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Why is texting so expensive?


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#1 of 39 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted October 05 2008 - 07:40 AM

Why is texting so expensive? Beyond the reason "It's popular, therefore the wireless companies can charge what they do", is there a reason the cost is so high? I've never used text messaging myself. We have three lines through Sprint. Lately, my son has been asking me to add a text plan. So I called Sprint, and to add unlimited texting to all three phones would be $60.00 per month. That's insane. That's more than what our entire wireless bill is per month right now for all three phones. Where's the justification for that kind of price (again, other than the reason I mention above-- or is there no other reason)? I could *maybe* see $20.00 per month for all three lines, but $20.00 for each phone? I don't think so.

#2 of 39 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted October 05 2008 - 08:21 AM

I may be wrong, but I think that's it.
I would think that voice would take a lot more bandwidth, and sending text takes the same towers and air space. I think it's just because they know people will pay it.
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#3 of 39 OFFLINE   CRyan

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Posted October 05 2008 - 08:45 AM

Yeah, its outrageous. But its such a part of my life now and so many others they can charge what they do. Its just that simple. What really sucks is during peak hours (nights - esp Friday nights) there can be huge delays if you are texting outside of your carrier. Verizon to tmobile can be horrible and makes texting useless at those times. And of course each carrier blames the other. Eh.

#4 of 39 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted October 05 2008 - 09:30 AM

Blue Grass Cellular here in Kentucky has unlimited texting for $6.00 per phone. I have both my kids set up on it. I don't know how they ever lived with out it! Posted Image But I think this shows that it doesn't need to be $20.00 per phone.

#5 of 39 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted October 05 2008 - 09:48 AM

I would have expected texting to be cheap since it uses less BW that voice. I also recall someone telling me that texting is good for natural emergencies (like hurricanes) Your message eventually gets to it's intended target once the send is successful - a lesson I can aprpeciate from my own experience with Hurricane Charley - You would have a signal but couldn't complete any calls. Text messages would have gone to the tower and eventually routed out once a connection was restored...

#6 of 39 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted October 05 2008 - 11:05 AM

Now that is much more reasonable. The closest I can get to $6.00 is 300 text messages for $5.00. Of course when you are getting dinged for BOTH sending and receiving a text, that doesn't go very far.

#7 of 39 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted October 05 2008 - 11:35 AM

We originally had 300 messages for $3.00 per month, but both kids used over 200 the first day! Posted Image So I went all out for $6.00 per phone.

#8 of 39 OFFLINE   CRyan

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Posted October 05 2008 - 11:40 AM

I easily do around 10,000 texts per month. I actually have wondered if they throttle texting in any way. Because I have notice my texts seem to get to their desitnation slower and slower these days.

#9 of 39 OFFLINE   Mark Klaus

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Posted October 05 2008 - 11:55 AM

That just freaks me out! I admit to being a dinosaur having never sent or felt the need to send a text, but you pretty much be texting every waking as well as most sleeping moments. I think most people cut off from tech at some point as they get older. I keep up with everything computer and HT related, my cut off is with cell phone technology, it just doesn't interest me. Excuse me, gotta to get in line for an Iphone.

#10 of 39 OFFLINE   CRyan

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Posted October 05 2008 - 12:03 PM

Well im 32 and I am certainly NOT interested in cell phone tech. I have a phone that lets me make calls, text, and hold my music. But yeah the iphone looks cool to me! Posted Image I will admit I i wish I had a phone with wifi.

But my wife cannot talk on the phone in her job and most of my friends text. It adds up quick is all I can say.

#11 of 39 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted October 05 2008 - 12:51 PM

I refuse to use texting. I'm not going to dumb myself down that way. It makes me want to slap somebody when I see "R U comin 2nite?" instead of "Are you coming tonight?" I see it in forum posts, so the texting way of writing, is carrying over to other stuff. Texting will eventually make people forget how to spell............

