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BY THE MONTH - $10 TALK & TEXT PLAN - Outgoing SMS and Data charges

I'm a Participant Level 1
I'm a Participant Level 1

This morning I had 41 texts remaining .... I then sent out two texts this morning. Now I have only 37 texts. The first text I sent shows up as "Data" and I was charged 0.45 ... the second text shows as an "Outgoing SMS" and appears 4 times on my Call Transactions.


Why was my first text DATA?


Why does my second text recorded 4 times.


I have not very pleased with FIDO for the awhile and this just gives me more reason for finding another company.




Senior MVP Senior MVP
Senior MVP

Hello Trubel,


  Welcome to the community!


  Firstly, are you aware that your plan does not include MMS messages?

Talk and Text.jpg

~taken from here.


  Was your first message a MMS? It's important to note that multimedia message services (MMS) are not limited to just photo or video messages. Some phones allow users to add Subject lines to their messages -- similar to the subject lines found in emails. Adding a Subject line automatically converts a SMS to MMS. Depending on the phone and its settings, a blank subject line may also still be considered a MMS. I understand the first message was charged 45¢. Is it possible that was before tax? Alternatively, is it possible that message was sent as RCS (Rich Communication Services) or an iMessage? Both those services would send messages as data and not text messages.


  With regards to your second message, it appears as though it was a long-SMS. The SMS or texting protocol is strictly limited to 140 bytes. Generally, that often translates to 140 characters. However, the characters of some languages (such as Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Cyrillic alphabet languages (ie Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, etc)) contain more bits -- or information -- per character thereby reducing the number of allowable characters per SMS to 70. Similarly, the use of emojis will also limit the number of characters to 70 per SMS.


  Most modern devices allow for longer, multi-part or segmented SMS. What you compose as a single message, is broken up into smaller individual SMSs. For technical reasons, the number of characters allowable in each segment is slightly less than what is allowable for a single SMS. However, the exact number of allowed characters is not important for this discussion. If you're interested in the details, you can search for the nitty-gritty yourself.


  Once your message exceeds a certain character count, it will automatically convert to a multi-part SMS. Each segment of a long SMS is sent and billed separately as equivalent to individual messages. In fact, if you send a long-SMS to someone with an older phone, they will receive multiple individual texts. It is only the more modern devices which are capable of reintegrating the segments into a single message. Since each segment is sent at the same time, it appears as though you're getting charged multiple times for the same text. However, the charges are actually for each individual portion of the message.


  If you do not wish to send these long SMS, you could monitor the number of characters of the messages you send. Most phones should provide a character count which would change depending on the character set and inform whether more than one SMS would be required (see graphic here).


  It should also be noted that some phones may have settings to convert long-SMS to MMS. Rather than send as multiple segments, long-SMS would send as MMS.


Hope this helps 😀