SmartReply Warns Of Potential Text-Messaging Price Hike
SmartReply, which provides voice and mobile marketing services to retailers, notified customers that it would be forced to pass on the extra cost if Verizon adds the 3-cent hike starting Nov. 1 as initially planned.
"If Verizon's new messaging charge does go ahead on November 1st as threatened, thousands of providers will also be forced to increase their price structures, including ours," said Scott Springer, vice president for strategic services at Irvine, Calif.-based SmartReply. "This will completely upset the model upon which our industry has been built."
Following an outcry from mobile marketers, Verizon earlier this month appeared to back off from plans to impose the new fee that the carrier said is necessary to cover costs for handling a growing volume of text messages sent by companies to their subscribers.
"We are currently assessing how to best address the changing messaging marketplace, and are communicating with messaging aggregators, our valued content partners, our technology business partners and importantly, our friends in the non-profit and public policy arenas," said Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson in a recent statement.
It continued: "Specific information in one proposal, which would impose a small per-message fee on for-profit content aggregators for commercial messages, has been mistakenly characterized as a final decision to implement."
Businesses that run text-message campaigns such as 4INFO and mBlox have said that the fee could lead them to dramatically cut back on-- or stop altogether--sending messages to Verizon customers.