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November 25, 2005

Verizon goes after cell-spammer

From Reuters...

Verizon Wireless said on Wednesday it has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against a Florida firm that it charges with sending thousands of unsolicited text messages to Verizon customers' mobile phones. 

The wireless venture of Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group Plc said it filed the suit in U.S. District Court in New Jersey after 98,000 spam messages were sent on behalf of Ormond Beach, Florida, firm Passport Holidays telling Verizon customers they had won cruises to the Bahamas....

"While it is very annoying to get spam in your e-mail account, it doesn't cost you anything, whereas on a wireless phone it costs you up to 10 cents a message," Entner said. 

Even if Verizon received messaging fees from each of the 98,000 customers who was spammed, it could have lost anywhere between $500,000 and $1 million if each one had called customer service to complain, said Entner, who assumes such calls cost the company between $5 and $8 on average.

I use US Cellular. We dropped our land lines a while back when telemarketers simply made having a phone more of an annoyance than a need. Maybe once a year I'll get a telemarketer and I'll remind then that there are some pretty stiff penalties for violating wire-fraud laws and the cell phone companies are more than eager to pursue it. They hang up quickly with a fearful apology. 

Telemarketers/Spammers could seriously hurt the cell phone industry if they weren't kept in check. The companies know that the first thing people will do is to start turning off their phones, and that would cut cell phone use down drastically, probably force the companies to raise rates and make things difficult for everyone.

Posted by Danny Carlton at November 25, 2005 07:46 AM

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