Among the many surprise costs that annoy cellphone owners, unwanted text message service fees can be the worst; they're hard to stop, and not always worth the effort. Those fees may not irk many US subscribers after today, though -- AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile now stop "problematic" premium SMS services from billing their customers. Donations and those all-important talent show votes will still go through. Verizon isn't part of today's announcements, although the company's General Counsel William Petersen tells us that Big Red is already "winding down" premium SMS services. There's a good chance that these shady messagers will simply change tactics, but they'll at least have a tougher time scamming phone owners.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.