Go to all the cellphone stores in your area, sign up all the demo phones for your very own premium SMS text service, and make $9.99 per demo phone! Find out how.
Every now and then I receive a random text message on my cell phone. Sometimes it’s a horoscope reading, sometimes it’s a random stock pick, sometimes it’s a weather report and other times its just some advertising spam.
I initially thought that it was just an annoyance so I would simply either ignore or delete the message. I bet the majority of people have the same type of reaction in this situation.
However sometimes the messages reoccur and other times they do not.
Either way at the end of the month I recieve my cell phone bill only to find that I have an additional $4.99 charge for a “third-party” service!
I call up my cell phone company and ask them what this charge is for and they tell me that’s it either a subscription or one-time text messaging service. They go on to tell me that I can’t cancel through them or get a refund because these charges are from a third-party company and not my actual cellphone carrier.
They simply tell me to reply to all further text messages with the words: STOP or CANCEL to prevent these text messages from reoccurring. This will cancel the service from here on out, but it will not refund any current or previous charges.
So what does this mean? This means that you will still be charged for the initial text message regardless of whether you cancel the service immediately and that this “third-party” company could be getting anywhere between 99 cents and $9.99 for sending you this single text message.
I checked my previous cell phone bills from past months only to find that there were similar charges those months that I did not even notice!
Initially this made me angry, but once I thought about this ingenious business model, I immediately wanted in!
I bet that at least 70% of the people who receive these type of text messages don’t even notice that they are being charged for these extra services and just pay their bills.
This type of service is known as Reverse SMS billing or a premium SMS service where companies can bill a user through an SMS text. This even goes beyond just charging for text messages. Services like PayPay or GPay allows people to send and transfer money via SMS. People can also charge money to their cell phone account with similar types of services.
Where this money goes
I did some research on this type of third-party text message billing and found that these companies make between half to a third of what they bill, the cell phone company takes one-third and the payment gateway service also gets one-third.
So if they charge 99 cents per month and bill 30,000 people they will be making approximately $10,000 per month.
If they bump this up to $4.99 per month they will be making over $45,000 per month.
So how do YOU set up this type of service?
Textmarks is the easiest service to use and allows people to set up a keyword for use on their short code of 41411.
You could set up the keyword, MakeMoney, and when anyone sends an SMS text with the word, MakeMoney, to 41411. They would be signed up for your premium SMS service for either $4.99 or $9.99 per month depending what you want to charge for your service.
Now the difficulty is advertising and getting people to sign up for your keyword. Unless you want to go the spamming route like many companies do.
Bulk SMS messaging
There are services out there like ClickaTell which allows users to send bulk SMS messages to thousands or perhaps millions of cellphone users.
You could also write a web-based application to do bulk PC-to-Phone SMS texting.
To stop the use of spamming some of the premium SMS services requires all potential subscribers to reply with a “Y” indicating that they actually understand the charges and want to subscribe to the service. However, this could potentially be countered and defeated with SMS text spoofing or by writing a web-based application to sign people up for your text service regardless of whether or not they have actually willingly subscribed.
Signing tens-of-thousands of people up for your premium SMS service requires a bit work however it could be highly rewarding and bring in thousands of dollars per month. However there is an easier way to make a couple hundred per month with much less time and work involved.
Bill the Cellphone Companies Back
Go to all the cellphone stores in your area and sign up all the demo phones for your premium SMS text service!
In my immediate area there are 3 Sprint/Nextel Stores, 4 AT&T stores, 4 Verizon stores, 3 T-Mobile Stores, and 1 Helio Store. These 15 cell phone stores had a total of 328 active demo phones that I was able to sign up for my $9.99 a month service.
After the cellphone companies take their cut (~33%) and the premium SMS billing gateways take their cut (~33%). I am left with $3.00 per subscriber, not too bad, but not great. Better than nothing though! So with 328 subscribers at $3.00 per month I am making an easy $984.00 per month. That’s a decent car payment (this may even cover rent for some people)!
1) Sign up for a shortcode keyword.
2) Set your keyword for premium billing (either $4.99 or $9.99 per month).
3) Go to your local cellphone store and use all the demo phones to text your keyword to their 41411 short code.
4) Clear out all inboxed and sent text messages from phones.
5) Repeat this process at more cellphone stores.
6) Wait for them to mail you a check for approx $1.50 per subscriber ($4.99) or $3.00 per subscriber ($9.99). The more subscribers you have the more you make!
I am billing the cellphone companies back and they are paying for it! I got my
first check last month.
And things are just getting started…
If I head further into the bay area there are hundreds of cell phone stores with thousands of demo phones so my subscriber list is sure to increase! I can sign up more phones at my leisure.
Also, the cellphone companies get new phones every few months so this would allow me to return to these stores and sign up all their new phones for my premium service. Things are just getting better and better!
So what is your take on these premium SMS scam ideas?