We have been so moved by the outpouring of support this week. Remind is a small startup company that since 2011 has been singularly focused on supporting educators, students, and parents across every organization where learning happens. I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to hear from so many people that the work we do is making an impact. So, first off, from every one of us at Remind and from me personally, thank you.
Second, we wanted to make sure you have full context on the current situation. You deserve better than corporate speak and press releases, so I’m going to break it down as simply and frankly as possible.
As we shared with you on Monday, Verizon had intended to greatly increase the amount we pay for each text message sent via their network. We asked you to speak out—and you did. This morning, Verizon issued a press release that promised to eliminate fees in response to the outcry from educators, parents, and students from around the country.
We’re glad that they’ve made this public commitment to stop charging for texts for K-12 education organizations. It’s reassuring to hear that Verizon doesn’t want to drive profits on the backs of students, families, and educators. The fact that they’re doing this proves your voices are being heard.
But despite Verizon’s public relations messaging, the service you depend on is not yet protected. Here are the facts:
There is no signed agreement.
While Verizon has been focused on public relations, they have not yet put a signed agreement into place that will protect our service on an ongoing basis. The announcement is a positive first step—now we need an official agreement to ensure that our service can continue uninterrupted on their network.
Not everyone is covered by this promise.
Many of you may also be part of the large and growing base of students, parents, and educators who rely on Remind every day in organizations like preschools, daycares, colleges, churches, and youth organizations across the country. Based on Verizon’s proposal, these wouldn’t necessarily count as “K-12 organizations.”
Our free service doesn’t cost Remind “nothing.”
Remind is free to use for millions of educators, parents, and students. Even if Verizon follows through on their promise to waive the additional fees they planned to charge, we’ll continue to pay several hundred thousand dollars every year to support Verizon customers who use the free Remind service: a cost we’ve built into our business model because we’re committed to supporting education in the US. Verizon’s proposed surcharge would increase this amount to several million dollars per year, and that is the reason why we would be forced to discontinue text notifications.
And finally, a note about how Remind makes money.
Remind’s only source of revenue is through our School and District plan, which offers additional features to support entire organizations with greater communication needs. Our terms and policies very clearly specify that we do not rent or sell our users’ personal information, and we prohibit advertising of any kind on Remind.
We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to announce soon that we can continue to provide our text messaging service without interruption, but right now, nothing has been signed. Please keep asking Verizon to formally commit to their public statement to #ReverseTheFee and #PutItInWriting—because your voices are making a difference.