TELUS increasing cost of Canada-to-US messages to 40c/SMS

Daniel Bader

April 24, 2013 2:01pm

TELUS has announced that, as of May 1st, the cost of a text message sent to a US number while in Canada will increase 15 cents to 40c per SMS.

The company began alerting its customers via text and email yesterday, indicating that the change is due to increased costs of doing business with the carriers in the United States. To offset these costs, TELUS is offering a $5/month add-on pack for 100 international texts, and a $10/month pack for unlimited international texts. Domestic rates for those without any text plan remains the same at 25c/SMS, while international texts originating in the US or outside North America remain 60c each.

The other kicker is that TELUS is discontinuing US numbers as part of its “domestic” text package plans, so an add-on is now necessary to avoid paying overages. Received messages will continue to be 25c each while in Canada and 60c when outside the country, but having a $5 or $10 add-on makes incoming text messages free.

Rogers and Bell charge 35c per message to the US, and both carriers provide various packages between $5 and $15 for add-ons.

Source: TELUS

  • iphoneYYYYYY

    Hi Telus, I am not joining you. Bye!

    • Dave

      Join Wind Mobile, by far more fair company than this thieves

  • Claudiu Corbea

    Step 1 > Buy your own phone and go with Koodo, Virgin, Fido, Wind, they all provide international texting.
    Step 2 > Telus Who ?

    • deltatux

      Someone forgot that Koodo is owned and run by TELUS. The only company you listed there that’s independent is WIND.

    • YUyu

      and fido owned by rogers, virgin owned by bell,,

  • BetelgeuseOrion

    so they are charging $2621 per MB (160bytes per txt)

    with wind i have unlimited global MMS and TEXT for $35/month,

    • kroms

      Agreed ! 🙂 Amen to that. Poor Rogers,Bell and Telus people . They just keep getting it more and more.

    • noone

      is not wind and mobilicity on sale now ? and big ones already want to buy them ?

    • Dave

      If they want to buy them that’s a good enough hint to not to let them buy them…

    • Conception

      And they take it willingly…bend over! Otherwise they’d switch too…

    • Ulysses

      You are right. My a*s hurts everytime they raised their prices. I got tired of bending that I had to start taking yoga lesson to practice my bending posture…

  • Guest

    I don’t think my back can take bending over any further.

    • Dave

      It’s okay… stick to them and pay their hefty fees cause they have a little bit better coverage than Wind Mobile.

    • EmptyTome

      What are you talking about? Wind is set to major cites, outside of those areas you are under flat rate roaming. If you’re in a major city then you’re fine. Not all of us are in a major city. Although, I’m not commending Telus for rate hikes. Good thing I’m not with them.

    • Dave

      Wind Mobile Covering Roughly 12-15 million people, is it nothing?
      Sorry that you not covered, hope they will eventually.

    • EmptyTome

      That means squat for people that aren’t in major cities like Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary etc. The way they are going they are lucky not to go bankrupt.

    • Ulysses

      Mr. Guest, Bell and Rogers will follow suit… You gotta bend even more further. Probably taking yoga lessons will help. Oh wait, can’t afford to do that cause these big three have already ripped us inside out.

  • Guest

    I don’t think my back can take bending over any more.

  • Jamma

    This was free for me and I get one week warning…I’m in a three year contract but I can’t call and cancel a feature without getting the run around and telling me I signed a three year contract. CRTC nuf said

    • kroms

      That’s your fault for going with Telus or any of the other BIG 3 in the first place.
      That was there plan all along. Now they GOT YOU for 3 yrs and there is nothing you can do but PAY ! So happy I switched to WIND.

    • jonny

      Wind ripped me off. I signed up for a tab only on the agreement that I could put my phone on hold for 5 months while I would be out of the country (they allowed up to 6 months). And then I left on my trip, and they said they had just changed their policy and they would only put the phone on hold for max 7 days out of a year. And they told me the add on to lower roaming fees in the US was not available for my plan. So I am done with them. I refuse to pay for 5 months of service I cant use – over $200. I dont care if they put something on my credit history – they change the terms after I signed a contract, so I wont give them another penny. They wouldnt even discuss the issue. They just said “too bad” and that they could do whatever they wanted.

