That thing you texted to that person the other night which you deleted out of overwhelming shame the next day? Messages like that could be pored over in the future by cops if various law enforcement officials have their way. They’re reportedly asking Congress to make wireless carriers record and store customers’ private text messages for at least two years, in case police need that info for a future investigation. [More]
In the realm of technology, as soon as something new hits the market, it’s probably already old and the next big thing is already in the works to replace it. So even though we’ve been obsessed with text messages for a very long time, at the first sign of any kind of weakening of that medium’s power, it’s natural to ask “What’s next?” Text messaging rates are down on average for the first time ever, which might be a sign that we’re finally moving on. [More]
Between Apple’s iMessage platform for iPhones and the other ways that smartphone users can avoid the SMS system (think Google Voice) text message volume through AT&T must be dropping. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be trying to lock customers in to one of two plans: paying twenty or thirty cents per message, or paying $20 for unlimited text messages. The plans offering blocks of 200 or 1500 texts once available to customers are gone: no longer an option. [More]
As messaging applications on smartphones continue to sidle into the territory previously occupied strictly by traditional SMS texting, users are being confronted with a sometimes uncomfortable proposition. Namely, that whoever is on the other end can see when you’ve read their message, and you can see if they’re ignoring you or not as well. [More]
A new service called “ER Texting” lets you send a text message to 4ER411 and get a report on the expected wait times at nearby emergency rooms. [More]
Bank of America currently rejects debit card items that would make your balance go below zero, but Finextra reports they’re going to test out a new system that sends you a text message when you’re about to overdraft. The message will give you the option to let the transaction go through and incur an overdraft fee. [More]
Unwanted text message ads are annoying, but if the advertiser lets you opt out that should be the end of it, right? Apparently the folks at Lithia Motors, one of the nation’s largest auto retailers, think you might not have meant it when you told them to stop bugging you. [More]
Verizon has set up a site to give out refunds to customers who signed up for premium text messages with an advertiser who “did not meet Verizon Wireless’ standards for the disclosure of pricing and subscription information.” Here is a list of the 120 affected short codes. If you were a Verizon customer who signed up for one of them, you can file a claim here. [More]
Ah, for the days when phone slammers had to actually call you in order to enroll you in services you don’t want. P.W. tells Consumerist that he received a few texts from an unknown shortcode number, most likely wrote them off as spam, and ignored them. Until he noticed a mysterious $10 charge on his phone bill. [More]
The conventional wisdom has it that if you want to commit a crime with a cell phone, use a prepaid model. That’s what a woman in California did to get back at her ex-boyfriend and his sister-in-law, by sending harassing text messages to herself and then reporting them to the police. The plan fell apart, however, when her victims hit the pavement to find proof that they were being framed. [More]
It’s quick, easy, and convenient to donate to relief efforts for Haiti earthquake victims by sending a text message, but not such a great idea if you want to be sure that your donations reach people and organizations in need before sometime in April.
Mobile carriers don’t actually submit your donation to the charity until after you’ve paid your bill. Experts agree that the donations will take at least one billing cycle for pledges to reach their destination.
Could a text message make you save more?
Peter, who wrote in last month to complain about being text-spammed by Payless Shoesource on his phone, wasn’t the only customer they annoyed. A man in California has filed a class action lawsuit against the shoe company and Voice & Mobile Broadcast Corporation, which is the marketing company it hired to run the campaign.
If you live in the Houston area, you can now use your mobile phone to redeem coupons for JCPenney through a trial-partnership with Cellfire. You have to register with Cellfire in order to receive the promos via SMS or email, and if you register today you’ll receive a mysterious “$10 in$tant gift” [sic].
It’s bad enough when friends and acquaintances bombard you with text messages, but at least most humans can be reasoned with. Monica, on the other hand, says she’s being hassled by a robot who sends here 20 texts a day, and that Verizon has been slow to jump to her aid.