One of the first things I did when I got an iPhone was call AT&T and asked them to turn off SMSing. If I’m paying $70 a month for phone and data service, I think it’s stupid that they expect me to pay extra for text messaging. I am not a fan of the $5 a month text messaging plan nor am I fan of getting nickled and dimed for SMS. Since the iPhone seems to automatically open new SMS’s and that costs me money, I didn’t want any to come my way. A simple phone call to AT&T switched SMS off entirely. The only downside is that when friends try to SMS my number, they don’t get an error message about how I have it blocked, so they just assume I never SMS them back.
If you have a Google Voice account, there’s an easy way to get free SMS. Since it’s free to send and recieve an SMS to your google voice number, just tell people to message you on that. Then go to Settings > Voicemail & SMS > SMS Forwarding. Check that box to have new SMS’s go to your email. One nice thing about this is that when you hit ‘reply’ in your email, it has the recipient’s SMS address already there, so it’s just like texting someone back.
Going one step further, if you have Gpush, you can get almost instantaneous notification when you get an SMS since it pings Gpush with a new email message.