    • ToniCipriani

      Actually you can.

      Call customer service, if they won’t void your contract, file a complaint with CCTS. It’s in their terms that you do not have to accept this change.

    • Manbo

      except it is “clearly” stated that rateplan prices can’t change. SMS is not a rateplan it’s a feature. They use semantics to make you liable. Only provinces that have price fixing are able to avoid this kind of bs. So basically these companies can’t change how many/much minutes/texts/data you have and the cost of the plan/package you already have, but they *can* change the cost of the service or pay per use fee at any point.

      Read the contract, it’s in there if you can see past the legalese.

      (I wrote clearly while imagining George W Bush doing air quotes)

    • Luke

      I wish you good luck (truly). STICK IT TO TELUS!

  • Richie_Peterson

    How can they charge for incoming text messages? Its not my choice to receive or decline an international text message. This is the part that bothers me. Some carrier charges a user to send a message, while the other carrier charges a user to receive it? Seriously thats kind of ridiculous.

    • Guest

      They don’t charge for incoming texts. re-read the article and do a little research first.

    • Ulysses

      Cole, what difference does it make if they don’t charge receiving text. It will be completely ridiculous if they start charging receiving text. 40 cents is super steep for a 128 character text.

  • Tariq Khan

    okay everyone is lowering their plan prices… so this seems like a good idea… :S????

  • marktrick

    lol fail, telus actually starting alerting customers of this change via their BILL two months ago in March…

  • AJK

    Thank you WIND mobile for my UNLIMITED international texting!

    • kroms

      Amen to that brother. Amen.

    • Dave

      Soon all their fans gonna come and explain to you why their messages is better than yours and mine (I get unlimited messages to the U.S.)

    • YUyu

      no, they will probably telling you , big 3 have coverage in 170 cites in canada, which 169 cities you are never go

    • Anthony

      That’s your problem you’re boring and stay home. I’ve been to at least 25 Canadian cities in 4 provinces, since I’ve owned a cell phone.

      Much more often than I send an international text message!

    • AJK

      and how about the additional roaming charges that show up on your bill when you visit the 24 other cities! 🙂

    • Guest

      I’ve not once paid roaming fees with my TELUS cell phone.

    • Sweet

      And Mobilicity as well.

    • realdeal

      what are you talking about, I have global text with fido and rogers and It’s part of my plan. I ‘m f*****g tired of those people with. they think they’re so smart. wind have 600 000 customers and they big have the rest. you mean we are all stupid to be with one of the big who can offer us what we need. I don’t agree with the 0.40$ charge for the sms though.

    • AJK

      WIND was started in 2009 while the ROBELUS started 1986, 1880 and 1990 respectively. Comparing the number of subscribers is not so smart… the growth rate.. yeah

    • realdeal

      Explain me
      the growth rate for an establish company and for a new entrant because I misted
      it…. I could explain it to you if you want.

  • David

    Koodo are offering it for free.

  • Rocco

    WOW! Here are few things that everyone should know… Charging for incoming texts: most carriers in the world are not charging for incoming texts for simple reason.. its free to them. Sending messages to US: cost is per user not per text sent and its far below 10c/mo for one user. International is a bit higher.. But 35c/text is sky high. Increased cost of doing business my a**. They went on to change this to current customers too, I got the message yesterday, and they are changing this in one week.

    • Dave

      Did they lowered the prices when the prices went down?

    • Luke

      LEAVE tell TELUS TO F**K OFF, try anyone else. For real, vote with your dollar. I was gogin to work for TELUS years ago at their scarborough location btu their comapny seemed so disgusting and corrupt (i know most are), I did not work for them, guess that’s why they start pay call centre at high rates.

