Only in Canada: $0.15/tweet

Update: Bell quickly backed down — Tweets will be billed just like any other text messages. Interesting that a little web company was able to beat a huge telco on this one.

Facebook and other US sites have no problem sending SMS messages to my Canadian cell phone, but Twitter hasn’t had as much luck — maybe they’ve been looking for ways to avoid paying bulk SMS charges. However, they recently announced that customers of Bell Mobility (one of Canada’s big two wireless providers) can now send and receive tweets again, with “no limits and no added fees (beyond your normal texting plan).”

Not so, says Bell. According to this story, Bell Mobility is treating Twitter as a “premium service”, and will charge CAD 0.15 for every tweet sent or received, no matter what text plan you have.

That’s actually worse than the status quo. On my Canadian Rogers cell phone, I can’t receive tweets right now, but I don’t pay anything extra to send them with my current text plan.

I guess I’ll stick with Facebook status updates instead. They work fine with Canadian phones, and Rogers hasn’t (yet) decided that they’re a premium service.

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6 Responses to Only in Canada: $0.15/tweet

  1. Brad Camroux says:

    That’s a load of horse-pucky! There’s no reason why Twitter (or any other SMS service) should be treated as a “premium service”. Bell needs to get their heads out of their asses, or they’ll find more and more people are going to defect to other service providers.

  2. david says:

    I agree very strongly, Brad, but where can people go? The problem is lack of competition. Right now, you can’t receive tweets on Rogers phones at all (although you can send them without a “premium” charge). As far as I know, Rogers runs the only GSM network in Canada, and every other GSM provider leases it from them; ditto for Bell/Telus and CDMA.

  3. Erin says:

    wow thanks for telling bell costumers that earlier!
    i tweet regularly on my phone via txt and i had NO idea about this.
    wow. im really angry why the heck should it be a premium service? this is rediculous!

  4. Ana says:

    I dont really get what its saying.
    so you can send updates for free?
    Cause I have rogers, but its still free right?

  5. david says:

    Ana: on Rogers, sending an update is exactly like sending any other text message; same on Bell, now that they’ve backed down. You still can’t *receive* updates on Rogers, though (not sure why, since it’s no problem receiving Facebook updates on Rogers).

  6. benny says:

    I just got ripped off by BELL. They charged 15 cent per tweet receive and stuck me with a 151.00$ short code charges to pay. Thats really upsetting. I’m very annoyed and i cant believe this is happening.

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