Educators across the United States use a free text messaging service called Remind to send notifications to parents. Your child's teacher might use Remind to text about important things going on in the classroom. Their school also might use Remind to tell you about emergency situations or bad weather days. Educators have relied on the service to communicate information since 2011, but now if you have Verizon, it might become unavailable.

Verizon Hikes Fees

The service is free to educators and parents, but Remind pays a fee for every one of the 1.6 billion messages that go to Verizon customers every year. Verizon is raising that fee to 11 times its original value. That changes the amount Remind pays from several hundred thousand dollars a year to several million. Remind says if that happens, they'll be forced to discontinue text notifications for Verizon customers.

Rumors Of a Deal

Verizon says the cost is to cover their new network and it's aimed at services that produce spam. Remind specifically prohibits spam. Verizon publicly promised not to raise fees on Remind, but there's no signed agreement yet. As of right now, Remind's website says Verizon parents will no longer be able to receive Remind messages as texts starting January 28.

Educators Aren't The Only Ones Affected

The agreement Verizon has mentioned only covers kindergarten through 12th-grade organizations. It doesn't include the countless churches, preschools, daycares and college campuses that use Remind. There would still be a fee for text messages sent to Verizon customers through those organizations.

What Can Parents Do?

Remind encourages parents and educators to call Verizon customer service to let them know how important it is to keep fees the way they are. Parents can also download the Remind app. That way, even Remind does have to discontinue text messages to Verizon parents, they'll still receive them as push notifications.

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