Unwanted text message ads are annoying, but if the advertiser lets you opt out that should be the end of it, right? Apparently the folks at Lithia Motors, one of the nation’s largest auto retailers, think you might not have meant it when you told them to stop bugging you.
Verizon has set up a site to give out refunds to customers who signed up for premium text messages with an advertiser who “did not meet Verizon Wireless’ standards for the disclosure of pricing and subscription information.” Here is a list of the 120 affected short codes. If you were a Verizon customer who signed up for one of them, you can file a claim here.
Ah, for the days when phone slammers had to actually call you in order to enroll you in services you don’t want. P.W. tells Consumerist that he received a few texts from an unknown shortcode number, most likely wrote them off as spam, and ignored them. Until he noticed a mysterious $10 charge on his phone bill.
The conventional wisdom has it that if you want to commit a crime with a cell phone, use a prepaid model. That’s what a woman in California did to get back at her ex-boyfriend and his sister-in-law, by sending harassing text messages to herself and then reporting them to the police. The plan fell apart, however, when her victims hit the pavement to find proof that they were being framed.
It’s quick, easy, and convenient to donate to relief efforts for Haiti earthquake victims by sending a text message, but not such a great idea if you want to be sure that your donations reach people and organizations in need before sometime in April.
Mobile carriers don’t actually submit your donation to the charity until after you’ve paid your bill. Experts agree that the donations will take at least one billing cycle for pledges to reach their destination.
Could a text message make you save more?
Peter, who wrote in last month to complain about being text-spammed by Payless Shoesource on his phone, wasn’t the only customer they annoyed. A man in California has filed a class action lawsuit against the shoe company and Voice & Mobile Broadcast Corporation, which is the marketing company it hired to run the campaign.
If you live in the Houston area, you can now use your mobile phone to redeem coupons for JCPenney through a trial-partnership with Cellfire. You have to register with Cellfire in order to receive the promos via SMS or email, and if you register today you’ll receive a mysterious “$10 in$tant gift” [sic].
It’s bad enough when friends and acquaintances bombard you with text messages, but at least most humans can be reasoned with. Monica, on the other hand, says she’s being hassled by a robot who sends here 20 texts a day, and that Verizon has been slow to jump to her aid.
Online coupons still haven’t caught on, really, but 8coupons.com may be worth checking out if you want to give it a try in your own city. Instead of implementing some high-concept location aware thing, they let you browse the site for coupons that interest you. When you find one, you send it to your phone via text message. Obviously, if you hold your phone number dear to your heart, don’t bother; if you’re the brave type who doesn’t mind risking the personal data exposure, you might want to give it a shot.
Here’s an idea, don’t use your phone to send 300 texts a day at school. Not only will your parents not get a bill for $4,756.25, you won’t go from As and Bs to Fs and you also won’t get your phone smashed with a hammer.
Senators Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Bill Nelson, D-Florida, have introduced the m-SPAM Act, which would update the CAN-SPAM law to include text message spam. “The m-SPAM Act would explicitly bar marketers from sending text messages to any mobile number in the national Do-Not-Call registry maintained by the FTC,” reports InternetNews.
Text message phishing scam hits U.S. Cellular customers in Des Moines. [WHOTV.com] (Thanks to David!)
Subway has launched a pilot program called SubwayNow where New York City residents (Manhattan only at the moment, it looks like) can register to place pick-up orders via text message. According to IntoMobile, after registering with your address and providing payment info, which they keep on file, you set up a list of sandwich orders that are saved as a personal menu. When you’re ready to use the service, you text “menu” to the Subway shortcode, and Subway sends back your pre-set menu. Then you text back the menu item you want, and Subway responds with a pick-up time.
We got an email today from a Sprint representative addressing the confusion over just what “unlimited” means in their unlimited messaging package. If you recall, Erica says Sprint told her she would still be billed per message when sending pics or video, which runs contrary to the offer she signed up for. Now Sprint has officially responded that unlimited means no additional charges, and they’re investigating the matter. Below is their statement.
Sprint offers an “Everything Messaging Family” package that promises “unlimited nationwide, text, picture and video messaging to anyone on any network.” The catch? Unlimited seems to mean “you have the capability to send messages, but you’ll still have to pay for each message you send.” Erica has called in twice to clear up the mistake, but the CSRs are telling her it’s not a mistake. Oh. Well then, is it a lie?