Due to the volume of calls and messages that we handle daily, it is impractical for us and our carrier partners to charge certain elements to your account in real-time. The most important fees in this category are international calls and text messages and A2P carrier fees for US/Canada text messages. Instead of charging these in real-time, we charge all incurred fees at the end of the day to your account.
In this article, we aim to create transparency around how Aloware charges these fees to your account, what "end of day" billing means for carrier fees, and explain a sudden drop in your credits on high-volume days.
Aggregated A2P SMS fees
As you know, in 2022 major US carriers implemented SMS fees for all Application To Person (A2P) traffic on their networks (more here). These fees are passed on to you as our client at no markup.
Considering the volume of messages Aloware sends as a whole across the network, and the adjustments necessary to make sure our end clients get accurate fees in accordance with the registration scores, we have implemented a 24-hour delay in charging these fees to your account. When you send a large broadcast, your messages themselves get charged to your account in near real-time, however, their associated A2P fees will be aggregated and charged the next day.
This might cause your balance to drop overnight and an auto-recharge to kick in while your campaign is already gone out the day before.
Here is an example.
Let's say your text rate with us is 1.0¢ per message, and you want to send to 30,000 contacts. Also let's assume the A2P fee for each message is 0.3¢ across the board (in reality, these depend on the contact's carrier). Your account balance is currently $100.
When you send your campaign at 10 am, on Dec 3rd, we deduct SMS charges against your balance as messages go out, so in a few minutes, when 1000 messages are out, your balance declines by $10 to $90. While your campaign is ongoing, you'd see your balance slowly paying for the messages until it reaches below your auto-recharge threshold.
Having reached that auto-recharge threshold, we perform an auto-recharge (for $250). So in the end, your account will look like this:
Cost of 50k messages
Auto recharge amounts
30,000 x 0.010 = $300
$100 - $300 + $250 = $50
Now, normally we would expect all those 30k messages to be hit by a 30,000 x 0.003 = $90 fee and another auto-recharge to kick in to cover the fees as they go. But as we explained above, this is not the case - Aloware aggregates all those fees and applies them the next day. Hence you'd see your balance dropping to -$40, and another auto-recharge to cover for it.
International Calls and Texts
If your account is based in the US or Canada, any call or text sent to all other countries is considered "international". The pricing for each text you send depends on the destination, your contact's carrier, and the number of segments, and pricing for your international calls depends on the destination and call duration. You can view your account rates in Account > International Pricing (see this).
The pricing for calls and texts in other countries is not provided back to us immediately. In fact, in certain cases, it takes up to 48 hours for those charges to settle between us and our carrier partners. To make sure we can charge you accurately and transparently, we wait around 24 hours for all charges to settle with our various carrier partners and then reflect those charges in your account. This means all charges for international calls/texts are deducted at the same time, between 5 pm and 6 pm PST.
If you send a lot of international texts, you might see your balance suddenly drop at around 5 pm PST due to these fees being summed up and charged all at once.
You can always see your international charges in Account > Billing > See Usage, noting that they are delayed up to 24 hours. Here is an example: