The text messaging fiasco is lighting up the Canadian blogosphere.
In a forum run by Ontario wireless maven Howard Chui, one frustrated writer quips, “Next thing you know Bell will start sending people text messages so they can collect the revenue.” It’s funny because it could be true.
What about the spam messages customers inevitably receive? Telus says it will credit customers who get spam texts. Picture the mind-?boggling amounts of credit the telcos will have to provide and you get a strange premonition that they might start charging “customer service fees” for all the time they spend sending reimbursements to angry consumers.
It’s not enough for Canadian wireless providers to rob us with some of the highest monthly fees in the world. Or lock us into a choice between three-year plans or ridiculous financial penalties.
Not content to perpetrate these crimes against technology, Bell and Telus now want to charge 15 cents per incoming text message for pay-?per-?use customers.
Where do Bell and Telus get the chutzpah to levy these charges?
As with most tech, the younger you are, the more likely it is that you’re embracing it. Teens are texting like mad. LOLs and LMAOs abound.
Then comes a birthday. Friends and acquaintances come out of thin air to send a token text greeting. Add a few more bucks to the bill.
Worse, make enemies and they might get back at you with hourly “hellos.” It’s the little things that add up, and Bell and Telus know it.
At some point, users will just get sick of the irritating penny tally and sign up for unlimited texting plans. And that’s when the telcos laugh hardest, boxing you into a long-?term plan.The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association says the extra charges are to cover the increasing cost of managing a network weighed down by the enormous volume of text messages. Canadians send 45.4 million texts per day, compared to 369,000 per day in 2002.
Cry me a river. The volume of texts sent daily in Canada equals the number of gigabytes required to download two or three high-resolution movies from the Net.
The telcos are quick to point out that the new fees won’t affect the majority of their customers with text messaging bundle packages. Oh, really? So why introduce this bonehead idea? Did Bell and Telus want the NDP to start a 22,000-member Facebook group called “I’m against the text message cash-grab”?
Even Industry Minister Jim Prentice did an about-?face to say on Friday that Bell and Telus should come to Ottawa to explain their “ill-thought-out decision.”
Bell and Telus should consider the implications of customer dissatisfaction. It’s already stirring up a revolution online.