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Texting: Potential Horrors at a Cell Phone Bill Near You

Updated on December 26, 2009

1900 Text Messages Later

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ! It's a wonderful time of year and presents and surprises abound.

Many parents and non-parents probably a big surprise when they got their cell phone bill. Parents of teens and tweeners are most susceptible to the fad of texting. For them, it is way cooler to talk with fingers on their cell than to actually talk on the phone. It's sort of like the "in" thing to do. Since plans all vary, the thing those into texting should know is this:

For every text message sent is 20 cents. Each one received is 20 cents. Length of text message does not matter. Thus, five text messages cost $1. It sounds cheap but last year the rate was only 10 cents each way. The dangers are even if a person does not respond to a text message often, friends that are sending those messages to the same person all cost the receiving party 20 cents per text message. That means, 10 friends send one text message to one person. The one person phone bill is charged $2, even if they do not respond, of course, during a heated conversation lasting 30 minutes,will easily create hundreds of messages between a party of 10 or less. Suddenly, your 500 free text messages has gone over the limit and you have no clue, so you continue texting and texting and texting. Even a single person can create hundreds of text messages sent to one cell phone over the billing period, creating a huge phone bill.

In my case, my $35 monthly bill with 400 free text messages was $300.00 for my tweener's phone. Looking at the phone numbers listed, we went over the bill and 90% of the bill was caused by one friend you went text frenzy sending one nearly every 1-2 minutes on various days before and after school. Of course, many of them were compounded when the messages were responded to.

Some phones do have the ability to turn off accepting text messages, which is good. But because cell phone calling plans all vary, kids must be made aware of the fact that sending a text message to a buddy costs them and their friend 20 cents each time they send and reply. So a plan with 400 free text messages allows for $80 free in text messages, after which, your bill goes up and up. The problem parents face is that many tweeners have phones with unlimited plans and bombard friends that do not have that plan type. The best thing is for them to tell their friends not to send text messages or have the ability to accept text messages turned off.

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