Texters Tap Their Way to Astronomical Bills

Why are texting fees so high?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Text messaging is beginning to take the place of person-to-person calls, but not without a price.

    As the popularity of text messaging rises, so too do the fees charged by wireless companies.

    A recent report indicates that text messages were 10 cents each three years ago.  Then the major carriers -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless -- raised the price to 15 cents, then to 20 -- all at roughly the same time. 

    Computer engineers, however, claim that the cost of texting to the provider is far less than that of a regular phone call.  So what's to be done?

    For starter, the chairman of the Senate's antitrust subcommittee has demanded that wireless carriers explain why they've all doubled the cost.   Sen. Herb Kohl, of Wisconsin, said he's particularly concerned that the rate jump appears not to be based on a rise in the cost of transmitting text messages.

    On an individual level, wireless customers can follow tips from Consumer Reports for keeping their cell phone bills down or, if the costs really burn you up, skip the text and call.