Verizon accepts NARAL's text messages after all

By Megan McArdle

So Verizon has rescinded its refusal to give NARAL one of those short-form text message numbers for broadcasts. This case didn't strike me as a cause for indignation so much as a cause for total bewilderment. What on earth was Verizon thinking? How could this possibly offend their pro-life subscribers, who can not receive NARAL's text messages by the simple expedient of not signing up for them? Do even those pro-life subscribers want a cell phone service that deigns to decide to whose text messages they may or may not subscribe?

Given that the other big networks had already signed up NARAL, this sort of thing seems very likely to drive away any subscribers who want the service, while gleaning absolutely no support from pro-life subscribers who presumably will never try to subscribe to NARAL's text messages, and thus will never learn to their immense satisfaction that their cell-phone provider does not permit such smut to be transmitted over its networks.

Personally, I don't particularly care for NARAL, and I'm certainly not planning to waste my text messages on them. But when my Verizon contract is up, I'll be looking for a provider that doesn't think it can make those sorts of decisions for me. And I'm pretty sure that my mother, who has never gotten a text message in her life, but who focuses her charity on Planned Parenthood, will be even more avid to make the switch.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2007/09/verizon-accepts-naral-apos-s-text-messages-after-all/2014/