App provider Remind threatens to eliminate a free texting service for K-12 education organizations (which will cost it nothing).
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Update to Remind’s text service for schools
This week we’ve been in discussions with Remind to ensure that there's no reason for it to cut-off its free text messaging notification service to schools, teachers, parents and students. We are keeping the service exactly the way it has been for Remind and other companies like it that deliver free communications to these important users. We have shared all of this with Remind. There is no reason for it to discontinue its free service to Pre-K and K-12 school systems.
We understand how important this service is to our customers and we’re committed to ensuring that a free messaging option remains available now and going forward.
Our support of the education community is part of our DNA. Since 2012, we’ve provided more than $400 million to our Innovative Learning programs and have helped more than a million students along the way.
January 17, 2019
NEW YORK - As discussed this week with Remind, Verizon will not charge Remind fees as long as they don’t begin charging K-12 schools, educators, parents and students using its free text message service. Despite this offer, made Tuesday, Remind has not changed its position that it will stop sending free texts to Verizon customers who use the service regarding school closures, classroom activities and other critical information.
Verizon already committed to providing this service for K-12 education groups free to Remind, and also to its text messaging service provider, Twilio, contrary to Remind’s claim that Verizon would somehow charge Remind “millions of dollars” for Remind to serve customers.
“We are proud of Verizon's industry-leading support for K-12 educational organizations, teachers, parents and students,” said Aparna Khurjekar, who leads customer experience for Verizon. “We are dedicated to ensuring that our network is available and accessible to people who rely on us for important information like school closings, classroom activities and more.”
Remind, while not a direct customer of Verizon, uses the Verizon network to offer both free and paid "premium" services, and is threatening to eliminate their free text messaging service for Verizon customers in those K-12 schools, teachers, parents and students. Verizon will not charge for delivering these messages, with added safety and security measures built in.
“We know teachers, parents and students rely on text messages from schools for both general and emergency notifications,” said Khurjekar. “It’s outrageous that Remind is using families, educators and school communities as pawns. No one should need to worry about whether they’ll receive these notifications.”
Contrary to Remind’s recent statements, Verizon does not treat educational text messages like spam. The company does not charge for spam, it blocks it. As part of its enhanced text messaging platform, Verizon will continue to give students, parents and educators the special safety and security required by blocking spam and fraudulent activity over the free text messaging service. There will not be a charge for new anti-spam and anti-fraud measures for this community of customers that are needed to provide a safe and secure service. The company is only seeking assurances that Remind won’t charge schools or families for those services.