BEWARE: Your mobile text allowance is NOT what you think it is !!!

55
Found 12th Nov 2013
I recently purchased a "Samsung Galaxy Note 3" for £79.99 from "Phones.co.uk," and signed up to a 24 month contract with 3 Three for £35 per month.
(FANTASTIC PHONE - by the way)

My package is called "Ultimate 1000" and includes:

1000 cross-network minutes
5000 texts
All-you-can-eat Data

With such a generous allowance, and for someone that doesn't even get close to the usage limits I was curious as to why ADDITIONAL CHARGES were being applied to my account.

Upon enquiring they explained that this was the result of me sending long text messages.

"Any message that is over 160 characters long gets converted to an MMS.

The MMS is not in the allowance and is thus chargeable."

Up until now, I had assumed if a text message was say 3 x 160 characters long, the network would deduct 3 text messages from the allowance, but that is not how it works.

I have purchased "GO SMS Pro" from the Google Play store.

In the "Advanced Send & Receive Settings" there is an option to split messages when the length exceeds 160 characters.

In my view this is a BIG CON.

I cannot speak for the other networks, but was told that all operate in the same manner.

I shall be contacting "BBC Watchdog" and "Which" to expose this.
_____________________________________________________________________

** UPDATE: **

I wanted to get to the bottom of this so contacted (Three - 3) for clarification.
Here is a summary of what was stated:

(1) A single SMS gets converted to an MMS (chargeable) after it exceeds 480 characters. That means it can be a maximum of up to 3 x 160 characters long.

(2) If you are sending an SMS to a number of people it should not exceed 5 individuals at a time and each message must not exceed 160 characters.

Rick77's link to the O2 rules is worth bearing in mind:

service.o2.co.uk/IQ/…283,Problem=Obj(52283),question=ref(User):str(Mobile)

_____________________________________________________________________
Community Updates
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55 Comments
keep message short.
It does warn you though that it converts to MMS . If your text is longer than the 3 allowed for SMS surely you can send the rest as a second text. I know it's a slight pain in the bum , but at the same time i don't think it's either a con, nor is it worth getting annoyed about
who uses texts now anyway you have unlimited data why not use Viber which is free or whatsapp 69p to send messages you can send pics free as well so no mms charges at all, free to send to friends abroad as well this way
Maybe their friend can't use viber or WhatsApp on their phone. This is hardly news though, it's 2013 and you've only just realised this?! That's how it's been for donkeys.
Is NOT what YOU think it is!
Thanks for the heads up I didn't know that.
3 is the only network allowing a full cap meaning you can not go over your allowances I out this on hubbys phone was never charged extra and stopped any odd thing that would have been chargeable. also if they give u credit while the cap is active that can cause a charge. I had premium rate and international bar as well.
Send an email?
dcx_badass

Oh look, it's this thread again. This has happened for years, nothing to … Oh look, it's this thread again. This has happened for years, nothing to do with the network at all, it's the phone doing it and it can be easily disabled as well. It also tells you when it does it.



THIS. It's a phone setting, change it and you'll be sweet.
Always thought SMS was an acronym for Short Message Service, so why you would want to send a long short message is beyond me
I often send SMSs that are 3 texts long and they just show as 3 seperate texts on my Orange bill. Only if I send a text that's more than 5 texts long does it convert to MMS. Must vary by network I suppose.
three are the best network ive been with, tmobile and vodafone were a waste of space, I have in my deal tho 7000 min, 5000 texts and unlimited data, I also have a cap on my phone so I cannot go over my bill, the cap was put on by a simple phone call to 3 and was activated within the hour, I have the s4 and after typing a long text mine also converts to mms all phones do it these days its nothing to do with 3, its the phone, it also flashes up on your screen that its converting to mms. I use whatsapp for sending pics and long texts as its free.
mossypwl

three are the best network ive been with, tmobile and vodafone were a … three are the best network ive been with, tmobile and vodafone were a waste of space, I have in my deal tho 7000 min, 5000 texts and unlimited data, I also have a cap on my phone so I cannot go over my bill, the cap was put on by a simple phone call to 3 and was activated within the hour, I have the s4 and after typing a long text mine also converts to mms all phones do it these days its nothing to do with 3, its the phone, it also flashes up on your screen that its converting to mms. I use whatsapp for sending pics and long texts as its free.



