Cell phone donations challenged

Published on

UPI – United Press International

NEW YORK, NY — The wireless industry is making money from a program that lets cell phone users donate to the American Red Cross.

The Text 2Help program is a business strategy masquerading as a charity, the Foundations for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights claimed.

The program enables customers of participating cell phone companies to make donations to the Red Cross in natural disasters. Each donation is capped at $5 and incurs fees, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

“If you want to contribute $20, you have to send four text messages and you’ll be billed for four text messages,” Foundation spokesman Jamie Court told the Times.

Antitrust concerns prevent carriers from waiving service fees, said David S. Diggs, executive director of the Wireless Foundation, a charity created by the wireless industry.

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