Now it’s not a scam per se, however it’s extremely unpalatable.
Here’s how it works.
1. You visit SMS-TXT.co.uk
2. You send a text message to your friend at no direct cost to you.
3. Your recipient receives a notification that you have sent them a message (this notification is sent at no charge.)
4. The recipient can chooose to either read your message on the web, at SMS-TXT.co.uk (I imagine) at the cost of £0.50 via PayPal.
Or, the recipient can choose to have the message sent to their phone directly at a flipping-great-wad-of-cash rate of £5.
So, the wording on SMS-TXT.co.uk is quite accurate. You CAN send messages for free. It doesn’t cost you anything. However, the recipient can’t read the messages without paying. This is, at least, my understanding of the service — there’s a dearth of information.
Jon contacted a load of SMS-TXT.co.uk users who were understandably completely dumbfounded to have been charged £5 to receive their message.
Obviously if I’m sent a text message on my phone, I’ll respond to whatever commands I’m given to read the message. If I’m out and about there’s no way I’m going to visit the web to get the message. And this is the problem.
It’s outrageous to charge users £5 to read a message. Not illegal. Just absolutely outrageous.
Jon’s done one better than just write about this though. He’s talked to ICSTIS. He’s phoned some users. He’s found some apparent technical holes. He’s documented it all. Take a few minutes and have a read here.