It must depend on phone and network, I'm on Vodafone, It just sends as 2 or 3 messages, must be a network thing.
momartin

I often send SMSs that are 3 texts long and they just show as 3 seperate … I often send SMSs that are 3 texts long and they just show as 3 seperate texts on my Orange bill. Only if I send a text that's more than 5 texts long does it convert to MMS. Must vary by network I suppose.



It is a setting on your phone. Mine gives me the option when sending if i want to convert to MMS or not.
ZedEx

It is a setting on your phone. Mine gives me the option when sending if i … It is a setting on your phone. Mine gives me the option when sending if i want to convert to MMS or not.



Didn't know that, it's just always been the case on N95, N96, Xperia X10i, S2 and now my S4 so I just assumed it was network dependant.
shauneco

It must depend on phone and network, I'm on Vodafone, It just sends as 2 … It must depend on phone and network, I'm on Vodafone, It just sends as 2 or 3 messages, must be a network thing.



mine sends 2 or 3 as sms then converts to mms
mossypwl

mine sends 2 or 3 as sms then converts to mms



Tbh I don't think I've sent a message longer than 3 sms lol, I know theirs a limit, If the op is being charged outside his allowance for slightly more than 160 characters then it's pretty harsh, unless theirs a setting that can be changed. I know it usually gives you the option to convert to mms or warns you that you may be going over the allowance etc..
Not a con at all, and neither is it 3's fault. It's as dcx says.
dcx_badass

Oh look, it's this thread again. This has happened for years, nothing to … Oh look, it's this thread again. This has happened for years, nothing to do with the network at all, it's the phone doing it and it can be easily disabled as well. It also tells you when it does it.



Can you do it without rooting?
monkeydribble

keep message short.


kp msge shrt
momartin

I often send SMSs that are 3 texts long and they just show as 3 seperate … I often send SMSs that are 3 texts long and they just show as 3 seperate texts on my Orange bill. Only if I send a text that's more than 5 texts long does it convert to MMS. Must vary by network I suppose.



5 texts long!? oO
sancho1983

5 texts long!? oO


Its connected to his SIM (sleep inducing message)
darren9030

It does warn you though that it converts to MMS . If your text is longer … It does warn you though that it converts to MMS . If your text is longer than the 3 allowed for SMS surely you can send the rest as a second text. I know it's a slight pain in the bum , but at the same time i don't think it's either a con, nor is it worth getting annoyed about

Hi Darren. I just gave the 3 SMS's as an example. My phone is running Android 4.3, and I've just done another test before writing this reply.Yes, there is a character counter both in the stock messaging app and the GO SMS Pro app that I installed, but if your message is over 160 characters it does not tell you its going to send them as an MMS. The new app I've installed automatically splits a long message into (1/1) (1/2) (1/3) etc, so the problem is solved. I've looked through all the Messages settings of the stock app on the phone and there is no option available to split messages.
you can put a cap on your allowances so this doesnt happen

Lol@

In my view this is a BIG CON.


and

I shall be contacting "BBC Watchdog" and "Which" to expose this.



That is all.
dcx_badass

Oh look, it's this thread again. This has happened for years, nothing to … Oh look, it's this thread again. This has happened for years, nothing to do with the network at all, it's the phone doing it and it can be easily disabled as well. It also tells you when it does it.

Does it matter if its a thread? I've written this to bring the matter to everyone's attention, because I don't think everyone is aware of it. I'm a very tech savvy guy and have looked through all the Messages settings on the phone (running Android 4.3). Other than keeping an eye on the message counter whilst texting, there is nothing in the settings menu that splits or allows limits on message length. I've also done a test before writing this reply. I've written a text 210 characters long and the stock messaging app sent it as one SMS. There is no warning! I have solved the issue through use of another app from the Google Play store.

sumo999

who uses texts now anyway you have unlimited data why not use Viber which … who uses texts now anyway you have unlimited data why not use Viber which is free or whatsapp 69p to send messages you can send pics free as well so no mms charges at all, free to send to friends abroad as well this way

dcx_badass

Oh look, it's this thread again. This has happened for years, nothing to … Oh look, it's this thread again. This has happened for years, nothing to do with the network at all, it's the phone doing it and it can be easily disabled as well. It also tells you when it does it.

