Verizon Won't Help You Filter Out SMS Spam Because It Makes Them Money

Why can’t people set up filters to turn off unwanted spam text messages, especially when they’re sent by unknown parties to a phone number that’s never been (knowingly) listed by the owner? Maybe it’s because Verizon gets to charge you 20 cents per message, suggests this reader who can’t figure out why her grandfather’s mobile number suddenly became a spam magnet after switching to a new Verizon phone.

Dear Consumerist,

My family and I wanted to relay a recent experience we had with the phone company Verizon. Over the last couple of months my grandfather’s phone started receiving e-mail and web-based spam text messages. His phone is part of our family’s plan, and he never put his phone number on the internet (for this reason) nor does he know how to send or receive text messages. Mind you this was a brand new phone with the same number, which had not received any sort of messages like these before the new phone. Just for clarification, he did not release his number before the new phone either.

We discovered on our phone bill that we were being charged for these spam text message at $.20 a text (up from the $.10 price just a few months ago). My mother spent several hours on separate days inquiring on how to turn off just the computer generated text messages. Even as the primary on the account, she was unable to turn them off. The salesmen in a local Verizon store stated that you could only turn off ALL text messages, not just web-based ones, which she knew to be untrue. She contacted the customer service at 611 and spent the many hours with tech support trying to accomplish this task. 611 was only able to help my mother when she had the phone in question on hand after registering an online account (at vtext.com) with Verizon for that specific phone (we had to make a new account for each phone) and provided the last four digits of her social security number. We had to repeat this process for each phone, which meant that phones had to travel from over an hour away so that we could do this for my grandfather’s and grandmother’s phones.

Our concern here is that Verizon is making big money off spam and this feature is nearly impossible to disable, even on the master account. The customer service has only occasionally reversed these charges. Somebody needs to step in (perhaps the FCC) and force Verizon to make disabling this feature far easier—like offering an uncomplicated, free option to opt out.

Long story short, Verizon should not be allowed to make money off spam.

Sincerely,

A frustrated Verizon customer
(Note: this is the name my mother provided when talking with customer support)

We agree, and we think it would be fairly easy (but less profitable, which is why it won’t happen) to implement a policy that allows CSRs to automatically credit, no-questions-asked, any charges for text messages sent by companies, known spam IP addresses, or unlisted numbers. The number of jerks who would game the policy to get a few free text messages each month would be far outweighed by the goodwill earned from customers who will no longer feel Verizon’s taking advantage of them with sms spam.

(Photo: *nomad*)

Comments

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  1. ExcelsiorDDZ says:

    My mother had this same thing happen to her. All of a sudden, she had “premium Text Messaging” for $19.99 on her bill. And PAST text messages from over a year ago started coming through. According to Aunt V., this is a 3rd party text messaging service that my mother had signed up for somehow, but they could not tell me how.

    My mother never has used text messages nor does she know how to use that feature. And she has no desire to.

    It took about 8 phone calls and a call to a higher up to reverse those charges and them proceed in cancelling the phone without a cancellation fee. But even that took two tries.

  2. forgottenpassword says:

    I have wondered if t-moble did this as well as I have gotten odd phishing text messages on my t-moble-to-go prepaid phone that I basically use for emergency use only & keep a limited amount of minutes on it.

  3. antisane says:

    I am having the same problem with Sprint on my wife’s cell phone, and we have changed the number 3 times now (only been with Sprint since last August).

    We even told them to block ALL text messages/SMS/etc… and we still get occasional texts.

  4. Lucky225 says:

    @forgottenpassword:

    Yea T-mobile togo incoming used to be free, now they cost. This whole notion that you should have to pay for an incoming text message, which is equivalent to a collect call, is ridiculous. At least on collect calls you get to say yes or no, it should be the same w/ text messages, you should have the option to accept or deny based on the sender, and only get charged for the ones you actually read. Either that or don’t charge for incoming. When the only solution is to turn off ALL incoming SMS, that’s kind of ridiculous.

