[Semi-important note to all my friends: please read the very LAST (tiny) paragraph if this post is too long.  I have a question to ask of you.]

Who knew?  I didn’t, until today when I took a closer look at my Rogers wireless billing charges.  They’re charging 15 cents for every incoming text message, which is the same as it costs to send a text message!  Which also means that if a person or company spams with you with text messages, you could easily be paying a whole lot at an uncontrollable rate*.  Anyways, it turns out that they started charging for incoming texts in August 2009, I believe.  Apparently they were notifying customers in their bills as of June & July, but I don’t receive paper bills and I never noticed anything showing up via e-mail or online (even though my Customer Service Representative was trying to convince me that it must have notified me, somewhere… [he didn’t know exactly how]).  I have a hunch it was in the PDF invoice/bill that I am able to download if I click in the right place.

Ok, so apparently you are only notified in your June bill.  I downloaded the PDF invoice and it notifies you of the changes on Page 4 of 7.  Thanks for not telling me anywhere else on my online billing page, or e-mailing me or contacting me by phone.  Maybe a text message to my Rogers phone would be the best (or most straightforwardly logical) way to notify me.  This is probably grounds for some better legislation that helps protect customers.

Anyways, the bottom line is that I talked to Customer Relations (the special department that got me my current iPhone monthly plan), and I got put on a $5/month messaging plan.  This is the first time I’ve ever paid a monthly fee for text messages, of all things.  For that fee, I get unlimited incoming and 250 outgoing text, picture, or video messages.  Too bad my iPhone 3G can’t record video.

*Although now that I’ve discovered in that PDF invoice that you can be protected against SPAM messages, I’ll probably downgrade to the $3/month, 100 outgoing text, unlimited incoming messages Customer Relations add-on.

Anyways, I’m going to try out the $5/month plan for a bit and see if I can actually get any use out of picture messaging.  I’ll probably switch to the $3/month plan, since I don’t text people very much at all.  But I figure if I receive or send more than 20 text messages (combined) a month, then it’s worth going to the $3/month plan.  That’s a lot better than the cheapest $10/month plan that the regular Customer Service rep (not Customer Relations) was offering me (I think it was for like… well, I can’t remember.  A lot of outgoing texts, and unlimited incoming).

The real reason I wanted to write this post was to figure out who of my friends can receive text messages for free, and who can receive picture messages for free.  I want to know, so that I can feel free to text/message you without feeling like I’m costing you money.  And that is all, thanks for reading.