11 October, 2007

The simple guide to dealing with unwanted SMSs

Every few days over the last month, I have been receiving unsolicited text messages about promotions - and other cryptic messages - which are getting rather annoying.

Here is an example (atrocious spelling included):
"Tomorrow!CLEARANCE, Top Fation of famous brands,Men?s Dress Formal casual, Lady?s Bags,Perfumer & Shoes" (etc.)

I braved the 101 call (helpline), and luckily had to endure no more than a one minute wait to get through.

So, for anyone who doesn't want to receive unsolicited text messages in future, here are, according to the 101 operator, the instructions on how to block incoming texts coming in from the same organisation:

Press "b / then a space / then type the name or code of the sender organisation / then 1011"

The interesting part is you have to send a text message (with the above instructions) to block the sender, meaning there is a cost of blocking spam, which is absorbed by you.

Incidentally, I also asked if it would be possible to block Etisalat's own promotional messages. "Yes", she said. I asked, "Are you sure?" 4 times, assuming she might have some information to add after the 5th time. After the 4th time, she added, "Listen, if you want to block Etisalat messages, you have to come to the Business Centre".

Thank you, Operator, for making me ask you a simple question 4 times before getting a full, comprehensive response.

Now, one should not only pay for the petrol to get down to whichever business centre this is, but presumably pass through Salik as well, to reach there - and take time out of one's schedule - all to block a message that comes from Etisalat themselves.

To round this all up, I would propose that a telecommunications company be able to deal with basic customer issues over modern technology, and that includes the telephone.


Etheee-sal-aath said...

How about you not pay for the petrol, not pass through the salik, and not take time out of your precious schedule AND JUST FRIGGING TWITCH YOUR THUMB AND PRESS THE DELETE BUTTON.Have a nice day, and always use that gift in ur head which everyone uses a lot better than you do and btw, i do support barring messages other than etheesalaths.

Dildo said...

Don't like receiving spam messages? shouldn't be filling in your mobile number in those little cards that ask for comments; and you shouldn't be signing up for raffles (9 times out of 10 they are fixed anyway). they just want your personal details so they can spam you later, why else would they be offering raffles and shit like that? its definitely not cuz they care about you as a customer.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I do receive the annoying spam SMS as well, sometimes 5 to 10 times daily. However, never crossed my mind to take it out on a telephone operator. I am sure the people are just doing their job. We should appreciate their patiance with costumers asking 5 times the same question only in a sick attempt to stress them out or throw their disappointments at them as nameless&faceless receivers. Perhaps in some other "civilised" countries the ordinary mobiles owners don't have to dill with SMS spam or 181 operators..............................

Editor said...

I will only second Anoun and back up the suggestion to *dill* with the SMS spam as the mademoiselles deal in the civilised countries........gosh I need a Martini........with 2 olives and drop of lime.........perhaps the butler will respond to the first call.........

i*maginate said...

*Etheee-sal-aath , there are more modern solutions available when dealing with spam, which is to take all reasonable preventative measures, and if all else fails, to block, which is why I pasted the instructions for those in the same predicament. Similarly, may I advise you that when your doorbell rings from midnight to 6am, to just ignore the unsolicited visits.

*Dildo, when your apparatus is switched off, please take the time to comprehend the gist of the post. I imagine nobody likes receiving unsolicited messages - and in my case, these are "unsoliticed" (uninvited) which means I do not give my details to promotional companies nor raffles. To the best of my power, I avoid spam, but how far can one control this? It's impossible not to hand out business cards and leave telephone numbers with companies one deals with, so perhaps these are the culprits.

The post is about how to deal with unwanted SMSs...and the rather strange notion of having to go all the way to the Etisalat branch to sort out the issue, when they should be "just a call away" - which part of the post did you fail to understand?

You needn't take your lack of comprehension skills out on me: read the post.

Are you trying to imply that the UAE is not a "civilised" country? I strongly disagree. A modern telecoms company should be able to accommodate customer enquiries on the telephone (rather than being asked to visit the branch) - is that too much to ask for in the developed world? As for customer service ("I am sure they are just trying to do their job"), in a civilised world, the correct answer should be given in the first instance; not the 5th. I wouldn't want to know which world you are living in.

*Editor, as far as I know, "dill" is a herb. Sorry to inform you this post is not about your favourite recipe, nor your favourite alcoholic drink: I am referring to Etisalat. I don't know which world you come from, but I come from a world in which the Operators can respond to an enquiry the first time around, and you are not required to visit a branch miles away when you are just a phonecall away :)

Anonymous said...

"...but I come from a world in which the Operators can respond to an inquiry the first time around.......",........ well,someone already indirectly suggested that you may return to that world....is it so hard to understand??????........."translator please!" .......let's hope he responds to the first call......

Etheee-sal-aath said...

if ur going to turn up at midnight i will definitely ignore u i know u came to discuss about sms and i want a good nights sleep. so fok off.

secretdubai said...

The unsolicited SMSs are an absolute scandal, and it is all the more appalling that they are sent by government organisations and departments. Who can blame smaller companies for using bad practice when they have no example to follow?

What I find really, really dumb however is getting messages - including from Etisalat - in Arabic. With no later English translation. That is a waste of technology for them, and a waste of time and SIM card space for me. All they need to do is notice the nationality of their customers, and send English messages to non-Arabs.

Anonymous said...

I am sure some guy will come up with a Spam Sms killer creating a new business idea. He then can go and open his company in a free zone and sell his software on Gitex.

Wow, this is how business works.

i*nnocent said...

How could you sit there and malign my country.Oh you haters. We have the best telecommunications service in the world. You're just jealous, so go back to where you came from.

i*maginate said...

*SD, any modern telecoms company should be able to accommodate requests to block unwanted SMSs by way of telephone (rather than having to visit the "branch" in person - what is the use of the telephone, then?): is that too much to ask for, given the modern-day world of Salik technology?

Furthermore, if the bulk of unwanted SMSs come from a government department, should the option to block such unsolicited SMSs come with a cost to the unsuspecting Etisalat-user?

samuraisam said...

Etisalat has every reason to be assholes about blocking telephone numbers because they probably make a nice percentage on each SMS sent which the government is then charged (you might call it corruption, here it's called business)

Anonymous said...

yeah.....the customer service at etisalat is shitty.
i once called 2 ask wht ws the difference between gprs and ewap.....the guy at the other end had only 1 thing 2 say.....
wht a dipshit!!

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