T-Mobile To Charge Third Parties More For SMS Sent Over Network?

I may consider myself something of a phone connoisseur but an industry analyst I am not so I don’t pretend to understand all of the charges that exist in the wireless industry. That’s why I don’t understand the need for a charge such as the one T-Mobile is considering implementing for businesses that send text messages over the T-Mobile network. Beginning on October 1, T-Mobile will reportedly charge one-quarter of one cent to businesses for every message delivered to its customers. That means that a lot to the companies whose bottom lines will be affected by this move, such as Twitter, Banks or sites that send the scores of sporting games out. The volume of texts sent under such pretenses is huge and it will definitely have an effect. How many of you get bank alerts or sports scores sent to you? I can’t imagine these companies are looking forward to their costs going up.

GigaOM makes sure to point out that in 2008 Verizon attempted the same play, only they were looking to charge three cents per text alert. However after a massive public backlash, Verizon abandoned their plans to enact the measure.

I just love the wireless industry!

GigaOM

Tags:

  • Will

    Sounds ridiculous.

    Oh and anxiously awaiting the “other phone” post.

    • Will

      btw I am referring to the leaked accessory list post

    • Neejay

      This won’t fly with customers.

      And +1 on the “other phone” post…

  • NiiDiddy

    I hope there isn’t a backlash, though I’m sure’s bound to be. The economy is worse right now compared to when Verizon tried their 3cents gig, and I don’t think a lot of the companies will be happy. Then again it depends on the company–they just might like the service to much [that is why they are with T-mobile to begin with] so they wouldn’t mind much. Other carriers charge a whole lot more for personal and business data and talk plans anyway. We live to see huh…

    • jabbathewocket

      You misunderstand.. this is not about t-mobile customers…

      This is about for example as the article states “Twitter” who sends out SMS messages to tmobile customers..

      currently the carriers do NOT charge for carrying these messages on to the end user.. they want to start charging *twitter* and other SMS sending companies for this service.. they do not wanna charge wireless customers for these messages.. but rather the source company.

      Tmobile *CUSTOMERS* already pay for texts (either ala carte or as part of their wireless plans)

      • Rilesman

        Actually, WE the customer are being charged for the SMS messages. The consumer. This is another attempt for changing the business model to increase revenue because it is easier to charge a content provider than lose customers.

        In many Asian countries the originator of the SMS is charged and not the receiving end. Not so here in the states….or please correct me if I am wrong.

        Same thing as AT&T talking about charging Google to run their content on AT&T networks that us consumers requested. Even though the customer is paying charges for a particular bandwidth, apparently this is not enough revenue. All shady…all shady in my opinion.

      • Foxeh

        I was always annoyed at how the wireless industry did things and how they would charge both sender and recipient for everything when most other industries would just charge the sender. Having every stamped letter you received be COD would have made the postal industry a very different beast.

        While 1 cent for four texts is much better than 3 cents for one text, that’s still gonna be a lot for businesses that send out millions of them. Of course if this means that texts will be complimentary for customers I might not mind as much, but I just don’t see that happening.

  • TheLight

    I wonder how fast can Face6ook change their text messaging preferences to not having T-Mo6ile AGAIN!!!

    @Will

    I’m with you, pleeeease 6e that 6east of a phone we’ve 6een waiting for! :)

    • Yyevo

      Buy a keyBoard with a working B or no phone reveal for you!

  • Wilma Flintstone

    It won’t last.

  • snowdaze

    So, Google Calendar SMS alerts and the like would mean a charge for who? Google?

  • jay

    so basically for every 4 third party messages sent its only a penny… and for every 10,000 messsages it should be around 41 dollars… not that bad considering u r using THEIR network… which cost THEM money

    • Chase

      But the customer pays for messaging. Whether they have a plan or not, they still pay per message. I don’t see why tmo should charge companies for things like that. It’s just ridiculous.

    • pimpstrong

      I’m with you

    • aedv12

      How do you get from 10,000 messages to $41?

      10,000 messages at 1 penny for every 4 messages = 2,500 messages = $25.

      • aedv12

        I meant 2,500 pennies = $25.

      • pimpstrong

        yeah his math was off but I agree that TMO should use their right to charge the companies.

    • remixfa

      the problem is.. lets take facebook as an example since most use it… that if facebook sends out 1 text a week to 10 million tmobile subscribers, it gets quite expencive.

      if your a business and you have all the major carriers but one NOT charging you, and the one that IS charging you is the smallest, what would you do? threaten to deny service to tmobile and let the customers beat tmobile until they stop trying to charge.

      That extra money has to be made up somewhere jay. If they send an extra million a month to tmobile, they have to stop spending that million elsewhere.. like jobs and benifits, or raise revenue by making things more expencive.

