Cell phone companies questioned about texting charges - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Cell phone companies questioned about texting charges

SPOKANE, Wash. - Text messaging is now a way of life for many people, but just like its popularity, the price of texting has skyrocketed.

When you break down the actual cost per text, it is one of the most expensive ways to communicate. Over the past three years the major cell phone carriers doubled the price of a single text from ten cents to 20 cents.

"My bill would be like 200 dollars over every month, just because I would go over on texting," said consumer Andrea Johnson.

What carriers don't want you to know is when it comes to a single text message, the amount of data being transferred is negligible.

Computer guru Cali Lewis insists the 20 cent charge per text message is ridiculous.

"If I was to download a song and a song is about 4 megabytes, using the same calculations it would cost me $6000."

The major cell phone service providers didn't want to talk, but AT&T did send a statement insisting most of its customers take advantage of a texting plan, like $5.00 for 200 text messages. That's still the equivalent of well over $100 to download a song off iTunes.

"No one is complaining in the large sense so they can charge whatever they want," Lewis said.

Maybe not for long.

Twenty class action lawsuits have been filed against the major carriers alleging price fixing and those same carriers angered some in Congress for refusing to answer questions about their costs associated with texting.

"I think they ought to be honest with us in how they are coming up with the cost," said Lewis

Especially since this year 2.5 trillion text messages will be sent world wide, making texting a multi-billion dollar industry.
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