Texters charged extra for using Irish accents or symbols

 

Mobile phone users who text in Irish claim they are being ripped off because they use the national language. They say it is cheaper to send a photo than it is to send a “fada”.

Vodafone confirmed yesterday that users would be charged for three text messages if they include a single síneadh fada in a text of 160 characters.

Operators say texts are charged according to the data used as opposed to the number of characters. Messages with characters in Irish or Mandarin, for instance, use more characters than a standard text in English.

O2 and Vodafone say they conform to global standards set by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, which defines the basic list of SMS alphabet characters and symbols.