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Posted Mar 13, 2012
6:07:53 AM
charge for incoming iMessages

It seems my wife and I are being charged for incoming iMessages. We both have iPhones with IOS 5.0 (now 5.1) installed and have iMessage turned on.  When I send her a message, her name turns blue and the message is in blue.  The same thing happens when she sends me a message from her phone.  However, when I view my online charges at ATT.com, all the incoming messages are labeled "Text/IM messaging" and "1Msg" shows up in the "Msg/Kb/Min" column.  I see the same thing when I send a text to another friend who does not have an iPhone with IOS 5.0.  We haven't gotten a paper bill yet.
 
Outgoing messages sent using iMessage appear in blue on the phone, are labeled "Internet/MEdia Net" on AT&T's website and the column labeled "Msg/Kb/Min" lists the number of bytes set, for example 82KB.  I'm assuming that these are free.
 
I searched the forums and Apple's Support, but see little or no discussion about incoming iMessages, only sending messages.  Are incoming messages all treated as SMS text messages, and will I be charged for them?  I am on the pay per text plan, so this matters to me.  I had thought that all iMessages would be free between Apple devices, but perhaps that's not the case.

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Mar 14, 2012 7:34:47 AM
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BiknSwans wrote:

I understand that if I use 3G for sending or receiving iMessages and not Wi-Fi, I will be charged for data use.  However, data use in my case is not a problem as I will probably never use 300Gb of data in a month.  I will get charged for every text message, 20 cents per message.  The 20 cents per message is what I'm concerned about.  My online review of my usage indicates to me that I will be charged 20 cents for every incoming message, whether it was sent using iMessage or not (SMS).  My understanding was that I should not be charged 20 cents for an iMessage whether it is sent or received or whether 3G or Wi-Fi was used.

 

My online usage details display different line items for sent and received iMessages or SMS messages.

 

A typical message sent by me says "Internet/MEdia Net  Sent  8KB"

 

A typical message I receive says "Text/IM Messaging  Received 1Msg".  It looks the same whether the message was sent as an iMessage OR an SMS message.

 

If I find that I am charged for incoming iMessages, we will just use the phone instead as there is no charge for AT&T to AT&T calls.  


My wife and I both have iphones also and I have confirmed that every message that my phone shows as having been sent or received via iMessage shows as "Internet/MEdia Net" on my online usage and those the phone shows as having been sent or received via SMS/MMS show as "Text/IM Messaging", so if you are sure that iMessages are being billed as "Text/IM Messaging", you may have a billing problem. One thing you can do is make sure that "Send as SMS" is turned off on both your phones. Since we have a texting plan, we aren't concerned about whether messages go via iMessage or SMS but I've found that sometimes I will receive a message twice, once via iMessage and also via SMS.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.
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charge for incoming iMessages

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Mar 13, 2012 9:40:10 AM
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Master
They should not count but the first message may as the phones do need to determine if both devices support iMessage. I would turn off iMessage in both phones then reenable. A reboot may also help. Hold the on/off key and home button for 8 to 10 seconds until you see the apple logo.
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Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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Mar 13, 2012 11:50:46 AM
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ACE - Professor

Did you turn off the "send as SMS" option?

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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Mar 13, 2012 12:29:40 PM
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Employee

Any iMessage sent via the cellular data network (not wifi) will count against your data plan. That should account for those  labeled "Internet/MEdia Net".

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Mar 14, 2012 5:25:10 AM
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Tutor

I have "send as SMS" turned off on my phone (3GS), as I pay for every text.  My wife's is turned on as she can send 200 messages per month without additional charges.

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Mar 14, 2012 5:32:03 AM
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Thanks for your reply.  Do you have a source where I can confirm this?  I haven't seen any documentation that says that using the cellular network and not wifi will count against my data plan when receiving an iMessage.  Apple's website says:

 

"You can send unlimited text messages via Wi-Fi or 3G from your iPad, iPhone, or iPond touch to anyone with one of those devices"

 

Now that I read this again, it doesn't say anything about receiving these messages, does it?  And that was my original question.

 

I'm still confused about this issue.

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Mar 14, 2012 6:04:41 AM
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ACE - Professor

BiknSwans wrote:

Thanks for your reply.  Do you have a source where I can confirm this?  I haven't seen any documentation that says that using the cellular network and not wifi will count against my data plan when receiving an iMessage.  Apple's website says:

 

"You can send unlimited text messages via Wi-Fi or 3G from your iPad, iPhone, or iPond touch to anyone with one of those devices"

 

Now that I read this again, it doesn't say anything about receiving these messages, does it?  And that was my original question.

