Third-Party Text Packages Cost Subscriber $7,000 In One Month

TampaForums member Treysdad received a $7,243.29 bill after subscribing to numerous third-party text packages. By purchasing an unlimited text message plan from Nextel, Treysdad thought he could receive any texts for free.

Of course I am all giddy because they have made an error right? Well, to my surprise they didn’t. The guy on the phone is looking at my bill and tells me that most of the charges are from third parties. I’m like wtf? He says that although I may have unlimited text messages, the texts I am sending and receiving carry additional charges. Basically when I send a text to get my horoscope, they are registering me for some subscription for $29.99. I’ve sent out hundreds of those texts you see on tv. Now I’m pissed. moreso at these companies that don’t tell you that you are being charged so much to get a fricken joke or something everyday. I tell the guy that I have unlimited texts and I should be able to send and receive all I want based on my text message plan.

Third party text packages advertisements can be spotted a mile away, screaming: “Text ‘purple monkey dishwasher’ to 5555 for your free ABBA ringtone, NOW!”


The item ordered may sound cheap; a ringtone or horoscope for $0.99. Some users don’t realize they may also be subscribing to a service with monthly fees ranging from $2.99 to $29.99.

It’s not Nextel’s fault that people are gullible, but cellphone companies could help more. Currently, customers either get all text-messages, or none. By allowing users to block certain senders, and only allowing third-party vendors to pass along the charges for messages received, confusions like Treysdad’s could be avoided.

Always read the fine print, and stay away from “text now!” services…. especially if purple monkey dishwashers are involved. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

I Just Got A $7,000 Cell Phone Bill [Tampa Forums (Thanks to Carlo!)]