Saturday, October 18, 2008

Verizon Wireless triples SMS charges for mobile marketers

In addition to raising their text messaging rates 100% in the last year (along with everyone else in the industry), Verizon Wireless has now taken upon itself to triple the charge it imposes on sites that allow subscribers to receive SMS notifications to 3 cents per text.

For example, you pay $20 per month for unlimited text messaging. So you sign up for CNN to send you a text message any time there is breaking news. Starting in November, Verizon will charge CNN 3 cents for each message they send out, despite the fact that the consumer is already paying for the text message.

This double-dipping on Verizon's part not only comes across as greedy (it costs virtually nothing to send a text message - they were making a profit when they only charged less than a penny per text) but it stifles innovation. Sites like Twitter, Remember The Milk, Celllfire, and others may have to either close up shop or severely limit their functionality if Verizon insists on charging the fee.

I decided to be proactive and sent an e-mail to Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam telling him basically what I said here: it's greedy and it stifles innovation. I haven't heard back from him.

Maybe I should have also mentioned how they're delusional for wanting to be content providers instead of "dumb pipes" for giving people access to information. Verizon, when it comes to creating content it's you verses the Internet. And I think the Internet is going to win.

For more reading on the text messaging rate hike, hit up this link.

Logo courtesy of here.