Telcos, Help Us Stop SMS Spam!
Have you read our articles covering unsolicited text messages? We featured the Handog Pangkabuhayan Text Scam and asked for help to stop text scammers. Many readers have commented, sharing their irritation. Unfortunately, there seems to be no direct way to stop it. We at Technograph realize that the best way to stop SMS spam is to cut it off at the source.
So what do we have so far?
Ask Your Service Provider (Takes Too Long)
The most commonly recommended solution is to contact your service provider. The problem is that this takes time. A local telco customer service representative asked us to contact the National Telecommunication Commission and report the offending numbers, before action could be taken. The NTC has to evaluate the complaint, before directing the telco to start blocking.
Local telcos can’t limit communication without the proper authorization. And out of reasonable prudence, the NTC can’t act until they’ve received a certain number of complaints about a specific number. We really can’t blame them for following the rules, but we also think that a more prompt solution is required.
Use an SMS Spam-Blocking App (Limited and Costs Money)
So far, we’ve found SmsSpamKiller, a utility for Nokia S60 phones that automatically deletes text messages received from specified. Unfortunately, it only works for certain Nokia phones, and comes with a $9.95 price tag. Aren’t there free alternatives for other kinds of phones? (readers are welcome to share their finds by leaving a comment below)
The Real Solution (Empower the User)
Asking the service provider’s help is actually a very good idea. But as mentioned before, the process takes time. Why not speed it up by moving it online? The telco (or the NTC) should set up a website where users can report SMS spam, and the originating numbers. If fully automated, this can help the NTC and the service provider act faster.
Alternatively, the web interface can be specific to users, allowing them to block certain numbers at their discretion. Since it is online, a user can access it through a web-capable computer—regardless of what phone they use. Why not give users better control over their own accounts?
The point is that service providers share the responsibility for preventing unsolicited text messages. These companies should vigorously explore better ways of stopping a problem that’s increasingly plaguing local customers. This will no doubt involve providing a little more power to the user.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 19th, 2008 at 4:14 am and is filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.