I received the following message from Clickatell, the SMS gateway provider I use to programmatically send text messages to cell phones:
Please be advised that US carrier Verizon Wireless has announced that they will be charging an additional 3c per SMS for all application originated mobile terminated messaging beginning November 1, 2008. This increase will apply to standard rate and premium programs only through the Verizon Wireless network. Transaction fees will not apply to Free-2-End-User, Mobile Giving or Non-Profit organizational programs, according to Verizon. In addition, it has been reported that Verizon Wireless customers are no longer receiving a delivery confirmation notice after sending SMS messages – a long-time standard SMS service feature popular with subscribers and available on other carrier networks.
As your trusted partner and the voice of over 8,000 Clickatell customers to the wireless carrier industry; we believe these sudden and significant pricing and service changes made by Verizon are detrimental to the mobile industry as a whole. In response, we are working with several partners and industry leaders to strongly voice our concerns about the impact these abrupt changes from Verizon will have on the entire messaging industry. Additionally, we are working to obtain more information on specific policy details and timelines.
Unfortunately, Verizon Wireless has provided little in the way of an explanation as to the reasons behind these announcements and abrupt changes. At this time, your Clickatell account representative and our support centre will not have much more information to share about the reasons behind these changes. However, please be assured that we value your business and know that we are doing everything reasonable and within our power to influence Verizons’ decision as we understand the impact this may have to you, our customer.
For perspective, this represents a 50% price hike to service Verizon Wireless customers. (thankfully I’m no longer one of them). They’re betting that people like me will decide to pay, but I’m not so sure.