Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Fighting back against the spammers.

MobileUpd8 - SpamWiki

I have, over the last few months received a series of unwanted and unsolicited "spam texts", promising great deals on Orange mobile phones. When reading the text it was unclear of who or what was the source. It was clear however, that it wasn't Orange.

The accepted wisdom is never to reply to spam of any type. Many unsolicited emails or texts contain a tempting option that says sometihng like; "to stop receiving this email/newsletter/text etc, please click here......". Doing so not only serves to let the spammer know that he has hit a live account, but will likely result in you receiving even more spam than ever.

In frustration I continued to put up with receiving these texts. However, I recently got another of these spam texts and it found me in an unforgiving mood. I decided to try and track down the offending culprit and take action. I began with a search of the web, using the wording of the text itself and quickly found many sites filled with complaints from people with exactly the same concerns.

I followed the published advice and first contacted the customer services team of the offending company and requested that my number be removed immediately from their database. The response was positive and perhaps naively, I accepted that it would be done.

However, only today and yet again, I received another of these texts, albeit containing slightly different wording. Once again, I called the customer service department of the suspected offender and found that a succession of calls, resulted in mind numbing periods of listening to piped musak and fruitless attempts to get anyone to stay on the line long enough to help me.

What follows is a summary of my subsequent actions, kindly reported on the spamwiki website.

"One of the visitors to this site, recently reported on their attempts to get Celltalk to cease sending spam texts. It seems that the visitor, after several unsuccessful and frustrating attempts at getting his mobile number removed from the Celltalk database, decided to try a different approach than those already highlighted. He bypassed Celltalk customer services by going to the top of the organisation. Celltalk don't publish alternative contact telephone numbers, but a few minutes of googling generated some alternative contact information.

What followed was a call to the office of the Chairman of Celltalk PLC (Derek Joseph Tel: 0207 378 3030). The visitor had a brief but friendly conversation with the Chairman's personal assistant. It appears that the assistant was genuinely surprised to receive a call of this type and the conversation resulted in a promise from the assistant that the Chairman would certainly ensure the number was removed from the offending database. We wait with baited breath to see if this promise is kept."

No comments:

Post a Comment