Question

Charged for SMS messages

  • 14 July 2018
  • 9 replies
  • 1084 views

Userlevel 1
Hi,

I sent a very short text message (no pictures or multimedia of any kind) and my plan has unlimited SMS.

I was charged £0.30 for each one. Why was there a charge for this?

9 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Hi @pablos,

We find that some phones convert SMS messages into MMS messages if they reach a certain character limit or even if there has been an emoji used within the message. Was any of those used?

Ryan
Userlevel 1
Hi Ryan,
Thanks for your reply. It was a very short (5 word) text message sent to two contacts at the same time. Total number of characters (including spaces) was 22. No emojis, pictures or anything else.

I'm using the textra app for my Note 4 which i've been using for years but have never had this happen with any other network (Vodafone, O2, giff gaff, Three).

I contacted ID mobile via live chat (a painfully slow process) who were adamant i was sending MMS but as a 'one-off gesture' credited the £0.60 and advised me to go into carphone warehouse to get my phone checked out. Why would i need to do this? I didn't even buy it from CPW and it's out of warranty anyway.

Not that i should have to but i have changed SMS app to Handcent as I couldn't see anything relating to MMS in Textra settings. Within Handcent there was an option to stop SMS conversion to MMS for group SMS to over three recipients which i unticked even though it's not relevant to the SMS i sent which incurred the charges.

I really do want to know why I've never had this issue with this phone on other networks, yet the agent i spoke with is adamant i'm sending an MMS and telling me i need my phone checking out as well as posting some copy/paste with information that's not particularly useful. This seems extremely bizarre!
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
That's a very odd one indeed @pablos,

MMS conversion is done by the handset and not by the network so I wouldn't be able to advise any further than what you've tried already.

Whilst you haven't purchased the phone from us or it was out of warranty, you would have been directed to the Carphone Warehouse store as they can get hands on with the phone just to double check any settings on the device.

I'm assuming that since switching to the Handcent messenger and unticking the box you haven't had the issue?

Mohammed
Userlevel 1

From the iD website:


Can I stop my phone from sending an MMS?

To stop your texts being converted into MMS, you should try and stick to these rules:
  • Don’t send photographs.
  • Keep your text messages under 160 characters.
  • Don’t use emojis.
  • Don’t use normal characters that could be change into emoticons. For example, writing 🙂 might be converted into a smiley face.
  • Don’t send group texts – stick to individual messages.
  • Don’t send a text to an email address.
  • Don’t add attachments to a group message.
  • Don’t give your text a subject line.
  • Don’t send any contact cards or business cards with your text.
__________________________________________________________________________

A abhor text or email messages without a subject. How else can you find the right message quickly.
I had the temerity of including a subject in the text I sent & have been charged 30p for the privilege. I have just started a plan with iD Mobile am not aware of charging traps like this. I am on a tight budget and would rather go to another provider than have to count the characters in every text.

My phones instructions to avoid problems with message lengths states any message over 480 characters cannot be sent as an SMS message. 480 characters not 160.

Userlevel 1
That's a very odd one indeed @pablos,

MMS conversion is done by the handset and not by the network so I wouldn't be able to advise any further than what you've tried already.

Whilst you haven't purchased the phone from us or it was out of warranty, you would have been directed to the Carphone Warehouse store as they can get hands on with the phone just to double check any settings on the device.

I'm assuming that since switching to the Handcent messenger and unticking the box you haven't had the issue?

Mohammed


Appreciate your reply. I've not really been willing to send any SMS messages as it took an age to get through to live chat and for them to refund the erroneous charges and i don't fancy this happening again. I really cannot fathom why i've had zero MMS charges from all other networks yet the first two messages i send via ID Mobile have been deemed SMS. I've sent SMS to more than one person before without issue.

Figgis - you clearly have an issue too and i think it would you should give it a thread of its own as it will derail this one and have less focus on yours 😀
Userlevel 1
Meant deemed MMS of course. Not sure how you edit a post here!!
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Hello @pablos,

It would be hard for me to advise also without looking at the phone and/or the message to see what's triggering this.

It's odd that this has only happened after joining us but also could be coincidental. There's a possibility your old network did not charge for MMS messages which is why this was never picked up. I'm not too sure there.

Sorry I couldn't provide a more helpful response.

Mohammed
Userlevel 1
Hi Mohammed,

Many thanks for your ongoing advice and no need to apologise!

I've been looking online and it appears that conversion from SMS to MMS is something that has plagued some Samsung handsets in the past and that it could be the case that MMS were not chargeable on other networks so i think unless there's some flaw in ID Mobile's technology, there's something that needs to be addressed here.

Do MMS messages cost the network more than SMS or data? If not, perhaps they should be inclusive in the plans. I know most of us use messenger software like whatsapp these days but things like sending a group message (just two people in my case) shouldn't trigger a system into thinking it's a different type of message.

What do you think about this?

Thanks
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Hello @pablos,

I wouldn't be able to advise on the costings to the network for SMS vs MMS.

I could only reiterate that MMS messages are non-inclusive. How the handsets function in dealing with MMS conversion is different for each model/manufacturer. I have seen the issue to be more common in Samsung handsets (from personal experience also).

My recommendation would be to use apps like Whatsapp for group messages/picture messages to avoid being charged.

In most cases, you'd usually see a message when you're typing the message out advising it will be converted to MMS.

Mohammed

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