Bell And Telus To Charge For Incoming Text Messages…. Even For Spam… WTF? [UPDATED]

Clearly Bell and Telus haven’t been paying attention to the firestorm that erupted with Rogers and their iPhone pricing. These two companies have come up with the absolutely brilliant idea to charge $0.15 to RECEIVE text messages. Of course you can avoid that by subscribing to a text messaging bundle. Gee what a shock!

Bell sent the Globe And Mail this response via sock puppet spokesperson Jason Laszlo (who you’ll recall trashed journalists on his Facebook page and called them “lemmings”):

“Remember that almost all major North American wireless carriers, including in Canada, have taken this pricing approach,” wrote Bell spokesman Jason Laszlo in an e-mail to The Globe. “In fact, most carriers in the U.S. now charge 20 cents.”

While that’s true, it doesn’t stop Canadians from being ticked off at you. Telus for its part said this through its sock puppet spokesperson:

““The growth in text messages has been nothing short of phenomenal,” wrote Telus spokeswoman Anne-Julie Gratton in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail, referring to the latest statistics from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association that pegs the number of text messages sent in Canada at more than 45.3 million per day.

“This volume places tremendous demands on our network and we can’t afford to provide this service for free any more,” Ms. Gratton wrote.”

Clearly Rogers doesn’t have that issue as they don’t charge for incoming text messages (at least today they don’t). Why don’t they charge for text messages? I’ll let their sock puppet spokesperson explain:

“As of now, Rogers will not charge customers for incoming text messages, spokeswoman Elizabeth Hamilton said.

“I would say it’s a unique differentiator for Rogers,” she said, declining to speculate about the company’s future plans.”

That I believe translates to “If the pushback isn’t that great, we’ll join in and screw our customers too.”

Oh, if you get any SPAM and you don’t have a text messaging plan, you get nailed for that too. Although both carriers can help you with that:

“If a client is experiencing an ongoing issue with spam, the client has the option of changing their phone number,” Mr. Laszlo wrote. “The $25 fee will be waived if a previous client was registered to the phone number and may have solicited spam service.”

And what if that isn’t the case? Will you not change my number? Even if you do, there’s a cost associated with that? Simply having free incoming text messages must cost less than that.

For what it’s worth, Telus isn’t much better:

“Ms. Gratton from Telus said if customers receive a message that they shouldn’t receive, they can call Telus to remove the charge from their bill.”

Great. But that won’t stop the spam. Also, will I have to be on hold for 20 minutes with your customer service month after month if this is an ongoing issue? How much does that cost you? Surely free incoming text messaging is cheaper to do?

I’m guessing that protest sites are being set up right now to pressure these idiots carriers to change their minds. Let the fireworks begin.

UPDATE: The fireworks have begun. The usually useless Industry Minister Jim Prentice has proven for once to be useful. He’s calling Bell and Telus on the carpet to explain this. Wow! But if he really wants to impress me, he should deal with that net neutrality issue. Then there’s that copyright bill as well.

6 Responses to “Bell And Telus To Charge For Incoming Text Messages…. Even For Spam… WTF? [UPDATED]”

  1. The NDP has launched a petition about this:

  2. cynthia Says:

    I am at my wits end with being charged for this crap!
    I pay roughly 60dollars a month for my cell and now they are charging me for incoming texts! Not fair at all, as I have no control over who will send me a text at any given point! I might as well just cancel my service with telus.

    I am truly upset by this!!

  3. The concept of charging for unsolicited text messages confounds me.
    I do not use text messaging very often and I receive more messages than I send.
    I am infuriated by this concept and wonder if there is a class action suit looming. It seems to me that Telus is breaching our contract and I for one would like to drop Telus as my cel phone provider.
    I will be switching at the earliest opportunity.

  4. Quote: “Oh, if you get any SPAM and you don’t have a text messaging plan, you get nailed for that too.”

    Not really. You could be charged for _unsolicited_ spam. But how often do you get that? In seven years of cell use (and texting) I’ve gotten exactly zero. Most spam comes from horoscope/joke of the day/pickup line BS through short codes, which as I’m sure you know, the customer has to subscribe to first (whether or not they realize that’s what they’re doing). These already cost you $1.50+ per incoming message. So how is spam a factor here?

    That said, the idea of paying this is ridiculous. If the amount was less, I would be totally fine with the idea (as the provider is basically providing pickup AND delivery service here), but I do like the way it has been, with only the sender footing the bill. A combined 30c for 160 characters however, is a farce.

  5. pissedoff@bell Says:

    “which as I’m sure you know, the customer has to subscribe to first(whether or not the realize that’s what they’re doing).”
    Can’t I subscribe YOU to an unsolicited service, only needing to know your phone number? Spam doesn’t necessarily require the complicity of the user in initiating the stuff.
    Or maybe not.

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