You know that AT&T (T) commercial for unlimited texting where an exasperated mum scolds her children and — ha ha, their grandmother — about texting?
That’s what we pictured when we read this bit from New York Times (NYT) deputy managing editor Bill Schmidt’s memo to fellow staffers, asking them to stop texting from company phones:
“Although we recognise that texting has become an indispensable means of communication for many people, our basic company plans with Verizon and AT&T do not provide for unlimited texting. A lot of texting costs us a lot of money, whether as a per-message fee or as an unlimited-message add-on.”
(Pro-tip for Times staffers with company-owned iPhones: Install AOL’s AIM app with push notifications and have all your friends sign up too.)
Bill goes on to ask the editors to stop dialling 411 and use Google’s free service, 1800-Goog411, instead.
Did you know dialling 411 cost $1.49 each time you use it? Wowza!
Here’s the whole memo, obtained by the Observer:
If you have a company-paid mobile phone or Blackberry, here are some basic guidelines on ways to help us keep down costs. Jessica Bagdorf in News Technology and Gloria Bell in Metro can provide even more detailed information, if you have additional questions.
Please do NOT routinely use your mobile phone or your Blackberry when travelling outside the lower 48 states.
Under the company’s plan with AT&T, use of your phone in Alaska, Hawaii or foreign countries is very expensive, even with discount packages applied. (Verizon phones, of course, do not work in most other countries, but may incur similar charges in Alaska, Hawaii and Canada.)
If you are going abroad for work for more than a day or two, please rent a local phone or get a local SIM card, which can be inserted into your phone to make it, in effect, a local phone. You can forward calls from your U.S. number to the local number of your rented phone or SIM card. You may include the cost of the phone or SIM card in your Concur report for the trip.
If you are going abroad for vacation, please do not use your company phone or Blackberry unless you have urgent reason to contact the office. If you must use your phone or Blackberry for personal matters while overseas, the company will gratefully accept reimbursement.
For help with these or other communications options, please consult News Technology before your trip.
If you are need help finding a phone number or an address, do not automatically dial 411.
Calls to directory assistance from a company mobile phone cost us $1.49 apiece. Google’s information line is free. You can use it by dialling 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) from any phone. Please do so.
Although we recognise that texting has become an indispensable means of communication for many people, our basic company plans with Verizon and AT&T do not provide for unlimited texting. A lot of texting costs us a lot of money, whether as a per-message fee or as an unlimited-message add-on.
So please use discretion when deciding to send a text, especially if a voice call or e-mail would get your message to the recipient equally well. Do not use Twitter via text messages; install a client like Twitterberry on your phone instead. Do not send picture or video messages (“MMS”) from company phones except for work purposes. And do not text from overseas.
Also, if you have a Blackberry and are trying to reach someone else who also has a Blackberry, consider using Blackberry’s free Messenger service rather than texting. You will need to know in advance the PIN number that Blackberry has assigned to the other person’s device, but once you have that, it is at least as easy to use as texting. Click on the “Blackberry Messenger” icon on your main screen and follow the instructions. You can find your own PIN number by clicking on “Options” from the main menu, then “Status.”
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