Verizon has said it will begin treating text messages sent by teachers to students and parents using the “Remind” messaging service as spam, which would have basically sent them into a black hole of tech, the independent news organization Chalkbeat is reporting. Unless something changes, though, Remind won’t be sending text messages to Verizon customers at all.
In an email to its users, which may include more than three-fourths of the nation’s teaching force, the makers of Remind said they would no longer be sending out text messages to Verizon customers. An estimated 7 million Remind customers, out of about 31 million total, use Verizon as their carrier and won’t be able to receive these text messages after January 28, as Verizon has made it prohibitively expensive for Remind to send them out.
Unfortunately, carrier fees aren’t just affecting our users in Canada. Because of a new @verizon fee, we’ll be forced to end text notifications on January 28 for Verizon Wireless customers who use our free service. What to do: https://t.co/mBmPiqwptf #ReverseTheFee #NotSpam pic.twitter.com/JboDlUITjF
— Remind (@RemindHQ) January 14, 2019
The Remind company has always paid a small fee for each text message to allow its users to send out their free text messages, which have been useful in keeping students informed of homework assignments and even snow days. At some schools, many students also use the free translation services provided by Remind. But Verizon shows no signs of reversing the fee, given its honorable intention of keeping true spam off of its customers’ smartphones.
But, “The fee will increase our cost of supporting text messaging to at least 11 times our current cost—forcing us to end free Remind text messaging for the more than 7 million students, parents, and educators who have Verizon Wireless as their carrier,” Remind said.
“To get messages, you’ll need to turn on smartphone or email notifications instead.”
That’s provided your phone will work with the app. If it doesn’t, you’ll either have to switch carrier or use the email route, which might be a little less convenient.
#reversethefee @verizon @VerizonSupport As a student, I use Remind daily and by charging teachers for using its features, that experience will be cut off for me. What’s more important, future generations of hard-working students or a few extra pennies in the bank?
— Keegan Ator (@TheKeegan8r) January 16, 2019
If you run a company like Verizon or Remind, it appears that “a few extra pennies in the bank” are more important. Sorry, Keegan.