RSS   Newsletter   Contact   Advertise with us

AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint to stop charging for premium text messages

Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn
Staff writer ▼ | November 26, 2013
charge their customers for commercial Premium Short Messaging Services (PSMS), which gave users the ability to purchase or subscribe to messaging programs provided by third-party content providers, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell said.
Mobile phone
Mobile phonecharge their customers for commercial Premium Short Messaging Services (PSMS), which gave users the ability to purchase or subscribe to messaging programs provided by third-party content providers, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell said.


Forty-five states, including Vermont, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Oregon, Texas and Washington, have been in discussions aimed at stopping mobile "cramming," which refers to unauthorized third-party charges that appear on mobile phone bills. PSMS account for the majority of third-party charges on cell phones but also for a large majority of cramming complaints, Mr. Sorrell said.

Verizon Wireless is winding down its premium messaging business. Its General Counsel William B. Petersen said that the operator had previously decided to exit the premium messaging business because of changes in the ways customers access information as well as recent allegations that third-parties have engaged in improper conduct in providing the premium services to its customers.

The change may not affect text-to-donate for charitable programs and text-to-contribute for political campaigns. Mr. Sorrell said two carriers had confirmed that they will continue to allow charitable donations to be billed through PSMS. T-Mobile said it is stopping as soon as possible all billing for premium text services, except for charitable and political giving.

"Despite protections and processes put in place by T-Mobile and the industry, not all premium text message (SMS) vendors have acted responsibly," T-Mobile wrote on its support page. Standard messaging campaigns like voting on shows like American Idol will continue unaffected, it added.

Verizon also said it would continue to support text-to-donate for charitable programs and text-to-contribute for political campaigns.


 

MORE INSIDE POST