 

I'm still confused about this issue.


When you send a message via iMessage, if it is sent via 3G, that uses cellular data. Cellular data is charged both up and down, for a device. So when you receive an iMessage, your phone is using data (either cellular, or wifi if you are on wifi) to recive the message.

 

Note that on the AT&T detailed data use bill, all traffic is indicated as "sent" regardless of if it was sent or received from your phone- that's just an artifact of the report.

 

If iMessage cannot send the message via data (either cell or wifi) it will fall back to SMS, unless you have told it not to.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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Mar 14, 2012 6:51:48 AM
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I understand that if I use 3G for sending or receiving iMessages and not Wi-Fi, I will be charged for data use.  However, data use in my case is not a problem as I will probably never use 300Gb of data in a month.  I will get charged for every text message, 20 cents per message.  The 20 cents per message is what I'm concerned about.  My online review of my usage indicates to me that I will be charged 20 cents for every incoming message, whether it was sent using iMessage or not (SMS).  My understanding was that I should not be charged 20 cents for an iMessage whether it is sent or received or whether 3G or Wi-Fi was used.

 

My online usage details display different line items for sent and received iMessages or SMS messages.

 

A typical message sent by me says "Internet/MEdia Net  Sent  8KB"

 

A typical message I receive says "Text/IM Messaging  Received 1Msg".  It looks the same whether the message was sent as an iMessage OR an SMS message.

 

If I find that I am charged for incoming iMessages, we will just use the phone instead as there is no charge for AT&T to AT&T calls.  

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Mar 14, 2012 7:02:47 AM
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BiknSwans wrote:

Thanks for your reply.  Do you have a source where I can confirm this?  I haven't seen any documentation that says that using the cellular network and not wifi will count against my data plan when receiving an iMessage.  Apple's website says:

 

"You can send unlimited text messages via Wi-Fi or 3G from your iPad, iPhone, or iPond touch to anyone with one of those devices"

 

Now that I read this again, it doesn't say anything about receiving these messages, does it?  And that was my original question.

 

I'm still confused about this issue.


Actually, Apple's site does sort of confirm this. On this web page on iMessage near the bottom is this: "*Normal carrier data rates may apply. Messages may be sent as SMS when iMessage is unavailable; carrier messaging fees apply."

 

"Normal carrier data rates may apply" is just another way of saying sending via iMessage while on 3g will count your data plan.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Mar 14, 2012 7:29:31 AM
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I think I understand the cost of sending iMessages.  I have the option of sending SMS messages turned off.  Either the message will not get sent or it will be free, unless I exceed my data allowance of 300GB.  If the bubble turns blue, I won't get charged and the online usage indicates this.

 

It's the incoming message cost that's got me stumped.  The Apple text you quoted does not address incoming messages at all the way I read it.

 

"*Normal carrier data rates may apply."  -  I have no worries about paying for data.  I am concerned about the 20 cents per message cost, if applicable.

 

"Messages may be sent as SMS when iMessage is unavailable; carrier messaging fees apply."  -  I'm not concerned with outgoing messages, just incoming.

 

Will I be charged 20 cents for incoming iMessages or not?

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Mar 14, 2012 7:34:47 AM
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BiknSwans wrote:

I understand that if I use 3G for sending or receiving iMessages and not Wi-Fi, I will be charged for data use.  However, data use in my case is not a problem as I will probably never use 300Gb of data in a month.  I will get charged for every text message, 20 cents per message.  The 20 cents per message is what I'm concerned about.  My online review of my usage indicates to me that I will be charged 20 cents for every incoming message, whether it was sent using iMessage or not (SMS).  My understanding was that I should not be charged 20 cents for an iMessage whether it is sent or received or whether 3G or Wi-Fi was used.

 

My online usage details display different line items for sent and received iMessages or SMS messages.

 

A typical message sent by me says "Internet/MEdia Net  Sent  8KB"

 

A typical message I receive says "Text/IM Messaging  Received 1Msg".  It looks the same whether the message was sent as an iMessage OR an SMS message.

 

If I find that I am charged for incoming iMessages, we will just use the phone instead as there is no charge for AT&T to AT&T calls.  


My wife and I both have iphones also and I have confirmed that every message that my phone shows as having been sent or received via iMessage shows as "Internet/MEdia Net" on my online usage and those the phone shows as having been sent or received via SMS/MMS show as "Text/IM Messaging", so if you are sure that iMessages are being billed as "Text/IM Messaging", you may have a billing problem. One thing you can do is make sure that "Send as SMS" is turned off on both your phones. Since we have a texting plan, we aren't concerned about whether messages go via iMessage or SMS but I've found that sometimes I will receive a message twice, once via iMessage and also via SMS.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Mar 14, 2012 7:39:06 AM
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BiknSwans wrote:

Will I be charged 20 cents for incoming iMessages or not?



