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elvedhel
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Message 1 of 16
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picture msg charges when not sent any picture msgs

my stepdaughters phone has incurred £10.80 worth of charges for picture msging yet she has not sent any. at least not through standard txt or attachments to txt.

however after having spoken to someone at virgin ( though i couldnt make much sense of what they were saying tbh ). 

it would seem that the charges have come through from whatsapp.

whatsapp is supposed to be free but they stated the following.

standard msgs over 190 characters are converted to MMS and charged ( they dont tell ya that one ) . whatsapp msgs be it picture or txt, if sent from your phones contact list, or if msg doesnt get sent within 60 seconds then goes via the standard SMS service and incurs MMS charges.

 

nothing on whatsapp website seems to tell you this and the fact that whatsapp itself ties itself in with your phones contact list is a bit suspect to say the least.

 

im not convinced at all by the reasons behind these charges especially as i asked my stepdaughter and for example on the 4th jan there were 3 mms charges in space of 2 minutes and she showed me her phone and no standard txt or picture msgs were sent then and the only msgs sent ( standard txt ) were whatsapp ones while she was using wifi .

 

so i dont get why these are being charged for.

 

can someone from VM clear this up as im not prepared to get clobbered each month for MMS charges when MMS msgs arent even being sent.

yes i know simple solution is to remove whatsapp but i think theres more to it than that otherwise the internet would be rife with complaints about billing using whatsapp service.

 

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Superuser
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Message 2 of 16
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Re: picture msg charges when not sent any picture msgs

Does she have an iPhone as I incurred mms charges when I first bought mine (on EE), I had sent one to test but the rest no, it appears that if you have 'subject' field & use it the sms seems to send as a mms for some reason, in any case since I turned that field off all my sms messages are sent correctly as texts.

usually messages over 160 characters are sent as two sms messages.


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elvedhel
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Message 3 of 16
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Re: picture msg charges when not sent any picture msgs

no its samsung galaxy s4 mini
the CS agent at virgin said msgs over 190 characters get charged as MMS and if msg is sent via whatsapp from your contact list it goes via standard virgin txt service and is charged as an MMS which sounds very dubious to me on both counts. ive checked on her phone and the msgs sent on the 4th ( didnt bother looking at others going back into december ) were all sent to her friend via the whatsapp app and her friends direct whatsapp contact so im baffled as to how these have been charged for.
and at £12.80 in charges thats 32 msgs charged for and she uses whatsapp daily ( and almost constantly it seems some days ) so the charges seem rather random to say the least.
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Superuser
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Message 4 of 16
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Re: picture msg charges when not sent any picture msgs

It may be the same reason re the subject field being entered turning the sms into a mms message. I agree that it does seem strange that messages over 190 are sent as mms.


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elvedhel
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Message 5 of 16
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Re: picture msg charges when not sent any picture msgs

there is no subject field on whatsapp and according to CS when i called them all the charges for MMS are via whatsapp . and thats what i find rather strange as whatsapp is supposed to be free for both txt and picture msging , so why/ how are they being charged
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darwin
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Message 6 of 16
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Re: picture msg charges when not sent any picture msgs

I've heard that some types of emojis/emoticons can cause an SMS to be converted to an MMS.

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Superuser
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Message 7 of 16
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Re: picture msg charges when not sent any picture msgs


elvedhel wrote:
no its samsung galaxy s4 mini
the CS agent at virgin said msgs over 190 characters get charged as MMS and if msg is sent via whatsapp from your contact list it goes via standard virgin txt service and is charged as an MMS which sounds very dubious to me on both counts..

Yep - the Virgin CS agent is wrong on both counts.

 

A standard SMS text message is 160 characters in length.For some considerable time, there has been a protocol in place (don't know if it's part of the official specification) that allows multiple text messages to be concatenated at the expense of some of those characters.

 

On the Galaxy S4 mini a single message can be up to 459 characters. As soon as you put in the 460th character, it turns into an MMS message. Apparently there is also a limit on the number of recipients - if there's a big enough circulation list, it also gets converted to MMS, but I've never experienced a problem with that. When a text message is converted to MMS, there is an audible tone and popup warning.

 

There are alternative messaging apps to the stock Samsung app. These will allow long messages to be sent as texts instead of MMS - BigSMS is one. I've never used it though, I just take the warning about the MMS conversion to be a soulless indication that I've waffled on too long.

 

Whatsapp uses mobile data. It has nothing to do with SMS and/or MMS.

 

edit: Some "emojis" will indeed be parsed as images and will convert the message to SMS. Others - such as

:-)

are left as text and parsed by the messaging app after tranmission/receipt into the graphic, and are therefore able to be kept as SMS messages.

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elvedhel
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Message 8 of 16
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Re: picture msg charges when not sent any picture msgs

whatsapp may use mobile data but according to CS when she checled the bill the charges were from whatsapp use before i had even mentioned whatsapp to them and she tried to say in her broken english that if the msg fails to send via whatsapp or the whatsapp msg is generated via your contacts list ( which considering whatsapp pulls the list from your contacts where else ie it going to be generated ) then the msg gets sent as a standard txt instead and charged at MMS rate. she also said you could disable the option to send as SMS. now i have whatsapp pro on my phone and not only is there no such setting but ive never seen it converted to standard SMS or MMS or had any alert to ever say that your msg will be sent via SMS ( according again to CS if the reciever does not have whasapp enabled it sends by standard SMS instead.
this all sounds highly fishy to me and would appreciate if a CS agent would look into this and my mobile account if they PM me i will give them the full details as it sounds like !. the CS agent i spoke to is talking total rot and 2. im being charged by VM for a service i shouldnt be getting charged for and would like consideration for a full refund on these charges.
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Forum Team (Retired) Mat_H
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Message 9 of 16
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Re: picture msg charges when not sent any picture msgs

Hi Elvedhel,

 

I can confirm that using whatsapp will only use data charges and wont have anything to do with MMS. As suggested above, Emojis sent from the handset will make the text an MMS message. Where as regular smilies such as : ) will not incur a charge.

 

 Does your daughter use many Emojis?

 

Let me know when you can.

 

Thanks,

 

Mat


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elvedhel
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Message 10 of 16
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Re: picture msg charges when not sent any picture msgs

Hi Mat. on here normal standard prebuilt in SMS service as supplied by VM she sends no smileys, emoojis or anything otehr than txts.

on whatsapp however she has sent the occasional picture.

so when i specifically asked your CS agent on the phone the otehr day and gave her the times and dates of where the billing has occured why did they come back and state it was because of whatsapp and that msgs sent through whatsapp if you use your phone contact list are chargable as MMS and that if msg fails to send through whatsapp are then resent via standard SMS service and again chargable as an MMS. clearly the CS operative was talking total and utter nonesense to get me off the phoen and avoid the fact i have been charged incorrectly.
i would like if this can be properly looked in to to get to the bottom of why there are 36 charges on the bill for allegedly using a free app service.
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