Texts should be free

Does anyone else feel like $10 for 500 texts is usury? One minute of a voice call produces more data then 500 texts. Shouldn't we be charged by bandwidth usage? Smiley Sad

My understanding is that texts use no network traffic to send and receive. They are transmitted on a communication channel that is set aside for the phone to keep in touch with the tower.

Is there a way to totally turn off texts on your phone?

Check out this link to get an idea of how bad we are being ripped off.


I understand this is a way for them to make gobs of money without using the network, but it isn't right. Its just not right. Cell phones bills are so high already, do I really need to be charged $10 a month when I bought an UNLIMITED data plan for $30??? Isn't a text data????

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Re: Texts should be free


Fyi, the 500 texts for $10 which I believe included unlimited text messages between other Verizon Wireless customers is a feature plan that is no longer available. If you have it now, you are grandfathered into that plan. If you remove it you can't get it back.

The current message plan available at $10 is for 1000 messages to any carrier including Verizon Wireless customers.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.


Re: Texts should be free

Líder Sénior

TextMessageRipOff$10 wrote:

Is there a way to totally turn off texts on your phone?

Yes, you can call and request a text messaging block be put on your line.

If you have a data plan, then you can probably find use a texting app for text messages that will use your data, rather than text messages.

Re: Texts should be free


Hahaa.  I think that my gas "should" not have cost 3.92 this morning, I think they "should" have only charged me 1.50.  As a matter of fact, my Dunkin Donuts coffee "should" not have cost 2 bucks, afterall, water is free and a cup worth of coffee beans doesn't cost 2 dollars.

But seriously, VZW will charge whatever the market will bear, and if consumers don't want to pay for something then they have to go elsewhere for the service.  And really, regardless of the amount of data used,  the price of ANY service that a carrier offers will reflect more costs than just that service alone.And of course, if we were charged what a service actually costs then there would be no profit, and most businesses and people like profit.

Re: Texts should be free

Fact is, everyone texts, everyone. It costs the Cell Phone company nothing to provide. If they billed data at the rates of texts, your bill would be tens of thousands of dollars for your Smartphone - thats a fact. If you are going to line item a cost in a bill, it should be somewhere in the same realm of reaility as to what it actually costs the carrier. I cannot  just go to another Carrier, I live in a rural area and verizon happens to have a tower that gets me half a bar of service. I don't live in a very populated area.  Go elsewhere? You mean one of the other 3 carriers (oh so many to choose from, I can't keep track) that could very possibly fixing costs on this very topic? ever here about cost fixing? nahhh, that couldn't be


Re: Texts should be free

Verizon Employee

Greetings Community Members! Thanks to ALL for contributing thoughts on this topic. A special thanks to TextMessageRipOff$10 for broaching this topic. I've actually taken this question many times before (and, as a consumer, I've posed it as well). I can tell you that there was a time when text messaging was free. Of course, it was being done at a very low rate by a small percentage of users so it didn't impact overall network integrity. But times have changed!

TextMessageRipOff$10, the article you posted is very informative. I compliment you on adding it to your statements. I agree with some of the data provided in the article because it's true that a text message carries very low data weight (a small fraction of a kilobyte), so one would think that something so tiny wouldn't take up significant amounts of bandwidth on a network the size of Verizon Wireless. One thing I would like to add to the article's statements is a consideration for overall volume. Pew Internet released a report this past September showing that "cell owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day—that works out to more than 3,200 texts per month—and the typical or median cell owner in this age group sends or receives 50 messages per day (or 1500 messages per month)". You can read the report here. It's powerful stuff when you realize that even a median cell owner sends/receives 1,500 text messages per month, and then cross reference that with the more than 100 million customers now supported by Verizon Wireless. I once reviewed the bill of a customer who's daughter was averaging 25,000 text messages per month.

