The BBC reports today that an increasing number of UK mobile phone users have been complaining about emoticons racking up their bills. They say that money-focused website, MoneySavingExpert has received a significant number of complaints about sky-high bills thanks to emoticons and “other symbols”.
Apparently, a number of people have been caught out unaware that their network may treat the sending of emoticons, symbols and even e-mail addresses, as an MMS rather than a SMS. These messages typically cost significantly more than standard text messages and do not count as part of unlimited texts deals included on some contracts.
While many say that the issue is the fault of networks, O2 told the BBC that customers should be cautious when sending such messages.
“If a customer is using a smartphone to send text messages to more than one person at the same time, they could be charged the cost of sending an MMS. It can also happen when the message contains icons, emoticons and symbols or an email address.
And some apps (such as Facebook) that integrate with a customer’s contact list in their smartphone may result in an MMS charge too,”
Source: BBC News