  • Maxwell M

    Weird pricing structure they have. Their sub brand (Koodo) doesn’t charge as far as I know, and almost all incoming texts are free – hope they don’t start changing that too.

  • hapa

    another reason to switch to FIDO. text messaging from Canada includes Canada/US/International destinations. No extra fees. When you sign a 3-yr contract they should not be allowed to change the terms of the contract

    • beyond

      Unfortunately for these companies part of their contract states that they can change the terms of the contract any time. Which kind of defeats the purpose of having a contract to begin with. Everything is to benefit them in the end.

    • ToniCipriani

      Actually it’s part of the agreement that you can void your contract without penalty. They must notify within 30 days of the change,

      Here’s Bell’s contract (see the underlined part):

      You agree that any Sections or parts of this Agreement, any fees or other obligations, and any Services, may be modified or terminated by Bell except to the extent expressly prohibited by any law that applies to Bell. We will notify you by providing you a clear and legible written notice at least 30 days in advance of any change that affects you. If applicable and if required by any law that applies to Bell, the notice will set out the new provision or the changed provision, and the provision as it read formerly, along with the date of the coming into force of the change and your rights set out below. __Nothing in this Agreement requires you to accept the Services after any change is made to this Agreement, the fees or Services ; however, your sole remedy for such a change is, if the change would increase your obligations or reduce ours, to refuse the change and cancel the agreement which has been changed upon the payment of any amounts payable as specified in the main part of your Service Agreement and any other applicable fees or charges, except where such fees or charges are prohibited by any law that applies to Bell, in which case such cancellation shall be without penalty.__ You must notify us of your cancellation within 30 days of the effective date of change. If you continue to receive the Services after this period, you expressly agree that no additional written agreement or express acknowledgement is required to accept such change and, unless otherwise prohibited by any law that applies to Bell, you specifically waive any and all statutory requirements for notice and express acceptance of such changes except for those provided in this paragraph. You agree that you cannot change this Agreement and that, except as expressly prohibited by any law that applies to Bell, no oral or written statement or representation of any sales agent, representative or employee of Bell made to you can change this Agreement

    • bcsc

      Google ‘material adverse clause’. Any time a carrier changes the plan, you have 30 days to cancel without paying early cancellation fees.

  • xyz

    TELUS – it is all about YOU 🙂

  • beyond

    Prices should be decreasing, not increasing, especially for something like text messaging which is so old school and has been around for ages.

    • ToniCipriani

      And that, my friend, is Collusion 101.

    • Luke

      agreed since texts actually don’t even cost a company less than a penny!!! (i know we got rid of the penny,but for those who remember) “Even though a text message usually costs the carriers less than a penny to route between mobile phones,”

  • Blocknards

    I’m enraged – I text the U.S. all the time and it was included in my unlimited text plan and now it’s $10 – outrageous.

  • marktrick

    just be happy you were able to take advantage of free texting this time entire time.

  • Cole Mackenzie
    sign it.

    • Tony


      My blood is boiling, and I am with Wind. But I do care about my fellow Canadians, unlike the Big3 bloodsuckers.

  • hardy83

    Telus: It costs us 0.0001 cents to send a text, but thanks to the US companies, we have to pay 0.000125 cents. Therefore we had no choice but to increase TXT charges by 267%.
    We are still competitive in the Canadian markets, don’t get us wrong.
    … Well, assuming you don’t know anything about the marketplace.

  • kroms

    BOOM !

    Just like that folks …Is how it is done in Canada. You don’t like it ? That’s TOO BAD !

    Telus,Rogers,Bell will continue to shaft you anyway,anytime,any chance they get .

    • Dave

      I’m with Wind Mobile, the most fair network company in Canada

  • Croc Ography

    Again, thank you WInd for my all included unlimited international texting!

  • o_zzy

    The future is friendly…

  • bcsc

    MATERIAL ADVERSE CLAUSE….everyone should know this.

