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Bell889V

@teksavvy.com

[Mobile] Bell charging for FACETIME!?

Just got off the phone and the rep told me he had a document on their support server stating that they charge .25 for facetime everytime you use it. It s listed as shortcode s00005. I was calling to dispute the Charge.

I will do my own research too because it does not make sense. You could use facetime on an ipad with wifi only?!! No 3g/gsm access!

Have you guys heard about this? How are they even detecting the fact that you use facetime. Ridiculous money grab but i m more interested in HOW they do it more then why. ThAnks


HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
You were actually charged on your bill?

Can you take a screenshot or scan it?


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to Bell889V
Bell isn't charging anybody for Facetime. They may try to charge for it in iOS 6, which enables 3G/4G support for it, but they'll have a big fight on their hands if they do (since users are already paying for the bandwidth for it).

The only way they might get away with charging for a 3G/4G FaceTime call is if they don't count FaceTime bandwidth against your data cap. In that case, assuming $10/GB overage, $0.25 is the equivalent of ~25MB of bandwidth, and it may end up being cheaper than paying for the data. On the other hand, if you've already paid for the data for your data plan, it would be an extra charge...
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada
bell is charging for the sms that facetime sends to intiiate a connection, they dont charge for the face time itself.

other proviers pass the sms free of chaarge, tell bell where to go
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!


mlerner
Premium
join:2000-11-25
Nepean, ON
kudos:5
Yeah only Bell would be dumb enough to do that. They will lose a lot of high revenue customers if they continue with that, too bad they need all the customers they can get.


Belll8976

@184.151.114.x
reply to Bell889V
I used facetime once during my last billing period.

I was charged 0.75for short code programs-i know what these are. I havent used them once in my life.

The agent put me on hold. And came back to tell me one charge for the short code was a mistake and the other One for using facetime.

It made no sense because im using wifi and NOT their network but he had a wrritten doc confirming this chrge. I dont know. It jut doesnt make sense.

Im hoping the guy was a newbie and read the future ios6 planned charges... Annoyed


Bell7755

@184.151.114.x
reply to Paolo
So there is an sms to initiate facetime ?!!!

How does it work on ipad?? I hate bell but i want to understand how this works too

Thanks


Bell9776

@184.151.114.x
Ok i ll answer my own question. I read a bit and there is discussion about this on apple forums too.

And knowing bells ridiculous software practices i will go ahead and say they are charging by mistake. Their billing system catches the SIP(?) requests and billing you for it. Bunch of useless people either way.

Apparently At t has done it in the past too. Very similar ancient phone company.

Oh well. Disabled facetime for now. All is well. Thanks guYs


Micha3615

join:2004-08-21
Mississauga, ON
reply to Bell889V
I know that you can initiate facetime by 2 ways. Via the phone number of the facetime user or via email if they have added the email on the iPhone.

The facetime you did, was it with an iPhone user or iPad?


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
reply to Bell889V
It's probably a picture message that's been sent, and of course the greedy telco's want their pound of flesh for it.

I would like to know how you send SMS over Wifi!


Dones

join:2008-02-14
Toronto, ON
reply to Bell889V
It won't be a surprise if they do. Att might be doing it too.

»www.macrumors.com/2012/07/17/att···discuss/


Paolo
Mr. Wireless

join:2004-05-29
canada
read up here: »theiphonewiki.com/wiki/index.php···FaceTime

FaceTime is activated by sending a couple of SMS text messages in the background between the iPhone and an Apple server. If your carrier does not officially support the iPhone 4, you may be charged for sending the activation SMS to an international (UK) number. Your carrier might also have issues delivering the SMS correctly which will prevent FaceTime from activating.

After enabling FaceTime in iPhone settings, your iPhone will attempt to send a "silent text message" (i. e. a text you don't know about) to Apple, that registers your telephone number on Apple's servers used for FaceTime. Apple then returns a "silent coded text message" to your iPhone, that activates the FaceTime within iOS4.

