Verizon Wireless Massively Raises Rates For Text Messaging Services

from the margins?--you-have-no-margins? dept

It’s no surprise that some things may be getting more expensive these days, especially as companies start dealing with the fallout from the financial crisis — but it appears that some are going a bit overboard. There’s a bit of an uproar among some, as Verizon Wireless is slapping a surprising 3-cents-per-text-message fee on top of every mobile terminated text message. That basically affects any company that provides some sort of SMS notification system or content service, massively increasing prices. As some have noted, most of those services bought text messages in bulk, where it cost around 1 cent per message. That means the cost of sending text messages just quadrupled. If you’re already worried about the economy and working on tight margins, that could certainly put some companies out of business entirely.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: verizon wireless

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Verizon Wireless Massively Raises Rates For Text Messaging Services”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: (Stuart - $200,000.00 per gig)

Good Call, Stuart.

Let’s look at competitive technologies:
“At 10 cents each that’s $776.50 per megabyte, or about 4.4 times more expensive than the ‘most pessimistic’ estimate for Hubble Space Telescope transmission costs.”

Dr Bannister was informed by Nasa that it costs $18.30 per megabyte for the transmission of data from Hubble to the Earth.


Yakko Warner says:

Re: Re: Re:2 (Stuart - $200,000.00 per gig)


There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.
—Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988)

Yep, the pricing scheme is far above astronomical; it’s economical. 😉

Michael B says:

Ah, Gordon Gekko is Right After All!

“Greed is Good”. At least Gordon Gekko in the movie “Wall Street” thinks so… so, evidently, do the Verizon folks. After all, “It’s the network”, and anything you can do to increase profit with no bottom-line cost increase is, well, good. It’s not like their network costs have risen becaue of fuel costs or raw material price increases.

Just another company out to screw their customers.

Mireah (user link) says:

Re: Solutions!

“solution: Don’t use text messages!

Don’t use cellphone, they’re not a necessity anyway (but are convenient, but at what cost will they become toys only for the rich?)
$100 a month to carry a phone at all times…its stupid.
Fine for using a cellphone while driving…(should be) priceless! (or greater than $500)

Yakko Warner says:

Re: Re: Re:

Which one?

We have a pretty good family plan with T-Mobile. Two lines, $50/month, 400 shared minutes per month that we never come close to using up. Of course, they just raised their rates to 20¢ per text message sent or received (40¢, then, if we send a message to each other, since we get charged on both sides). So we go with option A: no text messages, thank you.

Rob Friedman (user link) says:

AT&T raising too!

AT&T sent me a “FREE” TXT the other day saying that on 2008.11.12 the Text/IM rate will increase from $.15 to $.20 per message sent or received. While their package rates will remain the same.

This is just an effort to sell packages. What gives I went prepaid to get away from packages. It makes me want to use Text even less, and pisses me off more when I receive them from Random people. At least I can choose to ignore a wrong number if someone is calling me.

Emilio says:

Of course, we adults can make decisions like “Don’t text, it’s too expensive”, or “Switch to a less expensive carrier”, but the massive number of school kids this fee is really targeting don’t care how much their folks have to fork over to Verizon each month. And of course, since NOTHING is more important to parents than their precious, spoiled little brats, they’ll go right on forking over the money (they so hate hearing the brats whining about anything, after all…)

Jeff L says:

Let's get the facts straight

First, this isn’t Verizon charging more to individual consumers, at least not directly. This is Verizon charging application providers (like CNN sending breaking news alerts) $.03/ message.

Let’s remember that many municipalities and other first responder agencies use SMS as one of their communication channels for urgent/time sensitive alerts. Verizon’s move (especially if it is echoed by other carriers), makes it untenable for those critical services to be offered.

Also, you should note that Verizon announced on 10/11 that this policy (which they officially announced was in effect starting 11/1) was actually just floated to ‘stimulate discussion among their business partners’. Such a crock!

If Verizon’s position on this creates a problem for you, make your voice heard so that the ‘stimulated discussion’ doesn’t end up resulting in anything like a $.03/message charge.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: SMS is reliable ?

Agreed. So maybe I’ll just SMS my local 9-1-1 instead of just calling calling 9-1-1 because some Oracle named Jeff L came from the sky and said so.

