imessage sending secret sms?

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by kevingoossens, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. kevingoossens macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2011
    Antwerp, Belgium

    I heard the strangest story yesterday from the guy responsible for the mobile phones in my company (our company has about 250 iphone 4 in service).

    One of the colleagues had 29 messages sent to a UK number on his invoice at € 0,33 each. He didn't send any messages to the UK himself but he did send 29 imessages between the period of the launch of iOS 5 and his invoice. So every imessage he sent got charged as an international text message to a F-Mobile UK gsm. So his imessages were actually 6 times more expensive than normal texts. Even messages sent over WiFi from his ipad were supposedly charged on his phone bill (through his apple ID account?).

    I find this a very strange story... hard to believe... but I am going to experiment a bit with an italian TIM prepaid card I have got lying around... just to verify.

    I can find one more topic about this online locally, with a similar story but on a different local provider but nothing else...

    So I was wondering if anyone out here has heard about a story like this?

  2. Antowns macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2009
    Are you sure the messages weren't failing to deliver and he was sending them as a text message? The iPad will be connected to his Apple ID so I can't see how items would appear on his bill from there, it has no way of knowing the SIM data from the iPhone 4.
  3. kevingoossens thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2011
    Antwerp, Belgium
    You are 100% correct in your assumptions that's why I find it so difficult to believe these stories...

    But the guy is kind of a mac freak and the messages are indicated in his iphone as imessages, on top of that if they were sent as a regular text they normally do not go to a uk server and cost a lot less.

    Well as far as my testing experiment (with the italian SIM) was difficult to test as I haven't recharged that prepaid sim in 3 months (It's been a little while since I was there) so the Italians took away the remaining credit... hahaha...the mob attitude still in there... but I did send some imessages over wifi and they arrived without there being any money on the prepaid card... so for now...I cannot confirm this freak story...

    me and my colleagues will investigate further next week... must be somekind of logical explanation for it.
  4. thelatinist macrumors 603


    Aug 15, 2009
    Connecticut, USA
    If he sent them as iMessages, they will show up on his phone as iMessages even if they fail and are forwarded via SMS. As for why they came from UK, I would guess it's because Apple's iMessage servers for Europe are located there and it is from there that it send the messages as SMS upon iMessage delivery failure.

    The simple solution to this problem is to disable the option to send as SMS if iMessage delivery fails.
  5. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2006
    Bear in mind that activating iMessage or Facetime means sending 1 or more SMS to the UK..
  6. aajeev macrumors regular

    May 7, 2008
    This is weird. But I have had similar experiences (although I didn't get charged). I noticed when iCloud was first officially enabled by Apple, sometimes when I try to send text, which iPhone now indicated as iMessage to my friend. So it would send as the blue bubble, but few second laster it would actually show up as green bubble and it would say texted instead.

    However, I have only really encountered that situation a couple of times, and I suspect it probably due to the server down time or server error (unlike whatsapp, when whatsapp is down it just won't work since it has to send through the whatsapp server). But since iPhone has the liberty of switching between text or iMessage I suspect it when the apple server has issues it would just send text instead. Although I must say, I have not encounter this problem for a while now.
  7. YoYoCome macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2010
    You said your colleague sent 29 iMessages, who was the receiver?

    iMessage works like this:

    Both A and B have iMessage. Both A and B are using their phone number as their "Recieve At" option. A and B are in different countries. A has Wi-Fi connection and sends B an iMessage, but B currently doesn't have Wi-Fi nor network. A has the "Send As SMS" option turned ON. So the iMessage turns to SMS from A trying to send to B (even though A has Wi-Fi). Therefore, these messages becomes International texts counted towards A.
  8. kevingoossens thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2011
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Thanks guys for helping to figure this out.
    We seem to be getting closer to the answer.

    My colleague sent imessages to a person in the same country (Belgium) but they were all charged as international texts to the Apple datacenter in the UK.

    Normally if you send a message to someone in your region with imessage and it doesn't work (for a number of reasons), the imessage is sent as a local text message over you local operator so they should never show up as international texts.

    In his case something clearly went wrong. In order to activate your phonenumber as imessage identifier a one time message is sent to the UK... and this gets billed on your time... this is apparently where things went wrong, either on the apple side, either on the operator side...

    Why they would appear to be billed even if they were sent from his iPad I don't know...

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