charge for incoming iMessages

Tutor

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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Message 1 of 25
ACE - Expert

Re: charge for incoming iMessages


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.

*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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Message 11 of 25
ACE - Expert

Re: charge for incoming iMessages


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.

*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.
Message 12 of 25
Tutor

Re: charge for incoming iMessages


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.

Message 13 of 25
Tutor

Re: charge for incoming iMessages


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.

 

 

Message 14 of 25
Highlighted
Guru

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

IMessages can be sent even when you are not on wifi. When I send iMessages they do not show up on my bill.
Message 15 of 25
Voyager

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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.



 

Message 16 of 25
Expert

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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

Message 17 of 25
Voyager

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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

Message 18 of 25
ACE - Expert

Re: charge for incoming iMessages

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.
This is a user to user forum. I am a user, just like almost everyone else on the site.
*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.
Message 19 of 25
ACE - Expert

Re: charge for incoming iMessages


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.
*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.
Message 20 of 25
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