No really, there isn’t!
As we also work in the SMS sending market, we see a lot of searches for ‘Free SMS’. In fact, if you search for it in Google, there are 1000s of sites appearing to offer Free SMS. In reality though it simply doesn’t exist. There are a number of ways in which the SMS is offered as ‘free’:
1. Extra text messages when you purchase a certain amount – nice to see offers but in reality the prices charged are far higher than additional messages.
2. The user is charged for a Premium SMS – this isn’t free at all so the offer is entirely misleanding. The user must put in their own number first, and an SMS billing message is sent to their phone. The cost of this is considerably higher than simply buying online with a credit or debit ard.
3. Advertising-sponsored SMS – this is the nearest that could be described as ‘free’, however about 30 characters are taken up with a sponsor’s message. Although not a major problem, these types of text messages are limited in where you can send them to, the time taken to arrrive or the ability to send it from your own number.
We are currently running a promotion for SMS to Pakistan. If you search Google, there are numerous offers of ‘free SMS’ but all with the kind of catches I described above.
Why don’t we have free?
The problem is simply this: every time an SMS is sent, a mobile operator somewhere is charging for it. Unlike the internet which as ‘free’ built into it, SMS does not. Therefore the cost to send the SMS must be carried by someone, and that someone is the mobile user.
We have focussed on providing a low-cost, reliable service, rather than going the so-called ‘free’ route. Lets hope the simple, honest approach wins out in the end.