Feeds

AT&T Idolises promotional texting

Spamming you say? How very dare you

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

US operator AT&T decided to let customers know about American Idol by sending a "significant number" of them a text message about it, without asking first.

The show is sponsored by AT&T, and was among the first in the US to screw more cash out of viewers by text voting, but until now it's not been promoted by text message, and viewers seem unimpressed by the move.

US mobile phone users generally pay to receive text messages (yes, hard to imagine from this side of the pond), and AT&T defended itself by saying that these messages were delivered free, but that's hardly an excuse for bothering people. The company also told the New York Times that their message can't be classed as spam on the grounds that customers could opt out of receiving future messages by replying with the word "stop" - clearly nothing resembling spam, then.

The economic downturn has seen all sorts of companies dusting off their mailing lists and trying different ways to get hold of customers. Here at Vulture Towers we've seen a marked increase in marketing messages from companies we've dealt with in the past, including some we've not heard from for years, but not by text message.

The use of text messages for promotional purposes is tightly controlled in the UK, though cost is still the most significant barrier to more use. Most of the text spam seen is sent from hacked servers operated by interconnected operators abroad, though the line between legitimate marketing and spam isn't always clear.

Operators themselves rarely stoop to such measures, for fear of exactly the kind of backlash that AT&T is now experiencing. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.