I have a camera phone, but don't use the camera. If I take a picture, it costs extra to send it to my computer, because you do it in the texting application of the phone. I asked why I couldn't send it by usb connection, and they just shrugged their shoulders. That would be free, is why. Posted Image
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#12 of 39 OFFLINE   BrianW

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Posted October 05 2008 - 01:38 PM

Some day, I hope, cellular phone companies will simply be data pipes that allow us to use our pipe however we wish, whether it be for phone calls, texting, email, weather station monitoring, security system oversight, or any other point-to-point data transmission anyone could imagine. You subscribe to a service, and hook up whatever you want in the way of data transmission/reception, paying only for the bandwidth you use, or for unlimited bandwidth for a monthly fee. That would be nice.
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#13 of 39 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted October 05 2008 - 01:39 PM

Posted Image That works out to a text every 3 minutes, 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, all month! How is that even possible?

I use text one every couple of months--it has its uses. But I don't understand its normal use, let alone "speaking" more with it than I would verbally. Like twitter and myspace, this is a technology tool that escapes me Posted Image

To the original question, I believe texting was introduced in the days of dial-up internet, before cell data services were common, and were priced accordingly. Now, it maintains its legacy for pricing. And people seem quite willing to pay for it, so why would phone companies charge less?

#14 of 39 OFFLINE   CRyan

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Posted October 05 2008 - 02:09 PM

Its not hard for me to be honest. You have to remember that text counts are incoming and outgoing. Im certainly not personally sending that many texts.

I dont use email anymore except for work - just no point - I text. I have not left a voicemail for someone in over a year - So much easier to text what I want to say and so much easier to look at your phone instead of calling voicemail to check messages. And people who know me certainly would never leave me a voicemail either as I never check it. I now even communicate with my parents (65 years old) by text for quick things.

Anyway... Its just so easy and quick and you dont have to worry about getting stuck on the phone with somone. Posted Image

Ok, I hate to admit this but I will even text my wife from outside the house to ask her something if im in the middle of something i dont want to stop. Ahhh well.

#15 of 39 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted October 05 2008 - 03:14 PM

I've seen chronic texters becoming the next annoyance at common gatherings (like at lunch, dinner). It used to be that people would yak on their cell phones during dinner while dining with friends and basically ignoring them at the table and recuse themselves from conversations. A relatively tech-averse friend got a girlfriend, and the next thing you know, he has become a chronic texter on his cell phone, to the point where he is always either reading his texts, or typing out his texts to his girlfriend, even if he's at the table eating with friends. It's to the point where he's there at the table in body only, and it's very annoying. It's a trend that I hope peters out in time.
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#16 of 39 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted October 05 2008 - 03:15 PM

Sorry, but I just don't think it's possible for texting to be easier than speaking into the phone, unless you just have trouble with talking (speech impairment). If you prefer it, that's one thing. But it's not possible to be easier........ Posted Image
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#17 of 39 OFFLINE   CRyan

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Posted October 05 2008 - 03:54 PM

I was speaking more to receiving texts is easier than checking voicemail.

#18 of 39 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted October 05 2008 - 03:54 PM

I can deal with it in a texting environment because of the limited keypads. But outside of that, it is quite annoying. If you have a pen or pencil in your hand or a full keyboard at your fingertips, please try to use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

#19 of 39 OFFLINE   CRyan

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Posted October 05 2008 - 04:12 PM

Agreed on the social aspect of texting. Should not be at the table or even to any great extent when talking with friends. People are losing social graces (well actually, texting is just another avenue now for people without such graces to prove it once again). I always thought texting was rediculous until I "needed" it because of my wife and her profession. Now its just what I consider the easiest and quickest method of communication for me. The problem now is that people are using their phones to access the web and email. So texting nomenclature is being seen in many other venues besides just on a cell phone screen.

#20 of 39 OFFLINE   Tony Whalen

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Posted October 06 2008 - 03:50 AM


Don't do it man!

I got an iPhone! It's now surgically grafted to my hand! I can't put the thing down! Posted Image

Seriously, I love the way it handles texting. Stores things as a chat-style conversation, rather than individual messages. Awesome. I don't text a great deal, but I'll admit this thing has made texting more attractive. Posted Image (Takes a while to get used to the on-screen keyboard, but I'm pretty fast with it after a month!)




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