MSNBC on text message spam [telecom]

MSNBC had a report on text message spam, as using for debt consolidating companies. They send out a "survey"* then go into a sales pitch.

For article please see:

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IMNO, any kind of unsoliciting texting to cell phones ought to be illegal** because many subscribers (like me) have to pay for each text, and it disrupts legitimate messaging. I'm not sure what the cell phone carriers are doing, if anything, to curtail spam texting.

(Is there anyone who thinks this sort of thing should be allowed? If so, why?)

In response to my complaint my carrier said they could turn off texting for my account, and I had them do so. I don't text so it shouldn't have been a problem.

However, I discovered several problems with turning off my texting capability. Basically, _everything_ is turned off, including legimate things.

--No "bounce message": A few people who texted me (not knowing I don't text) didn't know I had it turned off. They did not get any rejection message as one gets with regular email and assumed I got their text.

--No service messages or balance replies: I cannot receive legitimate service messages from the carrier nor responses to inquiries about my account usage and balance.

--Hurts unanswered messages: If someone calls me and I don't answer, they get an option to leave a callback number. But that message does not go through.

*I get a great many "survey" calls at home on my landline. Technically these are legal and not affected by "do not call" lists. I hang up immediately before I hear what it's about. Now I wonder if some of those "surveys" are in actuality veiled sales pitches.

**I understand unsolicited voice calls to a cell phone are illegal regardless of their nature. Fortunately I've only gotten one or two of those. I believe unsolicited calls to nursing home residents are also illegal, but my mother still got some of those. I suspect the originators are using sequential automatic dialers that simply go through every number.

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Lisa or Jeff
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I don't text and I tell my friends not to text to me. [I'm a Luddite who only uses a mobile phone to talk. No texting, no cameras, no web browsing.] Fortunately I don't get spam texts, except from my mobile-phone company Tracfone. Once a month or so, Tracfone sends an advertisement via text.

When I buy additional months service and/or airtime minutes, Tracfone sends a text message to my phone to update the expiration date and minutes automatically. That's cetainly more convenient that when I first started with Tracfone: I would visit their website, or call their toll-free number, to arrange the update, and then I would have to enter a zillion digits into the phone.


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It is, although the case law is sparse. The most notable case is one filed and won by Rodney Joffe under the TCPA.

R's, John

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