Jim Prentice has asked the Telcos to explain their new text message money theft scheme.

Well here is the low down, you need to pay for incoming text messages, even spam. Can you turn off text messages? No. So there is a potential cost that could be quite large. As you look at the situation more closely you realize that this is a charge that the consumer has no control over. You can’t stop them, you haven’t requested them, there is no pay per use on this.

Further complicating things, is that it is possible to send text messages pretty well free of charge. Example, Bell allows SMS messages to be sent through email addresses:

XXXXXXXXXX@txt.bell.ca

So in theory, you could send 1000 emails to that message inbox, and it would cost the customer $150 -$0.15 per message. Nice system eh? The customer can’t block it, and the only way to protect themselves is to buy a text messaging plan. This is a scam of astronomical proportions and I am very glad that the industry minister has focused on this!