I use my number for iMessage and my text count is actually lower than it was prior to iMessage. The people I use iMessage with are not VZW customers (except for my mother)...so it makes me wonder this...if you iMessage another VZW customer and you are both using your number for iMessage will VZW's system see the messages as m2m since VZW system doesn't seem to identify iMessages on their text count breakdowns. In that case...wouldn't those messages fall under m2m messages anyway and still show as "free" if you have a texting plan? (at least for me, if I text another VZW customer it counts as mobile-to-mobile texting which is unlimited...although technically all of my texting is unlimited since I have an unlimited plan. I can just view my text as seperated by texts sent to other VZW customers versus those sent to everyone else)
IF that is what is going on, and you don't want to have to switch your iMessage address to your Apple ID then wouldn't turning off the feature that allows iMessages to be sent as SMS stop VZW from seeing those messages as SMS? I honestly don't know if any of this is actually the case. I just know that for me, my iMessages do not appear to be being billed as SMS. For those that have limited texting plans or no texting plan at all and are being billed for SMS (either by iMessages counting against your allotment or actual charges per message) then I would push for Verizon to clearly explain in writing how iMessages are being handled. By this, I mean requesting that a letter be mailed to you clearly stating the terms and conditions of using the iMessage feature. If a rep tells you that this can not be done ask to have your call escalated to a supervisor on duty and let them know you will wait on the line until one is available to speak to you. If you request information be sent to you in writing most companies will do so and in some cases, they may actually be required to do just that. If VZW is doing this to some people (I say this because in my case I do not see this going on with my 2 accounts...so either I am extremely lucky or I'm not alone) it would seem to be a dirty little billing secret that someone needs to clear up.
Just went through my billing again just to make sure and no messages that I sent to others with iMessage, including those sent to my mother (another VZW customer) is being billed as SMS. The numbers of the people I iMessage do not show up on the pages of SMS messages I went through and I reconciled it with the messages/dates/times I sent messages via iMessage that are still on my phone. Everyone I have used iMessage with are using iPhones and the messages are being sent and received from their phone numbers. I know for sure that both my and my mother's settings are set to use our phone numbers for iMessaging and not our Apple ID's. So for anyone that IS being charged for iMessages but can clearly can see on their device that the message was sent and received as an iMessage and not converted to SMS due to the system being down or something...I am really at a loss as to why that would be happening.
Why is this dirty on Verizon's part?
iMessage is advertised as being "free", i.e. not being charged SMS rates, between people with APPLE ID's on iOS 5. Therefore if you send a message to something "other" than an APPLE ID, you should expect to be charged SMS rates.
Well...maybe I misread it, but I don't recall seeing that it was free only if you use your Apple ID. It is free between iPhones and other iOS 5 devices that may not actually have a phone number and has to use an Apple ID (such as an iPod Touch and a iPad), but I don't recall ever seeing that SMS rates will may apply to those not using the Apple ID. I did see that carrier data rates may apply, but no mention (to the best of my knowledge) that SMS rates might.
It's dirty because when I use iMessage that's using my Verizon # to send iMessages to another iPhone Verizon # - Verizon counts those as SMS even though they aren't.
Person 1 - iPhone 4S on Verizon
Person 2 - iPhone 4S on Verizon
By default - both phones are set up to use their Verizon Cell Phone Number as their iMessage ID. Verizon counts iMessages (BLUE NOT GREEN) between these two phones as SMS even though it is not an SMS but an iMessage.
Now if Person 1 changes his iMessage ID to his Apple Id (Blah@Blah.com) and Person 2 does the same, Verizon does NOT count iMessages between the two as SMS (still BLUE not GREEN).
Yes, I know that GREEN = SMS and BLUE = iMessage. I'm a software developer and I've been in IT for 15 years.
Edit - it is very possible that even if I didn't have unlimited SMS - that Verizon may be counting these just because they can --- and they won't bill for them. But I just found it weird that Verizon is counting iMessages between Verizon customers as strange - and I assume that if I didn't have unlimited SMS that it would be charged as SMS even though it was an iMessage.
Message was edited by: BigMcGuire
@ kaebfy - you are 100% correct. When I use iMessage with my sister who has an iPhone 4S on AT&T it does not show up as SMS. Only when I iMessage my Wife who uses an iPhone 4S on Verizon with me (that is until we changed our iMessage IDs to our Apple IDs)
We have unlimited texts so it didn't matter but say we dropped our unlimited SMS plan? Then would we be billed? Maybe not but it still showed up as using SMS even though we were clearly using iMessage (blue) between ourselves.
Well...maybe I misread it, but I don't recall seeing that it was free only if you use your Apple ID.
I didn't say that it was free only if you use your Apple ID, only that it is free between people WITH Apple ID's. Therefore this would lead ME to believe that if you sent a message to something OTHER than an Apple ID, there is at least a possibility for an SMS charge. From what you are reporting, though, it seems that if you send a message to a phone # and it is to a phone with an iPhone on the line, there is no SMS charge.
It just seems to me that if the phone was not on the Verizon network, how would Verizon know if there were an iPhone on that line, another reason which led me to believe that it would only be free if it was to another Apple ID and not a phone #.
@ rcshnoor - right - exactly - when I iMessage my sister who has an iPhone 4S on AT&T it is blue (meaning iMessage) and doesn't count as an SMS on my bill.
iMessage is configured to use your telephone number as your "ID" even if you have an Apple ID - and it will send SMS to an OS 5 user as an iMessage (free, over data, not SMS). Now if you don't have 3G, WiFi, or any data, then iMessage will send it as an SMS (GREEN).
I'm just saying - Verizon is counting iMessages between Verizon users as SMS even when it is Blue iMessage. I've noticed this on my last 4 bills (doesn't bother me because I have unlimited SMS but what if I didn't?)
Hey, I am throwing out ideas here. I haven't said this is the way it is, just that it seems to me it COULD be a possibility. It seemed to me that you did not have a definitive answer and were looking for reasons why this could be happening. Since the SMS charges stopped when you changed to the Apple ID, though, it at least would make one wonder, wouldn't it?
This could also be because a data network wasn't available at the time. Unless you have your iMessage settings such that you will not send as SMS, if a data network is not available at the time it is being sent, it will be sent as an SMS. This could therefore be a result of your phone losing network connectivity. Again, though, this is just another thought. Take it however you would like.
Not sure what that last line is supposed to mean.
@ rcschnoor - Right, understood 100%. I did not mean to offend or say you were saying something - thanks for your thoughts on this subject - found them helpful.
You are right - I'm not 100% sure myself. All I know is Verizon is counting iMessages between Verizon iPhone users as SMS but my question is, what if I didn't have unlimited SMS - would those iMessages be counted as SMS and charged for?
Another note to ponder, is that not everyone is experiencing the same phenomenon, as kaebfly has none of her iMessage usage between iOS users showing up as SMS usage.