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Verizon charges 20 cents per text. That's why I avoid text messaging whenever possible. Especially once I got a smartphone with unlimited data. I have more ways to contact me on my phone than I can keep track, all of which are free, so text messages are the option of last resort.
Even voice calls are essentially free these days - unlimited nights, weekends, and in network calls means I rarely have any significant usage of my limited minutes.
I don't understand the logic behind AT&T and Verizon's pricing plans. When I was on T-Mobile, unlimited free SMS was included with the data plan I had, and it's the same on all of Sprint's contract plans that I'm aware of.
I suppose it's because the former two are the giant carriers here, and the latter two have to offer some compelling reasons to switch. With T-Mobile and now Sprint, I've enjoyed great customer service and pricing options that make sense to a data-heavy user like me. The only downside to either network is simply coverage, and both have improved greatly in that regard over the past few years.