I just got my cell phone bill. There was a dramatic spike in the amount due this month, so I started to scour the many pages in search of the error that I was certain Verizon made. I bundle my services; two cell phones, land line, cable and internet all from one provider. So the bill has taken on biblical proportions.
I found the the gaffe and it wasn’t Verizon who made it. My current text message plan allows for 500 messages per billing cycle. I sent/received 1,064 messages and was billed for the overage. I asked several friends (via text message, of course) if they noticed when I turned into a 14-year old girl.
One of my oldest friends said that I am not even close to being a teen girl. He said, in all sincerity, that last month his daughter sent 9,000 text messages and received 7,000. 16,000 text messages in a single month. And according to him, that’s not even a record for her! How is that physically possible? He said that kids in their early teens now communicate almost exclusively via text messaging and that he’s worried about their eroding face-to-face social skills.
Guess how much it costs providers to transmit a text message? ZERO. The amount you pay for text messaging is PURE PROFIT. Text messages are sent along what’s called a control channel—space reserved for operation of the wireless network. The channel uses space whether a text message is inserted or not. Text messages are of such an infinitesimal size that sending them is inconsequential. That’s why you’re only allowed 160 characters. How do you like them apples?
Those sobering facts are quoted from this article in the New York Times.