Page Plus Cellular this week increased their Unlimited Talk n Text plan from $39.95 to $44.95, a $5 per month increase. The company explained to PhoneNews.com that it did so to remove a per-MMS message fee.
Previously, the $39.95 plan provided for unlimited voice and text messages, as well as 20 MB of data. When sending or receiving a multimedia message (MMS), Page Plus charged an additional $.25 per message fee, in addition to using data transport. Unlike Verizon Wireless, which provides the network for Page Plus, users were being charged both a message fee, and data costs. Verizon Wireless only charges users per MMS message, and does not charge for the data transport.
While this is the opposite of how Verizon charges messages, Page Plus customers will no longer be double-taxed for MMS messages. This was one of the more common complaints about Page Plus, as purchased $39.95 prepaid cards which in turn did not provide any available balance for the $.25/message MMS fee. This then led to accounts either being unable to receive MMS messages, or suspended due to lack of funds. Now customers will be able to send and receive MMS messages, at least until their 20 MB per month data allotment is used up. After that, each message will still be free, but the data transport will be billed at $.60 per megabyte (the standard data overage fee on the plan).
Page Plus did not say that the changes were in any way related to the groundswell of complaints that led to the controversial interview with PhoneNews.com at CTIA this year. Some have speculated that this change was made in order to help Page Plus recoup costs of loss-leading customers, and avoid terminating additional lines of service for using too many minutes.