There is no phone setting - I have checked before writing this reply. I've found the solution through use of a different app that splits the message into (1/2) (2/2) etc...
harlzter

Its connected to his SIM (sleep inducing message)

That's good to know sancho1983. So all networks don't operate using the same rules. I was with Tesco Mobile before and this was never an issue. I sent long texts but they just got deducted from my total allowance!
raptorcigs

kp msge shrt

Why should we have to? If I'm given an allowance of 5000 messages a month and I want to write a long message I should be allowed to do so. If the message is 2-3 SMS long then fine - deduct that from my allowance. Why should the network convert the message to MMS and charge me! That's my point.
USMale

Does it matter if its a thread? I've written this to bring the matter to … Does it matter if its a thread? I've written this to bring the matter to everyone's attention, because I don't think everyone is aware of it. I'm a very tech savvy guy and have looked through all the Messages settings on the phone (running Android 4.3). Other than keeping an eye on the message counter whilst texting, there is nothing in the settings menu that splits or allows limits on message length. I've also done a test before writing this reply. I've written a text 210 characters long and the stock messaging app sent it as one SMS. There is no warning! I have solved the issue through use of another app from the Google Play store.



I'll take a punt here and say that you may not know about this if you actually are a 'US male'. MMS charges are included like SMS in the US on plans, but they aren't (in the vast majority of cases) elsewhere in the World.

Sometimes the phone manufacturers, companies who make the OS, or app devs like to forget about the rest of the World and neglect to have options for the vast majority of people in the World that this could have implications for.

Google has just done it again now they've incorporated SMS into hangouts - group SMS messages are now sent as MMS, where as before with the stock app you could have up to 6 recipients in a group SMS message conversation before conversion took place.

There used to be options in the stock app on Android. There may even still be something in there that splits a message into separate SMS messages with each 160 characters (for CDMA/WCDMA networks). Most of the time the phone/app/OS will warn you if it's going to convert a large SMS (usually over 3 or 5 SMS) to MMS, unless you've turned the warnings off.

If you aren't happy with a stock app, or whatever version is skinned onto your phone's OS, then there are plenty with more customisation available. Go SMS and HandCent are always bandied around a lot, but personally I use mySMS as I also like its cloud backup feature, backup to Evernote, and the ability to send texts via a web interface on my laptop or PC.
deeky

Can you do it without rooting?


deeky

Can you do it without rooting?



There is no correlation with "Rooting" here deeky. I've found the solution through use of a different SMS app that splits the message automatically. You do not need to root your phone to achieve this.

dcx_badass

Get a different sms app or … Get a different sms app or http://repo.xposed.info/module/uk.co.villainrom.pulser.allowlongsms

A very useful link. Have you installed and tested this app? Is it for a rooted phone or will it work regardless?
sancho1983

5 texts long!? oO



I work very long shifts! I have a lot to say haha! Plus, I tend to write in full sentences with no 'txt spk' so it uses more characters.
rick77

I'll take a punt here and say that you may not know about this if you … I'll take a punt here and say that you may not know about this if you actually are a 'US male'. MMS charges are included like SMS in the US on plans, but they aren't (in the vast majority of cases) elsewhere in the World.Sometimes the phone manufacturers, companies who make the OS, or app devs like to forget about the rest of the World and neglect to have options for the vast majority of people in the World that this could have implications for.Google has just done it again now they've incorporated SMS into hangouts - group SMS messages are now sent as MMS, where as before with the stock app you could have up to 6 recipients in a group SMS message conversation before conversion took place.There used to be options in the stock app on Android. There may even still be something in there that splits a message into separate SMS messages with each 160 characters (for CDMA/WCDMA networks). Most of the time the phone/app/OS will warn you if it's going to convert a large SMS (usually over 3 or 5 SMS) to MMS, unless you've turned the warnings off.If you aren't happy with a stock app, or whatever version is skinned onto your phone's OS, then there are plenty with more customisation available. Go SMS and HandCent are always bandied around a lot, but personally I use mySMS as I also like its cloud backup feature, backup to Evernote, and the ability to send texts via a web interface on my laptop or PC.



