“Dispute” Causes Verizon To Block 4INFO Messages, Per-Message Fees Likely Culprit

Dispute Causes Verizon To Block 4INFO Messages, Per-Message Fees Likely CulpritA message was sent to all Verizon Wireless customers tonight informing them they would no longer be receiving SMS messages from 4INFO, at least via one short code- 44636.  4INFO has already cited a “dispute” as the cause for such a move, but Verizon’s ridiculous per-message fee is likely the driving factor.

Verizon has been toying around the idea of initiating a $.03 fee on all messages sent through its network in an obvious attempt to capitalize further on the rise of SMS/MMS messaging through its network.  Last year when Verizon first started talking about the idea, everyone involved in the creation, delivery and all other aspects of mobile messaging were very vocal in their dislike of the potential move by Verizon.  Obviously, those fears might be coming true.

While $.03 per message might not sound like a lot to most people, for companies like 4INFO it’s substantial.  Many general content messages people receive come from 4INFO- things like news, weather and other text alerts.  With the volume of messages 4INFO is sending combined with the fact that Verizon is the number one US carrier with tens of millions of subscribers, you can see how $.03 per message can add up exponentially.

4INFO already pays aggregators for the messages it sends, and Verizon undoubtedly gets a cut.  The likely scenario is that 4INFO’s massive growth recently has begun to scare Verizon, who somehow thinks they’re stealing revenue.  By finally initiating a per-message charge, they can indirectly recoup this so-called lost revenue caused by 4INFO’s steady growth.

4INFO earns revenue based on the advertising attached to the messages it distributes as well, and Verizon obviously wants a piece of the pie.  The only problem is that they’re going about it the wrong way.

We’re reaching out to Zaw Thet, CEO of 4INFO, to get his side of the story so stay tuned as the story unfolds.