Text Messages - Newbie Question

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SPeditor, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. SPeditor macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2008
    I know this is common knowledge for most of you but since I haven't used text messages on my cell phone before, I had a question. I'm planning on getting the new iPhone 3G with the 200 text messages plan. Wanted to know how text messages are charged. Is it every time you hit send? Is my 200 limit count by each word of text? When I receive text does that count?

    And is there a way to track how many text you've used in the month, so I won't go over?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. benfilan macrumors 6502


    Dec 21, 2006
    Each time you reply to a message, that counts as one text. so yeah, every time you hit send.
    I don't think there's currently a way to monitor your SMS usage unfortunately.
  3. cjbryce macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2008
    Each "send" counts as one message, that's true except if the message you typed is more than 160 characters. Messages are counted as multiples of 160 so:

    <160 = 1 message
    160 = 1 message
    161 = 2 messages
    320 = 2 messages
    321 = 3 messages

    and so on
  4. eviltobz macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2007
    it's not actually quite that simple. sms messages are restricted to 160 characters, if you have a message that long or shorter then you'll be charged once, if it is longer than that it will be broken into multiple messages and you'll be charged for as many messages as it takes to send. and when it does that, iirc, it uses a few characters to string to texts back together correctly on the receiver's phone so a 320 character message would use 3 not 2 of your allowance.

    edit: d'oh, beaten to it. but i'm still not sure about the 320 characters thing
  5. thor79 macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I can't verify it right now (as I change my dad plan a week ago...so that area is inaccessible) but I believe you can monitor your text message usage via your account interface at www.wireless.att.com under Data.
  6. SPeditor thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2008

    So just to be clear, someone can text me a ton of times and it won't count on my number of text because I received text instead of send?
  7. M0bile macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2008
    I'm pretty sure you get charged for incoming and outgoing text messages. So, if someone were to send you a text, that's 1/200 text messages. If you reply, that's 2/200. You can check your text and data usage by calling *DATA# (*3282#) and it will send it to you in a free text message.
  8. aforty macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    You are absolutely charged for both incoming AND outgoing text messages.
  9. emdotdee macrumors regular


    Nov 6, 2003
    Widnes, Cheshire, England.
    How come you get charged for receiving a text message?

    As far as I know none of the UK phone providers do this...
  10. Auzburner macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2008
    Syracuse, NY - USA
    I'm 99.9% sure here in the US with AT&T I'm being charged 1 message for both incoming and outgoing text messages each.

    - The way I check my message use amount is Calling *DATA# (*3282#) and a free text message is sent to your phone.
  11. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    in the US you are charged for incoming text messages
    heres why:
    if you recieve a text message from another provider, say verizon to ATT, the message comes from the verizon phone to the verizon tower. it is then either
    a) sent from verizon tower to ATT tower or
    b) the tower is also used by ATT, but they pay verizon for use of it
    and then to your ATT phone
    in order to cover those charges, you pay for the text message

    it is considerably cheaper, and possibly free, for a carrier to deliver text messages between its subscribers
    thats why unlimited texting to people on the same network as you is considerably cheaper that true unlimited texting

    i dont think its fair, but thats why they charge you
  12. SPeditor thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2008
    Interesting. So say my wife and I both have iPhones and are under the AT&T Family plan. We go for the individual 200 text each, which I confirmed we could do. Then when she sends me a text, it gets counted twice to my account. One for her sending it and one for me receiving it. Wow that sucks!
  13. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    As others have said, AT&T will count a text message whether you send or receive it. We have a family plan with AT&T and an unlimited family text plan costs $30/month. We have 3 phones, one of which is a teenagers.

    I hope this helps.
  14. drpellypo macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2007
    Northumberland, UK
    You guys are so ripped off with this kind of thing!

    In UK it is free to receive texts, AND calls. If you only receive both, you will not pay a penny. You only pay for outgoing, and even that's pretty cheap. For example, the O2 contract I am on is £35 per month (About $70.) That *includes* all taxes. For this, I get 600 minutes to any phone, anywhere in the UK, whether it be another mobile provider, landline etc, and 500 texts, again to any network. In addition to this, I get unlimited data, both 3g, and wireless, at hotspots that have nearly the whole of England at least within a stones throw from wherever you are, and it's growing all the time.

    My non iPhone contract with another provider was the same amount per month, except I got 1,000 texts, and 600 minutes for the same money.
  15. yadmonkey macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2002
    Western Spiral
    Does AT&T not at least offer unlimited in-network messaging with their basic messaging plans? If you buy a 1500 message package, can you split that amongst members on a family plan, or does each phone need to purchase their own texting plan?
  16. iPaul macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2006
    The 200 and 1500 plans can only be put on one individual line. There is an Unlimited FamilyTalk plan for $30 where everyone on your FamilyTalk plan gets unlimited text messaging.
  17. diamond.g macrumors 603


    Mar 20, 2007
    There was an unlimited in network text feature code up until some time earlier this year. Not sure why they removed the code.
  18. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2005
    Taken from the AT&T website. http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/messaging-internet/messaging/faq.jsp#receiving_messages-text
  19. yadmonkey macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2002
    Western Spiral
    That's really disappointing. I'm on the verge of switching for an iPhone, but with verizon, $5 per line gets me unlimited in-network texting plus 50 out-of-network texts. Most of my texting is with my wife, so this covers us quite nicely. So to keep us covered on AT&T, we'll need to pay $20 more per month and that just plain sucks. They should at least offer in-network texting for free.

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