Thank's for your comments.
You took a punt but sorry to say you were wrong.
I'm firmly based in the UK so only familiar with the plans we have here.
So "Google Hangouts" will be chargeable?
Another default app not to use!

I've always used GO SMS Pro. It allows me to configure and customise the interface the way I like and also allows for splitting messages that exceed 160 characters.

I do also have mySMS installed on all my devices (PC/iPad/mobile) but experienced sync lags with the messages, so don't use it regularly.

Haven't got into using Evernote.
I backup using "MyBackup Pro" to the external SD card of my phone and also to Samsung Kies 3 to my PC.
USMale

Thank's for your comments. You took a punt but sorry to say you were … Thank's for your comments. You took a punt but sorry to say you were wrong. I'm firmly based in the UK so only familiar with the plans we have here. So "Google Hangouts" will be chargeable? Another default app not to use! I've always used GO SMS Pro. It allows me to configure and customise the interface the way I like and also allows for splitting messages that exceed 160 characters.I do also have mySMS installed on all my devices (PC/iPad/mobile) but experienced sync lags with the messages, so don't use it regularly.Haven't got into using Evernote.I backup using "MyBackup Pro" to the external SD card of my phone and also to Samsung Kies 3 to my PC.



Ah, thought with your username that may be why you hadn't encountered this before...

Not hugely enamoured with mySMS either, truth be told. It has a lot of positives, and they are bringing out new features, but I still prefer stock. It was the text from a web interface and the Evernote sync that clinched it for me around 18 months ago. I use smsBackup+ too now to backup my messages to Gmail where they're all searchable and in a sub folder. I may drop mySMS, not that I really matters as I doubt I've sent or received more than a couple of hundred texts this year. Most of those have been from delivery couriers. Everyone that I talk with seems to have moved full on to IM options.

Google Hangouts automatically sends group SMS messages as MMS. So yes, if you usually have group SMS conversations with the SMS flying back and forth between 6 recipients and under then from the stock app in the past you wouldn't have been charged. Now you will be as it'll send it as a MMS. It's been pointed out to Google and they are looking into it. From the feedback pages it seems whatever team coded the SMS feature into Hangouts was unaware this would have an effect on people, as they automatically assumed MMS are included elsewhere in the World as they are in the US. I'm sure they'll bring out a tickbox option in the settings when an update rolls out. This could rack up your phone bill by hundreds of pounds a year though for those old skool, addicted, group texters who don't realise until it's too late.

Glad you found a solution. I thought this was all pretty common knowledge still, but with the rise of IM apps it's maybe slipped out of the public consciousness a bit. Or maybe I'm just getting old?
rick77

Ah, thought with your username that may be why you hadn't encountered … Ah, thought with your username that may be why you hadn't encountered this before...Not hugely enamoured with mySMS either, truth be told. It has a lot of positives, and they are bringing out new features, but I still prefer stock. It was the text from a web interface and the Evernote sync that clinched it for me around 18 months ago. I use smsBackup+ too now to backup my messages to Gmail where they're all searchable and in a sub folder. I may drop mySMS, not that I really matters as I doubt I've sent or received more than a couple of hundred texts this year. Most of those have been from delivery couriers. Everyone that I talk with seems to have moved full on to IM options.Google Hangouts automatically sends group SMS messages as MMS. So yes, if you usually have group SMS conversations with the SMS flying back and forth between 6 recipients and under then from the stock app in the past you wouldn't have been charged. Now you will be as it'll send it as a MMS. It's been pointed out to Google and they are looking into it. From the feedback pages it seems whatever team coded the SMS feature into Hangouts was unaware this would have an effect on people, as they automatically assumed MMS are included elsewhere in the World as they are in the US. I'm sure they'll bring out a tickbox option in the settings when an update rolls out. This could rack up your phone bill by hundreds of pounds a year though for those old skool, addicted, group texters who don't realise until it's too late.Glad you found a solution. I thought this was all pretty common knowledge still, but with the rise of IM apps it's maybe slipped out of the public consciousness a bit. Or maybe I'm just getting old?



