T-Mobile announced that they are increasing their text messaging fee from 15¢ to 20¢ a text message. The rate increase will go into effect on August 29th & will only affect those consumers who do not have a text messaging plan in place. T-Mobile is simply joining ranks with the likes of AT&T, Verizon Wireless, & Sprint who already have increased their text messaging rates to 20¢ a text message.
It was only a year ago when these same providers increased their rates from 10¢ to 15¢, While any price hike should frustrate consumers; what’s frustrates me most about this increase is that as services become mainstream they usually go down in price, not up. The providers have been raking the consumers over the coals for years now on text messaging fees. I can remember when text messaging was 5¢ for sending a message & incoming messages were free. Now it costs me 40¢ to message someone to tell them I’m running ahead of schedule & for them to acknowledge my text.
This price increase by T-Mobile will inevitably force those users who haven’t already signed up for prepaid text messaging plans to do so now. Domestic only text messaging plans offered by T-Mobile include $4.99 per month for 400 messages, $9.99 for 1,000 messages, & $14.99 for unlimited messages. Of course these plans offer a much better rate assuming the user actually sends this many text messages. Many consumers will simply sign up for one of these plans just because they’d prefer to know what they will be charged at the end of the month versus worrying about how much 20¢ a text message will add up to. Regardless, the service providers stand to make a hefty profit on text messaging & will continue doing so until Smartphones become more ubiquitous & chat applications are introduced.