  5. kmn842 says:

    10 cent text messages a few months ago? They upped the rate to 15 cents on March 1st 2007…

  6. bohemian says:

    I started getting text spam. The Verizon CSR I talked to said the only way to block it was to put the offending source into a blacklist via the online administration of your phone’s features. But you can only put a few addresses in that blacklist. If they start using multiple addresses or changing them frequently your going to get charged for the new ones and spend a ton of time updating your blacklist.

  7. CMU_Bueller says:

    This is Verizon making money plain and simple. It took all of two seconds for Alltel to disable web based text messages for me.

  8. WraithSama says:

    Since carriers gets to pocket money for each spam text message their customers receive, I’m surprised that they haven’t (and wouldn’t be surprised if they have) set up automated scripts to spam their own customers so they can tack on fees and pad their monthly income.

    Think about it. Set up an automated script that requires no human input that constantly sends spam to customers, which they get to charge for. It’s like printing money!

  9. dreamcatcher2 says:

    I think incoming texts should be free… aren’t they in most countries?? That’s what I thought, can anybody from outside the US confirm?

  10. adambadam says:

    @dreamcatcher2: True. ATT back before it was bought by Cingular used to have free incoming and I thought all the other carriers were brain dead. Too bad ATT was run by morons who didn’t think to use this as selling point so it never became the norm.

  11. azntg says:

    Unlimited incoming messages was one thing I missed converting from a Cingular Blue (old AT&T Wireless) to a Cingular Orange account out of necessity.

    Once our family added two more phone lines (for a total of four lines), the two new numbers were getting endless spam messages. So, I got AT&T to just block ALL incoming text messages on ALL phone numbers. That part, they did right…

    Can’t say the same about billing snafus that came from adding new lines. That took several billing cycles to fix, but I did appreciate the patience from the various CSRs and definitely appreciate the waived activation fees that one of the CSR did for me. I’d call that a satisfactory tradeoff for the time and trouble.

  12. redpeppers20xx says:

    I was so bombarded with this trash (and I got hit twice because my gf’s phone was on my account too) that I walked away from a 2-line 2-year contract only 3 months in.

    I started getting this junk the moment I walked out of the store with both of my new phones.

    When I called VZW for help they said:
    -it’s your fault
    -you are liar..we know you signed up for these ‘flirting/dating advice’ services at 9.99 a month even though you are getting married…oh,right…hun,you’re the woman of my dreams but I want to spend $10+ a month so I can learn how to pick up more girls at the bar…WTF ever..
    -too bad..if you want the charges reversed it’s up to you to call the offending company and ask them to credit you

    I was so blown away by not oly Verizons response to my problem but how they treated me.

    I did get them to waive one of my two ETF’s but beyond that my 3 month stay with Verion was horrific.

    People rag on ATT and in reality they all stink in one way or another but Verizon is pure evil.

    I’ve had US Cellular and ATT in the recent past and I maybe received one ‘spam’ TM combined. And going back over the past 10 years I can count on one hand the number of unauthorized messages I’ve gotten from the 4 or 5 carriers I’ve tried over the years.

    There is something very fishy w/ Verizon. NO other cell carrier handles this issue like they do. They must have a sweet heart deal in place with these companies. And I wonder if VZW isn’t submitting thier customers numbers because I am not kidding..this junk started coming in before I even got out to my car after paying for the phones.

    The first 3 or 4 messages I shrugged off but when that $10 showed up on my bill I went through the roof.

    I’d go w/o a cell rather than ever go back to Verizon.

  13. BugMeNot2 says:

    I had T-Mobile and was charged for every unwanted incoming text message, so definitely not an issue specific to T-Mobile.

    Virgin Mobile, btw, does allow you to disable text messages completely, which you can do on your own via their website.

    Finally, as in this case, using “You” in the headline is appropriate as it applies to most of the readers. When the story only happens to one person, using “You” in the headline is stupid. Kudos.

  14. TechnoDestructo says:

    This is why I will never have another cell phone contract.