It appears from the replies that a lot of people already knew about the 160 character limitation.

I assumed if an SMS was say 400 characters long it would be regarded as (400/160 = 2.5 texts) and the network provider would deduct 2 or 3 texts from my total allowance.

I now understand that's not how it works - but it is the obvious deduction and is how it should be!

Like yourself, the web interface - with the ability to write a text message using your PC keyboard was my attraction too.

When I'm on my PC or iPad, I use mySMS but quite enjoy direct texting from my phone using "SwiftKey"
The flow input method is fantastic and very fast with a stylus.

I use "AirDroid" for the web interface more now.

My contacts and calendar are on Outlook and synced with my Android phone using "SmoothSync Apps."

It's all working PERFECTLY.
USMale

It appears from the replies that a lot of people already knew about the … It appears from the replies that a lot of people already knew about the 160 character limitation.I assumed if an SMS was say 400 characters long it would be regarded as (400/160 = 2.5 texts) and the network provider would deduct 2 or 3 texts from my total allowance.I now understand that's not how it works - but it is the obvious deduction and is how it should be!Like yourself, the web interface - with the ability to write a text message using your PC keyboard was my attraction too.When I'm on my PC or iPad, I use mySMS but quite enjoy direct texting from my phone using "SwiftKey" The flow input method is fantastic and very fast with a stylus.I use "AirDroid" for the web interface more now.My contacts and calendar are on Outlook and synced with my Android phone using "SmoothSync Apps."It's all working PERFECTLY.



Yeah, it's been around since SMS started but for different reasons and applied differently. Sometimes settings restrict to 160 characters due to the band - like WCDMA or whatever. Some apps - stock/stock skinned app/3rd party app - give you more options. Sometimes people get charged for anything over 1, 2, 3 or 5 SMS messages as they get grouped to being MMS.

I think I get away with 3 SMS using the stock Android app with my Nexus 4 on O2. I think I get away with 5 SMS using my skinned Android Sony Xperia on the 3 network. I don't use it enough to care looking into it properly these days.

Something official from O2 is linked below. That suggests that officially, on their network, any more than 360 characters may be charged as a MMS, plus any messages that have headers, email addresses, and even smileys/emoticons! It's a grey area. Just find what works for you. If you dispute your bill within a month or so CS will usually be lenient if you can make it clear what you mean, then just ensure you don't do the same thing in future.

service.o2.co.uk/IQ/…283,Problem=Obj(52283),question=ref(User):str(Mobile)
USMale

It appears from the replies that a lot of people already knew about the … It appears from the replies that a lot of people already knew about the 160 character limitation.I assumed if an SMS was say 400 characters long it would be regarded as (400/160 = 2.5 texts) and the network provider would deduct 2 or 3 texts from my total allowance.I now understand that's not how it works - but it is the obvious deduction and is how it should be!Like yourself, the web interface - with the ability to write a text message using your PC keyboard was my attraction too.When I'm on my PC or iPad, I use mySMS but quite enjoy direct texting from my phone using "SwiftKey" The flow input method is fantastic and very fast with a stylus.I use "AirDroid" for the web interface more now.My contacts and calendar are on Outlook and synced with my Android phone using "SmoothSync Apps."It's all working PERFECTLY.



I just find it interesting... on my iPhone, I send messages > 160 chars all the time and just get charged as individual messages (so a really long text would be 10 message allowance for example). Maybe it's because I'm on PAYG with a bolt on, or else simply the iOS software doesn't try to bum me for long texts? I'm on O2 by the way.
It's not an Apple vs Android thing. You'll have different mileage with different apps and different networks. I was texting someone a lot through O2 with a Droid a year ago - huge, monster texts - and I was never charged. But if you aren't aware, have disabled warnings, have an app that doesn't consider it, or are on a non standard band (such as CDMA is Oz), then you could be stung. There are enough people on the web moaning about the same issues whether they use iOS or Android. One bloke on O2's forums was charged around £43 for a ten second mistake with his iPhone, as he sent out a text to over 150 contacts with his updated contact details.
monkeydribble

keep message short.



kp msg shrt
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