Now, before you just laugh and brush it off, understand your exact proposed worst case situation happened to me.

If I would have pulled off on the other side of the road, I would have enjoyed the services of a Fire department 2 blocks from me, and it’s quite possible my insurance company wouldn’t have had to total my car for fire damage. But, because I decided to pull over and not block traffic, being the kind citizen I am, the other fire department was 4 miles away, and the car literally exploded before they could show up.

I ended up doing quite well, actually on the total payout of my car putting me ahead, but still. You have a great idea! I wonder how this would work with SMS.

Would I have had the fire department 2 blocks away showed up?

Jeff L says:

You've missed my point

I’m not referring to an individual sending an SMS to 911, I’m referring to municipalities sending text messages to residents when major events (such as fires, street closings, subway outages, etc) take place. At a federal level, we see the same thing. For example, Homeland Security communicates via SMS (among other channels) with air marshals.

Any serious municipality will also use other communication channels (email, phone, web), because SMS is not always perfectly reliable. It is however, a very effective way of providing timely information to a large number of people in a small amount of time.

Beyond municipalities, many people receive lots of other types of important information via SMS. Weather from the weather channel, stock quotes and news from CNN, etc. These services are untenable as well under this proposed pricing.

Ads that you pay to see says:

Re: You've missed my point

“municipalities sending text messages to residents when major events (such as fires, street closings, subway outages, etc)”

and who pays for the SMS ?

I read recently that CA is considering ads on the highway overhead displays. Would they extend their ads to this also ?

I can see it now …
Attn: accident ahead, expect delays. Uh oh better get maaco

Verizon User says:

My wife and I have been on Verizon for years and would never switch. They have by far the best coverage. But, the text charge is certainly gouging at it’s finest.

We pay a lot for our “unlimited text” package but it’s well worth it for all of the other very cool features that come with it including the Navagation feature. The Nav feature is almost indispensible.

Overpriced? Yes! Gouging on texting? Heck yes! It can’t cost anything really to send a few bits of data through the system… But if you want the big features, your gonna pay for it month by month. And pay, and pay………..

Ed Franco (user link) says:

NO WAY WILL I PAY. Sprint offers a Simply Everything plan 4 $99.00

I will not pay for more Verizon greed. They are one of the most expensive cell phone carriers on the market. They claim it’s because they have the best network (I don’t think so).

I’Ve posted a link where you can research dead zones for all carriers.
Verizon has the most complaints see for your self and judge.

(The red ones are on Verizon’s Network)

Twinrova says:

You all sound surprised.

You shouldn’t be. With all these phone companies sleeping together, Verizon’s just taking a step in which the others will eventually do as well (should the increase happen).

Our contract with Verizon is up in 2 months, and after that, we’re done with cellphone companies who do nothing but destroy the foundations on what got them popular to begin with.

Hell, you can’t even find a plan for $39.99 anymore. Gone. Poof. Add all this “extra” stuff they charge for and it’s no wonder they’ve fallen out of the COMMUNICATION business and have entered a PLATFORM business.

Screw this. It’s just another prime example of big business changing the rules as they see fit, screwing its customers. This blog points out the customer isn’t just “Joe and Jolene America”, but small business as well.

Until consumers fight back, get ready for a whole new set of rule changes coming. Think SMS message increases is the last?

Just wait.

Anonymous Coward says:

Texting has become the communication standard for those under 25, many of them send literally hundreds of text messages every day. I have seen usuage rates as high as 15,000 per month for a single phone (and that person wasnt even using the automated services others have mentioned). I have heard stories of people having more than 30,000 in a single month. Even if you assumed an average of only 20 text messages/day per phone, that is an enormous amount of traffic.

I know it’s popular to side with the consumer and “stick it to the man”. But companies can only raise prices as high as the market will tolerate. As price increases demand decreases and this is true for B2B transactions as well as consumer transactions (arguably even moreso).

For example at this point Verizon is making money from Google for SMS messages, but if the rate increase is more than Google is willing to pay Verizon could actually decrease its revenue. If the market isn’t willing to pay the price Verizon will relent and adjust the price lower.

Verizon has an obligation to its stake-holders to maximize earnings. They are attempting to increase profits by raising the rates paid by services as opposed to charging customers more.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...