      • sorandkairi

        nope expensive at all…. not even…..that’s 10,000 to push out 10,000,000. Hell i’d change my plan right now if tmobile made this “plan” avaliable to customers…..

    • MattB

      Wow… holy math fail. 10,000 messages wouldn’t be ‘about $41′, it would be “exactly $25.00″

      • MattB

        Yeah… and holy ‘read all the replies first’ fail on me. aedv12 beat me to the punch.

  • Chase

    Maybe T-Mobile can use all the money they get from all of thoae tweets to improve their network and customer service. No, that won’t happen. They’ll probably buy new mini fridges for every single employee because who cares about the customer, right?

    • Matt Hatter

      Sounds like you had a bad experience.

    • Themetatron

      by far, the most uneducated comment I’ve seen, ever. tmobile gives customers way more deals and perks than any other carrier.

    • Scuzzy19

      Right because all those JD awards for customer service werevpurchased with text message surcharges. /s

      • Matt Hatter

        Have you gotten your mini fridge yet? Mine should be coming in today.

    • Chase

      I’m sure tmo is a great carrier elsewhere but they suck here. And it’s just started happening in the past year or so. And the CS calls I’ve made recently have been terrible. I’ve been with tmo for 6 years now and lately they’ve been awful to me. And my comment was not uneducated, but this area is the only area I’ve had experience with tmobile so I don’t know how their network is elsewhere. Their CSRs should be the same everywhere but they’re not. I have perfectly legitimate, justified reasons for what I said.

      • Matt Hatter

        My initial comment was not meant as sarcasm. There has been a rash recently of us representatives getting overwhelmed – we are people too. I tell you it can get difficult taking over 60 calls a day and maintaining the high level of customer satisfaction that we do. Unfortunately there are always bad apples – but please take that into consideration and don’t throw away the bushel. As for your service degradation I understand that you have come to expect more from us given the fact that you have been a 6 year customer and this is a huge breach of trust. I’m sure given the fact that you are all over this site you are aware of the upgrades that were done to the towers. This has been an ongoing process for the past 18 – 24 mos that the engineers have gone out and physically upgraded every single tower across the nation to prepare for the HSPA+ network. This is something that needs to be reported to the engineering team. Again, my apologies for any offense I may have caused you, but your comment really smacked against me and every other rep who does what we do. It’s not as easy as just talking on the phone for 8 hours a day.

  • WTFIMSOPO’D

    I think this comes from T-Mo trying to keep identity thieves from sending out the check your bank account/there is a problem with your bank account texts that have been plaguing us all….

    • Matt Hatter

      Could be part of it, yes.

    • JM77

      Yeah I have gotten about 20 messages in the last few weeks from jp morgan and chase, neither of which i use. So annoying! I hope this curtails the spamming.

      • Matt Hatter

        just reply “stop” to one of those messages and they should remove you from their update list.

      • VirtualAss

        I get the feeling that’s the whole point to. Text spamming is growing and getting worse. PRetty soon all the telemarketers that got shafted on the Do No Call Registry will move to texting. NO! Also, for people that have limited texts a month and get spam texts… what a waste to them. Eats up their texting plan. I really think T-mo (and VZW previously) were just trying to protect their customers.

      • Foxeh

        Back when I was on prepaid (years and years ago), I’d occasionally have to bug T-Mo to refund me for spam texts. Nothing was worse than getting charged 10 cents every single time some douchebag spammed me. It was terrible.

        For some reason I haven’t gotten any spam texts at all recently (knock on wood), but every once in a while I’ll get attacked by a robot telemarketer.

        [Obviously a recording] “Hi, this is Rachael from Cardholder Services, I am calling regarding your credit card account.”

        You need to be more specific than that, lady! *click*

  • Brian

    i dont get those alerts. charge away

  • Squeakz

    I think this comes from T-Mo trying to keep identity thieves from sending out the check your bank account/there is a problem with your bank account texts that have been plaguing us all….
    ———————————————————————-

    I agree and I’m all with them… But it sucks I will not be getting those Red Box freebies lol

  • Matt Hatter

    Personally, I think this in an exceptional idea, and here is why. There are companies out there that you see on TV that will send you 1 free ring tone that is a gummy bear song or a fake X-ray machine and charge you 9.99 for the rest of your life (usually advertised on kid/teen networks – yes, Teen Nick, I’m talking to you) or Facebook that will say stupid stuff like “Get unlimited amounts of this in game feature which would normally cost you a lot of money by signing up for this phone sms feature” and charge you 9.99 for the rest of your natural life. We’ve all seen them and most of us have experienced the sudden increases in our bills by 9.99 increments. This would dramatically impact those companies that do that as well thus potentially eliminating that rather useless service who preys off of the inattentive people who can’t/don’t read the small print on the TV or online or who doesn’t care because they don’t have to write the checks. Huge poke in the eye and dissatisfier could go bye bye. Makes our job easier!