After being activated, FaceTime will happily operate solely over WiFi. However, FaceTime activation currently requires the iPhone to be activated, have an active SIM card with the ability to send and receive SMSes. If there's an issue sending or receiving SMS messages, FaceTime can't be enabled or activated.

FaceTime will work successfully in Airplane Mode over WiFi, however it requires FaceTime to be activated, and a SIM card inserted in your device.

FaceTime Registration Request The iPhone sends a Registration Request SMS silently to this UK number (as identified by the +44 country code): +44 7786 205094. AT&T customers have their own local number for FaceTime activations: 28818773. In Bell and Telus carrier bundles, version 7.2 the number is: 49988.

The Activation Servers number (PhoneNumberRegistrationGatewayAddress) is set in carrier.plist in System/Library/Carrier Bundles/.bundle (or Unknown.bundle):

PhoneNumberRegistrationGatewayAddress
+447786205094
You can change this to i. e. your own number and FaceTime will send the FaceTime Registration Request SMS to your own number.

Some carrier bundles (i.e. T-Mobile Germany Carrier Update 7.1) also contain the following key, which displays a warning that SMS charges might be applied when trying to activate FaceTime.

RegistrationOptInRequired

Registration Request:

REG-REQ?v=2;t=char[64];i=char[40];r=char[8]
Registration Request Example:

REG-REQ?v=2;t=0C11F1ACF776391387797F5EEC1B87E9FC33DAD9 B86583270B8E8DDE78A7A23C;i=2CFA805D9A0D1D43CE57429 B4DA8E454B9AADB5D;r=5917c44d
It was noticed the last portion i= has different character for every FaceTime request.

The Request is saved on:

/var/wireless/spool/MobileOriginated/s.sms.1073741825 (or another identifier)
FaceTime will continue to retry sending the activation SMS multiple times before failing. [1][2]

FaceTime Registration Response If your carrier doesn't officially support silent SMS messages, you may see the FaceTime Registration Response messages displayed.

Registration Response:

¿¿¿¿y¿¿REG-RESP?v=2;r=XXXXXXX;n=+XXXXXXXXX;s=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
--
Happiness is like peeing your pants... Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its Warmth!!

zorxd

join:2010-02-05
Quebec, QC
So, it's not Bell's fault. It's Apple's fault, for making a badly designed protocol. They shouldn't be using SMS to begin with.

This could even be considered malware.


mlerner
Premium
join:2000-11-25
Nepean, ON
kudos:5
Or you know Bell could just set the SMS number as no charge like every other carrier.

Or even just use other people's email addresses associated with the Apple ID of the recipient.

The SMS is necessary for connecting with cellular numbers and initiating the session because the phone has to tell it to register with SIP and connect the call. It doesn't work this way if you initiate facetime with an email address.

zorxd

join:2010-02-05
Quebec, QC
Reviews:
·Acanac
Most carrier do not charge for SMS, they do not make an exception for this number.
It's not Bell's fault if Apple designed a protocol using SMS. I don't see why this number should receive any special treatment. Bell do not have to make a number free just because some people happens to have malware sending SMS to that number on their phone.

bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1
said by zorxd:

Most carrier do not charge for SMS

Most carriers do charge for some (not all) shortcodes though, which is what is in use here.


mlerner
Premium
join:2000-11-25
Nepean, ON
kudos:5
reply to zorxd
It's not malware it's part of the feature. Saying it is doesn't make it so.

It's also courtesy to provide free SMS, Twitter provides their SMS service free of charge with the carriers. Bell and Apple could as well.

zorxd

join:2010-02-05
Quebec, QC
Reviews:
·Acanac
I guess Apple is free to pay Bell so that Bell do not charge for this SMS number. They chose not to do it.

It's not malware it's part of the feature. Saying it is doesn't make it so.

It's a hidden feature. When an app bills someone without his consent I call this malware.
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