  15. wesrubix says:

    uuuuuuuuuuuuugh
    just don’t sign up for that txt message shit. come on people. this is your own fault.

    and yes, vtext.com is a nice feature, to let you block some real garbage out there.

    you really wanna end all spam from your own failure? get a new number.

  16. rg says:

    There’s an easy way to fix this. Tell Verizon they are in breach of your contract and if they don’t fix it you’re leaving and not paying a penny to break your contract.

  17. kmn842 says:

    I’ve had verizon since 2003, and I haven’t received ANY spam texts. Then again, I haven’t signed up for anything! Do you really think that verizon is going to intentionally spam their own customers for the sake of making a little bit of money? I know that they may seem evil, but they aren’t completely retarded.

  18. micasaessucasa says:

    Spam text at 2 am is infuriating!!! Anyone else been woken up by spam text?

  19. Carencey says:

    @wesrubix: ooh, blaming the victim and a ridiculous non-solution all at once! wtg!
    companies should not be allowed to charge at all for incoming texts without giving customers the option to refuse them.

  20. ColoradoShark says:

    @Lucky225: Amen!

    When a phone call comes in and I don’t know the incoming number, I get the option to not pick up the call and keep my minutes.

    Why can’t I get that option with incoming text messages?

  21. pmcpa2 says:

    Have 2 Nextel phones (Now Sprint/Nextel… Ok Cust service, better then straight sprint), I have TEXT turned off on one, and had span texts coming through on Sundays on the other. Took the CSR 2 minutes to not only look at the offending texts, but block the source on the “entire network” and did take it to heart when I suggested to put in place filters to save money by preventing people having to call in and get credited. Was so happy with the call, I hung up before I requested a credit, but on the next cycle, the credit was there!

  22. levenhopper says:

    @micasaessucasa: If you can count my friends when they’re drunk, then yes ;)

    Otherwise…nope.

  23. ByeBye says:

    This happened at ATT a couple of months ago (I know, I work there) – turns out the spam filters went down for about a week – I issued about a total of $5k worth of credits…was not fun AT ALL.

  24. opticnrv says:

    It’s your grandfather’s phone…Call the service provider and have text capabilities turned off. Problem solved. Isn’t this obvious?

  25. henwy says:

    @ opticnrv:

    She dosen’t want them turned off. She wants Verizon to somehow figure out which ones are spam and then disable them before they’re received. Frankly, I can’t figure out how that would work exactly. It seems pretty unreasonable to me. I’ve had cell phones with 2-3 different numbers over the years and I’ve never gotten a text message from anyone other than friends. I have gotten spam phone calls but probably less than 10 over the course of almost 10 years.

  26. loudambiance says:

    I was logged into my online account management for verizon, I have settings to block Premium text messages, and I know you can also turn off all text messages (I have done it before). (img)[img265.imageshack.us]

  27. Xkeeper says:

    @wesrubix: you’re a fucking moron.

    just don’t sign up for that txt message shit. come on people. this is your own fault.

    You don’t have to “sign up” for anything. If you bothered reading (which you obviously did not), you would learn that:

    1. Text messages are opt-out, not opt-in (i.e., enabled by default with a long, painful process to turn them off with Verizon it would seem)

    2. They did not, in fact, sign up for anything

    If you honestly suggest getting a new number as one of the “preferred solutions”, you’re even more of a moron. Yes, let’s get a new number every time this happens (which for some people is more than once daily, even).

    Can we please start axing commenters again, Consumerist? Please?

  28. Kat says:

    When I bought my parents phones on my account, I just asked AT&T to disable their numbers from getting text messages, and they did.

  29. Dustin says:

    I’ve had problems with unwanted texts. Sometime during SXSW 07 I was getting texts from a company (a large one that gave SXSW updates–can’t remember which one) after completing their unsubscribe process several times. I called up T-Mobile, let them know the problem, and I didn’t get anymore from them.

    Of course, it probably would be tougher if you were getting texts from several different numbers.

