the same model to be implemented into email messages, is to be able to avoid having spam as we know it. Imagine the guy that wants to use someone else's account, it would take very little time if someone charged up a whole bunch of emails even at .0001 cent it would still trigger a flag somewhere that I am being charged for emails I am not making, or that the spammers would have to make a whole lot more money then this to stay afloat.

That is why you go to another carrier. (1)

ITJC68 (1370229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332375)

This doesn't surprise me in the least. I dumped them as my cell phone carrier early this year because of all the little hidden charges. Each month the bill would be a little more but no change in the amount of useage( stayed well within the number of minutes on the plan) and no text messaging. I used to have Verizon for home phone and they did the same thing. Charge by the call. I dumped them for Vonage. Until the paying public gets fed up with bogus billing and charges and leaves the carrier they will continue. If enough people make a stink and go to another carrier ( I went to a pay as you go) then they might think twice. You have to hit them in the wallet or they won't care.

YES!!!! (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332413)

At last something that might reduce spim.

.37 cents profit per message? (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332467)

So .03 absorbs cost involved... But they charge their own customers .40 per message. .20 to send and .20 to receive. Interesting...

It's always happened... (1)

dasunst3r (947970) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332507)

T-Mobile has always double-dipped -- one SMS message is 20 cents per direction. So, if both parties text ala-carte, then it's 80 cents: 20 cents for you to send, 20 cents for your friend to receive, 20 cents for your friend to send a reply, and another 20 cents for you to receive that reply.

I bet you other companies are doing the same boofin' thing.

SMS over data connection? (2, Interesting)

chihowa (366380) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332519)

Is there a way to send/receive SMS over a data connection in a manner that preserves all of the customs of conventional SMS (eg, send message to phone number from ordinary phone)? I seem to remember having the choice of using GPRS as the "data bearer" for SMS on one of my old phones, though I can't seem to find it on my current phone...

ChaCha (1)

timoguin (1138001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332539)

This is horrible news for ChaCha. They currently pay their guides $0.10 for every question answered and $0.20 per question for Top Guides. I used to question their business model, wondering how much money could really be made from advertisement on their website alone. However, for the past week or so they've been running advertisements for the McDonald's Monopoly game in all the question responses instead of a link to more information about the question.

But $0.03 is a pretty big hit. I wonder if they will take the hit themselves or pass it off to the guides by cutting their payments.

Also, Verizon sucks.

Um, so? (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332565)

Cell phone companies have forever been charging people to send AND receive phone calls, text messages, etc, as well. Isn't this just making everything else in line with that?

Sure why not. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332637)

Its working so well for comcast and their customer screwing, it was just a matter of time before the practice spreads.

Article is wrong (3, Insightful)

Alereon (660683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332647)

This does not affect mobile-to-mobile SMS, consumers will not see any charges (unless the content provider chooses to recover costs from consumers). My understanding is that this fee will be 3 cents for every premium or standard-rated SMS sent from a shortcode to a Verizon subscriber, unless the message is from a non-profit/charity or is "Free to End-User" (whatever that means, I don't know the difference between an F2EU SMS and a standard-rated SMS).

My biggest concern is that we're not going to be able to stop this, and once Verizon adopts this policy every other carrier will as well. This has the potential to seriously affect the mobile content industry.

Of course Verizon HAD to do this... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25332719)

... because the cost of providing SMS infrastructure is so astronomical compared to that for digitized voice services! How could they not attempt to recoup at least a small fraction of that huge expense?

This is why I love unrestrained capitalism and despise anything that hints of socialism.

(No, I'm not happy to see you, that's my facetious tongue in cheek.)

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