No, you should not be charged 20 cents for any iMessage and it does not matter whether it is incoming or outgoing.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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Mar 14, 2012 11:19:39 AM
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sandblaster wrote:

My wife and I both have iphones also and I have confirmed that every message that my phone shows as having been sent or received via iMessage shows as "Internet/MEdia Net" on my online usage and those the phone shows as having been sent or received via SMS/MMS show as "Text/IM Messaging", so if you are sure that iMessages are being billed as "Text/IM Messaging", you may have a billing problem. One thing you can do is make sure that "Send as SMS" is turned off on both your phones. Since we have a texting plan, we aren't concerned about whether messages go via iMessage or SMS but I've found that sometimes I will receive a message twice, once via iMessage and also via SMS.



Thanks.  That's very useful information.  I'll make sure SMS is turned off on both phones and see what happens.  Right now, SMS is off on my phone and on on my wife's.  Maybe all her iMessages are actually being sent as SMS and that's the problem, but I don't think so.  I'll get back with the results ASAP, probably tomorrow.

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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Mar 14, 2012 11:36:24 AM
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sandblaster wrote:
No, you should not be charged 20 cents for any iMessage and it does not matter whether it is incoming or outgoing.


I believe you are right.  I was once again looking at our usage on AT&T's website and tried to compare it to what I could see on my iPhone.  I had cleared most of the messages on my iPhone, but not all.  I noticed that the messages I got from my wife don't show up at all on AT&T's website.  I apologize for not seeing this before and I'm not sure how I missed that.  All of the incoming messages that do show up on AT&T's website are from iPhones, but they are from other friends and apparently those phones don't have iMessage turned on.

 

I need to do a better job of educating my friends, and myself.  Thanks again for your help.

 

 

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Mar 14, 2012 11:55:40 AM
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IMessages can be sent even when you are not on wifi. When I send iMessages they do not show up on my bill.

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Apr 21, 2012 3:43:02 PM
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Voyager

I too am having this issue. Most if not all of the people that I text are on imessage and on my last bill I was charged for 98 text messages at .20 cents each. There are times where I noticed it will be sent as a text (green) when imessage service is unavailable but that has only happened a few times. So I logged into my account to chat with someone LIVE and they basically told me that I need to enroll in a text messaging plan (20$ plan is the only one available) in order to use imessage... I've been a customer with ATT for years and have kept my unlimted data plan which was grandfathered in before they took away the unlimted data so I figured since imessage uses just data it would be free. The guy told me I am paying for the "service" and not being billed for the data. I am so confused... Can anyone clarify this? Below is the transcript of our conversation...

 

Chat InformationPlease wait for a site operator to respond.

Chat InformationYou are now chatting with 'ATT'

ATT: I will be more than happy to assist you today with your account. It's my priority to resolve this today and to respond to any other questions you may have. As a valued customer. I will also review your account to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.

ME: hello i have a question about my billing

ATT: While I am pulling up your account information so I can take care of your bill, do you have any other concerns about your service?

ME: i cancelled my 20$ text messaging plan because most of the people i text are on imessage. i also have unlimted data so thought i wouldnt be charged for text messages but on my recent bill. i was charged for 98 text messages

ATT:  you are required to have a texting plan for the imessage service.

ME: but isnt imessage over data?

ME: and since i have unlimted data it should be free?

ATT: That is correct, however you will be needing both data and a messaging plan.

ME: i dont understand

ME: so i have to pay for the 20$ text plan to use imessage?

ATT: That is correct. If you need to learn more, you may also contact Apple directly at 800 694 7466.

ME: i already have unlimited data plan

ME: so imessage is not free with the att data

ME: and only on wifi?

ME: people are telling me different things

ME: so its confusing

ME: and saying it uses data so should just go into your data usage

ME: Actually, if you do utilize it with wifi, you will not be charged for it under text pay per use.

ME: these are all showing free

ME: under data transfer

ATT: Right you are not being charged for it under data pay per use, because you have a data plan.

ME: so then why have i been charged for 98 text messages

ME: using imessage

ATT: However you are being charged for text pay per use because it is required that you have a text messaging plan. Data and texting are two different services, you are being billed for one because you do not have the package while the data plan that you are on is covering for the data transfer.

ME: but almost all of my texting has been imessage

ME: and not regular sms

ATT: That is correct.