  • My2Cents

    I think this is ridiculous and I hope there is a huge backlash. The customer is paying for the text messages and now T-Mobile wants to double dip. It is no different than your ISP wanting to charge Google for you to use Google services over the pipe you are already paying for. And I don’t buy the security thing either. There are other ways they could tackle that issue without being greedy. If a company balks at paying the fee and I’m sure many would, it is the customer that gets hurt in the end if you are losing a service or feature you rely on. I personally love that youmail sends me a text message when I have a voice mail and I’d hate to lose that because T-Mobile decided to get greedy.

    • Matt Hatter

      I see your point but from what I’m getting from the article, it’s really not a matter of double dipping. Yes we as customers are paying for SMS bundles so that WE can send and receive SMS/MMS. Is it double dipping that YOU are paying for a bundle and I am paying for a bundle and I send you a text? These companies are essentially getting free unlimited messages (again, from my understanding – no insider knowledge on how the business arrangement is between the messagers and T-Mobile. Like David, I’m not an industry analyst either), why shouldn’t they have to cough something up when they are bombarding customers with alerts, surveys, or other such stuff? I personally enjoy my alerts and would hate to see them go as you do, but I don’t see that as T-Mo be greedy. Just as I don’t see T-Mo as being greedy by fixing the problem that allowed customers to have had free international calling over a wifi router. Is it greed that prompted them to fix that little issue and now charge customers who used to take advantage of that oversight or is it the customer who is greedy who got caught and now has to pay for it?

      • My2Cents

        If one of those companies sends me a text message and I’m not paying for a text plan, then I pay for that text message so it isn’t a matter of them getting free unlimited texting. You are charged for incoming texts as well as texts you send. The customer is paying for each text they receive one way or another, so yes it is double dipping to now charge the sending company and the receiver.
        Texting is already a HUGE rip off when you look at how much data is actually sent compared to what you are being charged and now this just adds to the gauging.

      • Rilesman

        For some and I assume for T-Mobile since they are on GSM would actually be TRIPLE dipping. At least in the earlier phases text messaging rode on unused time portions of the SS7 signaling frequency….required for each phone to conduct telephonic operations and communications with the tower. Basically, you were paying for text messages that were free for the telephone companies. For non-GSM system this is not the case and absolutely for MSM uses different techniques.

        If you pay to receive text messages, you have paid for the sender. The Sender has paid their carrier also. So a question is now…if a text message crosses 3 or more carriers…do they all get to charge YOU the receiver and the SENDER (business or other user)….so how much do you end up paying? Wouldn’t it be even better for the carriers to route a SMS over as many networks as possible to help drive up costs that you pay and they get their cut.

        Bad bad road to go down.

      • WTFIMSOPO’D

        Well lets look at this from this viewpoint. I know of several people who have suffered fraud from texts like these. Whether their bills have gone up because of the texting (if they are not on an unlimited plan) and they have difficulty paying the bill or their bank accounts are wiped out and they cannot pay their cell bill the problem here is not paying the bill…. I don’t care if it triple or quadruple dipping as long as I stop getting those texts. Besides I know of a law suits in the midst because of this fraudulent activity, so it seems like a recoup method on the part of T-Mo.

      • sorandkairi

        @ my2cents… doing this would hopefully discontinue those spam texts because company would now have to pay for spam, thus making them less likely to do, thus meaning that you wouldn’t recieve the text to be charged to you to began with…. in regard to the charging the other company….who cares… i mean really unless you have stock in that company… who cares

        @riles…. to say that a company is doing such a thing one would need to know the actual cost of the text, to and from each phone/provider, to Tmobile. For instance less say its costs Tmobile 3 cents per text, you would have to konw if that was 3 cents receiving or delivery or the product of both…. Since those numbers are not public one cannot make that assuption. And again none of seems to affect the customer at this time unless, the other “providers” start charging the customer for each text that they send which is probably not going to be the case.

      • My2Cents

        But there are other ways to deal with this besides gauging even more for texting. Yes this may limit the texting spam, although it may not because those companies might be perfectly happy to pay the charges since they are making huge amounts of money. It’s the truly useful free services that will really get hurt by this and in turn the customers.
        The argument that this is fine because it MAY limit text spam is just bogus. A filter to block certain numbers or only allow certain numbers would have a better overall affect.
        This is not how T-Mobile should be differentiating themselves.

