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I’m feeling ripped off

Why T-Mobile should not charge for incoming text messages

T-Mobile (and all other carriers) charge for inbound text messaging. This, in itself isn't the problem. The problem is that there is no way to decline an inbound text message from the handset. As an other example, when a call rings your phone you can choose not to answer the phone to not incur charges. When someone sends a text message, handsets offer no way to decline text messages and, thus, the recipient ALWAYS incurs the .10-.25 charge.

Worse, if you try to call and complain to get a refund, the reps will practically laugh at you for complaining about a .10 charge. They might or might not remove it. However, if you receive a bunch of messages, they're not going to remove the charges and credit you and they will claim that you knew the person. I have received numerous wrong messages over the years (someone mistyping a number) or even simply spam. The amount of garbage messaging is only likely to get worse.

Even having to call in and ask for these charges to be removed is far too cumbersome for a customer to have to do each and every time they receive a wrong message. Worse, this is, in fact, finger-on-the-scale (a butcher shop overcharging tactic). T-Mobile (and every other carrier who charges for inbound messages) is profiting from these ill-gotten gains at the expense of the consumer. This is, at best, a dubious business practice and needs to be stopped. At worst, this is a CLASS ACTION lawsuit!

Until phone handsets offer controls to decline inbound text messages and prevent charges, inbound messages should be free.

Note: All carriers can switch off text messaging wholesale (off or on). The problem is, I want to be able to receive SMS from people I know. I don't want to have to fight with the carrier to remove unwanted charges. Until handsets provide a mechanism to decline inbound messages, they should not cost money,

And no, T-Moble, adding on a messaging plan does not resolve this issue!
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  • I’m amused.
    I called T-Mobile today for this same issue. A year ago I made several complaints for several months, each time I got them to reduce the charges.

    Today, I called in and they now have the ability to block incoming text messages. You no longer have to pay for something you didn't want and don't need or use.

    My feeling is that they were threatened with a lawsuit and corrected the issue. Forcing people to pay for something they didn't want in the first place is or should be illegal. They are not out of hot water yet. It's still possible to sue for all past charges incurred prior to their correction of the issue. I could see this potentially resulting in a $20-50 credit to all T-Mobile (or other carriers) customer accounts, a large referral fee to the person contacting the firm for the suit, and a large pay out to the law firm.

    As of today, I'm happy with my service, so I don't need to sue.
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  • Well, not sure about the suing yet. They probably deserve it anyway.

    I opted out many months ago from text messages but how in the world you still get some to slip in ??? And how come that their own customer care text messages don't get to my phone is another issue. They can't provide any poof that those are real though...How conveeeeeenient!!!!

    I think all got messed up when 3 month ago I opted for paperless billing with e-mail and text message notification. Sure now, it still doesn't work and probably never will.

    I don't have a contract to hang on to and I kept the acct. after being promised I will have a 3G Blackberry by now. That was a year ago and their 3G network socks as AT&T's. MetroPCS has provided me with a Blackberry with BES/push mail for $ 50/mo (unlimited data/voice) that can't be touched by any other carrier, which I am testing now. How could TMobile retain me after all that deception ??? They don't care at all, they have enough teenagers playing with faves at after school hours when parents are busy trying to find a third job.

    MMMM, maybe I should be suing TM for the texting mess in revenge...
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  • I’m Philip
    We have a family T-Mobile plan with 4 phones. Two have texting plans for 300 to 1000 messages. I still get occasional text on my phone, that I want to read. My sister-in-law doesn't text. I can and have blocked all but free text messages on my sister-in-laws phone. This can be done online easily. What I cannot do is selectively block unwanted text messages on my phone. What would be ideal to me is when I receive a text from someone I don't know, block that number from reaching my phone in the future.
    If I don't receive any text messages during a billing period, I am not taxed for the service. If I receive even 1, there is a tax added of around $1.50. This tax is added to each line. It adds up. I have been with T-Mobile/Voicestream since 1997, and as a loyal customer, they treat me very well whenever I call customer service, which is about every month.
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  • I’m frustrated
    I could not agree more with every point you've made here. I've complained about this exact same problem over and over with both T-Mobile and AT&T. In fact, as you mentioned, T-Mobile uses text messages to send account alerts and other customer communications. If you don't purchase a text messaging plan, you get charged for them to contact you! How bogus!

    This absolutely smells of a Class Action Lawsuit. Any attorneys out there interested in making a few million $?
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  • I’m a bit miffed
    I get spam text messages. If there is a way to block spam messages then I wouldn't be incensed about paying for inbound text messages.
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  • I’m frustrated
    I am seeing text messages show up on my bill not made from my handset. They are both incoming and outgoing to a location more than 1000 miles away and the number is not in service (I called it).. I have unlimited texting so T Mobile isn't concerned that those are not my charges.

    A class action lawsuit is warranted.
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