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THOUGHT: SMS Spam rips-off the User
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 26.01.04 - 17:08:37 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 6793x
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Woohoo, on weekend I received a mysterious SMS message which is a serious rip-off. The (German) text was as following:

Hi, where are you right now?? We wanted to meet... Awaiting your SMS. Best regards A.
Max 2.00 Euro per SMS (Vodafone charge 0.12 Euro)

Well, I don't know anyone in my private environment who has a direct (corporate) access to a SMSC (Short Message Service Center) and who charges me 2 (in words two) Euro per SMS. 8O That's a serious rip-off, tolerated by the carriers who provided this access!
A friend of mine, who works for a carrier tested some of this "chat" services and they were more then dumb like

  • SMS Service: Which mobile phone do you have
  • Friend: I'm using a Nokia phone
  • SMS Service: Great, I have a Siemens too

He continued this conversation and finally paid around 20 Euro for nothing, to get a response like "I have a Siemens phone too" even if he is using a Nokia not a Siemens. So this services are so dump that I can only warn to use them.

However, using such a service is the one - being spammed is something different and this is something which really annoys me! I'm already bombed by spam day in day out on my PC but getting these kind of rip-off spam's on a mobile phone makes me wonder how long SMS continues to be a success before a user is so pissed that he will disable SMS; especially if you are in International Roaming where you might be also charged for incoming SMS messages!

Cheers ~ Arne


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Posted by Jim Fowl on 26.01.04 - 17:21:02

Hi Arne, a very valid point on the roaming charges, whilst on holiday in Portugal, I received an SMS message from a SMS dating agency, for which I paid for. It seems this may become as big a problem as email spam, as I regular get SMSs asking me to dial premium rate numbers becuase I've won a priZe or somesuch nonsense!


Posted by APA on 26.01.04 - 20:31:01

General roaming fees are a total rip-off, Making a call with my swiss mobile phone in HongKong costs me around 4 CHF/min. However when I buy a prepaid SIM card the same call costs me 0.3 HK$ which is equivalent of around 0.05 CHF/min. There used to be some laws about "Wucher" or in english "daylight robbery" smile However it seems they don't apply to the mobile phone market at all.

Recently I also got a similiar SMS as you mentioned, to me it is not understandable how such spam companies can operate without the permission of the carrier. On the fixed line we do have the 0900 numbers. This system should also apply to such overcharged SMS, giving the customer the choice to totally block service from them. But it seems to be as with the stolen cars, the car industry is not really into 100% theft secure cars, cause a stolen car is a sold car sad (how much of the 2 Euro goes to the carrier is the price question now smile )

Posted by Jayson on 27.01.04 - 01:21:03

The reason why mobile networks tolerate these spammers is because this brings in more revenue for them. The spammers surely pay the networks for sending international SMS and the receivers (victims) also pay the networks because they received an international SMS.

Posted by GoldCoaster on 05.02.04 - 11:03:21

I have never heard of this problem in Australia  - maybe in the future, I hope not (thats for the sms spam there are sms chat at around $2 a message - normal sms is 0.20!)

Posted by Arne Hess on 05.02.04 - 14:52:05

That's a rip-off!!!

SMS in the Philippines has gone down to less than US$0.01... yes 1 US cent. MMS is about 9 US cents. and SMS to carriers outside the Philippines is 17 US Cents.

GPRS is US$0.005 per KB... or if you are counting by 10KB... it's ging to be about 5Cents per 10 KB.

We have chat at about US$ 0.04 or 4cents per message via Chat...

Hmmm ;-)


Posted by Tim on 07.03.04 - 02:47:15

I regularly get about 30 SMS Spam messages a day.  Luckily I don't have to pay for them (US AT&T), but they drive me nuts.  I've set up a ButtonMax Macro to clean out the inbox about 5 times a day ... what a waste of time.

I've been looking for a way to disable SMS on my XDA II.  Does anyone know how?  I can't find anything in the Registry or anything obvious.

Thanks for any help.


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