      • sorandkairi

        Thats fine in theory but how would even a company like tmobile do that when if a company wants to spam texts…. they can just change their numbers… check you email for an example… no matter good the spam guard…. spam will allow go through… this plan at least charges the spammers for the spam and by doing so gives them a reason not to do so to began with.

      • My2Cents

        A white list style filter would most definitely work. If I am allowed to say I only want to receive texts from certain numbers, the spammer can change their number all they want.
        The unfortunate thing about this argument is this isn’t why T-Mobile is doing it. They are doing it to generate even more revenue from an already extremely overpriced revenue source.

      • My2Cents

        I know this article isn’t about T-Mobile, but they have similar per text and overage charges. http://techcrunch.com/2008/07/01/atts-text-messages-cost-1310-per-megabyte/

    • sorandkairi

      ok i can see that type of filter working but…. how many people do you think would actually use a feature like that. every single time you obtain a number you must update your list…. not for every1 im afraid.. hell i wouldn’t even do it. let alone let them enroll into a company’s, like facebook, sms plushing campain, how would the customer know what number that facebook would be using let alone they use more than 1 for different things.

      look im not saying that you are really wrong or anything, its just that the majority of people would welcome the change because of the effect that it could potentially have with spam pulshing aholes. for instance i hate Dominoes right now for this same reason, lol!

  • pjcamp

    What I get is junk mail and scams, and I’m all in favor of making that cost more.

    If you need instant sports scores, you should be willing to pay a quarter of a penny for the privilege.

  • tortionist

    I agree with you mad Hatter. I get too many unsolicited texts from companies, hopefully this will curtail that problem. I’m tired of the texts and if these companies are getting charged for sending them to me, by all means do it.

    • My2Cents

      There are other ways to do this without getting greedy. Give us a filter we can manage to control who sends us texts and then we could block all unwanted messages. My VOIP provider does this with voice calls on my home phone so I know it isn’t far fetched and I find it extremely useful with those annoying political calls.

      • My2Cents

        I’d even buy an Android app that synced my contact list to a filter so that I only got texts from people in my contacts and at least then I’d be paying for something extra rather than T-Mobile charging twice for the same thing.

  • http://rivercityoffroad.com Marcus

    If you want to get in touch with me send an email. Text messages are for personal use. I can filter my email so that these go to a certain folder and that isn’t the case with SMS.

    Hopefully this stops all of the junk texts I get! :)

    Marcus

  • sorandkairi

    25% of a penny isnt anything compared with the cost of actually generating the text and sending it to began with, plus kust how many people this will affect is probably a very small number but also it shouldnt cost the individual that ownes the phone a “dime”

    not to mention that it would cut down on those wasteful text… my wife gets them from some off-the-wall company sending her ads that she didnt subscribe to… make them pay for those texts and they’ll stop

    win/win for us

  • rickb928

    They charge me to RECEIVE them, whether I want to or not.

    When SMS changed in the U.S. from sender pays to everyone pays, magically the carriers doubled their revenue opportunity. Nice move. For them.

    Perhaps TMO and others need to consider building or supporting 3rd party gateways that keep their ‘costs’ down, though SMS is truly a low-cost service, and high-revenue to boot. But I’ll watch as they dicker.

  • jymmyblanka

    well te only think i seee here is good for TMobile to do charge for those TXT becasue is on te future someone want to steal information for TXT commands at least will cost them money…. and those Text spamming will think twice before start to be annoying me :P :D

  • http://toilet.se rocket

    I’m all for this if it would alleviate the customer charge. I’ve never understood why providers charge the receiver for SMS. The sender should pay.

    • Anony Mouse

      In some ways true, but think of it this way. If i am on ATT and I send a message to you on tmobile….do you really think the money ATT charges me to send a message is going to go to pay for the cost of tmobile to deliver the message to you? If we all were paying just for send messages it would be like the countries that make it so that people always pay for their own insurance repairs etc when they get in a wreck. Its all no-fault liability insurance. (i.e. if I rear-ended you then your insurance would have to pay for the damages, not mine. Mine would only pay for my damages)

      So then you may think…why not just pay for receiving intercarrier messages and not for receiving internal messages. The truth is this….the cost to send a message if only the cost to send a message from your phone to the tower to the location registry to the home registry to the switch….from that point the cost you paid is done. YOU ACTUALLY PAID TO DELIVER THE MESSAGE TO THE CELL COMPANY MESSAGE SERVICE CENTER. The delivery of the message is paid by the recipient to have the message sent from the message service center back to the switch back to the registries then to the towers and then to the device.

