I don’t use SMS. Dan Gray, however, – writing about AT&T’s SMS plans. A smart response has already been posted to his article:
It’s well known that teens love to text. To not acknowledge that is to be in denial. So, my take (and I am a parent myself), is that to give a teen or pre-teen a cell phone with texting capability, and NOT set limits, or at least sign up for the unlimited package up front…well, you might as well just write a blank check to the carrier. An $1100 cell phone bill, in my mind as a parent, is not entirely a reflection of “how the carrier’s are ripping us off” (see below), but rather a reflection of society in general, and how so many problems today are a result of parents not setting and enforcing guidelines. Kids NEED limits. Kids NEED to know that actions have consequences. Kids DO NOT need to see their parents call in and curse out some hapless CSR over what THEIR kid did.
Heh. I remember the first time a friend of mine told me about a 1-900 number – way back in the fifth grade. I had no idea it would cost money to use. Lucky for me, I only racked up $8 in charges… or was that $80?
Back to the charges. Yes, it’s well known that carriers incur just a fraction of the 10 or 15 cents they charge us for a text message. How else could they afford to offer unlimited for $10-$20? However, I honestly don’t have a problem with that price. It’s a free market, and the cost will go to what the market will bear. If we (individually) have a problem with it, then most carriers also offer the option to block all texts at no cost. Problem solved. If we (as a group of consumers) have a problem with it, then the solution is to collectively let the carriers know. Why else would Cingular and Verizon “suddenly” start offering an unlimited option for messaging? Out of the goodness of their corporate hearts?
it’s a free market, but unfortunately that “free” market still costs us a lot of money.
No, the problem *I* (and many others) have with the 10 or 15 cents, is that it applies to *incoming* texts as well as outgoing. Outgoing? Fine, you initiate that. But, unlike a call or a picture message, you can’t reject an incoming text. It’s sent, and you get billed for it. Period. *That’s* the travesty in my opinion. That *nearly* all carriers charge for something that’s optional, that you never requested, yet you have no choice but to accept it when it comes. You’re *only* two options are to just pay for it (or get a package) or put a block on all texts.
Yeah, I don’t even bother with SMS – never have, and likely never will. It’s just another way those mobile carriers can overcharge you (much like the medical industry overcharges). These compannies prey on the ill-informed consumer, and assume they’re not going to debate a $300 monthly bill and just accept it as the word of God.
Either incoming texts should be free, or their should be some way to reject them to avoid being charged.
Agreed. Then again, how long do you think we’ll have to wait for Google to decimate the wireless telecommunications industry?