  30. newcastle says:

    I had something similar happen to me with Sprint. I started getting annoying text spam. At first I ignored it. But then when I saw my bill and was getting charged for it, I called Sprint. They removed the charges. It happened again the next month, and I called them again. They removed the charges again. They said they could block all incoming text messages to my phone, and I told them to do that. However on my next bill I had about 10 text messages that I was charged for. I called, and they said that even though they were blocking them to my phone, since they were coming to my account they charged me for them. I asked them what can I do at this point. The lady said, look at the message and go to the website listed and tell them to stop. I told her that you were blocking my text messages so I’m not getting them. WTF?!? So apparently they couldn’t stop me from being charged for them. I wasn’t too attached to my number and asked if changing my number would stop it, and she said probably. I changed my number and never got them again. I have since left Sprint after they screwed me on a new phone and left me a loophole to leave my contract early.

  31. delphi_ote says:

    And now all Verizon needs to do is start sending the spam messages themselves. It’ll be like printing money!

  32. dragonfire81 says:

    Incoming text messages do bill here in Canada.

    I used to work for Sprint and with them we had two different text messaging blocks we could put in effect. One for standard text messaging and one for premium text messaging. Premium messaging would be messaging that would bill you at 9.99 a month or whatever and you’d be sent marketing messages.

    If these messages are only billing at 0.20/msg then the system is treating them as standard messages. Therefore the only way to stop them (sadly) is to disable messaging on the phone completely. Either that or change the cell number.

  33. MisterE87 says:

    Hmm, sounds like the reason the VZW rep wanted you to have phone in hand was to rule out Premium messaging. Some companies require an opt-out message to be sent to them from the originating phone number before they will stop billing you. I understand it was an inconvenience for you to have to get the phones if they were far away, but they were just trying to help.

    As far as the blocking of web-based messaging, this can be done on vtext.com. Yes, it does require you to be a vzw.com registrant for each line to perform it: the website needs a profile to apply the settings to. Also, there is the option to block premium messaging right on the website.

    Regarding the credits, it is procedure to credit any unwanted messaging charges. In a situation in which you call in to take care of this promptly and aren’t asking for months and months worth of credit, I can’t imagine you’d have too much of a problem. If a rep pushes back, request to speak to a supervisor. I guarantee you won’t pay these charges.

    VZW really is a good company. Unfortunately, it’s possible with any company to get ahold of a less than great rep. I like to think I’m better than most =) This process really shouldn’t take more than fifteen minutes, even for multiple lines. Sorry you had to spend so much time getting this fixed.

  34. nsv says:

    I’ve got the same problem with Sprint/Nextel. Finally told them to turn off text messaging, and they said to do that they’d have to kill my voicemail, too.

    How convenient. So I continue to pay for incoming spam.

  35. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Lucky225:

    I find the notion of having to pay for (or have your minutes used by, same thing) incoming cell calls to be equally galling.

    You don’t pay for incoming calls in the other countries where I’ve used cell phones (Japan and Korea)

  36. Turn Texting off completely and you won’t have to worry about it (i did it, because my daughter keep texting those dratted .99 premium vote for whatever on TV). Haven’t regretted it a bit, now instead of a text I get to hear my daughters voice on the phone. The only reason why cellphone companies charge so much for texting is they know people will spend the money on it, stop using it and the price of texting will drop. It’s a supply vs. demand thing. Stop demanding such (using) services and the price will go down. Of course the phone companies will jack up whatever else is popular. Screw em, get the basic phone package turn off all the bloated (extra charges) services and pay less money to them.

  37. jamar0303 says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Heck, I don’t even pay for incoming texts while roaming with my Chinese SIM.

  38. Halloway says:

    I live in the UK and I think that most people over here would find the idea of having to pay for incoming texts ludicrous and unbelievable. Texting is such an integral part of mobile phone usage over here that the notion of switching the service off is almost unthinkable.

  39. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Why not just send them a letter, certified mail, that you’re NOT going to pay for unsolicited text messages. It’s not in your ocntract, and if they keep charging you for them, bye! No ETF, no nothing.

    VZW is teh suck.

  40. @TechnoDestructo: From what I’ve heard most places that have free incoming make it free by charging the caller more. Hardly seems fair that I should pay more to call your cell than landline.