      Its simple: right now T-Mobile charges 20 cents per message or 10 bucks for an individual line unlimited messaging or 20 bucks a month for a family plan unlimited messaging . If things were to change for senders only being charged you see those costs go up approximately double Because the money would have to be made on just one end instead of both.

  • Deke218

    This will never happen. If it did, the first thing companies like Twitter and Facebook would do is pass the cost on to the customer. I already pay T-Mobile for unlimited INCOMING and outgoing messages. T-Mobile already makes a killing on text messages. If some anal retentive idiot in the T-Mo back office thinks this is a good idea, please fire his ass!

    • Anony Mouse

      I always find it funny how everyone thinks they know better than the person who made the decision. We all think we can be a better president, a better CEO, a better chef, a better just because we can pick out one small item we do not agree with.

      Truth here is that if tmonews had not posted this article, most people here never would have known this was going on and may never have ever known. We all speculate on the worst case scenario, but lets think about it this way. T-Mobile is avoiding passing the cost onto consumers and instead charging the real source of the messaging. Then the third party companies that this relates to are mostly free companies to do business with. Twitter, facebook, banks (yes you give them money but not to pay for normal services), etc. While some of these businesses could stand to charge a small fee to the consumer in lieu of this extra cost to them…how many of us can say we would still use twitter or facebook or myspace or tumblr or blogspot or photobucket or any of the myriad of free services out there if they started to charge us. Even a “nominal fee” How many want to pay ten bucks a month to tweet? I sure wouldnt, and even if you would how many of your “followers” would still be able to have a twitter account to “follow” you if they didnt want to pay the fee?

      Some people say then “well why dont they just charge a fee to use their mobile update service”….probably because a good majority of tweeting is done from the mobile services and this would just wind up with the same outcome.

      most of these free third party services rely on the vital component of the business plan…Being Free. The cost from these companies would simply be passed most likely into the cost to advertise on the sites, and then passed to the consumer through the cost of products from companies who pay for higher (more profiled) advertising. In essence….Inflation.

  • Deke218

    Do you really think T-Mobile is gonna pass the savings on to the customer? Get real.

    • Anony Mouse

      Yeah, I believe they would. Not entirely of course, and do it as a competitive edge. Think about it….cell phone companies charge an upgrade fee to upgrade your phone. T-Mobile charges 18 bucks per upgrade. Some companies are higher. T-Mobile was the last company to instill this fee. They were aware of it, but did not feel it was a proper fee. They waited as long as they could until they had to start charging it because of the overhead cost of doing upgrades for a customer (housing at the warehouse, employee salaries, etc). Then when profits got a bit better and tmobile could do without charging the fee they actually took it away. in fact they also lowered the cost of shipping as well. Then the economy got even worse and they had to implement it again. They could have just kept the fee and the ship costs the same and no customer would have been the wiser. They did this to save the customer money and because they knew customers did not like the fee.

      While tmobile did this, most other companies were raising fees.

  • Anony Mouse

    Ok Let em clear up some misconceptions that people are continuously arguing about here. T-Mobile DOES NOT CHARGE CUSTOMER FOR THIRD PARTY TEXT MESSAGES. If you get a bank alert, a sports score, a daily horoscope, a message from jamster, or twitter, or anything like that it is coming from a short code. A number like 35223 or 364364. These short code messages do not charge the customer to receive them and often do not show up in usage details on the statements because they do not count toward the plan. This is why message blocking features on your rate plans do not affect these messages from coming through since they are free messages.

    So all T-Mobile wants to do is keep these companies from getting a free ride. In a sense, the majority of the these companies are getting free rides by sending through messages using the tmobile network and other carriers networks for free. Not to mention the thousands of fly-by-night companies that charge you ten bucks a month for their content and send out these free messages to customers (telling them they are subscribed as required by law). These fly by night companies (like the “free IQ quiz” company on Myspace and the “celebrity quiz” companies and all the other little “take this quiz and then put your phone number in to get the results” pop ups you get on social networking sites and other areas of the internet. These fly by night companies have almost no overhead because all they do is offer some cheap popup and then get customers subscribed and then send them massive amounts of spam text messages at no cost because they are send by short code to the customers phone number. So these extra costs will actually HINDER OR STOP these fraudulently companies from operating like they do if they have to pay to send their spam.

    Not to mention that many of these messages that everyone is so upset about are sent to their phones email address and not necessarily their phone number. Every phone number in the US (and possibly the world for that matter) has an email address. It is usually something like 5555551212@tmomail.net or 5555551212@mms.att.com etc. Alot of these companies are sending things to the phones email address which then converts it to a text or picture message before received on the device. You can try it out. Call your carrier and ask what the email address is. It is usually your phone number @company.net/com/etc. With some variation. You can actually have email sent to your phone number from anyone and have it count as a text message. That way you dont have to have a data plan if all you want to do is email. When you get the message it comes through in a short code manner…like 75687 or 84928 etc.