ME: i try not to use sms and just imessage

ME: so i just dont understand why i was charged for 98 text messages when i always use imessage

ME: i just want to clarify is imessage free when i am NOT on wifi and on ATT network

ME: even if i have unlimted data

ATT: I will double check on that on the wifi.

ATT: I do apologize, but you will be needing a text messaging plan for the imessage. Wifi is only to avoid using your data plan.

ME: ok so i do get charged if i use imessage when not on wifi and on the att network even though i have unlimted data and imessage uses just data

ME: doesnt make sense but tell me if thats what you are saying

ATT: You will not be billed for it for data since you have the plan but you will be billed for it under text pay per use because you will be needing a text messaging plan for the service. Otherwise it will be $.20 cents per message.

ATT: You will be needing both a data plan and a messaging plan.

ME: the only text plan you guys have is 20$?

ATT: That is the only texting plan that we have available.



 

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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Apr 21, 2012 5:02:55 PM
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Expert

If Imessage cannot send the message natively it reverts to sms, if the person on the recieving end of the Imessage originated text does not have a iphone with IOS 5.1 on it and imessage active it sends it as a sms message. That maybe the reason you are seeing the text messages charges

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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Apr 21, 2012 5:22:38 PM
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Voyager

everyone i text has the lastest iphone update and the messages are blue in color. 

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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Apr 22, 2012 7:42:10 AM
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ACE - Master
If you do not want charges for text messages that cannot be sent iMessage, you need to change your settings under messaging, change the "Send as SMS" to off.
there are times when the apple servers are not available and the text sent will go as SMS and you will get charged even though all phones are iPhones.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Apr 22, 2012 7:56:24 AM
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Employee

kdfederer wrote:
If you do not want charges for text messages that cannot be sent iMessage, you need to change your settings under messaging, change the "Send as SMS" to off.
there are times when the apple servers are not available and the text sent will go as SMS and you will get charged even though all phones are iPhones.
OP also needs to get all his iphone/iMessage friends to do the same thing. I could be wrong but I believe that without a text message plan, you also get charged for any incoming sms or mms messages.
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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Apr 22, 2012 7:00:26 PM
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You can iMessage to a registered email address as well as a phone number. If you do that, you'll avoid accidental text messages. I switched my iPhone to show my email as my caller-id on my iMessages to avoid accidental charges. Just as importantly, I can pick up the messages on my iPad or Mac.

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Nov 8, 2012 11:38:01 PM
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First thanks for this posting its been very helpful.

I just notice it today when I recieved my bill and research why?

I immediately saw tex messaging charges for incoming and outgoing.

Just like many here who rarely check the actual at&t bill I was surprise as I dont use SMS to tex just imessage.

I thought for a long time that it was free, My son has an ipod and he imessage and facetime me all the time, its an ipod so its totally FREE

All along mine will be free too. This is one of AT&T slit your troat trick sneaking behind your back.

I went back to AT&T because of the iphone but now that Apple is selling unlock iphones most probably that I will be out again soon.

Considering that the ipod brings the same benifits of facetime and imessage is something to think about.

I hate the feeling of being rip-off , When you can get this kind of service for free.

For sure I'll be saying goodbye to AT&T for good.

Well, at least till the end of my stupid contract.

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Nov 9, 2012 5:29:08 AM
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Employee

carolynuk wrote:

First thanks for this posting its been very helpful.

I just notice it today when I recieved my bill and research why?

I immediately saw tex messaging charges for incoming and outgoing.

Just like many here who rarely check the actual at&t bill I was surprise as I dont use SMS to tex just imessage.

I thought for a long time that it was free, My son has an ipod and he imessage and facetime me all the time, its an ipod so its totally FREE

All along mine will be free too. This is one of AT&T slit your troat trick sneaking behind your back.

I went back to AT&T because of the iphone but now that Apple is selling unlock iphones most probably that I will be out again soon.

Considering that the ipod brings the same benifits of facetime and imessage is something to think about.

I hate the feeling of being rip-off , When you can get this kind of service for free.

For sure I'll be saying goodbye to AT&T for good.

Well, at least till the end of my stupid contract.


Sorry you think you are somehow being cheated but changing carriers won't change a thing as the message app on the iPhone works the same way regardless of the carrier. 

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Nov 9, 2012 7:26:21 AM
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ACE - Master

Blue = iMessage no charge

Green = Text( think color of money) you pay

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Nov 9, 2012 10:37:35 AM
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ACE - Professor

Your color coding works well on outgoing messages, but for me, all incoming messages have the same white background whether they are received via SMS or iMessage.  I do see a pale separator line showing me that the conversation is switching between SMS and Imessage though...


Jerry B.
"GeekBoy"

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*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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