Letters to Senators part 1, text messaging


I am writing you about text messaging costs. I am sure you are aware of the high cost per text message Americans pay and the sliding scale based on text message plans for what is and will remain a fixed cost service. Text messaging takes advantage of the control channel that constantly communicates a phone’s whereabouts to the network, which means that text messaging requires NO additional technology, bandwidth or infrastructure. Text messages on the carrier’s backbone are a fraction the size of voice or email traffic. Yet carriers across the United States charge up to $0.25 per message. While they argue that most people have text messaging plans that is because they are forced to buy more messages than they use to avoid such horrible over-charging. Text messaging is a low- to zero-cost feature for the carriers, regardless of the number of messages sent, so the only way to increase revenue on this aspect of their service is to incentivize the customer to pre-pay the maximum amount.

When all the major US carriers charge the same rate for what is, again, almost a zero-cost service, it is a definite sign not only of collusion but of a business that does not have the consumer’s interests at heart, which is exactly what our government is supposed to protect us from.

To make matters worse, when a consumer purchases an “unlimited” data plan, that should theoretically allow “unlimited” use of data on their phone, this does not include text messaging, meaning the customer who has chosen to pre-pay for unlimited access is forced into additional charges for their text messaging use, despite the absolutely minimal cost and data use of these 160-character limited messages.

Please, help us and all Americans by fighting the US cellular carriers greed and dishonesty. Thank you very much for your time and your work on behalf of New Yorkers.