    Now keep in mind….not all carriers give you free messages from short codes. Some carriers will still charge you for them, and depending on what the short code is tmobile may charge you as a normal message as well. However, the majority of these third party companies that will start to get charged that $0.0025 are actually companies that send messages that are not charged to the consumer. So this news DOES NOT IMPACT THE MONTHLY COST TO THE CONSUMER AT ALL. That is unless the third party companies than want to start charging for their services to the consumer.

    This is a good thing actually. Because it means that the cost tmobile incurs from giving all these millions of messages a free ride will not be a cost passed on the consumer but instead back to the originating company. Unlike other carriers who simply up their rate plan pricing, tmobile isn’t doing that. Ever wonder why tmobile still keeps lower costs than verizon or sprint or att. think about it. if verizon was able to cut their rate plan costs as low of tmobile they would make a killing, but because of the fact that they have such high marketing budgets, and all these behind the scenes costs they cannot. Tmobile budgets their costs well. This is why fees like their number change fee is only 15 bucks while att’s is 36, and why tmobile was the last national company to start charging an upgrade fee, and why tmobile still only has a 200.00 ETF no matter what phone or plan you have. and why you dont have to pay the extra ten bucks or so a month just to have tethering or a 4g phone or a smartphone like other companies. And why tmobile still doesn’t do tiered data like ATT.

    • Anony Mouse

      Side note: many people think that companies make large profits on the sending and receiving of sms. Sure they make a profit, but a good portion of the profit gos to maintaining the towers that transmit the messages, mainting the customer service buildings, the computer systems, the switches, the location registries, etc. There is so much overhead that goes into a wireless carrier and while it make only cost a fraction of a cent to actually send a message from point a to point b, it costs tons of money to purchase, maintain, control, and regulate the equipment to do it. Saying that companies make 3000% profit on messages is like saying that you make 3000% profit on giving a friend a ride to the store and him giving you a dollar for it. Afterall, it was a simple task and did not cost you much to do it…unless you factor in gas…and wear and tear on the engine, and cost in time to do it, etc. Think about factoring that out over millions and millions of times. If you gave your friend a one block ride one million times and he paid you a dollar each time. You may have a million dollars, but spend two million in automotive parts, gas, time spent doing it, etc.

      For example….Citibanks call center spends $18,000 a month just for electric. It is similar for a tmobile center. Think about how many tmobile centers there are. Not just for call centers, but for enginerring centers, operations centers, IT centers, etc. and people do not think that it costs anything to a company…that is unless you factor in overhead.

  • Kyle

    You guys do know that T-Mo charges an extra $10 a month if you use services such as Chase text for account balances?

    • Anony Mouse

      Actually, T-Mobile does not. Most likely what you are getting charged is a third party charge coming from Chase directly. They charge through your phone like they would charge through on a credit card. T-mobile is not the company charging it but they are the company paying Chase on your behalf and then posting the charge to your wireless bill. I know this for a fact because I use chase bank and T-Mobile.

      • Kyle

        Well, yes that is correct. I was simply stating I, myself, pay t-mobile that extra $10. I wasn’t putting blame on t-mobile.

  • jlaigo2

    Read the print and understand what you are seeing. Facebook, Twitter and the like use the data feed on smart phones NOT sms.

    • Anony Mouse

      Data feed? Do you mean streaming data, or VPN access, or what? Data feed i guess in this regard could apply to using data instead of SMS. Though the “print” here is that sms and voice calls use GSM, MMS, IMs, Email, Web, and everything else use “Data Feed” or the data part of the network, whether HSPA+, 3G, 2G (EDGE), GPRS, etc.

      Whether or not something uses one part of the network or another is actually determined largely by the Device. Sure, certain devices only receive voice calls by GSM, but what about Skype and UMA? Instant Messages use SMS/GSM part of the network, but what about some smartphones like blackberries that use them as Data if you use the built in client, but not if you use the intranet site for web to go on the built in browser. You can also use email on the phone like text messaging or use data connection with a built in email client.

      • tmoemp

        as in not the SMS/GSM but HSPA+, 3G, 2G (EDGE)

  • Crossbearer

    Third Party Business won’t be paying it, they will just pass on the cost to the consumer. T Mobile will pull the plug on the plan after the backlash but will increase the cost of unlimited texting on the front end.

    • Anony Mouse

      Why do you say that. Tmobile actually lowered the cost of their messaging plans recently. Why would tmobile plan on increasing the cost right after lowering it. Counterproductive dont you think?