  • Rich

    You should have posted this up like a month or two ago when it was mentioned on HF — would have been nice to rally the people sooner to fight it.

    • Luke


  • ToniCipriani

    Bell to follow suit in removing US Text in 3… 2… 1.

    Then it’s message off to the CCTS to break my contract.

  • jonny

    Its billions, not millions.

  • Cole Mackenzie

    My last comment didn’t show up. But don’t let the companies do this. Sign the petition at openmedia dot ca/fees.

  • Dave Grant

    Why don’t people just switch to apps like WhatsApp or iMessage and rip the rug from under the sms cartel?

    • Dave

      Cause they pay much more for DATA? Lol

  • icyhotonmynuts

    That’s ridiculous.

  • Dave

    Where is all the Robellus fans that will explain me how bad is my plan at Wind Mobile, I guess in this case the message you guys are sending to USA is in better quality than my $40 a month all inclusive

  • AWSGuy

    The future is costly. MUCH more costly.

  • deltatux

    I guess I got a good deal with WIND? Unlimited Canada/US wide calling + global texting + data?

  • Guest

    would just like to inform the public that Telus is full of Crap.. I work in the Communications industry, weather it be Sat phones, HPCP, ect.. I can tell you that a text message actually does not cost the carrier a dime. The text message piggy backs on the signal your phone already sends back and forth with the nearest tower. At time when travelling you will have a failed text message, that usually occurs between tower swaps, ( tower range is 35 to 50km, depends on terrain ) it always looks for the closest one. So Telus, you can cut the crap..

  • Robert

    would just like to inform the public that Telus is full of Crap.. I work in the Communications industry, weather it be Sat phones, HPCP, ect.. I can tell you that a text message actually does not cost the carrier a dime. The text message piggy backs on the signal your phone already sends back and forth with the nearest tower. At time when travelling you will have a failed text message, that usually occurs between tower swaps, ( tower range is 35 to 50km, depends on terrain ) it always looks for the closest one. So Telus, you can cut the crap.

    • Luke

      YES!!! I used to work for Virgin Mobile, YOU ARE 100% right!

    • shakes his head

      A cell tower with a range of 35 – 50km… this I have to see. Ladies and gentlemen the world now has its 8th wonder.

    • shakes his head

      Those of us who really work in the cell industry refer to your “tower swaps” by the technical term “hand off.”. A hand off if setup correctly will not cause a text to fail, just as it won’t cause a call to drop.

  • bcsc

    “Material Adverse Clause”….Every Canadian should know what this means.

  • rvichar

    And this is why we need competition in Canada for the wireless. If the Big 3 consume Wind/Mobilicity and all the spectrum I won’t want to own a cellphone.

  • kroms

    Thanks to ALL YOU Terds on Robellus .
    I hope they screw you people even more !

    Because of you people we have no competition and will continue to get hosed. I hope WIND stays around a long time cause there is no way in HELL I will put up with the BIG 3.

  • Ulysses

    This is exactly why everyone should stay in touch through Whatsapp and other form of instant messaging apps. These big three has been ripping us off and will continue to do so.

  • Manbo

    SURPRISE! … said no one… way to keep the nickle and dime game going Telus…

  • Tupacak

    Wow big 3 they are biggest Hustlers in Canada . Go with wind mobile

  • abc123

    What is wrong with Telus? They used to be the best (relatively speaking) of the big 3. Now they are on track to being the worst.

    Within the last year, Telus has raised prices TWICE on their TV and Internet services. For their Internet, they have reduced the bandwidth cap by almost 50% on the top tier. My internet went from a 250GB cap to something like 150GB limit per month. For a person who watches a lot of Netflix, this could be a serious limit.

    Now they’ve started to increase prices for their mobile subscribers.

    I hate Telus, Shaw, Rogers, and Bell. What are my other options?

  • Allan

    They are charging for receiving SMS… bloody hell.