Remind — an app commonly used by teachers for easy communication with students — has recently announced that their free service will no longer be extended to Verizon Wireless users.
The Remind team recently sent out an email to all its users, stating that the reason for the discontinuation is a new texting fee. “Verizon is charging Remind an additional fee intended for companies that send spam over its network,” the email said.
The fee is expected to increase the cost of a Remind message sent through Verizon’s network by 11 times — something that “isn’t financially feasible for [Remind] to support.”
As of now, Remind and Verizon have no deal over the fees, although, in a press conference, Verizon has promised to revert the fees after public outcry.
On Jan. 28, Remind text notifications will end for Verizon Wireless customers. According to Remind, this means that students may not be able to receive Remind text notifications from teachers.
Numerous teachers at Cam High who use Remind for their classes will be affected.
Ms. Tawney Safran, social science teacher at Cam High, said, “[I use the app to] remind everyone about upcoming quizzes and tests, impromptu study sessions, extra credit opportunities, check their homework. It’s those little nudges and reminders.”
She continued on, saying, “Remind is already a free program, and they rely largely on donors and ads, so it makes sense that they need financial help, but at the same time, it’s kind of crazy that a large carrier like Verizon would hurt those that are benefiting from [this service], mainly students”
Ms. Shannon Klemann, one of Cam High’s biology teachers, said, “I completely disagree with [categorizing Remind as spam]. Spam is stuff that is random, for stuff that I haven’t solicited. In the case of Remind, I have not put anyone’s name on Remind without their permission, and so they know they will be getting notifications from me and have given me permission to send them notifications in signing up for it.”
Luke Whitney, junior, said, “I don’t think [Remind messages] are spam. Most teachers use them for a good reason; it’s not like a bot.”
Klemann said, “It is a problem, but it isn’t the end of the world. We can solve this using Google Classroom. It is inconvenient, and I think Remind is a great tool and it is a bummer that it’s being taken away, but it’s solvable.”
To continue receiving Remind notifications, Verizon Wireless customers are strongly encouraged to download the Remind mobile app for Apple or Android devices.
Update 1-28-19: Verizon has decided it will not be charging Remind the new fee, after public outcry. As a result, there will not be any Remind service disruptions for Verizon users.