  41. lol_wut says:

    It sounds like the phone was inadvertently signed up for a premium text messaging service. At times it does not even take action on part of the wireless subscriber to do this, but a shady company looking to make a quick buck.

    When I spoke to a Verizon associate, they are obligated to pay the 3rd party service and bill the customer the moment this happens. Ideally, the customer is too stupid to go back and check their bill after a month or two and see where the strange charges come from.

    So it is a scam to try and get you away from your money, and Verizon just so happens to be caught in the middle.

    My suggestion:

    1) Sign up for premium text messaging block. It will ensure that any handset on the account will not be able to sign up for [intentionally or otherwise] any service which charges you to participate. [Voting on Idol, Survivor, getting “free” ring-tones]

    2) Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Only seek a credit for the most recent charges when dealing with these 3rd party charges. Honestly, you assume any and all liability when you choose to ignore the extra charges on your bill and pay them.

    So, take the first couple of charges as a lesson learned and get a credit on the ones that happened within the last 30 days. Verizon will gladly do that, and possibly go back further if you remain calm. It doesn’t hurt to ask at this point to see if they will “meet you halfway”.

  42. LisaMarie says:

    My boyfriend had this same issue and called Verizon who then blocked all text messages from email addresses. He was getting upwards of 10 messages a day.

    There’s supposed to be a way to block the messages via your account online, but we couldn’t find the exact page. They hide it very well.

    You don’t have to pay for this blocking service…it’s free.

  43. LisaMarie says:

    I just found the page online at verizonwireless.com.

    After logging into your account, roll over Messaging at the top horizontal menu, and choose Text Messaging from the drop down menu.

    Choose Preferences on the left hand menu, and then Text Blocking.

    You can choose to block all texts from email, from the web, or specific addresses.

    A word of experience, even if you didn’t sign up for these text messages (my bf didn’t either), often times the same message comes in with the address off by 1 letter or #. So blocking individual addresses is difficult.

    Good Luck!

  44. Fivetop says:

    Are any of the spams from a legitimate company with fixed address – contact information? Sue them under the TCPA. These are obviously unsolicited messages made to a cellphone. Respond with a “this is a cell phone, put me on your do not call list”, then if you get another one it’s off to small claims court @ $500/message.

  45. tedyc03 says:

    Chris, obviously you forgot to do your homework. The New York Times put out a multi-page article about this very topic today. From the article:

    Communications companies say they are not interested in spam as a profit center. They want to one day exploit the power of customized advertising on mobile phones, and tawdry spam pitches threaten to make their customers hostile toward all commercial messages. The companies are trying to head off the problem before consumers revolt.

    The carriers regularly adjust spam filters to block offending messages. At Sprint, more than 65 percent of all text messages sent over its network are identified and blocked as spam before they reach customers.

    The companies use legal weapons as well. Verizon said it had filed eight lawsuits against spammers since 2004.

    I hate all cell phone companies. But your article is clearly an outright lie.

    Full Article: [www.nytimes.com]

  46. JGB says:

    Some companies will not allow you to turn off the SMS feature. T-Mobile for one.

    My problem was not SMS spam, but teenagers. Even when I had threatened my two daughters enough that they cut down (at the time, we had a fixed number of messages plan), their friends were another story. One month, my bill for texting alone was 150 dollars. I tried to have this feature disabled only to be told that it was needed “in case, T-mobile needed to get in touch with me” Gee, if there was only some other way..maybe some sort of two-way voice technology. The customer service rep suggested changing the girl’s numbers every month or so (20 dollars a change). I finally was forced to sign up for unlimited messaging. Good thing too. I have the bill here in front of me and there were 15,000+ messages last month.

  47. dragonfire81 says:

    @nsv:

    You were lied to. Call back soon. Sprint can easily block texting without disabling your voicemail. The two services are not in any way related.

  48. ian937262 says:

    I’ve been with Verizon for almost 5 years and have never received an SMS spam.

