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.