So my monthly cell bill came in. It’s normally around $36.50 (I’m on a $25/month plan that happens to get this adorable service charge tacked on that drags it up over $10 what the plan rate is). For August-September? Well… It was a lovely $39+.
Why? Because my cell carrier decided a few months back that incoming text messaging would cost their customers $0.15/each. That’s cool, my plan allows me to get unlimited incoming text messages from eight numbers of my choice (I also get unlimited talk time with those numbers as well as unlimited outgoing text messaging to them). And I don’t get text messaging from anyone else, so that’s pretty cool.
But $2.25? They charged me for 15 incoming text messages! And considering last month I got a modest amount of incoming text messages, 941, this seems like a very tiny number. But considering the fact that I don’t pay for my cell bill (my parents do) and my father was very upset* at me for sending text messages to people that I don’t get it unlimited text messaging to.
So after around 8 minutes of being on hold and listening to incredibly bad music, I was finally put through to a real live speaking person! I explained the situation to her and she looked up the account. She checked the numbers that I was charged for against my set group of numbers and would you like to know was different from them?
Say I text someone who’s phone number is 444-555-6666. The phone bill? It has the number as 1-444-555-6666. The totally awesome billing system that they have in place counts a phone number with the country code as a whole new number. Which is absurd considering I don’t call international numbers, I don’t receive text messaging from international numbers. And really, I don’t even know if there’s any other cities or metropolitan regions that use that exact same area code.
But the woman was very patient and reversed the charges and made a note on the account that this has happened (in case it ever happens again – I sincerely hope not). And the charge being reversed takes my bill down to $36-something, there will be $2.52 (text message charge + 5% GST + 7% PST) returned onto my mom’s credit card.
And when I went back upstairs to dinner, my dad got very confused as to why the cell phone carrier would suddenly charge extra for incoming text messaging (I guess he missed the news for the last few months…?). Oh, then he got unneedlessly angry at me for the fact that my cell phone carrier decided to change my contract on me. Honestly, father: it was reported in the news ages ago. I even blogged about it. You read the newspaper on a daily basis. If you had no idea that two major cell phone carriers were planning on implementing charges on incoming text messages, it is really not my fault that you’re so fucking oblivious.
* by ‘very upset’, I mean he was livid. He’s a pleasant man to be around, honest.