  49. Landru says:

    @tedyc03: Why be such a dick? Like carriers would never lie to the NY Times. Or as if the marketing/spin people talking to the media are even included when such decisions are made. What are they going to say; “Yes, we deliberately screw our customers on spam. We make millions!!!”?

  50. yesteryear says:

    im not surprised by this at all… but it really does make you wonder what the hell is wrong with these companies. talk about building a hostile relationship with your customers! i wonder how many people just give up and sign up for unlimited text messages just to avoid dealing with it? i imagine that’s what verizon is banking on.

  51. Ambience says:

    Oddly enough, I didn’t have these problems when I had a text message issue. I started getting these confirmation messages that I’d been signed up for one of those psychic text #s or something. When I called Verizon, they said that yeah, I’d somehow been subscribed to some service and they explained how to cancel it and credited my account for the texts.

    Then they offered to disable text messages entirely on my account. Granted that may not be available on my new phone (the unlimited data plan), but maybe it’s who you get sent to on the customer service side.

  52. SeeratJaloo says:

    The best way to combat unwanted SMS SPAM is to file a complaint with all of
    these organizations:

    . FCC (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/complaints.html)

    . CSCA (http://www.usshortcodes.com/csc_support.html)

    . MMA (http://mmaglobal.com/modules/article/view.article.php/1170)

    If you unknowingly opted into a short code program by texting a keyword to a
    certain phone number, you should be able to reply to any message received
    from that phone number with the word STOP. This should end all unwanted
    messages if that company is running a legal and legitimate short code
    program. Otherwise, you should file a complaint with the organizations
    above and make sure to include the phone number the unwanted messages are
    coming from.

    Regards,

    Mr. Terry Harrison
    (ph) 512-965-2394

    (fx) 512-532-7750

    (im) sumotext512
    terry@sumotext.com
    http://www.79704.mobi/?SUMOTXT512

    ———————————————————
    Text SUMOTXT512 to 79704 for more details!

  53. enm4r says:

    The original article is wrong, or misleading at best. (such is the trend at Consumerist lately)

    1) Verizon will allow you to block all premium services. Admittedly, it’s only been a couple months.

    2) They have always had the ability to block ALL text messages.

    We can debate the issue of free incoming texts, but that is an entirely different topic. While perhaps not as thorough as you’d like, VZW does allow a couple ways to ensure you aren’t charged more than you’d like for unwanted texts.

    I found out 2 months ago when the second line on my service was hit with the 9.99 fee. I had to speak to a couple people, and of course told I had to take it up with the company. When pressed for contacts at the company so I could file a suit in small claims court, VZW couldn’t provide anything. “So you mean to tell me you’re telling me I have to contact a company for a refund when you can’t even tell me who you paid?” Immediate credit and all premium texts were then blocked. Problem solved.

  54. highmodulus says:

    Show us your Verizon face!

  55. GiltProto says:

    Oh how I miss the days when CB radio was popular. There were no charges for incoming or outgoing messages!

  56. SharkD says:

    @micasaessucasa:
    Try 4am, every Thursday, from a canadian online pharmacy… Verizon thew their hands up and shrugged.

    @tedyc03: I can assert that the main article Verizon’s policy, circa 2001, used to be that they would credit you back the SMS charge and block the offending party from sending you any more text messages.

    Late in 2006, when I began receiving unsolicited text messages from the aforementioned Canadian pharmacy, at four in the morning, I called Verizon and was told that the only option was to block them by explicitly listing their number or email in one of the 20 blacklist spaces in the online account management and that they would not credit me back the received spam text messages or investigate the matter. Unfortunately, as the text messages came from ‘000-000-0000′, there was no way to block them, as the Vtext site rejected that as an invalid phone number.

    When I called Verizon back, the CSR confirmed that 000-000-0000 was the number of record on the spam text and that the Vtext website rejected any attempts to blacklist that number. He said they would investigate and the messages stopped for a few months.