There's also the cost of maintaining the network on which those messages are transmitted. Whether the messages are free or not, our customers rightfully expect Verizon Wireless to respond if they should encounter an issue with texting. So even though a single text message is small in comparison to other data-related activities, the cost of ensuring that those tiny communications will arrive in a timely fashion at the correct destination is not. So we set a fair price for text messaging service because (like all of our services) there is a cost to us to make them work correctly. I hope you'll agree. Thanks again!


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Re: Texts should be free

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my string, I do mean that -even though I will get into some Cynicism as we go along here. Let's do some math, and maybe we can make some sense out of the numbers here that we are talking about.

Ok, sooo - a text is 140 bytes (let's assume I use all characters). And let's use your example and  say I sent 25,000 texts in any given month. I would have transmitted the following....

3,500,000 .......... bytes   or

3,417.96875 .... kilobytes  or

3.3378601074 megabytes    or

0.003259629  gigabytes 

Now let's break that down against the data plans available right now - because after all, a text is data, right? I think we agree on that.... eveything is data, its a digital world --- 1 and 0's.  And those texts go through servers, just like data and voice, and yes they do have costs associated with the upkeep.  But I also think it's fair to say it's probably easier to route a 140byte text message, as opposed to a voice call or data stream.  Agree? Let's assume you have the 2 GB data plan for $30 plan that is out right now. That would come out to $15 Per GB, simple math, right? I would hope Verizon isn't losing money on this deal, I have to assume they are coving there costs. So let's assume Verizon is making a profit at $15 Per 1 GB.

Here is where the math gets a little mind boggling, so stick with me....

$15 (Cost Per GB) / 0.003259 GB (25,000 texts) = $4,602.63 Per GB . So we effectively pay $4,602 per GB for Text and $15 per GB for data. Maybe the text servers are made of Solid Gold?

Here's another intriguing way of looking at it. A 1 minute phone call takes up more data than 600 text messages. So in my case (I have a life), I text at the most 300 messages per month, the equivalent of a 30 second phone call. Now, I would argue very strongly that there is a lot more technology and it is much more difficult to transmit a real time voice conversation vs. a text message with no quality assurance.

Yet another way to comprehend this… if I text 600 messages in a month (remember, the equivalent of a 1 minute phone calls worth of data) and I am not in a text plan, and I am charged $0.20 per text, which works out to be $120. Or if I have no life, and I text 25,000 messages (41 minute voice call) I would be charged $5,000. Not bad for 0.0032 GB. What a bargain. Those servers apparently are tough to maintain. Would you pay $120 for a one minute phone call?… sure you would, if your mom was on the moon!

I do appreciate the Verizon answer, and that's what you should say of course, it sounds good when you read it, but let's really ask ourselves who we are kidding here. I gave you a concrete example of what we are talking about, these are the real numbers.

I am a Microsoft Engineer, I have a background in Cisco routing and was a designer of Wide Area Networks for AT&T, I have a clue. And if Verizon had a clue about networking, which they do, they would prioritize the text message as being 3rd. 1st would be voice - you want a good clear conversation, 2nd would be data, and 3rd would be the text message (not crucial that it gets there a few milliseconds late). So the text gets the back seat on the data hihgway, but somehow gets charged at a the unbelievabley highest rate to deliver??

Some call it “market” and “what the market will bear”, “the going rate”, “cost of servers” etc… I see it another way – it’s flat out USURIOUS, and is a display of the enormous market power that a few carriers wield when banded together.

Thank you for taking the time to hear me out, nothing will be done about this and I realize that. We are bent over the barrel and we are taking our medicine like we should….

Now take into consideration the text is charged coming and going....mind blowing. Double my numbers above. You are now in Redonkulous land. ¡Bienvenido!


Re: Texts should be free

Líder Sénior

Why should it be free?  People are willing to pay for it.  There are thousands of alternatives...


Re: Texts should be free

Why didn't I think of that? Your a genius.


Re: Texts should be free

Líder Sénior

Google Talk

Google Voice

Google + Messenger





Just to name a few.  I have never had a text plan and I communicate just fine without it Smiley Happy