Text Message Spam

Text messaging is a core part of the Foneshow experience. Text message notification of new programming and leveraging that as a menuing system is key to how Foneshow works and is better than our competitors (it's also where we have our patents). To use the short code system in the US the cellular carriers insist that you have to adhere to some very specific rules about sending messages as far as verifying users and not sending unsolicited texts. We spend a lot of time and energy jumping through hoops that the cellular carriers put up to protect their subscribers from SMS spam.

So yesterday when I read that AT&T sent unsolicited text messages to a "significant number" of it's 75 million mobile subscribers reminding them that American Idol (a show that AT&T sponsors) I was pretty surprised. The previous Idol voters who got texts I understand, I'm sure that in the fine print of Idol voting you opted in for those. But AT&T also sent Idol texts to "heavy texters" who had never participated in American Idol. That is simply spam.

AT&T claims the fact that they don't charge for the text and that you can then opt out means it's not spam. That's bullshit.

If we we started sending unsolicited texts to users who had not opted in they'd shut us down so fast it would make your head spin.

Erik SchwartzATT, FoneShow, SMS, badness, spam