A consumer group has alleged that a new text-based donation program, called Text2Help, which allows donors to contribute to the American Red Cross in the event of major natural disasters, is just a business development strategy masquerading as a charity program. The president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, Jamie Court said: "The wireless industry has made a very direct appeal here to the hearts of Americans to use these short codes to make charitable donations, but people don't realize that every short code comes with a bill." The Wireless Foundation, which is a charity created by the wireless industry, said antitrust issues prevent the industry from waiving the short code fees because trade organizations cannot discuss matters relating to pricing. According to the WF, one of the companies facilitating the Text2Help service is already donating its proceeds from short code fees to the cause.
For more on Text2Help:
- see this article in the New York Times