      • Crossbearer

        Counter productive for us but testing the waters for them, I don’t necessarily fault them for it. How else can you see what the market can bear. You lower the cost to gain customers and their loyalty, they then pass that cost on to third party users to see what the market does. If there isn’t too much of a squawking then they recoup their cost. If there is squawking and a backlash then they have given themselves some time to pull out but they have still recouped part of your cost, if not all, depending how long it takes for customers to realize the cost is pushed down to them from third party users. TMobile is in to make money not give the product away, that is how it works, it’s all about the bottom line.

      • Anony Mouse

        cross, you seem to be basing your argument premise on the thought that the cost will be passed from tmobile onto the consumer. At least that is what I take away from your statement. Ill be honest, you kind of had a little confusing jumble of info there in the middle.

        however, let me give my counter argument. This little charing to third party companies for utilizing a cell network is nothing new. In fact, many services done through third parties and big business pay extra little fees for utilizing wireless network services. Think about enterprise email, or VPNs. These are extra services that cost extra cash for businesses, big and small. Not to mention they are not little quarter of a cent costs, many times they are five or ten extra bucks per line or a few bucks per usage, etc. The quarter of a cent is so negligible compared to the big picture of what gets charged in the wireless industry that for there to be negative consumer effect from this would be like saying that because architects are using thinner sheets of glass in windows you are now more likely to get sunburns from sitting next to a window and have to spend more money on aloe vera.

        Had tmonews not put this article up, most people would never ever even be aware that this was planning on occurring or was already occurring.

        If you want something to pretend is going to bring on economic doomsdays then go speak to ron paul lol. According to him and my brother (who is a devout ron paul follower) than we were supposed to have economic apocalypse about a year and a half ago which was to lead to anarchy.

        The point here is that everyone sees a company charging money as something negative. Though, look at it positively….T-Mobile isnt doing what ATT does and going with tiered data, T-mobile is one of the last companies to still backdate plan when your going over, T-Mobile has the lowest cost fees (like number change fees, and activation fees, etc), T-Mobile has plans low enough to be considered a third rate regional carriers like metro and cricket, and yet they are a nationwide company. Why? Because unlike Verizon, ATT, and Sprint who find every opportunity to “subscribe you to free trials” or charge you for things that should be free (like visual voicemail being 1.99 on another carrier when it is free on tmobile) Tmobile actually does try to be very customer friendly (hence the JD Power awards). They try not to nickel and dime you to death. In fact, their policies of holding the customers in such high regard in every decision they make in business is so well organized and implemented that DT, the parent company, is not ordering all of their other companies to follow the same philosphy.

        In short, the idea that a $0.0025 per message cost will do anything to the apparently all too fragile economic ecosystem that is the wireless industry when compared to the hundreds, if not thousands, of other little activities behind the scenes that do not do anything close to the level of damage that you are suggesting this little $0.0025 charge will do is such a ridiculous idea that I cannot even fathom the worry you get if I were to tell you even a slight hint at some of the other charges that occur behind the scenes, like the regulatory cost recovery fees going up, the county utility tazes and state utility taxes now being implemented in more locations, etc.

  • zebec

    I had to scroll ALL the way to the last post to see what I was going to add as my input… Bottom line, as Crossbearer has stated, it doesn’t matter who is going to be charged, the cost WILL eventually end up back with the consumer, be it thru more bank fees and or service charges.

    • Anony Mouse

      Likely. Maybe not right away but if things follow a trend and charges from cell carriers increase for third party services like this. It is about balance. Does the cost of being charged to send these alerts and messages to you clients outweight the cost of losing a valuable free self service option for your clients. How many banks would lose customers if they started charging for self help options? We may see the trend grow, and banks start competing with one another over what self help options they offer. The rise of mobile apps for banks, as well as mobile based websites will probably grow as well. However, banks and other businesses are too far ingrained in these self help services to just pull the plug altogether. They would have to adapt in order to make it work.

  • wazmo

    My phone is my paging device for work, and we have an active project to unload our pagers and go to phones. Even with this charge, it’ll still be cheaper than what we were paying for dedicated pagers.

    Hell, at least its better than AT&T’s enterprise paging rates, where the customer has to pay $3/mo to access the gateway-and that’s before any pages go out.

  • pedro

    I wish people would realize that this is being charged to the BUSINESSES not the consumer. The reason for it? Ever get one of those 9.99 charges on your bill and not know where it comes from? That would be why Tmo would consider this.

