I'm not sure if you've seen the ads for 42020 (the one I saw was for Billboard Hot 100 ringtones), a service that sends you ringtones for your cell phone, but I just did and as I was reading the fine print, I was pretty sure that it said it billed at $29.95 per month. After doing a quick Google search I found that I wasn't mis-reading:
Verizon+Cingular: billed monthly at $29.99
- T-Mobile: billed monthly at $9.99
- Sprint: billed weekly at $7.99
- Subscribers receive three realtones per week (T-Mobile 1 per week), retail value $2.49 each (Sprint $2.66).
Wow! I think I'm in the wrong business -- providing content via SMS sign-up is truly the new 900 number.
One good thing to keep in mind is that if you (or your kids or your employees) sign up for one of these services, SMS providers are required to stop services if you send a SMS that simply says "STOP" to the provider address (in this case 42020).
I actually know someone that got signed up for a bunch of these services and it was costing $100+ dollars per month. Currently cell phone companies do not offer the ability for individuals or companies to block these premium SMS providers, but I'm guessing, just like 900 numbers after a few years, that the services will be available soon.
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