Fido (Microcell) is charging for Instant Messages you receive

27 07 2004

The good folks at Fido charge you for IM messages sent to your phone.  Understandable.  They want money.  Here’s how my recent conversation with customer service went:

Me: Please stop charging me, I have a text messaging package.

Them:  Sorry, they’re not regular text messages, and don’t fall under your plan.

Me:  They ARE regular text messages.  They are messages with text only…pretty much the definition of a “text message isn’t it?.

Them: No, they’re “different“.

Me: (doubtingly)…OK, then make them stop.

Them: Can’t

Me: Why not?

Them: Because we’d have to block ALL text messages, since we can’t differentiate for blocking

Me: If you can differentiate for billing, you can sure as Hell differentiate for blocking – No?

Them: Hmmm…No.

Me: What kind of idiots are writing your code?

Them: Ummmmm…..

Me: What happens if someone with a vengance sends me 1000 IM’s via ICQ and I get charged $150?

Them: Then you’d have to pay – Of course!

Me: Arrrgh.  Tell me at least that SOMEBODY out there is going to hear that this is a problem, and that SOMEBODY might just write the 2 lines of extra code to be able to block these messages.

Them: I’ll try sir, but I don’t know when, or if it might be acted on.

Me:  I guess that’s all I can do.  Can you let me know soon, if this will be fixed, or whether I have to change carriers?

Them:  Silence.

Me: Thanks. 

Them: Thank you for calling Fido, have a nice day!

==================

<evil master plan>
So,  here’s what I want.  Does anyone have code to send SMS via ICQ to an arbitrary phone number?  I’m quite sure they’d wake up over at Microcell if a few thousand people all called and complained that they were getting billed for IM text messages that they don’t want.
</evil master plan>

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