    In mid-2007, they started again, so I called *611 once more. The CSR gave me the same dead-end answers, and I told her that I’d already tried those solutions. She offered that the only other solution was to disable text messaging for my account and then proceeded to do so without my permission. When she said ‘oops’ and told me what happened, she went on to explain that she could not restore my previous text message plan (500 text/pix/vid for $5.00) because Verizon no longer offered that package, but that I could get the same features back for a lot more money.

    Suffice it to say, within a week, I had purchased an iPhone and cancelled my Verizon account after more than 8 years of being a customer in good standing.

  57. sonneillon says:

    My mom had a similar thing happen to her, she told the CSR. She asked them who the customer was and got a credit and had txt messaging turned off.

  58. CajunGuy says:

    I used to be with Nextel (before the merger) and had a similar problem. I’d get text messages on my phone from random people I didn’t know, and went into the Nextel office to see about getting text messaging turned off (I never used it anyway). They told me…and this is rich…that if I turned off text messaging then I’d also lose voicemail.

    Excuse me?!

    Needles to day, I promptly dumped Nextel and went somewhere else.

  59. Starfury says:

    On our Verizon phones we turned off all the features except for what we use the phones for: voice communication. At 41 I have NO interest in texting or learning how to text; same with my wife.

    We’re the kind of customers Verizon loves/hates. We have no extra features on our phones and never go over our allowed minutes…but we pay our bill on time every month.

  60. t0fu says:

    i’m on verizon and i have NEVER had one single spam txt. Maybe it’s because I’m on a business account?

  61. the_wiggle says:

    way to bash people – this is supposed to be a CONSUMERIST site, not a shill site or a flame site.

    on point: why should anyone have to either a) tolerate SPAM + bs “service” OR b) go textless? some of us actually USE the text feature to keep family schedules running smoothly.

  62. mmmmna says:

    @kmn842: Some plans are different….

  63. Ninjanice says:

    Sounds like some people had a bad CSR or two. I have Verizon and encountered this issue. First of all, it’s a 3rd party spamming, not Verizon. We all have email addresses attached to our cell phones, and spammers just go through and plug in your phone number into the email format and send off a bunch of spam, just like you get in your regular email box. Yes, Verizon stands to make money off of this if people have to pay for texts, but I have never had a problem getting the $.20 or $.40 credited to an account. Also, it is fairly easy to disable this feature without having to call anyone. If you sign up for Verizon’s online account management, you can go into your texting preferences and block texts from the web, from email and you can block about 15 or 20 individual numbers or email addresses.

  64. loadedthorn says:

    I switched my number because I started getting death threats from some guy saying I stole his phone. Verizon was fine about switching that cause I had already called the police, but the same day, before I had given that number out to anyone I got a text message advertising a wild party. I called the number it came from and gave them hell. I just got another one a few minutes ago.

  65. Craysh says:

    I can hear the CSR after they release their new phones based on the 700MHz spectrum:
    Due to FCC regulations on the 700MHz, we cannot block the spam that we are sending you. Any and all devices that can connect to the network without damaging it has to be allowed on.
    We will of course, still take your money for it.

  66. You hate your job but you're still working there? says:

    I didn’t get totally nailed with spam like the letter described, but after getting a couple I called Verizon and the rep actually suggested I pay for unlimited texting every month to avoid excessive charges.

    Then he told me I wasn’t authorized to view the account (in my dad’s name) despite the fact that we’ve called five or six times over the course of two months to repeatedly authorize my name to make changes (only had to do it once for our Roadrunner internet). Another rep asked me very gently, ‘Could you put daddy on the phone, sweetie?’ after mentioning that I was the daughter of the ‘Craig’ listed on the account. I’m almost 20, but maybe I sound like an eight year-old over the phone or something.

    If you’re a CSR, don’t make assumptions about who you’re talking to over the phone, please. Getting service problems solved over the phone is hard enough these days without involving a social faux pas.

  67. 138webster says:

    First of all, the concept of me having to pay for incoming text messages is ridiculous by itself. And now reading this just makes me angry as us as customers are being taken advantage of via spammers. How does verizon expect us to take slack for the spam messages we get. It not OUR fault we get them nor do we intend on even reading them!
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