Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spam texts

Another unsolicited text message problem, but unlike the last ones, this isn't just some idiot with a mistake in their address book and a strange unwillingness to consider that possibility. This is a more ordinary problem: spam.

This one is some service which spams people with "inspirational messages" and then charges them for it. In addition to the dime-a-message I pay for texts (and which, infuriatingly, I get charged for receiving them as well as sending them, even though I have to pay extra to block numbers from sending to me) they want to charge me $9.99 a month for the "service". Where they get my number from in the first place is anyone's guess; I certainly did not, as their message suggests, "request" this service, nor did any of the other people I found online who got hit by this spam. The spam promises you can stop it by sending STOP back, but this seems to rarely work and if anything induces more messages.

So now I have to call AT&T which is always an agonizing experience for me -- I hate having to call anyone, let alone a customer service representative with whom I will probably have to argue. I have to try to avoid getting indignant too much despite that I have absolute cause to do so -- why is the burden on me to opt out of unsolicited spam, and then have to pay for the service of doing it?

I wonder how companies like this are allowed to continue to exist. (Just to be clear, I mean the spammers, not AT&T, though one could probably make that case, too.) How can they sign me up for some service (and add their fee to my phone bill) without my consent, let alone my explicit action? That should be against some kind of rule or law somewhere.

1 comment:

Siobhan said...

As an update to this. I called AT&T and got the charges reversed and they were fine about it. Took only a few minutes to get done. Which is an amazing record for AT&T customer service. :)