Remind, an app used by millions of teachers and students to communicate outside of class, is still planing to end its coverage on Verizon at the end of the month, unless the two sides can come to an official agreement.
Remind said in a statement earlier this week that Verizon imposed a new fee that would make it too expensive to send and receive text messages through the carrier.
But Verizon quickly responded, saying it would not charge any fees for K-12 education groups.
“We know teachers, parents and students rely on text messages from schools for both general and emergency notifications,” said Aparna Khurjekar, who leads customer experience for Verizon, in a statement. "No one should need to worry about whether they’ll receive these notifications.”
Remind's CEO Brian Grey, however, claimed that Verizon hadn't officially committed to waiving the fees. In a statement, he said Verizon had "not yet put a signed agreement into place that will protect our service on an ongoing basis."
With 31 million users, Remind is a free service often used by educators to contact their students and make announcements. More than 7 million of its users are on Verizon plans, USA Today reported.
Grey said Verizon's announcement was a good first step but that they need an official agreement to ensure Remind's service won't be interrupted. If they are unable to reach an agreement before Jan. 28, users on Verizon will not be able to send or receive text messages, Remind said.
Grey also pointed out that Verizon only said it would cover K-12 education groups. Verizon's statement did not mention other organizations like preschools, daycares, colleges, churches, and youth organizations that also use the app.
Remind said that the disruption would not affect organizations that have a paid “Remind School and District Plan.”
Many tweeted at Verizon and asserted that their messages are not spam, using the hashtag #ReversetheFee.
“Verizon, I use the incredible FREE texting service provided by #Remind and am joining others on social media to ask you to #Reversethefee so that I can continue to help my students and their parents,” tweeted Bethany Ganley. “This is #NotSpam. Not everyone has a smartphone to utilize the app!”
“Remind messages are #NotSpam. They provide preschools like my daughter's a means for teachers to send critical emergency alerts to parents,” tweeted Andy Walz.
Remind said it was “working hard on a solution to make text messaging available again,” but it also offered several suggestions for Verizon users to continue receiving messages.
People could download the free Remind app, create an account and enable push notifications on their phones. They could also turn on email notifications.
Remind also asked affected teachers, parents and students to contact Verizon customer service at www.remind.com/verizon-fee.