While pounding my desk in frustration after being outbid on an item on eBay, I noticed an eBay Alerts SMS service at the bottom of the page. The service explained the process of sending text messages in the even an item was near closing or if someone outbids your current maximum price. I thought great, this is exactly what I need in order to stay on top of my auctions. Then I noticed the following text snippet:
Only $.25 / item (up to 10 SMS messages). Charges will appear on your mobile phone bill. (std messaging fees may still apply)
WTH? In an age of free web based text messaging services, why is eBay charging its users 0.25 / item (for 10 messages)? On top of the 0.25 charge, you may be charged by your carrier for the text (if you’re not on a messaging plan). Doesn’t eBay collect enough fees from sellers that they can offer this type of service for free?