When is an SMS not an SMS?

By Richard Mallion
When you send an SMS to a group on the iPhone!
This my be common knowledge but it certainly caught me out and cost me some money as well.
On New Years Eve, like a lot of people , I sent an SMS to a bunch of people (approx 50) wishing them a Happy New Year. My assumption was that the SMSs would be deducted from my monthly allowance of 600 that comes with my monthly plan.
So I was slightly shocked when my monthly bill came, billing me an extra £18. On inspection each SMS I had sent had been billed as a separate MMS, 50 in total.
Now, I have always known that there are certain circumstances in which a message from the iPhone Messages app would be treated as an MMS. These include:

  • A message over 160 character in length
  • A message that includes a file such as a picture or a video.

But it seems that group texts are also sent as MMS by default.

The solution:

In the Message’s app settings pane turn off ‘MMS Messaging’.

group imessages charged as mms

Lesson learnt