  • http://None Not Likely

    I believe this to be aimed more at the companies that provide “content” over the T-Mobile network, it costs T-Mobile money to assist customers with questions and or disputes of said content. This change is not aimed at Facebook or Twitter or your Bank its aimed at Predicto Mobile and Jamster, oh and those jerk offs who spam the networks with “Please call us with your bank account details, thanks!”

  • Crossbearer

    Anouy Mouse: I agree with most of what you are saying but I never said it was a negative as much as it being the cost of doing business. Businesses are in it to make money and economics 101 is supply and demand. It Tmobile wasn’t looking to recoup their discount to the customer then they wouldn’t be looking on charging third party users. It is the same as Uncle Sam adding a tax on a company for using a highway or toll bridge, the trucking company’s cost goes up for operating, therefore to make money they pass the cost of that tax onto the end user, the consumer. If Tmobile came out and said we are going to charge our customers for the use of third party services that would be economic suicide. Instead they charge the third party customer and we think, “yea, they should get charged because they have money.” Sort of like a Robin Hood affect. It makes Tmobile the good guy and causes the customer to see the third party as the bad guy. :) Hopefully, we benefit because the front in price goes down, for a while anyway.

    • Crossbearer

      Anony Mous (sorry for the mispell)

      • Anony Mouse

        lol you still mispelled it.

        I definitely agree that this will eventually come down the pipeline and cause inflation in a few ways. It is up to the content providers to determine how they choose to pass the cost along…do they charge the customer more or do they charge other companies more to advertise with them (like on facebook and twitter). However, I do not see this affecting the monthly messaging cost for tmobile, and I do see this becoming a trend if it sticks. it is possible that tmobile may avoid the fee because of possible backlash, but I bet a bunch of other carriers out there are rooting for this little fee to stick. That way they can add it to their services.

        In short, this wont directly affect consumers through tmobile, but the third party services may find ways to pass things along but many third party companies would lose vast parts of the business if they started charging outright fees to the consumers who rely on their normally free service. For the non free services it would be a risky move to charge more but could turn out beneficial to let them increase profits.

  • Leprechaun

    1. The overhead to TMO for SMS is already covered by the fact that they need to maintain the towers, etc, just to provide phone service. SMS is an out-of-band signaling mechanism over SS7. There are a few computers here and there for handling it. More than fully covered by the thousands of TMO customers paying $10 monthly for unlimited SMS. Completely unaffected by the fact that some incoming texts are not counted against the accounts of those who pay per text.
    2. This will have absolutely no effect on the folks charging 9.99 per month in those scam services. Assuming they send a message per hour every day (not too likely, they have gotten my account a couple of times, but never send any messages) that only amounts to $1.80. I don’t think that will stop them.
    3. Scammers trying to get you to log into your bank for them won’t be stopped either. Just like email spammers, they’ll find other ways to get the messages to your phone that someone else will pay for, not them.
    4. Every business that stays open finds a way to pass on new costs to their customers. Always.
    5. Twitter is not going to set up a billing department just to start collecting pennies from each of their users on TMO. TMO is taking the easy way to charge a bundle to a small number of business customers, but these businesses will have to charge a piddling amount to a huge number of customers.

    It’ll go away soon, or that flag’ll change to “we’re number 5″ (or “we’ve been bought”)

  • Jc

    I’ve read the back and forth. There is ZERO reason for it except greed.

    1. If tmoBile wanted to stop scams, they would’ve created a way to block premium txt messages a long time ago. I asked for it. Many times. Recently a rep said block all mobile content would block premium txt messages too. IDK if it did, but all 5 of my lines cannot download anything now.

    2. I am employed by a bank. We did not service Cricket wireless customers for a very long time because of a situation such as this. I can guarantee you that if t-moBile does this, they’ll become the next Discover. Look in your wallet. Is there a Discover card? NO. Because their charges were greedy. BTW. Aggressively looking to get rid of t-moBile.

    3. A text message costs below nothing to send or receive. The average size is less than 150 bytes. The data cost is so below a penny it’s not worth figuring out how much below it is. The only reason a txt message would cost money is because they are popular. These plans or per txt charges are purely unethical.

  • Alan-X

    I really hope that this will not affect Google Voice. I personally use the Google Voice app, which uses data to send and receive sms, but I still hope that it will remain free

  • antwon

    does this mean that i will be able to cancel my tmobile contract now since there is a change in my contract? boy o boy have i been waiting for something like this to happen so i could get rid of this moto cliq.

  • Alexmcdowell62

    CELL phone Co. made 5.6 Billion $ from fees only in 2010 / In MOST USA states those fees are illegal – TAKE THEM TO COURT – will win the case / IT’S a ripoff and this fees come from Companies -and not -from government as they tell YOU -don’t Be naive -Don’t pay Fees