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Sprint, Nextel, Boost, Virgin and T-Mobile Surcharge

This FAQ is outdated as of June, 2011. Learn details of the new surcharge method here.

Sprint/Nextel will be imposing a new half-cent ($0.005) per-message surcharge on all SMS messages sent to Sprint, Nextel, Boost and Virgin Mobile subscribers starting April 1, 2011. (read news article)

As of May 5, T-Mobile has imposed an additional quarter-cent ($.0025) per message surcharge on all SMS messages sent to T-Mobile subscribers.

How does this affect you?

TextMarks is doing its best to absorb these additional costs, and most typical paying customers will not be affected. However we must pass these charges along to high volume users of our paid service. And unfortunately for our free users, this additional fee is greater than the revenues that can be generated by placing ads in the text messages, so we will be forced to stop delivering free ad-supported messages to Sprint & Nextel subscribers entirely.

Lite/free Accounts

Ad-supported SMS messages will no longer be sent to your Sprint/Nextel subscribers. So if you send out an alert to all of your subscribers, your Sprint/Nextel subscribers will not receive the alert from you.

Paid Accounts

For paying customers, TextMarks is absorbing the costs for your first 30 messages to each Sprint/Nextel customer per month before we start passing thru the surcharge on your monthly bill. This means a limit of 30 messages/user/month, which is well above most typical customers usage.


Example 1

Basic plan includes 100 subscribers.  You have 70 subscribers.
You send two alerts per week.
TextMarks absorbs up to 30 messages per user per month.
No additional charge!

Example 2

Assume you are on our basic plan which includes 100 subscribers, and you currently have 75 subscribers in your group. You also wish to send out 60 messages a month to your subscribers (two alerts a day) and 25% of your subscribers are Sprint/Nextel. Here’s how we’d calculate that:

TextMarks absorbs up to 30 messages per user per month, so in this case:
Basic plan= 100 included subscribers
100*30=3000 surcharge-free SMS messages/mo
You send 60 alerts to 75 subscribers, so that’s 4,500 messages sent
4,500 messages - 3,000 included = 1,500 subject to surcharge
1,500 surcharge msgs * 25% Sprint = 375 msgs * $.005 each = $1.87 in Sprint surcharge costs.
1,500 surcharge msgs * 15 % T-Mobile = 225 msgs *$.0025 each = $.56 in T-Mobile surcharge costs.

Example 3

Pro plan = 1000 included subscribers
You have 1500 subscribers, so 500 extra subscribers as overage
You send 40 messages/mo to these subscribers, 20% are Sprint/Nextel subscribers
1500 subscribers * 30 messages/mo= 45,000 surcharge-free messages
Actual usage = 1500 subscribers * 40 messages = 60,000 messages
60,000 messages used – 45,000 surcharge-free = 15,000 subject to surcharge
15,000 * 25% Sprint * $.005 per message = $18.75 surcharge
15,000 * 15% T-Mobile * $.0025 per message = $5.63 surcharge

As you can see, this cost recovery is very modest even for very high volume senders. In our data analysis, this will not affect over 95% of our customers, as sending more than one message per day is a very unusual use case and is not recommended due to the typically high unsubscribe rates experienced.